Mombasa is known to have some of the best beaches in Africa and the entire world. Every year, thousands of holidaymakers from different parts of the world throng the coastal Kenyan strip to enjoy the aura of white sandy beaches and exceptional weather. Mombasa is undoubtedly blessed when it comes to beach attractions; the long stretches of the beach, endless palm trees, and cool breezes.
Anyone who comes to the Kenyan Coast is always keen to get a first-hand experience of the top beaches in Mombasa. You can never run out of things to do while visiting Mombasa beaches. Swimming, beach sports, diving, snorkeling as well as boat rides with transparent glasses at the bottom that allows you to see the rich marine life below is common; the experience is spectacular.
1. Nyali Beach
If you’re looking for a haven of tranquillity that is not far away from the city and amenities, Nyali beach should be your ultimate destination. Located about 5km from Mombasa CBD and accessed via Links Road, this beach is easily accessible using a taxi, tuk-tuk or Nyali Reef Matatus that begin their journey on Jomo Kenyatta Avenue near Nawal Center. The good thing about Nyali beach is that it’s pristine, calm and quiet. The crowds here are relatively few, perfect for those that prefer a laid back beach experience that allows privacy.
You can do almost anything here; relax and gaze at the sun, swim, sunbathe or surf. This is an ideal beach if you have kids; since it’s not overcrowded, you can easily keep an eye on them as they enjoy the water and sand. Several top-notch beach hotels are located on the shores. Also, there are several guesthouses and lodges in Nyali; most of them are within a walking distance and if you have to use a car or rickshaw, its less than 3 minutes’ drive to the beach.
2. Bamburi Beach
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Located about 10 km from Mombasa city center, Bamburi beach has several beachfront hotels, apartments, and villas. The famous ‘Pirates’ (Jomo Kenyatta Public beach) which is Mombasa’s and Kenya’s largest public beach is located on this stretch of Bamburi beach.
The Mombasa Marine Park is a major attraction here for those who’re fascinated with Marine life. Being the busiest public beach, there are several stalls where you can buy artifacts, traditional wear, and snacks to enjoy on the beach. A lot of beach parties (Christmas and New Year parties) also take place on Bamburi beach.
If you love an active and lively beach; Pirates are a good option. You can relax, swim, catch up with friends or participate in beach and water sports, the beach fronts facing hotels are less busy and quiet as most people tend to remain on the pirates stretch. You can easily get here in a private car, taxi, tuk-tuk or matatu. If you’re using public means, its best to board Mtwapa matatus from Digo Road in the CBD and alight at Pirates – it’s a major stage. Alternatively, if you’re visiting the beach resorts, specify which hotel you’re going to avoid getting lost.
You can also take Bamburi Mtambo matatus from Digo Road, but you will have to alight at the Bamburi cement junction and walk up about 200 meters to access the road to the beach.
3. Shanzu Beach
After Bamburi beach, the next beach further up is Shazu beach. Top world-class resorts are located in the posh neighbourhood of Shanzu that is well known to be peaceful and quiet. Shanzu beach is located approximately 14km from Mombasa CBD and has on numerous occasions, won the hearts of many as one of the top beaches in Mombasa.
Hotels on this stretch are closely packed together; there are also plenty of bars and relaxation spots where you can have some time off to reflect and indulge with nature.
The beachfronts are exquisite, quiet and relaxing. When you’re on Shanzu beach, make the most of your time because it’s one place you’ll not want to leave in a hurry. Accessibility is easy through Serena road that is adjacent to Shanzu Teachers College.
The road going in is tarmacked and has plenty of taxis, tuk-tuks, and motorbikes (for those of you who love motorbike rides). From town, pick Mtwapa matatus from Digo Road; it’s about 15-20 mins from town depending on traffic.
4. Tiwi Beach
Tiwi is a quiet beach tucked away in Kwale County approximately 18km from Mombasa City. If you are tired, stressed and want absolute silence, this is the place to be. For holidaymakers who simply want to unwind and keep it low; there are numerous good hotels on this stretch of the beach that incorporates a countryside feel.
I have realized a lot of older travellers love Tiwi beach thanks to its unique natural landscape that rejuvenates the mind and body. If you feel the north coast beaches are too fast and active for you, try Tiwi beach; you’ll not regret it.
5. Copacabana Beach, Mtwapa
Mtwapa is a famous town located 16km north of Mombasa city famous for its vibrant nightlife and party scene. Mtwapa is a tourist magnet suburb loved by both foreign and local tourists.
Mtwapa is associated so much with partying that people forget it also has a nice and quiet beach where you can sit and relax. From the beach, you get the chance to enjoy exotic views of the Indian Ocean and the Mtwapa creek. There are numerous villas, private residences, restaurants, and bars where you can go and have fun. Furthermore, Mtwapa has everything; good accommodation, shopping, banking facilities, entertainment, and dining.