The best beaches of Kenya

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The best beaches in Kenya

by Emmy van Kleef

The beautiful and historic coastline running along the eastern border of Kenya, with its superb white stretches of sand and splendid diving opportunities, is a perfect travel destination. With your camping gear in the trunk of your rental car you can easily explore all the highlights at the coast in a few days.

The Kenyan coastline is lined by a seemingly endless succession of white sandy beaches and the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Although Kenya is mostly known for its adventures on safari, the coast of Kenya can be regarded as a world class beach destination on its own.

Diani Beach
Diani is THE popular destination at the South coast. And it deserves to be! Lovely small scale accommodations are available to truly wind down from the wilderness explorations and bumpy rides during your safari.

Like almost every town along the Kenyan coast, Diani Beach is stretched along the beach road, and touching Tiwi at the North. Diani has been a popular destination for Kenyans, expats in Nairobi and Italian retirees for years. The palm fringed beaches are therefore lined with resorts, low-key boutique hotels, privately owned villas and a few hotels. Don’t worry about big concrete hotel blocks; almost all facilities are tastefully built into the landscape. The beach road that lies behind the beachfront has numerous shops, souvenir outlets, coffee bars and restaurants. We had the best pizza we tasted in Kenya at Aniello’s, a pizza joint along the beach road in Diani.
At night you’ll find lots of fun and friendly people at the Forty Thieves Beach Bar. You haven’t been to Diani if you haven’t tasted at least one cocktail at this fantastic spot.

Kilifi has everything you want from a beach destination and more. A beautiful, white sandy beach lined with palm trees, but also a splendid creek with lots of sporting opportunities. Sailing, diving or dhow trips - everything on the water can be arranged here.
Kilifi is less known and visited by tourists than Diani, although the offer of accommodation such as Distant Relatives makes this subject to change in the future. Distant Relatives is as your eccentric uncle. Very friendly, familiar yet a bit alternative.

We were very impressed by the food served in Kilifi, with Nautilus and Boatyard being top-notch restaurants serving fine dining.

Watamu is a roadtrippers' paradise, with relaxed, budget-friendly accommodation, superb beach life, and lots of sights and activities. Blessed with one of the most inspiring coastal settings in East Africa, the Swahili fishing village of Watamu lies at the northern end of Turtle bay. The focus is on the beach, which is a gem, either as a place to relax under a palm tree or to snorkel and dive among the colorful and tropical reefs.

Quite surprisingly, there are many more activities to engage in at Watamu. The Bio-ken Snake Farm is well worth a visit, as the enthusiasm of the guides will definitely make you appreciate their work and efforts to make snakes and humans live well together. Watamu Turtle Watch does magnificent work saving the turtles who lay their eggs along the Watamu beaches. The Gedi Ruins are a perfect afternoon visit if you want to do something other than relaxing on the beach and immerse yourself in a bit of culture.

On top of this, you can sleep in the magnificent and world-class Watamu Tree house. Must do!

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