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
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.
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
From the gallery
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.