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Places to visit on the Kenya Coast

on Wednesday, 16 March 2011. Posted in Travel

What's your favorite spot along the Kenyan Coast?

Places to visit on the Kenya Coast

The Kenyan coastline is over 500kms long with a multitude of things to see and do.  There is something for everyone be it adventure, relaxation, water sports, adrenalin, shopping, ornithology, dining, environmental – the list is endless.

With this in mind has put together a few favourite ‘must-do’s’ in the key locations that can be found up and down the coastline.

Starting in the far North with Lamu, if you are after a bit of culture and history Lamu is the place for you.  It is Kenya’s oldest living town and has existed for at least 1000 years.  It was once a centre for the slave trade and the population is largely Muslim.  The architecture is also fascinating and is primarily Arabic or Persian style but with a strong African influence.  As well as all the history it also has some beautiful beaches so plenty of relaxation can also be had here – particularly as the island is car-free so this really enhances the relaxing atlamu_streetmosphere.  A couple of's favourite Lamu spots are Manda Bay on Manda Island - barefoot luxury with awesome activities; or Tusitiri Dhow - spend a few nights sleeping on deck under the stars off Kiwayu Island aboard this beautiful traditional dhow.

Malindi is the place to be if you are holidaying with a varied group and need something for everyone.  Malindi has a fantastic range of hotels where you can relax by the pool and simply do nothing or enjoy the bustling township with markets, shops, restaurants, nightlife and also a casino.  If nature is your thing the bird life in Malindi is spectacular particularly around the Sabaki River estuary or the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, East Africa’s largest surviving, dry coastal forest is only a 20 minute drive inland from Malindi and has incredible birdlife and wildlife.

If you are after a relaxing holiday with long walks on the beach, frolicking in the ocean, lying by the pool, eating fresh fish cooked by your own personal chef in a self catered house then Watamu is the place for you.  There are a number of beach front houses that are available for rent in Watamu which all boast spectacular sea views.

Theday_safari1 other attraction at Watamu is the environmental factor – if you time your holiday right you might be lucky enough to experience the turtles hatching and making their journey down to the ocean – a magical experience.   A visit to Bio-Ken Snake Farm is also a must do and a great education for the little ones in the family.

Fort Jesus, MombasaMombasa is the capital city of the Kenyan coast and has an energy about it that can be exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.  If you crave history Fort Jesus and the Old Harbour will certainly keep you interested for a number of days.  The nightlife in Mombasa is good, especially on the north shore in Nyali and Bamburi, with lots of restaurants and bars that attract tourists and locals alike.

Diani boasts the largest beach on the South Coast and the weather there attracts the adrenalin junkies amongst us as provides great winds for wind-surfing and kite surfing.  The beach is also perfect for those wanting to experience long walks with pure white sand squeaking between your toes.  Diani has a large amount of hotels so is a very popular tourist beach.

kite surfing, courtesy of extreme safariMsambweniis the ‘Watamu of the South’ with more beach front houses than hotels which have stunning sea views.  There a few hotels here so the beach is quieter than some of the beaches a bit further north like Diani so there is a beautiful tranquillity which is Msambweni’s main attraction.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph the list of things to do on the Kenyan Coast is endless and we have only touched on some of our favourites.  We would love to hear about your Kenyan Coast experiences and please share your favourite spots with us and our readers.


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