Where the shores of Africa are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean...
June to March
A Kenya beach holiday or vacation is perfect for unwinding after a safari. Or indeed, to get away from grey days in the northern hemisphere winter. There’s an enticing array of tempting, sand-ridden possibilities for a Kenya safari and beach holiday. These range from trendy beach resorts to atmospheric islands such as Lamu or Manda.
The coastline south of Mombasa is quite developed with resort hotels. However, the long, broad white sands at Diani take some beating. Here the coral reef protects the calm turquoise waters off the beach. And the Diani beach hotels can arrange for an extensive array of water sports or diving. But it’s still possible to find a secluded spot. Set slightly away from the larger hotels are bijoux houses for families, luxurious private villas and romantic retreats. AfroChic Diani and Alfajiri Villas set the standards here. For more modest budgets, Diani Blue in Diani and the Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa on Galu Beach are great options.
On the Kenya coast just north of Mombasa are two protected stretches of water: at Malindi and Watamu. Malindi is Kenya’s second largest coastal town. So it’s an interesting mix of the local Swahili culture together with Arab and more recent Italian influences. Several beach resorts lie on idyllic tropical beaches. The Malindi Marine National Park extends south to meet the coral gardens of the Watamu. And a break in the coral reef allows waves big enough to surf to reach the shore. Alternatively, why not try your hand at deep sea fishing? Or visit the reefs and marvel at the colourful fish from a glass-bottomed boat.
To the south, Watamu Bay is the quieter option. Here the Marine Park, with around 700 species of fish, affords excellent snorkelling and diving. This area is also a breeding ground for Green and Hawksbill turtles. Plus there’s plenty to do. You can take a boat to the mangroves at Mida Creek. Watamu used to be a quiet fishing village and still has the same ambience. But now it also has a number of luxury beach resorts. We recommend Hemingways.
Close to Watamu are the ruins of the lost town of Gedi. This fascinating and atmospheric ruined settlement at Gedi was mysteriously deserted sometime in the 17th century. It is an important archaeological site and well worth a visit.
Mombasa is Kenya’s second largest city. While the cobbled streets and colourful, exotic markets are entrancing, the sheer hustle and bustle of Mombasa can be overwhelming! So most of our clients visit the old town of Mombasa as a day excursion to soak up the atmosphere. But they stay on the long stretches of white beach of Diani to the south.
Alternatively why not enjoy a Kenya beach holiday on the Lamu Archipelago. This is a collection of unspoilt, idyllic islands off the far north of Kenya. Lamu Island is the largest. And for centuries this has been a calling point for the Arab dhow traders trading spices, mangrove poles and ivory. More recently, it became a charming, slightly alternative destination for a beach retreat. It remains beguilingly different from the rest of Africa - offering a magical atmosphere in whose narrow alleys unique Swahili traditions and customs have been preserved. So it is ideal for the adventurous and seasoned visitor. You can also stay at Manda Wilderness.
The coral reef both protects the coast and offers great diving and snorkelling. Check out the Malindi Marine Reserve, with its coral reefs which extend to Watamu.
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