4 Best Beach Destinations in Kenya

While many associate countries within Africa as being the perfect base for wildlife viewing and a quintessential safari experience, Kenya in fact offers a holiday for every traveller. Those who are seeking an unforgettable summer vacation in a tropical paradise should place the beautiful beaches in Kenya at the top of their must-visit bucket list.

Filled with an abundance of unique activities and spectacular scenery straight off the pages of the finest travel magazines, Kenya’s tropical beaches are the stuff of dreams. You won’t be short of places to stay while you’re there either ­– from exclusive hideaways for romantics to lodges suited to groups of friends and family celebrating together, some of the best beach resorts are in Kenya.

1. South Coast: Idyllic Beaches

Kenya’s South Coast is renowned for its palm-fringed white sand beaches, such as the ever-popular Diani Beach, as well as accessible coral reefs. The scuba diving here – in particular, at Kisite Marine Reserve – is excellent and there are many wreck dives to entice advanced divers. In addition to being host to some of the best Kenyan beaches, there’s a hassle-free atmosphere on the South Coast. Together with a wide range of accommodations- such as the beautiful AfroChic Diani, one of the top beach resorts in Kenya – kids’ entertainment clubs and golf courses make for a seamless beach holiday.

2. Mombasa: The White & Blue City

Mombasa’s lively atmosphere has long attracted beach lovers seeking a classic sun and sea vacation close to all the action. This is where you’ll find the larger beach resorts in Kenya and popular stretches of coastline such as Kilifi Beach. For a more relaxing break, we’d recommend a selection of hand-picked boutique hotels on the quieter Diani Beach, set 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Mombasa. Mombasa is also one of the few places where visitors can get a taste of both beach and safari holidays in one.

Shimba Hills National Reserve, a small national park situated 56 kilometres (34 miles) south of Mombasa and directly inland from Diani Beach, is a great option for visitors on a beach holiday but who want to experience a more relaxed safari in Kenya. Wildlife highlights of Shimba’s forested hills and grasslands are elephants, leopards and sable antelope plus many bird and rare plant species – and it’s easy to build a visit into your itinerary.

3. Lamu Archipelago: A Hidden Gem

In the far north of Kenya is the Lamu Archipelago which includes the magnificent islands of Lamu and Manda, always prominent on travel postcards from the region. Lamu Island’s distinct Moorish feel makes for a wonderfully exotic beach holiday experience. This low-key little island has become well known for its Lamu villas – Swahili-style beach houses with large cool living areas and rooftop terraces. The smaller islands of the archipelago provide idyllic and exclusive romantic getaways in the likes of Peponi Hotel and Manda Bay, making it one of the top and exclusive honeymoon destinations in Africa.

4. Malinda: Ocean Paradise

North of Mombasa lies the ever-popular Malindi, a town at the centre of some of the finest tropical beaches and beach resorts not only in Kenya, but in the whole of Africa. Blessed with enormously long, stunningly clean beaches, Malindi is also where to go in Kenya for deep-sea fishing as well as some excellent diving and snorkelling at the Malindi Marine National Park. Each of the spectacular attractions is characterised by quintessential Kenyan beaches, where travellers can kick back and relax in a sun-soaked paradise like the likes of Shanzu Beach. It’s in the Malindi region where breathtaking sunrises, sunsets and everything in between make for an unforgettable experience.