If you’re planning a safari trip to Kenya, this article will inform you of the best beaches not to miss. From luxurious resorts and family-friendly villas to diving sites and beach bars, these Kenya beaches have something for everyone to enjoy.
I’ve visited several destinations along the Swahili coast and always find them inviting. There are stretches of unspoiled beaches, palm trees, mangrove forests, and coral formations.
Although my favorite beaches are situated along the north coast, the ones south of Mombasa are also magnificent.
So, to give you an idea of where to go, let’s dive into Kenya beaches worth a visit. The list also includes available amenities, nearby restaurants, and top-rated accommodation options.
Top 10 Best Beaches in Kenya
Below is a list of my best beaches in Kenya. Whether you’re looking for white sands, luxurious beach resorts, exciting watersports, or a place to relax, the country has a perfect beach for you.
1. Diani Beach (One of the Best Beaches in Kenya for Couples)
Undoubtedly, Diani Beach tops the list of the best beaches in Kenya. Its soft white sand, luxury beach hotels, and tropical weather attract travelers from all over the world.
If you’re looking for a perfect getaway in a beach resort or wondering where to go diving in Kenya, Diani is the perfect destination.
Besides the alluring sandy beaches, resorts, and watersports, Diani Beach is an excellent place to relax, refresh, and refocus. It’s also home to some amazing restaurants and nightlife spots.
Location: Diani Beach, Ukunda
Best For: Diani Beach is perfect for soft sand, watersports, beach restaurants, family holidays, and honeymoons.
Amenities: There are many hotels and resorts along Diani Beach. Each has necessary facilities such as toilets, beach beds, bars, restaurants, and more.
Accommodation Near Diani Beach
Nirvana Suite: Featuring a floating bed, infinity pool, and more, this unique and luxurious villa is perfect for a memorable holiday.
Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa: For around $200 per night, Diani Reef is one of the best beach resorts in Kenya.
The Maji Beach Boutique Hotel: Check out this intimate 5-star hotel along the magnificent Diani Beach.
Restaurants Near Diani Beach
The following are some of the best places to eat in Diani.
Nomad Beach Bar & Restaurant: If you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant with delicious meals and beautiful sea views, Nomad is your best bet in Diani.
Ali Barbour’s Cave: This restaurant is praised as one of the most romantic places to eat in Diani – dine with a loved one for a meal to remember.
Coast Dishes: If you like trying local cuisines, visit this restaurant and order a Swahili dish like wali wa nazi (coconut rice).
2. Chale Beach, Chale Island
This beach on Chale Island, a private beach resort off the coast, is striking in its uniqueness. Its white sands are a stunning contrast to the island’s mangrove forest.
Although small, Chale Beach is unspoiled and offers a peaceful atmosphere for comfort and relaxation. The spectacular coral reefs are also worth exploring.
Location: Chale Beach, Chale Island
Best For: Chale Beach is great for soft sand, kayaking between mangroves, viewing coral reefs, and diving.
Amenities: There are plenty of amenities at The Sands at Chale Island.
Accommodation Near Chale Beach
The Sands at Chale Island: Check out this resort on Chale Island – “a magical fusion of nature and comfort with elegance and romance.”
Restaurants Near Chale Beach
Below is the only restaurant on Chale Island. It’s beautiful and offers perfect culinary experiences.
The Sands at Chale Island: This restaurant on Chale Island has a romantic setting with a wide selection of local and Italian dishes (biryani, pizza, pasta, and more). The resort also hosts a bar with extensive drinks.
3. Galu Kinondo Beach, Diani
Also along the south coast, Galu Kinondo is one of the best sandy beaches in Kenya. This stunning beach is perfect for travelers looking for a less busy and laid-back destination.
It’s less developed but is no less beautiful with its warm waters, palm trees, and long stretch of white sand. This relaxed beach is also popular for paddleboarding, scuba diving, and kitesurfing.
Location: Galu Kinondo Beach, Diani
Best For: This beach is great for white sands, relaxation, watersports, and swimming at low tide.
Amenities: Unlike other Kenyan beaches like Diani, this beach has less infrastructure. However, you’ll still find a few restaurants and cottages nearby.
Accommodation Near Galu Kinondo Beach
Here’s a list of top-rated vacation rentals close to Galu Kinondo Beach. You can also explore nearby hotels and resorts.
Sheba Apartment: This spacious 3-bedroom apartment is perfect for families and groups of friends.
Bohemia House: If you’re looking for a beach villa for a larger group, search no further than this cozy beachfront house that sleeps up to 9 travelers.
Tequila Sunrise: This serviced apartment is set in a 4-acre natural forest with a beautiful ocean view. With its 2-bedrooms and 2-baths, the beach unit can host up to 4 guests.
Restaurants Near Galu Kinondo Beach
If you’re looking for places to eat near Galu Kinondo Beach, check out the following restaurants.
Le Café Diani: Le Cafe’s menu includes a selection of quality dishes, pastries, and fresh juices. It’s also one of the most romantic restaurants in Diani; perfect for couples.
Blue Marlin Restaurant: This is another place to eat close to Galu Kinondo Beach. They serve fresh seafood like shrimp, tuna, and octopus.
4. Bofa Beach, Kilifi
Kilifi is perfect for budget travelers and keen divers. It hosts some of the cheapest beach hotels in Kenya and has wonderful dive sites. Here, you’ll find backpackers’ hostels, villas, and hotels at affordable rates.
Although beaches in Kilifi may not be the most spectacular, they are clean, less crowded, and easily accessible. The white sand beaches also have long stretches ideal for quiet walks and relaxation.
Location: Bofa Beach, Kilifi
Best For: Bofa Beach and other beaches in Kilifi are best for beach bars, white sand, surfing, and trips to diving sites.
Amenities: There are plenty of restaurants, resorts, and hotels along the beach with clean amenities.
Accommodation Near Bofa Beach
If you’re looking for the best accommodation facilities near Bofa Beach in Kilifi, check out the following top-rated Airnbs.
Rusty’s House Kilifi: This beach home is ideal for families or groups of up to 6 travelers. It’s close to Bofa Beach and has beautiful ocean views.
Holiday Home on Kilifi Creek: Set in a beautiful garden, this is one of the best beach villas in Kilifi. The 5-bedroom holiday home is perfect for families.
Kyota Studio: This self-contained studio is perfect for solo travelers or couples looking for an affordable stay near Bofa Beach.
Restaurants Near Bofa Beach
Kilifi has several places to eat along its coastline. Check out the following beach bars and restaurants.
Salty’s KiteSurfing Village: Situated close to Vidazini Beach, Salty’s is the perfect bar and restaurant for meals and drinks.
Vegan Basket: This is a nice spot for a wide range of delicious vegetarian food and juices. The restaurant is simple with a friendly atmosphere.
The Terrace: Check out this bar and restaurant for great food, drinks, and an oceanfront. It’s situated on Kilifi Creek and opens to beautiful sunset views.
5. Nyali Beach (One of the Best Beaches in Kenya for Families)
There are several beaches in Mombasa, but if you’re looking for the most magnificent, head to Nyali Beach. Due to its proximity to the city, Nyali Beach is a favorite for travelers seeking an escape from crowds.
The beach is scenic, less crowded, clean, and ideal for swimming, relaxing, and long walks. It’s also close to Mombasa Marine National Park, offering travelers a perfect launching spot for surfing, diving, and snorkeling.
Location: Nyali Beach, Mombasa
Best For: It’s best for relaxing, soft white sand, family day trips, beach resorts, diving, and other watersports.
Amenities: Behind Nyali Beach are resorts, hotels, and restaurants with clean facilities. Some of them also organize diving trips to Mombasa Marine Park.
Accommodation Near Nyali Beach
The Neem: This cozy guest suite in a homely villa is ideal for travelers seeking luxury at an affordable price.
Stylish Condo in Nyali: For its price (starting from $26), this cozy one-bedroom condo is perfect for couples and solo travelers.
Sea View Apartment: If you’re looking for a place to stay in Nyali for up to 4 guests, this 2-bedroom unit with ocean views is your best bet.
Restaurants Near Nyali Beach
Below are my favorite and most affordable places to eat near Nyali Beach.
Mikaye Restaurant: With a great ambiance and delicious international dishes, Mikaye promises a formidable culinary experience.
The Dhow House: This restaurant is characterized by live music, tasty meals, and a serene environment. It’s set in a lush garden with mature trees.
Govinda’s Restaurant: Housed at ISKCON temple, Govinda’s is a purely vegetarian restaurant that provides a great dining experience. You can enjoy meals like paper masala dosa, spring cheese dosa, and paneer tika.
6. Seahorse Beach, Kilifi
Tucked away in Kilifi Creek is the incredible Seahorse Beach. Although it doesn’t match the white sands and the length of Watamu Beach, this secret beach is magnificent. It’s less crowded, and calm, and is a perfect base for exploring Kilifi.
If you love beautiful sunsets, wonders of nature, and serenity, don’t miss out on this beach. You can also go diving in the Vuma Caves.
My favorite part of Seahorse Beach is the bioluminescence (light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism – like stars in the sea!). You can take a swim at night and experience the magical blue glow of the ocean.
Location: Seahorse Beach, Kilifi
Best For: Seahorse Beach is best for dhow cruises, beautiful sunsets, swimming, and diving in Kilifi Creek.
Amenities: There are no amenities on this beach, however, you can access such facilities from nearby beach resorts and hotels.
Accommodation Near Seahorse Beach
Here’s a list of the best accommodation facilities near Seahorse Beach on Kilifi Creek. Try out Distant Relatives eco-lodge for a memorable stay.
Distant Relatives: Also known as Kilifi Backpackers, this eco-lodge is my favorite place to stay in Kilifi. It has several cottages, safari tents, a camping site, a restaurant, and a swimming pool.
Fumbeni House: This beautiful 4-bedroom villa overlooking Kilifi Creek is perfect for families or groups of up to 8 travelers.
Floating House: This ‘house on water’ is rustic, affordable, and can accommodate up to 6 guests. Seahorse Beach is just a short boat ride from the yard.
Restaurants Near Seahorse Beach
Kilifi Creek is surrounded by a number of nice restaurants to try. Check out the following places.
Nautilus Restaurant: If you’re looking for a restaurant with delicious seafood like oysters and grilled prawns, head to Nautilus.
Distant Relatives: This eco-lodge has a kitchen where you can order freshly prepared and tasty foods. I love their pizza and evening cocktails.
Kilifi Boatyard: This restaurant on the edge of Kilifi Creek is perfect for local and international dishes, ocean views, and cocktails.
7. Watamu Beach (One of the Best Beaches in Kenya for Watersports)
Watamu Beach is situated along the north coast of Kenya. This alluring beach stretches for several kilometers and comprises five sandy beaches. These include Short Beach, Paparemo Beach, Turtle Bay Beach, Garoda Beach, and Jacaranda Bay.
Turtle Bay beach is popular for its stunning beauty, gentle waves, and clear water under the blue sky. It’s also close to the Watamu shopping center and is close to some great resorts, restaurants, and bars.
Watamu Beach is a perfect destination for vacations, honeymoons, and family holidays. It’s also ideal for watersports, nature, and adventure seekers.
Location: Watamu Beach, Watamu
Best For: Watamu Beach is best for sandy beaches, surfing, scuba diving, family vacations, and partying.
Amenities: The long stretch of Watamu Beach is home to exceptional resorts with restaurants, swimming pools, and plenty of amenities.
Accommodation Near Watamu Beach
Besides vacation rentals like Airbnb, Watamu Beach is home to some of the best beach hotels and resorts in Kenya. Check out the following options.
Medina Palms: With villas and penthouses starting from $200 per night, this is one of the best beach hotels in Kenya.
Hemingways Watamu: This 5-star beachfront hotel along Watamu Beach boasts plenty of features for a perfect holiday.
Restaurants Near Watamu Beach
If you’re looking for great places to eat near Watamu Beach, check out the following places.
Crab Shack Dabaso: This joint is one of my favorite restaurants along the Kenyan coast. Besides fresh seafood, you can enjoy other dishes and cocktails under the shade of mangroves.
Pilipan Restaurant: Tucked away on the edge of Mida Creek, this restaurant is famous for sunset views, a diverse international menu, and cocktails.
Swahili Cafe: For local Swahili dishes like pilau, fish and biryani, and fresh juices, visit this restaurant.
8. Jacaranda Bay Beach (One of the Most Idyllic Beaches in Kenya)
Although it’s one of the beaches that make up Watamu Beach, Jacaranda Bay Beach deserves a separate mention. The secluded beach on the northern tip of Watamu is my favorite of the Kenya beaches.
The beach is characterized by white sands, warm breezes, and beautiful pools that form during low tides. If you want to spend time away from crowds, visit Jacaranda Bay Beach.
Location: Jacaranda Bay Beach, Watamu
Best For: The beach features deep blue waters, soft white sands, and a tropical charm. It’s best for family holidays, surfing, snorkeling, and swimming.
Amenities: Although it’s one of the best public beaches in Kenya, you won’t find amenities at Jacaranda Bay due to its seclusion. However, there are many beach resorts nearby with outstanding facilities.
Accommodation Near Jacaranda Bay Beach
Although Jacaranda Bay Beach is secluded, there are still several accommodation places nearby. These include Airbnbs and beach resorts like the following.
Nyumba Ya Madau: One of the best places to stay near Jacaranda Bay Beach is this Swahili-style beach villa. It’s stunning and can accommodate groups of up to 10 guests.
The One: Situated a short 9-minute walk from the beach, The ONE provides accommodations in a calm and tranquil atmosphere. It features cozy villas, a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and other amenities.
Jacaranda Beach Resort: This beach hotel has everything you need for a perfect holiday. It’s situated next to the beach and features elegant villas, swimming pools, a restaurant, and bars.
Restaurants Near Jacaranda Bay Beach
Here’s a list of some of the best restaurants near Jacaranda Bay Beach in Watamu.
Luwa Beach Restaurant: This restaurant is perfect for lunch while enjoying the ocean view. They serve pizzas, seafood (like fish, prawns, and shrimp), and fresh drinks.
Malaika Beach Restaurant: If you’re looking for a beach restaurant with a mix of international and African cuisine, head to Malaika.
Salama Beach Restaurant: This is another wonderful place to eat good food, drink, hang out, listen to music and enjoy beach vibes.
9. Malindi Beach, Malindi
Although less popular than its neighbor Watamu, Malindi is a fantastic beach destination. It has golden white sands and hosts some of the best beach resorts in Kenya.
If you’re into watersports, head to Malindi Marine National Park. Also known as Buntwani, Golden Beach is a favorite for the locals.
Location: Malindi Beach, Malindi
Best For: Malindi Beaches are great for fine sand, surfing, snorkeling, diving, and long walks.
Amenities: The Marine Park Beach has lifeguards, changing rooms, rental equipment, and clean toilets. If you’re exploring the other beaches, amenities are available in hotels and beach resorts.
Accommodation Near Malindi Beach
Malindi is dotted with beach villas and holiday homes. It also has numerous vacation rentals which include the following top-rated Airbnbs.
Beachfront Penthouse: Check out this charming 2-bedroom apartment. It has a fantastic ocean view and plenty of amenities suitable for families, groups of friends, and couples.
Amani House: If you’re searching for a beach villa in Malindi for up to 5 travelers, this 3-bedroom house is a superb option.
Private Room at Swahili House: This incredible Swahili-style house commands an irresistible ancient charm. It has beautiful art designs and offers stunning views.
Restaurants Near Malindi Beach
Below is a list of some of the best places to eat in Malindi. Here you can enjoy pizza, drinks, and Swahili dishes such as pilau and chicken biryani.
Baby Marrow: This is an Italian restaurant, and as you can expect, the seafood and pizzas are exceptional.
Osteria: This beach bar and restaurant has a lovely ambiance, and it’s a nice place to dine, drink, and experience beach vibes.
Seafront Swahili Dishes: If you want to experience local cuisine, head to this restaurant. It’s affordable and serves tasty Swahili meals like Swahili beans and rice, biryani, and pilau.
10. Shela Beach, Lamu
On Lamu Archipelago, you’ll find some of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya, with Shela Beach leading the pack. This unspoiled beach is situated on the edge of Lamu Old Town and offers a remarkable experience.
If you want to escape city crowds, visit this beautiful and alluring beach along the north coast. In addition to white sands and dunes, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the old town’s rich culture and architecture.
Location: Shela Beach, Lamu
Best For: Shela Beach is best for long walks, relaxation, sunset views, and family outings.
Amenities: Shela beach is less explored and therefore has no amenities. However, several hotels, guest houses, restaurants, and bars are nearby.
Accommodation Near Shela Beach
Betty’s Suite: Situated a few steps from Shella Beach, this top-rated Swahili-style villa is best for couples or solo travelers.
The Majlis Resort: Set on Manda Bay just across Shela Beach, Majlis is one of the best beach resorts in Kenya. It features world-class facilities and incredible sea views.
Pumbao House: This stunning villa is ideal for families or group travelers. It features 5-bedrooms and can accommodate up to ten guests.
Restaurants Near Shela Beach
Lamu is home to delicious Swahili dishes and international cuisines. Check out the following restaurants near Shela beach.
Floating Restaurant Lamu: Food and drinks in Lamu are usually great, but this restaurant makes the experience perfect. Make sure to try local dishes like chicken biryani and pilau.
Mangrove Restaurant: At Mangrove, you can expect a local food experience with a beautiful ocean view.
Seafront Cafe: Like most restaurants in Lamu, Seafront is simple but serves delicious Swahili dishes, seafood, and even vegan options.
FAQs About The Best Beaches in Kenya
Here are some answers to the commonly asked questions about visiting beaches in Kenya.
Watamu Beach is the best beach on the north coast, and Diani Beach is the best beach in Kenya along the south coast.
Nyali Beach and Bofa Beach are the best beaches in Kenya for partying.
Watamu, Malindi, and Diani are the best beaches for surfing, diving, and snorkeling in Kenya.
Diani Beach and Watamu Beach are perfect for couples on honeymoon and families on holiday.
Jacaranda Bay, Turtle Bay, and Garoda are the best beaches in Watamu.
Of all the beaches in Mombasa, Nyali beach is the best for its white sand and beach resorts.
Jacaranda Bay Beach is one of the most secluded and off-the-beaten-track beaches in Kenya.
The south coast of Kenya has some of the best beaches, including Diani, Chale and Galu Kinondo.
The turquoise and crystal clear waters of Diani Beach and Watamu Beach attract many travelers.
Watamu Beach has the whitest sand of all Kenya beaches. Diani Beach closely follows it.
If you’re looking for Kenya beaches with the bluest water, head to Shela Beach in Lamu.
Kenya beaches are safe. However, the most preferred ones include Watamu, Diani, Nyali and Pirates.
Ready For Kenya’s Beaches?
Kenya beaches have something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for dive sites, surfing spots, relaxation resorts, or family getaways, you’ll find them.
You’ll have met friendly people, seen magnificent beaches, explored numerous attractions, stayed in beautiful places, and discovered fantastic eateries.
At the end of the trip, you’ll be loaded with memories to last you a lifetime.