The Best Beaches in Kenya

The Best Beaches in Kenya

An adventure in Kenya usually sparks images of wildebeest tearing through grasslands or lions stalking unsuspecting waterbuck, but this East African jewel also boasts a pristine coastline where even the most active traveller will be sure to enjoy themselves. Kenya’s coast is best known for its gleaming expanses of white sand and water so clear you can see every little fish that sidles past. White-tipped waves crash over the off-shore reefs that create tranquil lagoons perfect for shark-free swimming and adrenaline-fuelled watersports. Kenya’s beaches are up there with some of the most serene in the world, but the coastline is also home to centuries-old Swahili settlements and culture. Whether you want to rest weary bodies after a week of early mornings and animal-spotting, or fancy flying and flopping on one of the buttery-blonde beaches that line the coast, we can tailor an itinerary just for you. So, dive in and take your pick of the best beaches in Kenya.


  1. Lamu
  2. Diani
  3. Wasini Island
  4. Watamu
  5. Mambrui



Lamu is Kenya’s coastal superstar. Having hosted first-time travellers, luxury-loving royals and everyone in between, this town and archipelago is one of the most storied corners on Earth. White-washed buildings with terracotta-hued roofs fringe the coastline, and fishers in traditional dhows bob in the bluer-than-blue sea waiting for fish to bite. Lamu is the beating heart of Kenya’s Swahili culture with a beautiful blend of African, Arab and Indian influences running through its veins in the form of architecture, cuisine and traditions. This is of course all a bonus, but our main focus is on the pristine stretches of sun-bleached sand that make Lamu extra special. The list of the best beaches in Kenya wouldn’t be complete if Lamu didn’t feature, as its beguiling islet-hemming beaches and silky ripples that kiss the shores are perfect for soaking up the sunbeams.

Dhow on the beach in Kenya

Image © Olivier Romano



With an expansive stretch of vanilla-sand hugged by lush forest and lapped by surfable waves, it's no wonder Diani Beach is so popular. It is the ultimate honeymoon haven and beachside bliss, but is also jam-packed with activities that will keep even the littlest adventurers entertained. When you’ve had your fill of lazing in a hammock under a waving palm while watching the surfer-studded waves, venture inland to explore coral-studded mosques that look out over the ocean, rich green animal-filled forests and the renowned Colombus Conservation monkey sanctuary, which is always a hit with the youngsters. Diani is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Kenya.


Wasini Island

Wasini Island’s remoteness gives it the feel of a tranquil yet wild haven, with dense mangrove forests full of wonder and crystalline waters brushing the shoreline. Colourful coral reefs and majestic marine mammals including bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales fill the surrounding sea, and boat trips out to spot sea turtles are a must when visiting the island. Make sure you pack your snorkel and flippers to make the most of the coral dreamland that lies just below the surface. When eyes are tired and stomachs begin to grumble, Charlie Claw’s is the ultimate pitstop to grab a taste of the fruits of the aquamarine sea that surrounds the island. Don a plastic apron (an essential) and tuck into some tastebud tingling seafood.

View of Lamu Island, Kenya

Image © Olivier Romano



Nestled along the coastline just north of Mombasa is Watamu. Whiter-than-white sand and life-filled coral gardens are the area’s defining features, as well as being a haven for hawksbill and green turtles that lay their eggs on the beach. Keep an eye out for the distant four-legged shadow of a somewhat-elusive green turtle, bobbing along in the Indian Ocean waves. Once you’ve had your seaside fix, head to Watamu Turtle Watch where you can learn about the area’s conservation efforts and how turtles are being rescued, nursed back to health and then let back into the impossibly azure waters. If you visit at the right time, you may even be lucky enough to help release a young turtle or two, their flippers splashing in the shallows as they speed along the beach back to the sea. The silvery sand and turtley awesome experiences put Watamu up with the best beaches in Kenya.



If kitesurfing is what you are looking for, then this is the place for you. The Che Shale kitesurfing centre was the first on the Kenyan coast and is the ultimate spot for beginners and pros alike to hop on a board and enjoy the warm wind and waves that lap this uncrowded beach. Although kitesurfing dominates this expanse of golden sand, it is also the perfect place to kick off your shoes and indulge in miles of serene and deserted beach. When legs are tired from a full day in the waves, the lush backdrop of coconut palms and indigenous vegetation creates the ultimate setting to relax with a plate of fresh fish and a cocktail as you watch little dhows sail into the sunset.

Kenyan Coast


Written by Immy Kelly

Header Image © Olivier Romano