Luxury Holidays on Kenya's Coast

Kenya is renowned as a safari destination, but has miles of idyllic coastline to explore as part of a 'bush and beach' trip or as a beach paradise in its own right.

Image of Ra D'Arcy Clark
Image of Eleanor Orr

Eleanor and Ra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Diani Beach has great nightlife. Enjoy a Tusker beer at Tides bar before moving down the beach for delicious dinner under stalactites at Ali Barbour's Cave restaurant, a natural coral cave some 180,000 years old
  • The pace of life slows down to a crawl on the white sandy beaches, making it the perfect place to really unwind beneath rustling palm trees

Kenya Beach Holidays: The Detail

The Lamu archipelago is at the top of this coastline. The beaches are raw, untouched, wonderfully Kenyan idylls. Relaxing is a given, but there are also brilliant activities on offer including windsurfing, snorkelling, dhow sailing, water skiing, creek fishing, and dinghy sailing. From a few of the beach lodges there are also deep sea fishing boats available for hire.

Lamu Island, part of the Lamu archipelago, retains the magic of a bygone era with donkeys instead of cars clogging the narrow alleyways. African, Omani, Yemeni, Indian, Portuguese and British influences have all left their mark on the ancient port town, which is well worth exploring. In the evening put the world to rights with a sundowner at the water's edge bar of Peponi's Hotel.

Separated from Lamu by a narrow channel is Manda Island. Manda Bay Lodge is at the top of the island's peninsular and it has its own 60 foot traditional sailing dhow - 'the Utamaduni' - from which you can charter overnight trips exploring uninhabited islands of the archipelago.

Further south the Watamu region is considered one of the best snorkelling and diving areas on the coast of East Africa and the offshore coral formations of Watamu Bay, Blue Lagoon and Turtle Bay are all protected as part of the Watamu Marine National Park. Other activities available include fishing, windsurfing and sailing, and we can recommend some lovely beachfront hotels and some lovely private houses.

Further south still, at the bottom of the Kenyan coastline, lies the palm tree-lined white beach of Diani. Thanks to warm seas and beautiful coral reefs it is also one of the best places to get close to the richly diverse marine life of the southern Kenyan coast. Snorkelling, diving and boat safaris are all possible, and there are also some fantastic bars and restaurants to frequent.

As well as boutique hotels and Robinson Crusoe style getaways, we also work with a few handpicked private beach houses that work extremely well for families or even couples wanting to get away from it all. They come fully staffed, with large swimming pools, and are catered for on a full board basis.


Original Highlight

Sunset Dhow, Kenya
Image of Eleanor Orr

Lamu Island offers a genuine taste of Swahili history and island life (there are still no cars on the island, just dhows and donkeys). It's like stepping back in time as the island ticks along, largely uninterrupted by the outside world.

Eleanor, Original Traveller

A note on price

At the cheaper end of the luxury scale, you can be driven around Kenya for around £3,500 per person, but if you're keen to do a full helicopter safari, expect to pay significantly more. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 27°C / 80°F
  • Rainfall — 2cm / 1.1 inches
  • Water Temp. — 28°C / 82°F
Flight from London

8:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +3 hrs

Top picks for The Kenyan Coast

Wooden boat on the beach at Saruni Samburu

The Ocean Spa Lodge

The Kenyan Coast

The Ocean Spa Lodge (formerly Saruni Ocean) occupies an undiscovered location making it the perfect stop off pre or post safari.

Where to stay

Kinondo Kwetu

Kinondo Kwetu

The Kenyan Coast

Home to Ida and Filip Andersson, a Swedish family related to the famed Baron Blixen, staying at Kinondo Kwetu is possibly the most personal experience on the Kenyan coast.

Where to stay

Hemingway's Resort

Hemingway's Resort

The Kenyan Coast

For over 20 years Hemingways has been one of the best known hotels on the Kenyan Coast, and after a recent change of management and subtle refurbishment, we are delighted to say it’s back on form and pretty good value, too.

Where to stay

Peponi Hotel

Peponi Hotel

The Kenyan Coast

Peponi is a small hotel situated in the village of Shela on the island of Lamu, part of the archipelago of the same name just off the coast of Kenya.

Where to stay

Almanara Villas

Almanara Villas

The Kenyan Coast

Set amidst the tropical gardens and leaning palms of Diani’s Galu Beach lies a collection of six private villas.

Where to stay

Manda Bay

Manda Bay

The Kenyan Coast

Manda Bay is located on a long stretch of sandy, protected beach on the north-western tip of Manda Island, in the Lamu archipelago.

Where to stay

We felt like we were Original Travel's only clients - the service was completely personalised and all questions were answered instantly. They actively listened to our priorities and created a package that completely suited our needs. Throughout the process they will surprise you with their attentiveness and most importantly, they will not forget about you once you come back from holiday.

Mitja and Katarina Brus

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