The 7 Best Beaches in Mombasa, Kenya

Mombasa, a vibrant coastal city in Kenya, boasts a collection of stunning beaches that draw in travellers with their pristine shores and crystalline waters. There is nothing quite like sipping on a cocktail at one of the many beach bars and relishing the gorgeous white coastline. 

Mombasa and the surrounding area have over 500 km of sandy beaches as well as idyllic remote islands that will feel like your own slice of paradise. In this article, we highlight 7 of the best beaches in and around Mombasa that are perfect for a coastal escape. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, a couples hideaway or heart-pounding watersports, Mombasa’s beaches offer a diverse range of options.

The Best Beaches in Mombasa for Couples 

A romantic escape to the coast of the Indian Ocean is sure to be filled with lots of beach time. With pristine beaches, warm waters and luxury resorts, Mombasa is the perfect place for a couples retreat. 

Fortunately, Mombasa has some great beaches for couples that are less crowded and offer some magnificent activities to enjoy with your significant other.  

Diani Beach

Situated about 30 km south of Mombasa City, Diani Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Kenya for honeymooners and couples of all ages. It’s regarded as one of the best beaches in Kenya and the moment you step onto the warm sands, you’ll realise why.

The soft, powdery white sands stretch for miles, providing a perfect setting for romantic walks, sunbathing or simply lounging together in beachside bliss. The beach is surrounded by lush coastal forests and palm trees, creating a picturesque backdrop for a romantic holiday.

Diani Beach is relatively less crowded compared to some other popular beach destinations. This means you can find pockets of seclusion where you and your partner can enjoy sunbathing in peace. 

Likewise, many beachfront restaurants and bars at Diani Beach offer romantic dining experiences with fresh seafood, Swahili cuisine and tropical cocktails paired with ocean views and the gentle sounds of the waves.

Diani Beach also provides access to Tsavo Park, allowing couples to take a thrilling day trip to see amazing African wildlife like elephants and lions. It’s a great way to break up your beach time and offers a unique couples activity that you will remember for years to come. 

Malindi Beach

Malindi is located north of Mombasa and offers a unique escape for couples looking to avoid large tourist crowds. This beach is the perfect place to enjoy some relaxation with your partner. 

Compared to some of the more popular tourist destinations, Malindi Beach tends to be less crowded. This means you and your partner can find quiet spots along the shoreline to soak up the tranquil setting. With crystal-clear waters, it provides a serene and romantic backdrop for couples to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Indian Ocean.

You will find a variety of accommodations in Malindi that are tailored to couples, including boutique hotels, luxury beachfront resorts, and charming beach cottages. Many of these provide ocean-view rooms and other romantic amenities, like day spas.

Malindi exudes an old-world charm and is filled with things to do that will keep you and your partner busy. Sun-seekers can relax on the soft sands, while history enthusiasts can explore the Vasco da Gama Pillar and the Gedi Ruins. The area is also known for its vibrant nightlife, making it an ideal destination for couples who enjoy a night on the town.

The Best Beaches in Mombasa for Relaxing

A beach holiday is the ultimate way to kick back and take some time for yourself. Whether you prefer a serene beachfront resort or a secluded spot for quiet contemplation, Mombasa has a beach to suit your relaxation preferences.

Shanzu Beach

Shanzu Beach, located on the Kenyan coast near Mombasa, is an excellent destination for relaxation. It offers a serene and tranquil environment that’s well-suited for those looking to unwind. 

Shanzu is celebrated for its alabaster sands, gentle waters and palm-fringed shoreline, which makes it an ideal spot for sunbathing and leisurely strolls. The beach is often less crowded than others on this list, making it a great option for visitors who want privacy and serenity. The off-the-beaten-path setting and fabulous sunsets make it a real gem for anyone looking to luxuriate on their Mombasa trip. 

This tranquil atmosphere makes it an ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Many accommodations in Shanzu Beach offer private beachfront lounging areas with comfortable lounge chairs, umbrellas and beachside service. You can relax, read a book, or simply soak up the sun while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.

Visitors seeking a relaxing trip will relish the on-site spa facilities found at the resorts in Shanzu Beach. After a long day of lounging in the sun, you can indulge in massages, wellness treatments and yoga sessions for ultimate relaxation.

Kiwayu Beach

Mombasa is a very popular travel destination, which can make finding a tranquil beach quite tricky. That said, a short flight from Mombasa takes you to the Lamu Archipelago, a region known for its rich history and distinct culture. Kiwayu Island in particular is an excellent choice for those seeking unparalleled relaxation and solitude in a tropical paradise.

Kiwayu Beach is the best place around Mombasa for exclusivity and privacy. There are only a limited number of accommodations on the island, which means that the beach and its surroundings remain uncrowded at all times of year. 

There is limited internet connectivity on Kiwayu, which encourages a digital detox. It allows you to truly escape from the outside world and focus on relaxation, connecting with nature and spending time with your loved ones in a gorgeous setting. You may spot dolphins, turtles and various bird species during your stay, which is a delightful way to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. 

The pristine beaches of Kiwayu offer a peaceful escape, and the island’s architecture and traditions provide a unique cultural immersion. Interact with the friendly local community on the island and gain insight into their way of life. A great way to experience the local culture is to take a calming dhow cruise with refreshments and exceptional coastal views. 

The Best Beaches in Mombasa for Snorkelling

The Kenyan coast is a magnificent example of the oceans submerged wonders. With colourful coral reefs and exceptional marine life, Mombasa is a great place to go on a snorkelling trip. 

You can find snorkelling operators at many of Mombasa’s beaches, but Watamu and Turtle Bay offer unparalleled underwater adventures. 

Watamu Beach and Turtle Bay

North of Mombasa, travellers can find the idyllic Watamu Beach. This gorgeous beach on the Kenyan coast is renowned for its stunning marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkelling enthusiasts. If you’re set on seeing exceptional marine life and coral reefs, Turtle Bay is a specific area within Watamu that is particularly well-suited for snorkelling adventures.

Watamu and Turtle Bay offer stunning beaches that are part of the Watamu Marine National Park. The pristine reefs make these beaches a prime location for snorkelling, where you can encounter vibrant coral and an array of marine species. 

These coral formations provide a vibrant and diverse underwater ecosystem, making it a prime destination for snorkelling. The waters around Watamu are teeming with marine life, including colourful coral species, tropical fish, rays, eels, and more. You can expect to encounter a rich variety of underwater creatures during your snorkelling adventures.

Watamu and Turtle Bay are committed to eco-tourism and marine conservation. Local efforts are in place to protect the coral reefs and marine life, especially the local populations of green and hawksbill turtles.

You will find many operators in Watamu and Turtle Bay that offer snorkelling and boat tours on the clear water. Your tour guide will take you to the best reefs to ensure you have an eventful experience and you may even be fortunate enough to spot some dolphins.

The Best Beaches in Mombasa for Watersports 

Mombasa offers a variety of beautiful beaches that are a playground for watersports enthusiasts. There is an immense range of activities available for visitors who want to zip across the waves or soar above the sea. 

If you want to feel the ocean wind in your hair and taste the salty sea spray, these are the Mombasa beaches for you. 

Bamburi Beach

Bamburi Beach is one of the best public beaches in Mombasa and a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The beach enjoys warm, tropical waters throughout the year, making it an excellent location for activities on the shallow, gentle water. 

You will find an array of options for different water-based activities. There are many experienced operators dotted across the beach that can ensure you have a heart-pounding beach experience. 

For instance, you can rent jet skis and speed across the lapping waves with the sun shining at your back. Or perhaps you may be more interested in parasailing; there’s no better feeling than soaring above the blue ocean and enjoying stunning aerial views of the coastline. 

Similarly, from December to April, Bamburi experiences higher winds than normal which makes it a great time to try activities such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. 

Bamburi Beach’s water sports activities are suitable for families, couples, and solo travellers alike. Many operators offer group packages, making it a fun and social experience. The prices for activities and rentals are usually reasonable and will include necessary safety equipment like life jackets. 

Nyali Beach 

In the northern suburbs of Mombasa lies the coastal haven of Nyali Beach. The calm, crystal-clear waters make it a popular destination for travellers eager to jump into water sports. It offers a wide range of exciting water-based activities and is known for its suitability for various aquatic adventures.

Nyali Beach offers a diverse array of water sports and activities to cater to different preferences and skill levels. Operators here offer the same experiences as Bamburi Beach, so there are plenty of options for jet skiing, kite surfing and even regular surfing. However, Nyali delights its visitors with spectacular amenities like kayaking and fishing charters. 

On a kayaking trip, you can explore the beautiful coastline and paddle to nearby islands for some incredible adventures. There will be many local businesses offering tours and kayak rentals to ensure you have the best experience. 

Another unique aspect of Nyali Beach is that it’s a hub for deep-sea fishing charters, where you can try your hand at catching marlin, sailfish, and other big game fish.

Operators at Nyali Beach prioritise safety and provide essential safety equipment for their activities, including life jackets. You should follow their instructions carefully and adhere to safety guidelines while participating. 

If you’re new to a particular water sport, certified instructors are available to provide lessons and ensure your safety while enjoying these activities.


Mombasa and its surrounding areas offer a range of beach experiences, each with its own allure and charm. Whether you’re a sun worshipper, a watersports adventurer or want a relaxing escape from modern life, the best beaches in Mombasa promise an amazing journey into the heart of coastal Kenya. 

If you’ve enjoyed this article, check out our other Africa travel guides like The Best Activities in Malawi and our guide to visiting Victoria Falls.

Mombasa FAQs

When is the best time to go to Mombasa?

The best time to visit Mombasa is during the dry season, which generally spans from June to September and from December to February. These months offer pleasant weather, lower humidity levels, and a reduced chance of rainfall. During the dry season, the average temperature in Mombasa ranges from around 27°C to 31°C, making it an ideal time for beach holidays and outdoor activities.

How many days should I spend in Mombasa?

For the best experience, you should aim to stay for at least 3 days. This will give you plenty of time to explore the different beaches in Mombasa, as well as hit up the UNESCO sites and National Parks. However, for a slower-paced leisurely stay, 5 to 7 days is perfect.

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About the Author

Tom Adams

Copywriter at SEO Travel. Contributor to Backpacker Boy, Travel Aisle with a background in Archaeology and Sports Writing.