7 Best Beaches In Mombasa (A Beach Lover’s Dream)

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Heading to Mombasa? There are beaches you just cannot miss off your itinerary!

The ‘white and blue city’ has so much to offer its visitors.

Here are my thoughts on the best beaches in Mombasa, Kenya.

Be sure to let us know which was your favorite too!

1. Diani Beach

There’s one word I’d use to describe Diani Beach: flawless.

It is incredibly popular among tourists and for good reason. The lush forest surrounds a long stretch of white sand, and the water is exquisite.

Diani beach Kenya view
Diani Beach

Diani Beach has been voted as the best beach destination in Africa multiple times in recent years and it’s clear to see why. Though popular, you don’t need to worry about space here as it spans 11 miles in length.

The water here is shallow and there are underwater sandbars too, which means you can wade quite far. It’s a popular spot for snorkeling, jet skiing and kite surfing.

For anyone wanting an authentic African experience, you can even take a camel ride. Wildlife enthusiasts will love looking out for the colobus monkeys too!

Our trip to Kenya was a vacation we enjoyed without our children (thanks grandparents!), so we were able to enjoy exploring the Shimba Hills National Reserve as well as the rivers that flow into the sea here.

The 16th-century Kongo Mosque is also worth visiting if you’re interested in ancient Swahili structures too!

2. Bamburi Beach

I didn’t know this before I visited, but the name Bamburi comes from local bantu words. “Ba” means ‘people’ and “Mburi” means ‘goat’.

Bamburi beach Kenya view
Bamburi beach

In other words, this destination is called ‘goat people beach’. This is another of the best beaches in Mombasa.

Though the beach is a thin strip, it’s backed by flowers and palm trees with gently lapping turquoise water. The offshore reef means the waters are very calm indeed.

You won’t get bored here with scuba diving, snorkeling and camel rides all on offer. Facilities for tourists are great too with hotels, bars and restaurants right on the beach.

Don’t expect to be alone here though – it is incredibly popular. That said, we didn’t find it too crowded at all and loved the vibe here.

3. Tiwi Beach

South of Mombasa, a mile or so from the main road is Tiwi Beach.

If you’re a budget traveler, you’ll likely meet likeminded people here as it’s popular among travelers and locals alike.

Tiwi beach in Kenya
Tiwi Beach

This is Diani Beach’s sister in some respects. It’s different but beautiful all the same. Compared to Diani’s white, Tiwi has a golden sand with huge shells dotted around.

At high tide, you’ll find plenty of snorkeling opportunities with a reef located a little offshore, which made it ideal for us to dip in and out as we pleased.

The low tide reveals a real playground for anyone that enjoys rock pooling. Some of them are big enough to get right into with your snorkel – and they’re still filled with amazing fish!

Though there are no shops, restaurants or bars, there’s a large resort as well as villas and cottages. This destination is a tropical paradise that’s almost untouched tourism-wise.

4. Watamu Beach

Oh how we loved Watamu! The name means ‘sweet’ is Swahili – and that it was!

Watamu beach in Kenya
Watamu beach

Watamu Beach has a huge coral reef and sea turtles nest near here. If you come at the right time, it’s amazing to watch the baby turtles find the sea for the first time.

Here, there are lots of things to do besides beach activities. We took a short safari to Arabuko Sokoke forest, having sourced a local guide in Watamu itself.

We also visited the abandoned Gede Ruins, which were incredible and date from medieval times. We explored the wider Watamu National Marine Park too – it’s such an awe-inspiring location.

5. Nyali Beach

Another of the best beaches in Mombasa that we really wanted to see was Nyali Beach.

Here, you’ve got some amazing hotels and restaurants as well as the beach and all it has to offer. What’s more, the sand itself isn’t as crowded here, which is a bonus.

Nyali beach in Kenya
Nyali beach

It has a long white sandy beach and is popular with locals and tourists alike.

This is quite a westernized part of Mombasa, and the residential area has a multiplex cinema, shopping malls, supermarkets, banks, post offices and schools within the Nyali area.

If you’re into wildlife like us, we recommend you visit Mamba Village. This is Africa’s biggest crocodile farm. Diving is popular here too thanks to the coral reef and calm waters.

You can also enjoy:

  • sailing
  • jet skiing
  • kite surfing
  • and windsurfing

Other interesting sites include the Lord Shiva Gombeshwar Caves and the Dwarikadham Hindu Temple. Both are amazing places to see.

6. Kilifi Beach

The town of Kilifi is some 35 miles northeast of Mombasa on the Goshi River estuary.

Best beach in Kenya Kilifi beach
Kilifi beach Kenya

This place offers a delightful resort experience if that’s what you’re looking for. The sand is soft and lined with dense trees opposite the deep turquoise ocean.

Here, we enjoyed a ride on a dhow, which is a traditional boat.

We also tried out one of the many seafood restaurants and ate our meal accompanied by a glass of Dawa, a sugar cane-based drink from the area.

Though we came as a couple, this destination is great for families too.

7. Lamu Beach

We saved the best ‘til last with Lamu.

Those serene postcard scenes of tropical islands are a reality here.

Lamu beach Kenya view
Lamu beach

If you’re only going to visit one beach destination near Mombasa, Lamu must be it.

Relaxation paired with an interesting Swahili history make this island truly exceptional. There are endless beaches, rolling sand dunes and more.

You can get here by dhow (the traditional Kenyan boat transfer) and can enjoy everything the island has to offer, including swimming with dolphins and snorkeling.

Final Thoughts

Our vacation to Mombasa, Kenya was truly amazing. Though we were there primarily to check out the beaches, we were fascinated by the surprising historical sites and culture we came across too.

Our top destination of the best beaches in Mombasa was Lamu – we intend to come back here as a family next time!

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