The Best Beaches in Kenya (Updated for 2023)

Beach in Mombasa Kenya

The Kenya coastline stretches from  Vanga near the border with Tanzania all the way to Kiunga near the Somali border. It covers a distance of 1,430km (882 miles) most of which contains white sandy beaches. There are many villages along the coastline as well as historical landmarks some of which date back to the 1600s during the Portuguese invasion. 

One of the key attractions in the coast is the white sandy beaches, clear blue waters and the sea breeze especially when it’s hot.

Read more about the best beaches in Africa with clearest waters

 Given the long coastline, Kenya is not short of beautiful beaches, some of which are world renowned. In this article we will look at some of the best beaches in Kenya. 

Here’s a summary of the best beaches in Kenya in no particular order; 

  • Diani beach 
  • Watamu beach 
  • Malindi beach 
  • Lamu beaches 
  • Jomo kenyatta public beach 
  • Bofa beach 
  • Nyali beach 
  • Shanzu beach 
  • Tiwi beach 
  • Kikambala beach 
  • Gazi beach 
  • Chale beach 
  • Manda bay 
  • Gazi beach 
  • The cove retreat beach 
  • Galu kinondo beach 
  • Shelly beach 
  • Mombasa beach 
  • Garoda beach 
  • Mayungu public beach 
  • Casuarina beach 

Diani beach 

Diani is located some 30 km (19 miles) south of Mombasa city. It is world renowned for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Diani has been voted as the best beach destination in Africa for the fifth time running. 

The beach stretches 25 km and it has some of the best hotels in Kenya offering five star services. The price range of the hotels in Diani ranges from $100 to more than $1000 for the high end hotels. Regardless of your budget, there will be accommodation that suits you. 

Watamu Beach 

Watamu beach is located in the coastal town of Watamu which is about 15 km south of Malindi. The beach features white sandy beaches, beautiful palm trees that line the shores and offshore coral formations. 

Accommodation options in Watamu include multiple 5 star hotels as well as other affordable options. Check out some of the accommodation options available in Watamu

Malindi beaches

Malindi is a popular tourist destination in the north coast of Kenya. It has some of the best hotels in the country that cater to some of the most famous people in the world. Superstar model Naomi Campbell has vacationed in Malindi on multiple occasions. The beaches along the Malindi coastline comprice of silversands beach, marine park beach, and the Malindi beach. 

All beaches in Malindi feature white sandy beaches, offshore corals, and warm waters all year round. 

Lamu beaches 

Lamu is an Island located in the northern coast of Kenya near the Somali border. The town has narrow streets that haven’t seen much change since the 18th century. It is the last town in Kenya that doesn’t have cars on the streets. Tourists have to either walk around town or ride on a donkey. 

The Island is home to some of the best beaches in Kenya. The Shela beach which is one of the popular beaches in Lamu features golden sandy beaches and sand dunes. The best thing about Lamu is that it’s surrounded by mangroves and coral which make the waters calm with very few waves. 

Jomo Kenyatta public beach (Pirates)

Jomo Kenyatta public beach commonly referred to as Pirates beach is a public beach located along the Mombasa Malindi highway near Bamburi. The beach is considered by many to be the only public beach in Kenya. 

Given that it’s a public beach, it does get crowded especially during the festive season. However, it’s still one of the best beaches in Kenya and it offers tourists a chance to experience the local cuisine from the street food vendors operating from the shoreline. 

Bofa beach 

Bofa beach is a secluded beach located in Kilifi. The beach is located 25 km north of Mombasa and can be reached by car or public transportation. It is known for its pristine white sand, crystal clear waters and stunning views of the Indian ocean. 

The 7 acre beach features lovely palm trees and is home to many guest houses, hotels and luxurious resorts. Activities at Bofa beach include swimming, sunbathing, beach volleyball and water sports. This beach is a popular destination for tourists and local alike who come to enjoy the sun and scenery.  

Nyali Beach

Nyali beach is one of the most popular white sandy beaches in Kenya and stretches for about 4 km along the indian ocean. The beach is known for its clear waters, vibrant marine life, scenic views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape. 

Nyali beach is popular for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. There is also plenty of water activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving and jet skiing. In addition to recreational opportunities, there are several restaurants and bars offering international cuisine located along the beach.

Shanzu Beach

Shanzu beach is located in the northern part of Mombasa. The beach is lined with palm trees which provide a beautiful contrast to the white sands. Shanzu beach is renowned for its peaceful atmosphere making it an ideal place to relax and soak in the sun. 

Overall, Shanzu is a must destination for anyone travelling to Mombasa. It’s stunning beauty, calm atmosphere and range of entertainment  activities makes it the perfect place for relaxation. 

Tiwi Beach

Tiwi beach is a stunning, less crowded beach found in Mombasa’s south coast. It is secluded and in a tranquil location making it a perfect spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Tiwi beach is underdeveloped which adds to its charm and appeal.

Characterised by white sandy beaches and clear waters, Tiwi beach provides the perfect backdrop for its visitors. 

Tiwi beach offers its visitors a chance to unwind in natural setting. With its peaceful and quiet atmosphere, it makes it the perfect place to relax and unwind. 

Kikambala Beach

Kikambal beach is situated approximately 25km north of Mombasa. This beach is known for its clear waters and beautiful coral reefs making it a popular tourist destination.

There are many activities to do such as snorkeling, swimming,and diving. The beach has stunning views of the Indian ocean making it a nice place to relax. There are many hotels and restaurants located along the beach offering visitors a place to stay as they enjoy the beach. 

Gazi Beach

Gazi is a serene and secluded beach located in south coast, about 15 kilkometres from Mombasa. This beach draws its name from Gazi, a small fishing village known for its rich authentic Swahili culture and traditional fishing practices. 

Gazi beach is surrounded by Mangove trees which are home to various bord species making it a perfect spot for bird watching nature walks. The coral reef surrounding Gazi beach are home to a diverse array of marine life including tropical fish, sea turtles and dolphins. 

Visitors to Gazi can also explore the village and interact with the locals to learn more about the Swahili culture and way of life. You can try the local cuisine from the small restaurants and cafes that serve seafood and other local dishes. 

Chale Beach

Chale beach is located on the south coast of Mombasa near Diani beach. Chale is renowned for its white sandy beaches and clear waters. Owing to its pristine condition, it is home to five star resorts such as the Sands at Chale. 

There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained such as snorkeling, kayaking, wind surfing, and deep sea fishing. Chale is secluded making it an ideal destination for those looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway. 

Its important to note that whilst Chale beach is secluded, it can be crowded during peak season so its important to take this into consideration if you’re planning a visit. 

Manda Bay

Manda bay is a beautiful beach located on the picturesque Manda island within Lamu’s archipelago. It lies on the north western tip of Manda island in the Indian ocean. 

Manda island is separated from the mainland by the narrow Mkanda channel and is easily accessible using a ferry or aeroplane as it has two airstrips. 

There is plenty of activities to do at Manda bay such as fishing, bird watching, water sports, and sightseeing. Manda Bay has clear blue waters and has a variety of fishes such as the black and blue marlin, sail fish and the blue fish. 

The Cove Retreat Beach

The cove retreat is a beach resort located on the southern coast of Kenya, in the Shimoni area. Being a private beach, it offers a secluded and tranquil setting for its visitors. 

There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained such as snorkeling, diving fishing and spa treatments. The cove resort which owns the beach offers various accommodation options which include cottages and villas with ocean views and is known for its eco-friendly practices.

The cove retreat beach offers a luxurious and peaceful retreat in a beautiful natural setting ideal for those looking to relax in a tranquil place. 

Galu Kinondo Beach

Galu Kinondo Beach is located just south of Diani beach. This beach is just an extension of Diani beach and borrows its name from the communities of Galu and Kinondo. 

Galu Kinondo is renowned for its clear waters and white sands and palm trees. The beach offers plenty of activities to keep you entertained such as sunbathing swimming and water sports such as snorkeling, kite surfing and diving. There are several bars and restaurants offering accommodation and international cuisine.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach is situated in the coastal town of Malindi which is approximately 120 kilometres north of Mombasa. It’s known for its pristine white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and luch green vegetation. 

There are many activities to keep you entertained such as swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. One of the most unique features of Shelly beach is the presence of coral reefs which is located a few meters from the shoreline.

The reef is home to a variety of colorful fish, sea turtles, and other aquatic creatures. This makes it an ideal destination if you’re looking to explore the rich marine life of the Indian ocean. 

In addition to to its beautiful beaches, Shelly beach is also known for its vibrant local Swahili culture. In addition to the beach activities, yoyu can also explore historical sites such as the Gede ruins which gives you a glimpse into the ancient Swahili culture.

Mombasa Beach

Mombasa beach is located in south coast in the city of Mombasa. It’s a popular local and tourist destination owing to its beautiful scenery, warm waters, and a wide range of recreational activities.

One of the most iconic features of Mombasa beach is the Fort Jesus which was built by the Portuguese in the 16th Century. The fort is a UNESCO world heritage site and provides an interesting glimpse into the past. 

Mombasa beach offers a wide variety of water based activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and swimming. The beach is also great place to relax and soak up in the sun. There are many restaurants along the beach serving tasty local cuisine. 

Garoda Beach

Garoda beach is located in the coastal town of Watamu in Kilifi. This beach is a popular nesting site for sea turtles, a feature that attracts visitors who come to witness the hatching of turtle eggs.

There are plenty of activities to keep you busy such as snoorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming. This beach is also a popular spot for fishing and you can try catch some of the local species.

The beach is surrounded by lush grass and palm trees providing a picturesque backdrop. You can sample different cuisines and drinks from the beachside restaurants found alongside the beach. 

Mayungu Public Beach

Mayungu public beach is an great place if you want to relax and enjoy the sun and take part in various water sports activities like kite surfing and snorkeling. This beach is open to the public which means no entry fees is required.

This beach has plenty of restaurants and bars where visitors can enjoy local delicacies and refreshments. Given its a public beach, it tends to get crowded during the festive season so you should plan accordingly.

Casuarina Beach

Casuarina beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline located in the town of Malindi on the northern coast of Kenya. This beach is a popular destination for tourist looking to enjoy a peaceful and secluded beach experience. 

There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained such as swimming, sunbathing and surfing, snorkeling and diving. There are many resorts and villas located along Casuarina beach that offers accommodation and amenities for its visitors. 

Casuarina beach is a beautiful destination that offers a serene and relaxing beach experience. 

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