10 Best Beaches in Kenya

Last updated on July 6th, 2023 at 08:30 pm

Kenya is famous for its national parks and wildlife, but it also has some of the best beaches on the continent.

A visit to a Kenyan beach is definitely worth including in your travel schedule, from Lamu in the far north to the beaches close to Mombasa.

Kenya has beaches for everyone, whether you are seeking tranquility, delicious food, family-friendly locations, or thrilling water sports. 

There is something for everyone at these top 10 beaches in Kenya.

1. Diani Beach

For five years running, Diani Beach has been named the best beach destination in Africa, and it’s not hard to understand why.

diani beach Kenya
Diani Beach

Diani Beach has everything you would expect from a tropical paradise: soft, rolling sands ideal for sunbathing, clear waters ideal for snorkeling, and a wealth of sea life to be seen.

Coral reefs shield the beach from strong waves, making it the ideal place to swim, float, or snorkel. 

Diani beach is perfect for a few days of rest after a grueling wildlife safari.

Absolutely, Diani Beach should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a unique and exotic beach vacation.

White sand beaches, clear waters, and kiteboarding are Diani’s most well-known attractions. The beach is a favorite among vacationing families, hikers, and newlyweds.

Although Diani Beach experiences pleasant temperatures between 28°C (83°F) to 33°C (93°F) all year long, the drier months of January and February are the best times to visit.

2. Nyali Beach

Nyali Beach is located across the creek from Mombasa. It is known for its high-class hotels, beautiful residential houses, and long white sand beaches, making it a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists.

nyali beach Kenya
Nyali Beach

Nyali Beach is renowned for its gentle waves, white sand beaches, and diver-friendly sea.

The best time to visit Nyali Beach is during the long dry season, which lasts from July through October.

3. Watamu

Watamu is a lovely and peaceful village tucked between exquisite beaches and dense tropical forests.

kenya watamu beach
Watamu Beach

This region is one of the most undeveloped and natural regions of the Kenyan coast, and it is well known for its distinctive, easygoing way of life. It is the ideal location for visitors who want to unwind, explore, and take in all the beauty it has to offer. 

Watamu is a great location for diving and snorkeling due to its crystal-clear waters.

Watamu is well worth a visit because it offers so many well-known sights, such as the Gede Ruins and Spiaggia delle Tartarughe.

The Marine Park is regarded as one of the top spots for diving and snorkeling in East Africa because of its crystal-clear water. It is also considered to be Africa’s third-best beach.

The best time to visit Watamu is from July to October because it is the longest dry season of the year.

4. Kikambala

Because Kikambala Beach lies on the county’s fringes north of Mombasa, it is not a very crowded area.

Along Kikambala’s southern stretch as well as farther north, in the area of Kilifi Creek, you can find inexpensive accommodation options and delightfully uncrowded beaches.

kikambala beach Kenya
Kikambala Beach

Kikambala offers a diverse range of sights and activities, making a trip there well worthwhile.

The drier months of January and February are the ideal times to travel. However, since Kikambala experiences warm temperatures ranging from 28°C (83°F) to 33°C (93°F) all year you can visit any time.

5. Lamu Island

Lamu Island is a Unesco World Heritage Site and has been a center of Swahili and Islamic culture for over 700 years, with great beaches, dazzling coral reefs, a wealth of activities, great cuisine, and friendly service.

lamu island kena
Lamu Island

Lamu Island, which has great natural beauty as well as archaeological and historical relevance, is definitely worth visiting for a relaxing and uncrowded Kenya beach vacation.

As of 2020, the island was certified safe for travel, despite the fact that safety concerns have in the past discouraged tourists.

Lamu Old Town, which still maintains its traditional role, is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili village in East Africa. The village, which was constructed from coral stone and mangrove wood, is distinguished by the simplicity of its basic shapes, which are complemented by details like inner courtyards, verandas, and ornately carved wooden doors.

Any time of year is a good time to visit Lamu Island, but for the best experience plan to visit either from July through October or from January through February.

6. Tiwi Beach

Tiwi Beach is one of Kenya’s finest beaches and is located south of Mombasa. It features pristine white sands, shady coconut palm and casuarina trees, and a big rock pool where you can cool off.

The location provides a quiet and unobtrusive contrast to the busier beaches further north.

tiwi beach kenya
Tiwi Beach

It is unquestionably worthwhile to visit. The location is breathtaking, and the lush coastal rainforest is one of Kenya’s greatest coastal forests.

The best time to travel to Tiwi in Kenya is during the drier months of January and February. However, since the average annual temperature is between 28°C (83°F) and 33°C (93°F) you can visit any time of the year.

7. Bamburi Beach

Bamburi is a coastal area with many top-notch beaches and luxurious hotels.

Bamburi Beach is open to the public so it is highly crowded on the weekends and during holidays.

kenya bamburi beach
Bamburi Beach

Anyone who enjoys walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, or simply relaxing on the sand should visit Bamburi Beach. It is the perfect spot for sunbathers and sand lovers.

Bamburi is famous for the nightclubs and restaurants on the beach. Scuba diving and snorkeling are some of the water sports available here. Also popular around here are camel rides.

This beach is open all around the year.

8. Shanzu Beach

Shanzu Beach is located north of Mombasa on the Kenyan coast.

shanzu beach Kenya
Shanzu Beach

Numerous resort hotels and vacation homes define Shanzu Beach but a lot of locals also visit this palm-tree-lined beach to take in the fine, white sand. Many activities are accessible to hotel guests only but there is a private water-sports supplier who offers a selection of activities to non-guests.

The outstanding variety of activities and experiences in Shanzu, Kenya, make it well worth a trip there.

The best time to visit Shaanzu is during the long dry season from July through October.

9. Gazi Beach

Gazi Beach is located in Kwale County along Kenya’s coastline.

This remote sandy strip is only known to the most ardent Kenya beach enthusiasts and is perched along the road between Diani and the Tanzanian border.

gazi beach kenya

It is renowned for its seclusion and is never crowded, making it the perfect place for a quiet retreat.

June through October is the best time to travel to Gazi.

10. Malindi

Malindi, located on Kenya’s north coast is a tropical town with unique hideaways and a stretch of lovely beaches.

malindi kenya

Malindi is well-known for its coral reefs, which are best viewed at the Malindi National Marine Park or in adjacent Watamu and are located barely 1,000 feet off its shore. Popular activities include game fishing, surfing, and simply sunbathing on the beach.

It is highly recommended to visit because of its many well-known sites, such as the Gede Ruins, Vasco da Gama Pillar, and Marafa-Hells Kitchen.

Malindi is renowned for its architecture with Swahili origins, great seafood, immaculate beaches, and pleasant weather.

The best time to visit Malindi is from May to October.

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