Coastal cities/towns of Kenya
Coastal cities/towns of Kenya: Coastal Kenya is a very breathtaking tourist destination in Kenya ideal for both Kenya beach safaris and marine safaris, coastal Kenya region borders the Indian Ocean is made up of coast province, southern and northeastern province. Coastal towns were a stopping point for foreigners who come to Kenya purposely for either trade for colonial rule such as Arabs from Oman, British form Europe, Portuguese form portage and many more. Coastal cities/towns of Kenya are a great tourist destinations in Kenya and they include
Lamu or Lamu town is a small town situated on Lamu island which is apart of Archipelago in Kenya situated in a distance of 341 kilometers north east of Mombasa by road, Lamu also referred to as Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Lamu town is built on a coral stone and mangrove timber and consists of simple structures enriched by inner courtyards, veranda and elaborated carved wooden doors, Lamu holds strong Swahili culture and Islamic beliefs and practices including major Muslim religious festivals it has hosted since 19th century.
Lamu town consists of amazing structures such as Lamu fort on the seafront, this fort was constructed under Funo Madi Ibn Abu Bakr the sultan of pate and it was completed in early 1820s following his death. Other structures include 23 mosques including Riyadha mosque which was built in 1900 and a donkey sanctuary.
Historically, Lamu was a key town and a stopover in trade on the East African coast which resulted into interaction of Bantu, Arabs, Persians, Indians and Europeans giving birth to the present culture and traditions and architecture present in this town. Lamu town is characterized of narrow streets and unique buildings constructed using stone buildings and feature impressive curved doors, open verandas and arcades which give a very impressive photogenic sight. The style of these buildings is influenced by a fusion of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian and European building styles.
Lamu town is the oldest continually inhabited town in Kenya and one of the original Swahili settlements along the coast of East Africa, originally this town was named as Amu, the Arabs termed it as Al-Amu and the Portuguese termed the town as Lamon and this name was used by to Portuguese to refer to the whole island. Lamu town is a UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed as the oldest and best preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa on the World Heritage List, notable landmarks in Lamu Town include Lamu Fort, Riyadha Mosque, Donkey sanctuary and culture which attract most tourists to this town
Note: Tourists visiting Lamu town are expected to wear long attires in respect to Muslims living in this town
Malindi is a tropical town situated in Malindi bay at the mouth of Galana River, this town lies on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya and is situated Kilifi County in a distance of 120 kilometers northeast of Mombasa. Malindi a major tourist town also referred to as a town with a touch of gold due to its dynamic beauty comprising of Porsche, elegant and stylish. Malindi town development emerges from the Swahili civilization in the 5th – 10th centuries which saw the coming of the Bantu farmers to the coast and the trade, the Bantu people carried out ironing smelting, built timber and wattle house thatched using palm leaves and the Swahili people acted as middlemen for Swahili, Egyptian, Nubian, Arab, Persian and Indian traders. The presence of these people on the coast resulted into establishment of walled towns, coral houses and introduction of Islam and many people converted to Islamic.
Malindi town is a very rewarding tourist destination to visit while on a Kenya safari as it has more than enough adventurous and memorable retreats to offer, attractions in Malindi include
- Marafa Hell’s Kitchen – locally known as Nyari and referred to as “the place broken by itself” due to its geological formation caused by erosion of the sandstone escarpment due to water and wind. Marafa Hell’s Kitchen features jagged gorges and tall chimney-like structures rising up to 30 meters high.
- Vasco da Gama Pillar– this historical site is the oldest historical monument in Africa offering an opportunity to learn more about the history of Malindi, this monument was built by Vasco Da Gama a Portuguese explorer as a token of appreciation for the warm reception upon his arrival by the then sultan of Malindi.
- The Gendi Ruins – Gendi Ruins is one of the greatest mysteries on the Kenyan coast, these ruins are said to have been founded in the 13th century before the civilization.
- The Malindi Museum – it is an educative establishment with an architectural design dating back to the 13th century, the museum’s building used to be a civil hospital in 1952, fisheries office in 1999 and in 2004 it was turned into a museum by the government of Kenya.
- Other attractions include in Malindi include Falconry of Kenya, Malinid and Watamu national parks, Mida creek, Bio Ken snake park, Kipepeo project, Ndoro sculpture garden, and Arabuko Sokoke national park.
Malindi town offers many adventurous safari activities such as Sawa Sawa dhow excursions, visiting Marafa hell’s kitchen, visiting the falconry of Kenya, visiting Gendi ruins, beach holiday vacations and many more.
Mtwapa is a beautiful town located in Kilifi County in a distance of 16 kilometers north-east of Mombasa along Mombasa-Malinid road, Mtwapa town is a perfect destination for Kenya beach vacation safaris. Mtwapa town is a wonderful tourist destination comprising on a variety tourist attractions such as
- The creek
The creek is a beautiful bay of tropical flora and fauna and some small marina and a very thrilling destination for bird watching, the creek is a starting point for deep sea fishing tours in Mtwapa. The creek is well known for great restaurants such as Moorings, LaMarina, and CobbaCabana with terraces offering seafood dishes
- Jumba la Mtwana ruins
Jumba la Mtwana ruins are a great historical site located in 5 kilometers from the town centre of Mtwapa, this site is a picturesque ruined village of 600 years old with remains of houses and mosques near the seaside.
Jumba la Mtwana ruins is a Kiswahili word meaning “The large house of the slave”
- Other attractions include Nguuni sanctuary, Haller park and Mamba village
Mtwapa town is famous for boosting a number of beach beaches namely Jumba Ruins beach, beach of Africa, Cobba Cabana beach, Shanzu beach, Bamburi beach, Kanamai beach, Vipongo beach and Kuruwitu beach.
Diani beach town is a major beach and voted as Africa’s leading beach destination for the fifth running since 2015, this beach town is situated on the Indian coast of Kenya 30 kilometers south of Mombasa in Kwale County. Diani beach town stretches along the white sands of Indian Ocean of about 17 kilometers from Kongo River to the north and Galu beach to the south, this town is inhabited by a mixture of various Kenyan tribal people who migrated to the town for tourism purposes. Dian beach town is one of the largest urban areas at the coast of Kenya inhabited by over 100,000 individuals and forms part of the larger Mombasa Metropolitan region.
Diani beach is famous for its attractive features such as coral reefs, black and white colobus monkeys, shopping centers for artifacts and beautiful restaurants serving delicious local and international cuisines and many other sites. Must visit sites on Diani beach include,
Komboza cave is a cave system running from the entrance of the sea at Leisure lodge to the mosque by Kongo river, the entrance to these caves is at a spot between Spice Bar and Asin’s Hotel.
Slave caves are located in Shimoni and they act as start and finishing point for safaris to Wasini Island, these caves are of coral rocks and they were used to keep captured slaves before they were sold in Zanzibar. Visiting these caves offers an opportunity to learn more about slavery on the coast.
Three sister’s caves
Three sister’s caves are historical sites situated just before reaching Shimoni near Firikini village, the 3 sister’s caves are also called Firikini caves and they served as hiding spot for runaway slaves during the slave trade on the coast. Three sister’s caves habit a big number of flying foxes and bats.
Other sites at Diani beach include colobus conservation, Kay Kinondo sacred forest, Kisite Mpunguti Marine park, Bora Bora wildlife park and African pool.
Mombasa city is one of the best safari destinations in Kenya and ranked as top tourist destination of the Kenya coastal cities/ towns, Mombasa is located on the eastern coastline of Kenya bordering Indian Ocean. Mombasa also known as the white and blue city is Kenya’s oldest and second largest city in Kenya, Mombasa is a city of various languages and cultures from all people who out carried out trade on the Indian ocean coast such as the Persians, Arabs, Portuguese and Europeans.
Mombasa is an exotic destination filled with numerous stunning beaches, amazing culture and impressive architectural structures with narrow winding streets reflecting building style of Arabs, Persians and Europeans. Mombasa as an excellent destination for a Kenya safari has a lot of tourist attractions such as
Fort Jesus is a historical site built in shape of a man by the Portuguese during their rule on the coast of Indian Ocean, this structure was built from1593 – 1596 and was named Fort Jesus as the clear indication of the Portuguese faith. Fort Jesus is a world’s finest example of 16th century Portuguese military architecture, this fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Haller Park in Mombasa is formerly known as Bamburi nature trail, this park was a project of Dr Haller she started in 1971 and saw the transformation of an abandoned limestone quarries in to a thriving nature reserve. Haller Park is a home to many wildlife species such as giraffes, Cape buffalo, zebras, waterbucks and hippos, this park is a home to the famous interspecies coupe of a 130 year old tortoise Mzee who adopted an orphaned hippo Owen.
Mombasa old town
Mombasa Old town is one of the historical fascinating towns in Mombasa city situated on the southeast side of the town, this town is inhabited by Arabs, Asian and European orign residents and it is a reminiscent of the Portuguese time of stay and rule on the Kenya coast. Mombasa old town comprises of beautiful structure built in architecture style of the Arabs, Persians and Europeans with ornately carved doors, balconies and narrow streets which look almost similar.
Mombasa Tusks are a monumental landmark of Mombasa city built inform of elephant tusks and were built purposely to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth of England to Mombasa in 1952, Mombasa tusks mark the entrance to Mombasa city and it a perfect stopover for pictures.
Mombasa is an idea destination for beach safaris, Mombasa’s beaches are categorized into two that is south coast beaches and north coast beaches. South Coast Beaches such as Shelly Beach, Tiwi Beach and Diani Beach. North coast beaches include Nyali beach, Bamburi beach and Shanzu beach.
Other attractions/sites in Mombasa include Mamba village centre, Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Centre, Mombasa Go-Kart, Mombasa Marine National Park and many more.
Mombasa city offers many amazing Kenya safari activities such as religious tours, visit local clubs, taste local cuisines, visit Gendi ruins, game viewing in Haller Park, Arabuko-Sokoke national forest and Nguuni nature sanctuary, cultural visits in Ngomongo Village Park, visit Mombasa Go-kart, beach vacations and many more.
Msambweni is a coastal town located south of Kenya in Kwale County and lies in 1 hour’s drive by car from Diani Beach, Msambweni is a very scenic town comprising of white sand beaches, rocky outcrops and low cliff tops. This coastal town is perfect for beach holiday and it consists many beautiful beach lodges and houses to make your holiday a memorable one, these include Sawa Sawa beach house, Coast sun Gardens cottage, Msambweni Baobab cottages, Kaskazi beach house and many more.