Mombasa beaches have sun-drenched powder-soft white sands, swaying palms and a shimmering turquoise ocean. Sounds like any other tropical paradise? Throw in soft Swahili cadences, a historic nearby town center, a medieval lost city, fabulous coral reefs and marine parks, dhows for dolphin watching or romantic sunset cruises and big-game fishing.
Further add to the mix warm and genial people, excellent seafood, a camel ride on the beach and you are starting to grasp the unique and stunning appeal of beaches along the Indian Ocean.
Although many travelers come to Mombasa for a post-safari chill, others return year after year to enjoy the history of the Swahili coast, its fabulous water sports, exotic underwater life in the marine reserves, and nearby game viewing opportunities.
There are four main resort areas along the coast. The North Coast starts at Nyali, which is just a few kilometers from the town center, and stretch through Bamburi, Shanzu and Mtwapa, and further north to Kikambala beach.
Yet further north are Watamu and Malindi beaches, off which are two spectacular marine parks in which are found some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. These are rated by divers to be as spectacular as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. Deep sea fishing is just as popular along Watamu, Malindi and Diani.
Near to Watamu Beach are the ruins of a 15th century town called Gedi which was built entirely of limestone and coral. Remnants include a great mosque, a few smaller ones, the sultan’s palace, several houses and tombs. The nearby Arabuko-Sokoke Forest harbors several rare endemic birds and mammals.
Mombasa beaches benefit from the barrier reef that lies off the East African coast. It is the world’s second longest barrier reef from Somalia, along Kenya and all the way south to Tanzania.
Not only does the reef protect from the rough open ocean waves and create safe areas for swimming, it provides shelter and food to a rich variety of tropical marine life including turtles, manta rays and the elusive whale sharks. The whale shark is best spotted during September and October and January and February.
The third marine park in Kenya for snorkeling and diving is located down south, off Wasini Island.
Along the beaches on South Coast in Mombasa, the only developed resort area is in Diani Beach which has all the makings of a tropical paradise and is a good staging point for activities on and beyond the beach. It is easy to snorkel out to the reef; swimming back can be tiring when the tide is ebbing. Otherwise, rent an outrigger canoe to get out to the reef at low tide for snorkeling.
On the south coast, there are many choice dhow trips for snorkeling, diving and dolphin spotting in the Wasini channel which include stopping off at an island for a Swahili lunch. Alternatively, bird-lovers can opt for a motorboat trip to the mangrove channels to catch sightings of grey herons, fish eagles, cormorants and kingfishers.
Exploration of Kenya’s wildlife is easily accessed from Diani Beach. A trip, either for the day or overnight, can be made to the forested Shimba Hills Reserve, which is home to a small breed of indigenous sable antelope and the Kenyan coastal elephant as well as a stunning variety of wildlife.
There is a lot more to Mombasa beaches which beg to be explored. Step out – a compelling adventure awaits.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Mombasa hotels are the perfect get away from the crowds. Ride a camel on the beach, snorkel in a protected lagoon or sail in a dhow – all these await you at the Mombasa hotels along the idyllic Indian Ocean coast.
Mombasa beaches have white sands, swaying palms & turquoise ocean. The North Coast starts at Nyali and stretch through Bamburi, Shanzu and Mtwapa, and further north to Kikambala beach.
Mombasa Kenya is laidback, friendly, steeped in history and totally unpretentious. It is living culture. A coral colored fort with cannons peeping out from its bastions greets visitors coming in from the ocean.
Everyday tips and insights shared about Mombasa Kenya from people who travel to Mombasa.
Soak yourself in adventure with things to do in Mombasa – be a culture vulture and learn about Portuguese defense architecture at Fort Jesus, shop for African handicrafts, swim with dolphins or get close to wildlife at the Haller Park.
Flights to Mombasa From Budget Airlines, International Airlines, Within Kenya, From North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.