The Kenyan coast is lined by seemingly endless white beaches that stretch from the southern border with Tanzania, up to Lamu, on the northeastern shores bordering Somalia.
Here you will find an eclectic mix of history and culture, submerged in the exquisite Indian Ocean coastline. About 2000 years ago the Bantu ancestors of the coastal Swahili people settled, and then reached the shores of Kenya's coast. Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the first century AD. By around 500 AD, traders from the Persian Gulf, southern India and Indonesia were also trading with East Africa. By AD1000 a well-established maritime trade network with Arabia and Asia was flourishing. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was the first European to discover the city of Mombasa while on a voyage around Africa to find the sea route to India in 1498. Mombasa, the second largest city in Kenya after Nairobi, is a bustling city of narrow streets, combi van taxis 'matatus'; three wheel taxis 'tuktuks', and motor bike taxis 'bodabodas'; street vendors, hawkers and shops that sell everything imaginable from one nail to a BMW making up a vibrant culture. To the south lies Diani Beach, accessible either by direct flight to Ukunda airfield or by a ferry crossing and a 30 km drive. Diani Beach is a long, idyllic stretch of palm-fringed white beach with a variety of resorts, boutique hotels, apartments, water-sports centres, restaurants and little shops selling anything you can imagine to find on a African stretch of beach
Lamu is a magical place, suspended in time, it has retained its traditional way of life in a world that is continuously evolving.
The northern beaches of Nyali and Bamburi are the main beaches of Mombasa's north coast, where a variety of beach resorts, restaurants, and water sports centers are located. Further north, you will find the resort towns of Watamu and Malindi where white beaches and beautiful coral coves line the shores. This is a popular area for big game fishing, scuba diving, and Kite surfing
The most northern town of Lamu is the oldest continuously inhabited town in East Africa and also the best preserved of East Africa's old Swahili towns, earning its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. Lamu is simply magical, and as many say - time stands still - when one is memorised by the charm of this beautiful town that has managed to retain its old way of life in a world that is continuously evolving. Here you can explore Lamu town, take an authentic Arabian dhow sunset cruise, or just relax and soak up the beauty and timelessness of this magical place.