Kenya is known worldwide for its stunning safari trips that bring people to their country.
You can enjoy these trips, along with the rainforest and many ancient ruins.
What only some people know is that Kenya offers flawless beaches as well.
The beaches in Kenya offer something for everyone. You can enjoy watersports, shopping, fine dining, and more.
Add at least one of these locales as you pick the spot for your next vacation.
Let’s look at these 17 Kenyan beaches and what they offer visitors.
17 Best Beaches in Kenya
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax and sunbathe or enjoy some adventurous activities, these 17 best beaches in Kenya have something for everyone.
1. Diani Beach
- Diani Beach Attractions: skydiving, kitesurfing, sunbathing
- Diani Beach Location: Kwale County
- Diani Beach Length: 17 kilometers/11 miles
- Diani Beach is Famous For: stellar sunsets voted the leading beach destination in Africa since 2015
Diani Beach has soft beige sand and crystal blue water. There are also monkeys swinging from the trees that will keep you constantly on your toes.
Visitors have their choice of many activities while they are here. There are watersports, bars, and considerable nightlife.
You can also take a camel ride on the beach. You have your choice of upscale villas and hostels to stay in.
If you want a break from the sand and surf, you are just a short distance from several stunning safari adventures.
2. Watamu Beach
- Watamu Beach Attractions: snorkeling, diving, marine life
- Watamu Beach Location: Kilifi County
- Watamu Beach is Famous For: fewer crowds, superb dining, and ancient ruins.
This lovely, small beach is perfect for those looking for a laid-back vacation. You can enjoy the breeze from the ocean with very few crowds around.
A stunning rainforest surrounds this beautiful enclave.
Visitors will find plenty of terrific restaurants condensed into such a compact space.
For those who want a break from the beach, there are ancient ruins sites that you can go and explore.
3. Nyali Beach
- Nyali Beach Attractions: shopping, high-end hotels, sunbathing
- Nyali Beach Location: Mombassa
- Nyali Beach is Famous For: its modern and urban feel, shopping and other amenities, clean beach, and sand.
If you want a beach but don’t want to give up amenities, Nyali is the beach for you! It is by far the most modernized beach in Africa.
Some would say it is almost Westernized. Multiple grocery stores, movie theaters, shopping malls, and more can be found.
You get all of this along with a top-rated beach and luxury hotels. There are coral reefs perfect for snorkeling and creamy sand ideal for sunbathing.
This is the beach for you if you need all the bells and whistles.
Read: Best Beaches In Angola.
4. Shelly Beach
- Shelly Beach Attractions: sunbathing, swimming
- Shelly Beach Location: Mombassa
- Shelly Beach is Famous For: being less crowded; the beach is made of shells.
The name says it all. Shelly Beach earned its name because of the overwhelming number of shells covering the beach’s sand.
While other beaches in the country, especially around the Mombassa area, are all plush sand. Shelly Beach is more shells than sand.
Visitors to this beach won’t find as many amenities as other Mombassa resorts.
5. Mombassa Beach
- Mombassa Beach Attractions: old town architecture, sunbathing, swimming
- Mombassa Beach Location: Mombassa
- Mombassa Beach is Famous For: being the oldest city in Kenya, called the white and blue city.
Mombassa is a resort area that is dependent on tourism. The beach is the primary driver for the town and the region.
Mombassa County is home to many of Africa’s finest beach resorts. The city of Mombassa, however, is by far the largest.
This city is the second most populated in Kenya.
While not as upscale as Nyali, tourists can still find plenty of things to do, such as swimming and enjoying the beach and food.
6. Manda Island
- Manda Island Attractions: sunbathing, historical sites
- Manda Island Location: Lamu Archipelago
- Manda Island is Famous For: its historical sites
Manda Island used to be a booming port town. Over time those businesses failed, leaving behind just the beach.
People can fly into the airport and spend the day enjoying the beach and relaxing.
7. Kiunga Marine National Reserve
- Kiunga Marine National Reserve Attractions: watersports, diving, snorkeling
- Kiunga Marine National Reserve Location: Lamu district
- Kiunga Marine National Reserve is Famous For: all the different kinds of marine life that visitors can see
When you visit this National reserve, you can genuinely swim with nature. This park is part of 50 small offshore islands and coral reefs.
Kiunga Marine National Reserve Length: 100 square miles
For those who need a break from the water, there is a beach area perfect for sunbathing.
8. Mayungu Public Beach
- Mayungu Public Beach Attractions: swimming, sunbathing
- Mayungu Public Beach Location: Malindi
- Mayungu Public Beach is Famous For: its blue water and clean beaches.
As the name states, this is a public beach that anyone can access. You don’t have to be a club member to spend the day relaxing here.
You are also close to larger areas like Watuma and Malindi if you want restaurants and bars.
9. Galu Kinondo Beach
- Galu Kinondo Beach Attractions: sunbathing, relaxing, swimming
- Galu Kinondo Beach Location: Mombassa County
- Galu Kinondo Beach is Famous For: Relaxation
Locals will challenge you to find a more beautiful beach in Kenya. While not bustling with nightlife or restaurants, this beach is a place to sit back and relax.
If you want to spend the night, you have multiple hotels and Airbnb.
10. Casuarina Beach
- Casuarina Beach Attractions: sunbathing, swimming
- Casuarina Beach Location: Malindi
- Casuarina Beach is Famous For: fewer crowds
People love coming to this beach to relax. You won’t encounter as many crowds and can play games on the beach at low tide.
- Uhanya Attractions: fishing, sunbathing
- Uhanya Location: Bondo
- Uhanya is Famous For: its fishing village
There is one primary thing to do on a trip to Uhanya, and that is fish. This is a fishing village, and the locals spend their time doing that.
Visitors come here to spend time with locals seeing what fish they can catch that day. There are resorts so you can stay overnight if you want.
12. Lamu Island
- Lamu Island Attractions: surfing, sunbathing
- Lamu Island Location: Lamu Archipelago
- Lamu Island Length: 6474 sq. Kilometers (size of the entire archipelago)
- Lamu Island is Famous For: its historical sites, infusing multiple cultures
This island is part of a 50-island archipelago. You can take a boat from one part of the chain to another.
Or you can enjoy the solitude and relax on the beach. If you want a break, walk through town to see the ancient Swahili ruins on the island.
13. Jacaranda Beach
- Jacaranda Beach Attractions: sunbathing, kite surfing
- Jacaranda Beach Location: Watamu
- Jacaranda Beach is Famous For: its clean beaches
This beach is a great place to stay when traveling to other beaches. You are close to marine preserves, snake farms, and many other natural wonders.
Many people also stay here before heading out on a safari.
You can also enjoy the beautiful beach here in between your adventures. Warning, there are lots of sharp rocks in the water, so take caution while swimming.
14. Kisite Island
- Kisite Island Attractions: snorkeling, dolphin watching
- Kisite Island Location: Kwale
- Kisite Island is Famous For: being part of a marine preserve
- Kisite Island Length: 11 square kilometers
Kisite Island is part of a marine preserve. While you can sunbathe or swim, the natural attraction is checking out all the marine animals.
It is an up-close view that can’t be found anywhere else.
15. Marafiki Village
- Marafiki Village Attractions: swimming, sunbathing
- Marafiki Village Location: Watamu
- Marafiki Village Famous For: suitable for kids
This beach is known for being just the right size, with crowds that aren’t too large. Tourists rave about the restaurants and the quality of food they serve.
The beach is also the right size and safe enough for kids to play on. This is an ideal beach to take the whole family to.
16. Chale Beach
- Chale Beach Attractions: kayaking
- Chale Beach Location: Mombassa
- Chale Beach Length: 1.2 kilometers
- Chale Beach Famous For: this is a private island resort
This beach is the only one on this private island. But due to the private nature of the island, you won’t have to fight off crowds.
Endangered turtles are the only things you have to share space with. You can also sign up for kayaking trips through the vegetation that is also part of the island.
17. Gazi Beach
- Gazi Beach Attractions: sunbathing, swimming
- Gazi Beach Location: Kwale County
- Gazi Beach Length: 30 kilometers
- Gazi Beach is Famous For: Its privacy
Gazi Beach is sheltered by coconut trees and has calm waters because of its proximity to Chale Island. Visitors come here for that privacy and lack of crowds.
The trees also allow one to enjoy the beach without being as hot as you would be on other Kenyan beaches.
There are also mangroves and various hotels to choose from for tourists.
Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)
Does Kenya have a beach?
Yes! Kenya has 1420 kilometers of coast, and several miles of the coastline is covered with 17 sand and beach. Diani, Watamu, Nyali, Shelly, and Mombasa are famous for their attractions.
What is the best time of year to visit Kenyan beaches?
October through January is the best time to visit Kenyan beaches. This is the best time for visitors to take advantage of activities such as diving and snorkeling. November is considered the peak beach month.
What are the top beaches in Kenya?
There are so many beaches in Kenya that are stunning! But these are some of the ones that travel writers recommend for tourists.
1. Diani Beach
2. Chale Island
3. Gazi Beach
How much is a tourist visa for Kenya?
The cost of your visa will depend on what kind of visa you purchase. A different visa type covers if you are visiting more than one African nation, especially in East Africa.
You will need a single visit visa if you are only visiting Kenya. This document is approximately $51.
While you can get them at the airport, getting them online or from the embassy in your home country is more expedient.
Is it safe for Americans to travel to Kenya?
For the most part, yes. There are parts of the country that have higher than average terrorism activity.
However, that tends to be far from the tourist areas and much closer to the border with Somalia.
Be smart and aware of your surroundings, just like traveling anywhere else.
Is it safe to swim at Kenyan beaches?
Most beaches are safe, but be aware of strong currents and riptides. Remember any warnings and avoid specific areas if you aren’t a strong swimmer.
What should you not wear in Kenya?
Tourists should wear loose-fitting clothes when visiting Kenya. Men shouldn’t show their shoulders, nor should women.
Women should also make sure to cover their arms and legs. Some travel agencies would also suggest men avoid shorts. Linen is the fabric of choice because of the heat.
You want clothing that is lightweight and breathable. Have a light sweater for any temperature cooling that happens at night.
Another tip is to avoid blue-to-black clothing.
For starters, it will draw more heat to you, and additionally, tsetse flies are attracted to these colors.
These flies could bite you and make you sick with African Sleeping Sickness. Neutral colors are suggested; however, note that white will get dirty quickly from all the dust.
Don’t bring or wear any expensive jewelry.
Are Kenyan beaches expensive to visit?
The cost will depend on what beach or resort you are visiting. In some places, you could make it for $62 per day.
Others need at least $120 daily to enjoy the beach and the surrounding town. Kenyan beaches are pricer than other African beaches.
Can I travel to Kenyan beaches without a visa?
No. You must have a visa to visit Kenya. A select number of countries can visit without visas due to reciprocity agreements between Kenya and their home country.
Many of these are surrounding African nations that travel in and out of Kenya daily for work or school.
Which Kenyan beaches are the best for surfing?
Kenya has some beach towns that are full of surfers during peak times. Areas such as Mombassa have terrific waves that draw surfers from all over the world.
Peak surfing season in Kenya is from May to October, with July and August being prime surf seasons.
How much money should I bring with me to Kenyan beaches?
How much cash you need depends on which beach/resort you are staying at. In some towns, you can enjoy things for $60 a day.
Some resorts spend upwards of $120 a day to enjoy the city. Kenyan is more expensive than other African beaches.
The beaches in Kenya are some of the best you will find anywhere in the world. You can take advantage of many sports or just lounge and swim.
And lucky for tourists, many are close enough that visitors can take advantage of the safari trips that Kenya is known for.
For your next beach holiday, make sure one of the seventeen Kenyan beaches is on your travel list.