While you can plan for some great vacation exclusively at Kenya’s North Coast, you can start out in the interior, sleep with lions at the Maasai Mara, trek with elephants at the Tsavo, and hide with leopards at Amboseli National Park. The capital Nairobi, also called “the city in the sun”, has many once-in-a-lifetime things to do and see—that’ll make for a thrilling adventure. Kenya’s landscape is rich and varied and runs the gamut from endless, rolling plains, sparsely dotted by thorny acacia trees—to craggy mountain ranges of slanting ridge after slanting ridge.Also, Kenya comes up at an impressive position 21 out of 112 countries, ahead of such top tourist destinations as France, Spain, and Switzerland. And on the African continent, second only to South Africa. You can then sum up your visit to the North Coast, in a relaxed, slow-pace vibe, surrounded by turquoise blue waters and stately palm trees.


The Many Attractions Near Mombasa Town

There’s something mysterious, irresistible, and alluring about water. From a little child who splashes water to marvel at how it sprinkles in curvy little jets—to adults who travel miles to marvel at sparkling street fountains in Rome, Kansas, or Barcelona—our strange love affair with water is not about to end. And Kenya’s North Coast serves a rich repast. North coast is literally just the area north of the old, laid-back town of Mombasa. Some of the first beaches you’ll meet northwards include Bamburi and Nyali. Nyali Beach, being only 6.5 kilometers from Mombasa is the closest. Besides its proximity to Mombasa, and therefore the countless hotels and restaurants around, the other high point of this beach is that it’s relatively less crowded, making it perfect—if you’re looking for a quieter, no tap-on-the-sleeve experience.

Some 2 kilometers away from Nyali Beach is Bamburi beach, known for its serene waters, palm-fringed shoreline, and a decent 7-kilometer stretch of white, sparkling sand. Don’t forget to check out Bamburi Haller Park, just about 4 kilometers away, along the Mombasa-Malindi Road. The top three attractions here are the crocodile pen, the Reptile Park, and the Game Sanctuary. For the nerve-freezing experience of seeing crocodiles being fed, time your visit at 3.00 PM. You can also hit the ground inside the still, majestic expanse of the forest, where you’ll find clean, safe trails you’ll enjoy walking on.

There’s also Shanzu Beach, which at low tides, normally in the morning hours—you can easily walk to from Bamburi Beach. Though this beach is relatively short, stony in some areas, and sparsely spotted with green, slippery algae, the distinctive beach-side view, above white, powdery sand, will still make for a stunningly beautiful trip.

Related: What To Know When Visiting Kenya's Most Famous Safari Destination

Attractions Near Kilifi That You Must Experience

Some 73 kilometers from Mombasa, Kilifi town awaits, with a rustic feel to it, enhanced by the huge baobab trees which dot the rather flat, prosaic landscape. But just before you reach Kilifi, you can make a detour to Vipingo Beach or Kuruwitu Beach.

Kuruwitu Beach has a particularly pristine coastline with a reef that, unlike many other coastal beaches, remains undamaged. You can chance on seeing a barracuda or even a dolphin inside the clear waters of this quiet, relatively unknown beach. Snorkelers will particularly relish the experience. Then ahead at Kilifi, you can hire a dhow boat and sail down Kilifi Creek in the evening for a stunning view of the sunset. You can also go up to the Mnarani ruins, only 200 meters from the main road— to marvel at some mosques which were built in the 15th century. To cool down and take in the gentle, coastal breeze, Bofa Beach is just about 6 kilometers from the town center.

Related: Here's What Kenya Has To Offer Tourists, As Seen In These Gorgeous Pics

Malindi Town And Its Many Attractions.

From Kilifi, head off to Malindi town, some 47 kilometers away for what will be a stunning, surreal, experience. Start at what’s the oldest African marine park, the Malindi Marine National Park—for a heaven-on-earth experience. There are countless beach activities you can indulge in here including swimming, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and scuba diving. In the backdrop are some insanely beautiful lagoons, coral gardens, and seagrass in squeaky clean, crystal clear waters. Dolphins will also not be swimming far away.

And if Malindi is heaven, Watamu, 15 kilometers south of Malindi town, is paradise. Deserted, mysterious islands, unusually calm, clear waters, and what could be the whitest beach sand in Kenya, Watamu offers the idyllic seaside experience. Watamu Marine Park where you can meet eyeball to eyeball with a whale shark; and Mida Creek, a birders’ paradise, are both nearby. There are also almost all kinds of water sports you can think of. Gede ruins, a 13th-century trading post where Chinese porcelain from the Ming dynasty has been discovered is a must-see. It’s just 7 kilometers from Watamu Beach. To wind up your North Coast tour, you can literally get lost in the Arabuko Sokoke Forest while enjoying the twittering noise of colorful forest birds. Be keen for the darting site of elephant shrews, one of the park’s endemic animals.

  • Distance From Mombasa To Watamu Beach: 108 kilometers or about a 3-hour drive.

Here's a fine piece of advice. Watch the Great Migration at the Mara— then wind off your Kenyan tour at the coast. With all these attractions before you, the North Coast is an aesthetic true north.