Mombasa & Southern Coast
Kenya’s second largest city, Mombasa, is a melting pot of Arab, Portuguese and British influences, which remain present in the food, architecture and people of the city. Yet the main draw of Mombasa is the dreamy white sands of the coastline, particularly the southern beaches of Diani and Msambweni. These tropical paradise beaches are among the finest along the East African coastline.
Mombasa has an international airport and is only a short direct flight from the Masai Mara, making this stunning stretch of coastline easily accessible. While most will want to head south to the beach, for those interested in Swahili culture, a walk around Mombasa Old Town is a must. Pay a visit to Port Jesus and Government Square, enjoy the exotic scents of the spice market and look out for the chain motifs carved into the doors of the homes once occupied by slave traders.
Diani, south of Mombasa, is home to one of Kenya’s most beautiful beaches. The endless white sands are shaded by lofty palms and backed by lush forest. With luxurious boutique accommodation and exceptional service, Diani is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
While the beaches here lend themselves to soaking up the sun, the opportunities for water sports are excellent. You can discover the coral reef with a spot of diving or snorkelling and the kite-surfing is possibly the best in the world. We’d also suggest you experience the excitement of a deep-sea fishing trip and for those visiting in February and March, there’s a chance you might see the elusive whale sharks.
But if the call of the wild is strong, head to Shimba Hills National Reserve for more of a safari experience. An easy day trip from Diani, you can see elephant, antelope, warthog, baboon, giraffe and an impressive 300 species of butterfly.
Further south, Msambweni has some of the finest beaches of any Indian Ocean coastline. Expect white sand, glittering turquoise waters, luxurious boutique accommodation and outstanding service. This is a traditional area, thick with coconut palms. Luxury villas and boutique hotels enjoy fantastic views from the top of the cliffs and the deserted beach is reached via steps.
Despite the beauty of Msambweni it remains a quiet and tranquil spot, so we think it’s a wonderful getaway for those looking for an exclusive beach paradise and a chance to escape the stress and strain of the modern-day world.