19 Kenya Beaches

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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

several beaches kenya have resort pools
A resort swimming pool at Bamburi beach in Kenya.

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

best beaches in kenya thatched umbrellas, palm trees and sand
Nyali beach in Kenya has thatched umbrellas where you can take shade from the tropical sun.

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

Kenya beaches woman with blue cocktail sitting on a white chair looking out at the beach
Sit back with a cocktail in hand at one of these Kenya beaches.

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

best time to visit kenya beaches coctails for two
Coctails anyone? There are several beach resorts in Kenya to choose from.

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

beaches in kenya white sand, catamaran
Bamburi Beach is one of the lovely white-sand beaches in Kenya.

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

kenya beaches masai group of men wearing traditional colourful outfits
It’s an incredible sight but it’s not every day that you will see Masai on the beaches in Kenya.

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

kenya africa beaches camel on the beach
Tiwi Beach is another of the Kenyan beaches where you’re likely to see a camel.

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

kenya beaches resorts
A tropical beach resort in Kenya. Can you see yourself on one of those lounges?

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

best beaches kenya Galu Beach timber rowing boats
Traditional boats on Galu Beach in Kenya.

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

does kenya have beaches colourful beach towels drying in the wind
Colourful traditional towels hanging out to dry on one of the beaches in Kenya.

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

beaches in mombasa kenya
Chale Island is a natural getaway in Kenya and the beach is pretty good too.

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

cocktails, coconuts and snorkel mask on a beach
The best beaches in Kenya are an escape from the grind and where you can sip cocktails, snorkel and swim.

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

beaches of kenya resort and lounge
Beach resorts near Mombasa are an escape from the city.

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

mombasa kenya beaches hammock slung between two palm trees on the beach
Looking for a spot to relax in a hammock? Chances are, you’ll find a beach in Kenya you will love.

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.

For more beaches around the world read:

Malindi Beaches

kenya coast beaches three camels walking on the sand in front of green ocean
Camels on the beach in Kenya.

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

stone features at Malindi Beach
With natural rock features, Watamu Beach is one of the most interesting of the Malindi beaches in Kenya.

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

are there beaches in kenya
Sunset ocean views is a sight to enjoy at the best beaches in Kenya.

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.

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Christina Pfeiffer Travel Writer
Christina Pfeiffer is a writer, photographer and video blogger based in Queensland, Australia. She has lived in three continents and her career as a travel journalist has taken her to all seven continents. Since 2003, she has contributed travel stories and photographs to mainstream media in Australia and around the world such as the Sydney Morning Herald, CNN Traveller, The Australian and the South China Morning Post. She has won many travel writing awards and is a full member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers.