Large parts of Kenya’s coastline are worth-visiting seaside retreats thanks to their glittering waters and finely-grained, eggshell-coloured sands. Malindi & Watamu, Mombasa, and Lamu Island are ever-popular destinations for visitors, as coral reefs and a melting pot of culture and history have made Kenya’s seaboard a fascinating place to explore.
The site of one of the oldest Swahili settlements in East Africa, Lamu Island has served as a trade centre for a large part of its more prosperous history. The island retains a sense of old-world charm thanks to its historical importance and the small alleyways that make the town relatively inaccessible by vehicles. Further south, the towns of Malindi and Watamu gain most of their revenue from visitors wanting to explore their protected waters; the best diving and snorkelling site on the east African coastline; and one of the most popular beaches on the continent.
The towns can be reached by flying into Mombasa’s Moi International Airport and travelling north, first to Malindi, and then to Lamu Island. Although Kenya’s second-largest city is more crowded than its small-town neighbours, Mombasa Coastline is also widely revered and the city offers a thriving nightlife and a number of museums documenting the city’s history as an important trade centre.
- Watamu and Malindi’s waters are protected by a Marine National Park and considered some of the best diving and snorkelling spots on the continent
- Kenya’s coastline is a melting pot of history and culture
- The inhabitants of the idyllic Lamu Island transport themselves around the island either on foot or by donkey
- The Mombasa Moi airport makes the coastline easily accessible from Nairobi
- Mombasa’s beaches are celebrated, and the city boasts a flourishing nightlife