Kenya may be better known for its national parks and abundant wildlife, but you might be surprised to learn there are some incredible beaches in Kenya. The country has a long coastline of about 250 miles (400 km) along the Indian Ocean. You’ll find most of the best beaches in Kenya, such as Diani, Nyali and Kilifi Beach on the coastal strip to the north and south of Mombasa.
Whether you’re looking for exciting water activities, serene relaxation spots, amazing beach resorts or beautiful scenery, there’s a Kenyan beach that will please. So, plan to spend some time visiting the best beaches in Kenya on your next trip to East Africa.
- 19 Amazing Kenya Beaches
- Mombasa Beaches
- Malindi Beaches
- Kenya Beaches – Far North Coast
19 Amazing Kenya Beaches
Mombasa is a cultural mosaic of British, Arabic, Indian and Chinese migrants, making it an interesting city to explore. The beaches to the south of Mombasa offer more facilities but if you’re after a rustic hideaway, look to the north.
1- Nyali Beach
Nyali Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mombasa for its tranquil atmosphere and stretch of white sand.
This beach is rarely crowded and the surrounding area has a range of beach resorts that offer different accommodation options, making it a good choice for a beach vacation.
Popular activities are sunbathing, swimming and surfing.
Nearby, there are entertainment and activities at the Mamba Village Center, Haller Park and Nyali Golf Club.
If you work up an appetite at the beach, several local and foreign restaurants are just a short walk away.
2- Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach is another Indian Ocean beach on the coast near Mombasa.
It’s well-known for the number of shells that wash up on the sand, making it the perfect beach in Kenya for shell collectors.
Shelly Beach is isolated and ideal for a relaxing day at the beach, but the water is often filled with seaweed, so swimming is not recommended.
Spend your time sunbathing, having a picnic or collecting seashells while enjoying the view and the waves lapping on the shore.
3- Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach
Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach, also known as Pirates Beach, is a public beach in Mombasa and one of the most beaches on Kenya’s north coast.
Because it’s easily accessible, the beach is usually buzzing with activity, including camel rides, glass-bottom boat rides and water sports.
Jomo Kenyatta Beach is the place to go to see how the locals enjoy a day on the beach as it’s usually packed with vacationing Kenyan families and hawkers offering their goods and services to beachgoers.
4- Bamburi Beach
Bamburi Beach is a lovely beach retreat on the northern coast of Kenya near Mombasa, with fine soft sand and calm seas.
Bamburi Beach is a good spot to go sunbathing, relaxing on the beach, and watching the sunset.
There are camel rides and water sports, such as scuba diving and snorkelling are available, and as there is a coral reef right off the coast, this beach offers a fantastic experience.
5- Shanzu Beach
Shanzu Beach is north of Mombasa, just off the Mombasa-Malindi Highway.
The sand is white with coconut trees scattered around, and the water is clear.
If you go to Shanzu Beach, keep an eye on the tides because it looks very different at low tide then it does at high tide.
You can easily walk along the shore at low tide, but this area is completely covered with water at high tide.
Shanzu Beach has a mix of high-end hotels, resorts and affordable guesthouses, so it’s a good spot if you’re on a budget with plenty of places to eat every day.
Shanzu Beach has everything you could want in terms of water activities, but most activities are only available for a fee.
6- Tiwi Beach
Tiwi Beach is a hidden gem about 17 km (10.5 miles) south of Mombasa.
Despite its seclusion, it provides various recreational options and a backdrop of unspoiled white sands, palm trees and casuarina trees.
At Tiwi Beach, sandbars stretch out to the reef close to the beach, and at low tide, you can get close enough to touch them.
There are no large bars or restaurants, except for the Amani Tiwi Beach Resort.
However, a little beach cafe sells fresh seafood dishes and drinks to visitors.
Tiwi Beach is a beautiful coastal paradise and a great place to visit for everyone.
7- Diani Beach
Diani Beach is a beautiful tropical beach resort 30 km (19 miles) south of Mombasa and a favourite post-safari beach to relax.
Thousands of tourists visit this coastal paradise, making it one of Kenya’s most popular beaches.
A beautiful beach in Kenya because of the Indian Ocean’s blue water, white sand and palm trees, there are plenty of beachfront resorts to choose from at Diani Beach.
Kitesurfing, jet-skiing, snorkelling, and deep-sea fishing are just a few of the several water sports available on the beach.
8- Galu Beach
Galu Beach is another white-sand paradise where you can participate in watersports like kitesurfing, paddleboarding, snorkelling and scuba diving.
The beach is not far from boutiques, souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes.
Galu beach has various lodging options, including beachfront resorts and villas.
A unique attraction near the beach is the Colobus Conservation, which cares for orphaned and injured monkeys.
Despite the buzz of activity around the area, the beach maintains a peaceful atmosphere and is ideal to relax and unwind.
9- Gazi Beach
Gazi Beach is on the south coast of Kenya, just 3 km (1.8 miles) from Gazi, and is a secluded natural beauty known for its serenity.
This remote beach has calm water and a strip of sand shaded by palm trees.
The Gazi Women’s Mangrove Boardwalk, located near the northern quarter of the beach, offers access to thick mangrove vegetation.
The area also offers birdwatching opportunities, and you can go on guided mangrove tours led by women from the Gazi village.
10- Chale Island
Chale Island is a small island off the coast of Kwale County in southeastern Kenya and the country’s first private island resort.
One of the main features of the island is the luxurious Sands at Chale Island resort on Chale Beach, which is a gorgeous white beach with lush tropical vegetation.
This white-sand beach offers beautiful views of the sea and a range of fun activities.
Beach bumming is the most popular activity, but if that isn’t enough, you can also try snorkelling, catamaran sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing.
This beach resort is excellent for those looking for island tranquillity.
11- Funzi Beach
Funzi Beach is a lovely beach on Funzi Island in Kenya’s Kwale district, about 35 km (21 miles) south of Diani Beach.
This beach, which has white sandbanks and extensive mangrove vegetation, is only accessible by plane or boat.
Although it’s not as popular as Diani Beach, it offers some of the best swimming along the coast and other attractions too.
You can take a full-day tour of the nearby Ramisi river to see crocodiles and exceptional birdlife. And the island is the best sea turtle nesting ground in Kenya.
Visit the nearby village restaurant to enjoy a traditionally cooked meal of grilled fish, coconut rice and seafood.
Funzi Beach has a local appeal and a beautiful natural setting, making it an ideal vacation spot for visitors.
12- Kikambala Beach
Kikambala Beach is a long strip of white sand in Kikambala, north of Mombasa.
It is framed by palm groves, making it stand apart from the rest of the beaches in Kenya.
This Kenyan beach is usually peaceful in the morning but becomes crowded in the afternoon with the locals.
Enjoy water sports or cocktails and fresh seafood at the local beach bar.
Kikambala Beach is perfect for long beach walks, and during low tide, you can see the coral reef while walking.
13- Kilifi Beach
Kilifi Beach, located a few kilometres north of Mombasa on the south bank of Kilifi Creek, is one of the top beaches in Kenya.
On one side, lush vegetation borders the sandy shoreline, while on the other is the pristine blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Snorkelling, scuba diving, skiing, sailing and swimming with dolphins are some of the activities available from the beach.
There are also seafood restaurants that serve affordable food and have million-dollar views.
A few hotels and beach villas provide accommodation for visitors, so if you’re searching for a relaxing vacation by the sea, this is one of the beaches in Kenya to go.
14- Bofa Beach Resort
This Beach Resort in Kilifi is yet another excellent beach on Kenya’s coast with white sand and swaying palms.
The resort has a ropes course and safari-style accommodation, making it an intriguing beach holiday destination.
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Malindi is a pleasant town on the north coast of Kenya with a variety of beaches to suit all tastes.
A highlight of the town is that it is referred to as ‘Little Italy’ by the locals because it has a sizeable Italian community.
Malindi is also home to the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve, which has elephants and more than 200 bird species.
The beaches in Malindi are known for their white, clean sand and water sports enthusiasts can enjoy scuba diving, surfing, water skiing, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing at any time of year.
The beaches also have great weather, beautiful views of the sea, busy nightlife and beach resorts that have all you need for a memorable beach vacation in Kenya.
15- Watamu Beach
Watamu Beach, also known as Turtle Bay, is an Indian Ocean beach a few kilometres south of Malindi and one of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya.
The Indian Ocean coast beach is a few kilometres south of Malindi.
This beach is best known for its clear water and coral reef, home to a rich array of colourful marine life.
It has white sand and palm trees for absolute relaxation, and you may see green and hawksbill sea turtles breeding on the stretch of sand closest to the reef.
The area around the beach has several hotels and restaurants and activities like snorkelling, scuba diving and kitesurfing.
Gede Ruins, an abandoned medieval village nearby, is also a well-known tourist destination.
16- Mambrui Beach
Mambrui Beach is a stunning natural beach north of Malindi and a hidden gem known mostly to locals.
The beach has golden sand and dunes, as well as breezes that make it ideal for kitesurfing.
Other activities are deep-sea fishing and snorkelling.
Kenya Beaches – Far North Coast
17- Kipini Beach
Kipini Beach is a beautiful beach in Kenya on the western side of the small fishing village of Kipini.
With steep sand dunes and calm waves, this remote and peaceful beach is ideal for quiet contemplation and time alone on the beach, as it gets few visitors.
Not far from the beach, the Kipini Tana River Lodge is a lovely place to stay and has views of the forest, ocean and beach.
The gentle ocean waves are perfect for body surfing and there’s a good chance of catching a glimpse of dolphins and sea turtles.
The area also serves as a nesting ground for a variety of seabirds and shorebirds.
Not far from the beach, there’s a popular local restaurant that serves shellfish and other seafood prepared with local recipes.
18- Manda Toto Island
Manda Toto is a remote island in the Lamu archipelago and offers a back-to-nature experience.
It is one of Kenya’s best snorkelling destinations and the perfect place to try traditional hand-line fishing.
Getting to the island is an adventure via a 30-minute Dhow boat ride.
When visiting, bring your snorkelling equipment, as well as pack your own picnic lunch.
19- Lamu Island
Lamu Island, on the Lamu archipelago, is a small island off the coast of Kenya with several beautiful beaches, including Shela Beach and Kipungani Beach.
Kipungani Beach has a tranquil atmosphere because few visit this beautiful, unspoiled beach.
You can have a relaxing beach day or an adrenaline-pumping one with activities like snorkelling, diving and kitesurfing.
Shela Beach, which is more popular, is also natural, unspoiled and not crowded.
Here, you can pass the time watching the dhows sail by in the distance, and the sunsets are stunning.
The UNESCO World Heritage Lamu town is one of Kenya’s oldest communities.