Have you ever thought about taking a tour to the coast? I assure you that you’ll not regret because it has one of the best beaches in the world. I reckon making a decision to visit the coast isn’t a walk in the park but you need not to panic.
Enjoying the fascinating view of the most spectacular attractions at the Kenyan coast is just the tip of the iceberg. Get there and have a feel of the other refreshments. You’ll definitely have a reason to visit the Coast more and more.
Tourists need a clear-cut guide to travel and tour the Kenyan coast. This article outlines the best means of travel to the coast, coastal towns, marine life and the tourist attractions along the coast. A choice on what means of transport to use and which places to visit and stay largely depends on the tourist themselves.
Read on for the enriching information about the coast. Then make a point of coming here for relaxation.
How to Get There
Getting an entry to the Kenyan Coast is quite easy. One needs not to worry. The many options of reaching Mombasa include, but not limited to the use of a bus, railway or even a jet.
All the aforementioned means of transport are usable but the undeniable fact is that the most effective and efficient travel means of them all is the air travel.
Depending on where you are to set the journey from, travel to the Coast can be utterly short and time saving! For instance, when you’re jetting in from the famous Wilson airport in Nairobi city, you will take only 1 hour to arrive in Mombasa.
This is brilliantly fast! Isn’t it? This will save you from fatigue and slog that come with such a long journey. Flights cost about 4500 Kenyan shillings with JamboJet and there are other airlines like Kenya Airways, Silverstone Air and Safarilink.
On arrival in the coastal towns, a soothing feeling dashes into a visitor or a tourist as you are welcomed by sun, the smell of the ocean and a conducive environment which enables tourists to feel home away from home.
Mombasa is the second largest city in the country, Kenya, after Nairobi. It is the capital of the Kenya Coast which is a port city. Here, there are fascinating sites a tourist can set their eyes on and perhaps spend a night or two while on their way to the other coastal towns.
The famous Fort Jesus is open to tourists- both local and international, as a museum. The visitors can walk about the fort and enjoy as they appreciate the glaring historical structures that are still in existence.
As you walk around Mombasa town, you’ll definitely catch sight of the recently opened Mombasa Butterfly House. This is a public place with a live butterfly display which openly showcases a paradise of tropical butterflies and their nexus to the local communities.
Ukunda is a town in the southern Coast of Kenya located in Kwale County. Ukunda paves way to Diani beach which hosts the famous Diani Beach. It is endowed with skydiving, scuba diving and kite surfing; all granted on offer, including boat trips and snorkeling.
There are numerous resorts, villas, hotels and guesthouses that line the beach at Diani which are consistent with your budget as a tourist. The white sandy beaches are easily accessible and you can get camel rides along the beach, do some water sports, swim in the cool Indian Ocean and snorkel.
There can be no quibble about how outstanding Diani is in terms of recreational purposes. Of great impetus is the Forty Thieves- a large beach bar and grill where visitors and the natives meet in the evening for refreshments until early morning hours. This is quite captivating as it facilitates the bonding between people from diverse backgrounds.
Diani Backpackers is a place to stay and relax for a day or two as you luxuriously enjoy the cool breezes from the Indian Ocean and fancy meals.
Day trips to the Shimba Hills National Reserve will certainly refresh your tour days at the Coast while as you’ll have a glance at the rare species of the wildlife and end your day in game style. A visit to Wasini Island is definitely worth it having rich Arabic culture, see dolphins at the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park, snorkel and swim on the shores of the island. Diani is definitely a bucket list destination.
Watamu is another great beach spot on the Kenya Coast for the lovers of spectacular beaches and ancient ruins.
The ocean views in Watamu are, undeniably, incredible with the seven islands scattered along the coastline! Italian tourists will always find it a safe haven as Italian influence is quite palpable with pizzerias and gelato shops scattered all over town.
The usual plethora of tourists here is a clear indicator that the place is worth visiting! There’s plenty of high-quality black coffee, ice cream and mouth-watering delicacies in the resorts around while having amazing views of the blue waters. Watamu also has a rich marine life and you can easily get full day marine tours with sea food lunch, boat rides along Mida Creek while birdwatching for only 3000 shillings. Definitely worth it!! Discover Watamu offers amazing AirBnBs that are beachfront or close to the beach. They offer luxury at a budget.
Lamu is located in the Northern part of the Coast. It is a stretch far from the famous city, Mombasa. It is best reached by plane as opposed to road travel, which is not safe.
Airlines like FLY 540 and Safarilink both offer affordable prices and are super-fast and comfortable. So, you’d better travel by air than spend at least 3 enervating days on the road before reaching your tour destination- Lamu.
Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town. It is truly endowed with ancient streets which harbor mosques, beautiful deserted beaches with soothing cool breezes and wandering donkeys as the means of transport within town- there are only three cars in Lamu! The peace that is experienced in Lamu is life changing. You can get amazing stays via Airbnb and booking.com like The Forodhani House. You can easily get around by walking or taking the boat taxis.
Kilifi is an alluring, relaxed spot with a friendly local community.
If you reach the banks of a creek, there is plenty to do here like visiting the local markets, swimming and enjoying the captivating dhow or speed boat rides.
You may as well just relax on the quiet beach sides and read a good book as you bask and enjoy the moderate sunshine. This is equally fulfilling and it is rightly found here in Kilifi.
There’s a myriad of spectacular marine life including dolphins, whales, reef shark, puffer fish and other species. The list is inexhaustible if it is written down and nobody can
underestimate the many scenic diving spots in the Kenyan Coasts.
The next trip you’ll be making to the Kenyan shores and coasts will, with no doubt, be adventurous. The Coastal and Marine Ecosystems of the Kenyan Coast sustain a great variety of ecologically important species of aquatic organisms.
These range from species of fish, sea turtles, marine mammals, and classes of corals and marine forests. Marine parks in Kenya have been established to protect the rich aquatic flora and fauna which are of great economic value and no fishing or killing of sealife is allowed in these protective zones. This is why we get to see turtle eggs hatching and running to the ocean.
Such parks include; the Mombasa Marine National Park, Watamu Marine National Park, Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park, Kiunga Marine National Reserve, and Malindi Marine Park.
They cover a small percentage of the ocean floor. They harbor one quarter of ocean’s biodiversity. Reefs are of immense economic value for local communities. They serve the communities around for eco-tourism and also as breeding grounds for fish.
The reefs are also indicators of water quality and ecological integrity of the ecosystem as coral reefs survive and thrive under relatively narrow ranges of temperature, salinity, water turbidity and chemicals.
Of utmost importance also, is their role as tourist attraction sites along the coasts of Kenya. Their uniqueness renders them spectacular and attractive to the visitors, who appreciate nature by having a glare at them.
Sandy Beaches, Rocky Shores, and Sea Grass
The rocky shores, tide pools and coastal mudflats provide ample breeding grounds for a range of fish. For instance, the Star fish and Sea anemone breed and survive in such areas.
It’s indeed thrilling to set your eyes on such peculiarly-made sea creatures.
Sea Grass beds are flowering plants found in the sea and they form extensive beds on the mud and sand of the coastal land. Sea grass are the only flowering plants and they form crucial foraging grounds for the endangered species such as marine turtles.
The sea Grass also serve as home to thousands of small species of marine organisms, including seaweeds, crabs, shrimps, starfish, sea cucumbers and sea urchins.
The popular shells are found here from people collect them for their economic value. Food and shelter for various marine life are provided by sea grass.
They are usually Dugongs, whales and dolphins. The whales are of various types, namely; sperm whale, minke whale, humpback whale and melon-headed whale. They are large in size and some are called killer whales.
Dolphins include the common dolphin, spotted dolphin, striped dolphin and bottlenose dolphin.
Sharks and Rays are equally of various types. They include; bull sharks, tiger sharks, and whale sharks. Some of the ray fish are attractive like the Ribbontailed Stingray. It forms an attractive marine aquarium trade fish simply because of its conspicuously brilliant color pattern.
These have a complex life cycle. They lay and hatch their eggs on the beaches. Then later, post-hatchings become pelagic- survive in open ocean. Sub-adults and adults live and thrive in developmental habitats and adult-foraging grounds respectively.
From time to time, different species of turtles migrate from place to place, different miles apart. They also migrate to nesting beaches during reproductive season.
This is the time tourists can have a spectacular view of the uniquely-made creatures, having a tortoise look rather appearance. These are very intriguing!
Mangroves grow in the intertidal areas of sheltered tropical zones and shores. Some are salt-tolerant and have aerial salt-filtering roots and salt-excreting leaves- the adaptive features which enable them to occupy and survive in the saline wetlands.
Mangrove forests are tourist attraction sites for they are peculiar in nature. They also help prevent soil erosion along the coastal areas for their roots hold the soil closely together.
Mangroves also absorb poisonous gases from the atmosphere. To be specific, they absorb carbon dioxide and sustainably store it in their sediments. This largely reduces chances of global warming.
Activities People Like Doing at Coast
Tourists and vacationers jet in- some drive in- these coastal areas to mainly relax, enjoy the luxurious beach life and have a feel of the soothing sea breeze.
• Scuba diving
This is a rare marine-safari you ought to have a lifetime experience of. The Kenyan coast is one of the greatest dive locations in the world.
If you plunge below the surface, you will discover the best safari ever- scuba diving! Diving in Kenya is always good under the conducive weather- warm and sunny. So, there can be no reason for not diving unless where there is no will.
The world class dive sites at the coast include; Watamu Marine National Park, Mtwapa and Barracuda Reef, Kisiite Mpunguti Marine Reserve among others.
• Beach walks
A visit to the coast is never fulfilling and complete without visiting the white sand beaches!
The largely-renowned Diani beach is the among the best beaches in Africa. This speaks volumes about the pleasure you can draw from your visit at Diani beach. You, surely, will not nurse any regrets thereafter.
Moreover, there are numerous other beaches which are fun-filled. They include; Nyali, Bamburi, Pirates, Watamu and Diani to mention but a few.
• Swimming with dolphins
At Wasini Island, you can be privileged to swim with dolphins. This area is next to Shimoni, off the southern coast of the Indian Ocean.
And ultimately, you can spend a gratifying night at Wasini Island- the cherry of the pie! Very irredeemably interesting.
• Swahili culture
The Kenyan coast is the hotpot of the Swahili culture. This ranges from the soft-spoken Swahili language, sumptuous Swahili meals and drinks like the coconut liquour.
The unforgettable, also is the soothing Taarab music full of sweet melodies.
The Kenyan coast also prides on other indigenous cultures like the Mijikenda, which are known for their hospitable nature.
• Wind and Kite surfing
This is achievable when you visit the coast. You can enjoy surfing from dawn to dusk without getting bored over the same.
• Historical Sites
These include the historical sites that double up as the best tourist sites. The extensive Fort Jesus, Mombasa Old town, Gedi ruins, Vasco Da Gama Pillar and caves, Bombolulu workshop and Swahili artefacts.
All the above will leave you striking a balance between getting excited and appreciating the enjoyment that comes with it.
• Nature Walks
You can engage in a nature walk at Bamburi nature trails which is located at Haller Park. The park boasts of several wild animals like crocodiles and hippos.
African elephants are found in the Shimba Hills National Reserve. A variety of rare plant species are also found here. All these are reasons enough of you having a nature walk around the place.
• Mombasa memorable nights
Ironically, the nights are as lively as day hours and everybody in Mombasa seems to be in a good mood at night and ready to go clubbing.
This is captivating. Right? The warm weather is unconducive for sleep. This moves many people out to at least go relax and mingle with friends out.
Cool music and tastier drinks are worth paying attention to. What intrigues the more is the friendly nature of the native town-dwellers who would readily help you in case of a problem.
People will always want to show you direction just in case you got lost. The place is also very secure.
• Just relax and Do nothing at all.
Kenyan coast is truly the only place you can visit, sit and relax. You can sip a glass of ‘madafu’ or if you like the coconut brew.
Then wake up late, go laze around and enjoy the cool beach breeze. You could also gaze at the blue ocean without frazzling.
Tourist Attractions in Coast
There are various attractive places and historical sites in the coastal region. Tourists can never miss to enjoy and have a phenomenal stay there!
The renowned Fort Jesus Museum is outstanding! Additionally, several other places of relaxation are in existence.
They include; Haller Park, Diani Beach, Watamu National Marine Park, Nyali Beach, Mida Creek, and Wild Waters.
Make a point of visiting the Kenyan coast. It is, undoubtedly, invigorating! To have the best tour experience, traverse across the coastal towns and experience the best.