Kenya Beaches

Where the shores of Africa are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean...

BEST TIME TO VISIT

June to March

Overview

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.

Kenya Luxury Beach Resorts - Diani Beach

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.

Kenya Luxury Beach Resorts - Malindi

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.

Kenya beach holiday - baby turtle

Kenya Luxury Beach Resorts - Watamu

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

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.

Kenya beach holiday - camels on the beach

Kenya Beach Holidays - Lamu Island

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.

See Exploring Lamu Island

Lamu Island

Diving off the Kenya Coast

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.

Back to the main Kenya safari page

Features

Why you may love it

  • Kenya coastline offers a great mix of stunning white beaches, colourful marine life and the unique Swahili culture
  • Great diving and snorkelling around a coral reef that runs the length of the country
  • Beautiful beaches south and just north of Mombasa. The famous and lovely Diani Beach is just an hour’s drive south
  • A number of international-standard beach resorts lie on idyllic tropical beaches (At Malindi, 2 hours north of Mombasa)
  • For a quieter option visit Watamu Bay
  • Lamu Island, off northern Kenya, is a long-term favourite where Swahili traditions and customs have been preserved

When to visit Kenya Beaches

Dec to March

Summer in Kenya Beaches

It is hot and humid from November to March but relatively little rain, especially in January and February. So you need to be comfortable with heat!
AVG RAINFALL 24 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 9 Hours
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉

April to mid-June

Not the ideal time for beach stay

The long rains typically start a little later on the coast and tend to be greater in the far south (Mombasa area) than further north (Malindi and Lamu). This is not the ideal time for a beach stay and consequently hotel prices are much lower and some even close during this time. May is the wettest month with rain typically every other day.
AVG RAINFALL 207 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 8 Hours
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉

Mid-June to Sep

Best months at the coast

The best months for the coast are mid June to September as they are warm and humid but not very hot. There are light, short showers every 3-5 days but these don’t last long. Sea temperatures remain warm throughout the year.
AVG RAINFALL 67 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 9 Hours
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 22 ℃ / 72 ℉

Oct to Nov

Occasional showers and rising temperatures

The short rains are much less of a ‘thing’ on the coast. The occasional showers continue, every 3-5 days, and temperatures and humidity start to rise. However this time is more unpredictable with more rain some years than others.
AVG RAINFALL 73 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 9 Hours
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 23 ℃ / 73 ℉

Start planning your dream trip

Find me the best in for

Need a little help? View our Safari Guide to help you get started

Accommodation

View More Accommodations

Download our Insiders Guide to Kenya Safaris

Best Game Reserves, sample tours & camps, and the low-down on when & where to visit! Get our Free Guide here
 

Tasha Eygelaar

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I'm Tasha, I'm here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience
Did you know
  • LandscapeHome to some of the continent's best beaches
  • NameNairobi is popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun

Book with confidence

 
ABTA logo
Zicasso Logo
Aito assurred logo
SATSA logo

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Start planning

How it works

 
Cedarberg talk-to-us
Chat with us about your perfect itinerary
Cedarberg curate
We listen, discuss and curate your ideal experience
Cedarberg pack
You pack and enjoy your holiday

Mari Jacobs

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I’m Mari, I’m here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keen to get some more useful info about planning a dream safari? Enter your name and email below

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.