The Kenyan North Coast

Travel to the North Coast and discover the natural beauty of small fishing villages and the rich history and culture of East Africa’s most important seaport, Mombasa. Along the palm fringed coastline, you will find Watamu, Kilifi and Malindi, home to fishermen and water sports. Kilifi Creek with its crystal-clear waters welcomes sailors from around the world, while the mangroves in Mida Creek by Watamu house flamingos and feed sea turtles.

You can fly to Malindi from Nairobi, crossing the vastness of the Tsavo National Park, or drive by car from Mombasa and make your way to the smaller towns from there.

As the second largest city in Kenya and one of the most important ports in East Africa, Mombasa unites history and progress like no other place in Kenya.

Visit Mombasa town on a day trip and you will see and feel the mix of cultures that have shaped the city into the melting pot of diversity it is today. Take a walk through the historic old town with its elaborately carved wooden doors and many antique shops until you reach Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in 1593. Today, it overlooks the harbour and is a must-see for any visitor to Mombasa.

The beaches of Mombasa are only a short 18 kilometres drive from the airport. Here you find Nyali, Kenyatta, Bamburi and Shanzu Beach, waiting to amaze you with their beautiful tropical beaches. As diver you will appreciate the dazzling underwater world of the Mombasa Marine National Reserve. As cultural enthiusiast you will find that Mombasa town, situated on an island, can be reached via bridges and ferries for a day trip.

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Kilifi is one of the lesser-known spots on the Kenyan coastline. After driving on the busy roads coming from Mombasa for about 60 kilometres, the bridge over Kilifi creek acts as gateway to a different pace of life. Along this ten kilometre estuary, life slows down, calm waves splash against the keels of modern yachts and traditional dhows while fishermen return home from a long day at sea. Join them on one of their dhows for a sunset cruise around the creek. If you are more adventurous, dive through the tunnels of the Vuma Caves and be prepared to meet whale sharks along the way.

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Despite its popularity amongst local and international travellers, the small town of Watamu has retained the charm of an idyllic fishing village. It is especially popular amongst water sports enthusiasts: stand up and paddle over the calm waves, hire a boat and crew and go deep-sea fishing or put your head under water and be dazzled by the colours of the underwater world awaiting you. The less adventurous cruise through Mida Creek National Park on a traditional dhow. The shallow warm waters of the mangroves attract a myriad of birds. On a side note: Watamu is known for its delicious Italian ice cream.

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Along a coastline of fishing villages, buzzing Malindi offers not only beautiful beaches, but a number of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. You can reach the second biggest city on the Kenyan coast by plane, 130 kilometres north of Mombasa. The northern beaches of Malindi attract many wind and kite surfers and are considered amongst the best surfing spots in Kenya. Since the sand and water can have a reddish colouring due to the proximity to the red-soiled Tsavo National Park, many beach holidaymakers prefer the beaches south of Malindi. Hang ten and enjoy the breeze!

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