On top of historical sites, adventure spots, wildlife sanctuaries, and many other things to do, there are several magnificent beaches in Mombasa.
In some areas, the beaches are less crowded, allowing you to take beach walks, sunbathe, or relax in peace. In livelier places like Diani, the long stretches of white sands offer you an opportunity to unwind, indulge in water activities, or dine in charming beachfront restaurants.
I’ve visited Mombasa numerous times and spent over a month exploring beaches close to the coastal city. Although my favorite beaches are situated along the north coast, the ones in the south, like Tiwi Beach, are also stunning.
So, to help you plan a memorable trip, I’ve prepared this guide for the best beaches in Mombasa. They include everything from the famous Pirates Beach up north to Galu Kinondo Beach – a secret jewel in the south.
Also included are top-rated vacation rentals, resorts, hotels, apartments, and restaurants near each beach.
10 Best Beaches in Mombasa
Below is a list of the top 10 beaches in Mombasa, Kenya. It includes the best choices along the north and south coasts. So, whether you’re into watersports, soft white sands, or relaxed beach resorts, there’s a perfect beach for you close to Mombasa.
1. Nyali Beach (One of the Best Beaches in Mombasa for Surfing)
Kicking off this list of the best beaches in Mombasa is the magnificent Nyali Beach. This less crowded, scenic, and clean beach is situated along the north coast, only a short drive from the city.
Due to its proximity to Mombasa, Nyali Beach is perfect for anyone looking for a beach outing away from crowds in the coastal capital. The beach is easily accessible and offers an opportunity for relaxing, swimming, surfing, and beach strolls.
Nyali Beach is also close to the Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve. From the reserve, you can take a boat trip to the park for a snorkeling or diving experience.
- Location: Nyali Beach, Mombasa
- Best For: This beach is best for swimming, relaxing, soft sand, family outings, beach resorts, surfing, snorkeling, and other watersports.
- Amenities: There are several stalls on the beach with changing rooms, rental costumes, and float tubes. Behind the beach, you’ll also find many resorts, hotels, and restaurants with clean facilities.
Accommodation Near Nyali Beach
Nyali hosts plenty of vacation rentals and some of the best beach resorts and hotels in Mombasa. If you’re wondering where to stay near Nyali Beach, here are my top three recommendations.
The Neem Suite: This cozy and tranquil rental unit in a homely villa is ideal for travelers seeking an affordable stay. It’s within walking distance of Nyali Beach, City Mall, and attraction centers like Wild Waters.
Nyali Beach Holiday Resort: This beachfront resort has a beautiful ocean view and boasts excellent facilities; elegant rooms, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and more.
Modern Swahili Apartment: If you’re looking for an apartment near Nyali Beach for up to 6 guests, check out this 3-bedroom unit.
Restaurants Near Nyali Beach
If you’re looking for the best places to eat near Nyali Beach, check out the following restaurants.
Govinda’s Restaurant: This restaurant is situated at ISKCON temple and serves purely vegetarian dishes. These include paneer tika and paper masala dosa.
The Dhow House: Set in a green garden with mature trees, this restaurant is one of the best in the area. Besides serving great meals and drinks, guests are entertained with occasional live band performances.
2. Mombasa Beach
Mombasa Beach is one of the best beaches in Kenya. It’s tucked between Nyali Beach and Pirates Beach, a short drive from Mombasa city center.
I love visiting this beach because of its white sand, laid-back vibe, and proximity to restaurants and malls. It’s also close to dive sites; operators like Peponi Divers offer professional diving and snorkeling trips.
During low tide, it’s possible to swim and take long walks along Mombasa Beach. The long sandy stretch connects with Nyali Beach to the south and public beaches in Mombasa, like Pirates and Bamburi, to the north.
- Location: Mombasa Beach, Nyali
- Best For: This beach is best for soft sand, swimming, diving, snorkeling, and surfing.
- Amenities: Mombasa beach boasts several stalls with clean toilets, rental equipment, and changing rooms. There are also plenty of resorts, hotels, and restaurants nearby with all the necessary amenities.
Accommodation Near Mombasa Beach
2 Bedroom Cozy Apartment: From $70 per night, you can stay in this spectacular condo, which is less than a 5-minute walk from the beach.
Apache Beach Apartment: This homely apartment has a beautiful view and can accommodate up to 6 guests. It costs around $76 per night.
Luxe Room: Explore Mombasa Beach and nearby attractions from this private room in the lush neighborhood of Nyali.
Restaurants Near Mombasa Beach
Here’s a list of some of the best restaurants near Mombasa Beach in Nyali.
Moonshine Beach Bar: If you like to eat and party after a relaxing beach experience, visit Moonshine. It’s situated inside Nyali Reef Hotel, which also hosts Tanga Bar and Grill – a quiet bar overlooking the beach.
Cafesserie: Situated in City Mall, this classic cafe is my favorite place to eat in Nyali. It’s ideal for romantic dinners, coffee nights, and breakfast.
3. Bamburi Beach
Bamburi Beach is one of my favorite beaches in Mombasa for holidays. This charming beach is clean, less crowded, and perfect for relaxation and diving trips. It derives its name from the nearby Bamburi Beach Hotel – a popular beach resort in Mombasa.
If you’re looking for a tranquil beach with world-class resorts, nice restaurants, and nearby attractions, try Bamburi Beach.
From here, you can take a beach stroll, go diving at Bamburi Coral Gardens, and eat at the popular Char-Choma Restaurant. Also, remember to visit Butterfly Pavilion and spend time at the Mombasa Go-Kart.
- Location: Bamburi Beach, Bamburi
- Best For: Relaxation, diving trips, partying, and family holidays.
- Amenities: Most resorts and hotels along Bamburi Beach have great amenities. There are also several restaurants and bars nearby.
Accommodation Near Bamburi Beach
Bamburi is a popular neighborhood in Mombasa. It’s also home to Haller Park, Mombasa Go-Kart, and several nightlife spots, making it ideal for adventure. If you’re planning to visit, here are some top-rated places to stay near Bamburi Beach.
Cozy Designer Studio: This 1-bedroom apartment is clean, elegant, cozy, and spacious, making it perfect for couples or solo travelers. Starting at $26 per night, it’s one of the most affordable studios in the area.
Teal House: Relax and unwind in this homely, stylish, and spacious 1-bedroom unit behind Haller Park. With 1 bed and 1 bath, the listing can accommodate up to 2 guests.
Bamburi Beach Hotel: Whether you’re visiting Mombasa for business or a holiday, this beachfront hotel is an excellent place to unwind.
Restaurants Near Bamburi Beach
If you’re looking for places to eat near Bamburi Beach, check out the following restaurants.
Yul’s Restaurant: Yul’s is one of the best restaurants near Bamburi Beach for seafood, barbecue, ice creams, and cocktails. It has an open setup with beautiful beach and ocean views. Make sure you try their grilled lobsters and prawns.
Mombasa Go-Kart: In addition to their thrilling sports, Mombasa Go-Kart has a nice restaurant ideal for families and group travelers. Their menu includes seafood, steaks, vegetarian dishes, and desserts.
Char-Choma Restaurant: This great beachfront restaurant offers excellent food experiences for all types of visitors. Make sure you try their delicious nyama choma (barbecue) with spicy chips.
4. Pirates Beach (One of the Best Public Beaches in Mombasa)
Also known as Jomo Kenyatta Beach, Pirates is one of the best public beaches in Mombasa. It’s easily accessible from the coastal city and popular with travelers looking for fun, especially locals from upcountry towns.
If you’re looking for a beach where you can meet locals or have fun with friends and family, head to Pirates Beach. The beach boasts several shops and restaurants with the necessary amenities.
It offers plenty of affordable activities like swimming and beach games. Adventure lovers can also enquire about diving trips to Mombasa Marine Park from the nearby KWS office.
- Location: Pirates Beach, Mombasa
- Best For: Swimming, family entertainment, beach sports, and gift shopping.
- Amenities: The beach features several restaurants, rental swimming costumes, changing rooms, and clean toilets.
Accommodation Near Pirates Beach
Below is a list of top-rated Airbnbs near Pirates Beach. You can also check out these cheap beach hotels in Mombasa.
Spacious Apartment with a Sea View: For $52 per night, this luxurious apartment with 2 beds and 2 baths is ideal for up to 4 guests.
Unique 2-bedroom Apartment: Check out this affordable 5-guest apartment with a stretch of private beach.
Artistic Studio: If you’re looking for a smartly decorated 1-bedroom apartment near Pirates Beach, check out this listing.
Restaurants Near Pirates Beach
Here are some of the best places to eat along Pirates Beach.
Char-Choma Restaurant: This is a family-friendly restaurant with delicious food and a fantastic ocean view. I particularly love their well-made beef barbecue with potato wedges.
The New Big Tree: This beach restaurant is famous for seafood, pizzas, and steak. You can also enjoy cold drinks and occasional live music at their beachfront bar.
Beach Restaurants: Pirates Beach has numerous food vendors selling affordable Swahili foods and snacks. Try pilau, biryani, or wali wa nazi (coconut rice).
5. Shanzu Beach
Situated in the Shanzu neighborhood off the Mombasa-Malindi highway, Shanzu Beach is a secluded sandy beach and a favorite for those who know the north coast well.
Besides its magnificent white sand, Shanzu Beach is less crowded, making it one of the best beaches in Mombasa for an off-the-beaten-path experience.
There are also several beach resorts and hotels that make Shanzu Beach a perfect hideaway. These include my favorite, Serena Beach Resort & Spa, which is homely and arranges diving trips to Mombasa Marine Park.
- Location: Shanzu Beach, Shanzu
- Best For: Relaxation, swimming during low tide, and trips to dive sites in Mombasa.
- Amenities: Shanzu Beach is secluded, and amenities are only available in the beach resorts, hotels, and restaurants along the beach.
Accommodation Near Shanzu Beach
Angaza House: This modern, beautiful 1-bedroom apartment is perfect for couples or solo travelers. It features 1 bed, 1.5 baths, modern decorations, and elegant Swahili carvings.
Serena Beach Resort & Spa: Serena is an amazing place to stay in Shanzu. It’s family-friendly, secure, and has a courteous staff. Their rooms are elegant, and their food is great too.
Beachfront Apartment: This spacious 1-bedroom serviced apartment promises a memorable stay. It has all the necessary facilities, offers stunning ocean views, and is near restaurants and malls.
Restaurants Near Shanzu Beach
Here are some of the best places to eat and drink in Shanzu.
Safari Inn Bar & Restaurant: This restaurant in Shanzu is popular for local and international cuisine. You can also enjoy your favorite beers or cocktails while watching a live band performance.
The Tavern Inn: If you like a relaxed environment with cool music and a natural setting, head to The Tavern. Here you’ll enjoy drinks and great food like nyama choma and chips masala.
Jahazi Grill: Serena Beach Resort & Spa is home to three wonderful restaurants; Fountain, Jahazi Grill, and Sokoni. Of the three, Jahazi is my favorite for its lovely ambiance, fresh fish with ugali, and cocktail juices.
6. Copa Cabana Beach
Mtwapa is one of the most touristy towns in Kenya. It’s home to many entertainment spots, attracting travelers looking for an affordable destination to hang out.
After a night out partying or a day of nursing a few too many drinks, Copa Cabana Beach is an excellent place to relax. It’s located in the Maweni area at the mouth of Mtwapa Creek.
Also known as Mtwapa Beach, Copa Cabana boasts a beach bar and restaurant where you can sit and enjoy your favorite drink. It also has a stretch of white sand for a beach stroll, especially during low tide.
- Location: Copa Cabana Beach, Mtwapa
- Best For: Beach bars, relaxation, and entertainment.
- Amenities: Copa Cabana Beach has several sitting areas and a beach restaurant with clean amenities.
Accommodation Near Copa Cabana Beach
Here’s a list of the top-rated vacation rentals near Copa Cabana Beach in Mtwapa. You can also check out nearby resorts and hotels like the beautiful White Peacock Resort.
Azanza Holiday Home: For around $109 per night, this 1-bedroom villa can host up to 10 guests.
Apartment Overlooking the Indian Ocean: If you prefer a unique stay overlooking the ocean, check out this beach apartment.
Art-Inspired Apartment: For as little as $21 per night, you can stay in this cozy 1-bedroom apartment in Mtwapa town.
Restaurants Near Copa Cabana Beach
Below are some of the best restaurants near Copa Cabana for everything from romantic experiences to great food and drinks.
The Moorings: This floating restaurant along Mtwapa Creek offers a beautiful waterfront view, drinks, and delicious seafood. Make sure to try out their nyama choma (barbecue), burgers, or fried squid.
Marina Seaside Restaurant: Also tucked along Mtwapa Creek, this idyllic restaurant offers tasty dishes and great cocktails. Some of their food includes steaks, vegetable salads, and seafood like fried fish.
The Yacht Lounge: The Yacht is a popular lounge in Mtwapa offering various drinks, great food, and good music.
7. Tiwi Beach
The fine, white sand beach stretches for several kilometers and is ideal for long walks and beach camping. Besides the beach experience, you can study shells or hunt for sea urchins.
During my recent trip to Tiwi Beach, I visited the historic Kongo Mosque and walked from the Kongo River estuary to Hillpark Beach (formally Maweni Beach). This stretch leads you along white sands past coral reefs and caves to the famous Africa Pool.
This magical pool (resembling the map of Africa) is usually visible during low tide and is a popular swimming spot along the beach.
Make sure you wear shoes when walking along Tiwi Beach to avoid being pierced by spiky sea urchins.
- Location: Tiwi Beach, Tiwi
- Best For: Spotting shells, beach walks, swimming in pools, and exploring rock cliffs and caves.
- Amenities: Although there are no amenities along Tiwi Beach, you can easily access restaurants and changing rooms next to the Kongo Mosque.
Accommodation Near Tiwi Beach
Tiwi Beach has limited resorts and beach hotels. However, it boasts several beautiful vacation rentals. If you’re looking for a place to stay along the beach, check out Twiga Lodge for beach camping or the top-rated Airbnbs below.
Tiwani Sunset: This cottage in Tiwi features 2 bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, an open-plan living room, and plenty of amenities. It’s self-catering and can host up to 4 guests.
Luxury Ocean Front Villa: If you’re looking for a private, peaceful, serene, and secure place to stay in Tiwi, search no further than this 5-bedroom villa. It’s set on a cliff and offers lovely ocean views.
Mkelekele Beach House: This self-catering 4-bedroom beachfront home is ideal for families and groups of up to 8 travelers. You can easily access the beach, Africa Pool, and nearby restaurants from this house.
Restaurants Near Tiwi Beach
Tiwi Beach is secluded and therefore doesn’t host any beach restaurants. The only available options are self-catering, restaurants in resorts, or eateries along Diani Beach.
Estuary Beach Lounge: This beach restaurant is situated across the Kongo River next to the Kongo Mosque. Its menu includes pizzas, barbecue, and vegetarian dishes like mixed veggie skewers.
Self-catering: If you’re beach camping or staying in vacation rentals in Tiwi, the best option is self-catering.
8. Shelly Beach (One of the Best Beaches in Mombasa for Finding Seashells)
Shelly Beach is one of the best beaches near Mombasa. Situated in Likoni, the beach is easily accessible by ferry and a short Tuk-Tuk ride from the coastal city. Although it has been deserted for many years, this magnificent beach is now regaining popularity.
I visited Shelly Beach recently and was fascinated by its many beautiful seashells. You can walk along the shoreline on soft sand, gather some seashells, or swim during low tide.
- Location: Shelly Beach, Likoni
- Best For: Soft sand, family outings, spotting seashells, and swimming during low tide.
- Amenities: There are several stalls with basic amenities like toilets and changing rooms along Shelly Beach. They also rent out swimming costumes and float tubes.
☞ See Also: 15 Best Things To Do in Mombasa, Kenya
Accommodation Near Shelly Beach
Other than Villa Peponi, there are few vacation rentals in Likoni along Shelly Beach. Therefore, I recommend staying in the city and taking a half-day trip to the beach.
Swahili Flat: Mombasa Old Town is a UNESCO Heritage Site dating back to when the city was just a trading post. Staying at this 3-bedroom apartment offers you a chance to experience the magic of this historic town.
Furahika Apartment: Also located in the Mombasa Old Town, this rental unit includes all the amenities necessary for a memorable stay.
Private Room in a Family Home: For roughly $15 per night, this is one of the most elegant and affordable rental units on Mombasa Island.
Restaurants Near Shelly Beach
There are several places to eat near Shelly Beach, like Paloma Gardens. You can also drive or hail a ride to Mombasa Old Town and explore the following restaurants.
Jahazi Coffee House: This is one of my favorite restaurants in Mombasa. It’s situated at the heart of the old town and serves delicious Swahili dishes. While there, I always order biryani chicken and house coffee.
Mombasa Dishes: This is one of the most affordable local restaurants in Mombasa. I love their delicious pilau and ice-cold cocktail juice.
9. Diani Beach (One of the Best Beaches Near Mombasa for Couples)
Situated about 30 kilometers from Mombasa, Diani Beach is the most popular beach in Kenya for honeymooners, families, and watersports enthusiasts.
The beach comprises long stretches of soft white sand and is home to some of the best beach resorts in the country. It borders Galu Kinondo Beach to the south and Tiwi Beach to the north.
- Location: Diani Beach, Ukunda
- Best For: Watersports, romantic vacations, family holidays, dhow cruises, sand bathing, and beach bars.
- Amenities: There are plenty of facilities in Diani Beach with perfect amenities. These include beach resorts, restaurants, and diving centers.
Accommodation Near Diani Beach
Diani Beach is home to some of the best vacation rentals, beach hotels, and apartments south of Mombasa. If you’re planning to visit this charming beach, below is a list of top-rated stays ranging from Airbnbs to luxury resorts.
The Sands at Nomad Hotel: This is my favorite place to stay in Diani. Besides elegant rooms and one of the best restaurants in the area, The Sands is home to Diving the Crab – Kenya’s leading diving center.
Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa: This 5-star resort set along the white sands of Diani Beach offers the ultimate luxury, relaxation, and dining experience.
Nirvana Suite: This 1-bedroom private villa is tucked away in a serene environment, and features all the necessary amenities for a truly magical experience.
Restaurants Near Diani Beach
Here’s a list of some of the best restaurants along Diani Beach in Ukunda.
Nomad Beach Bar & Restaurant: This beachfront restaurant offers a great dining experience with several cuisines. Make sure you try their seafood platter, which includes fish fillet, calamari, octopus, prawn skewer, and garlic butter.
Ali Barbour’s Cave: If you’re looking for a restaurant with a romantic vibe and delicious meals, this is your best bet along Diani Beach.
Chill Spot: As the name suggests, this is a lovely beach restaurant to relax, eat and enjoy a drink while watching the sunset. Chill Spot is situated along the beach and serves tasty seafood like fish and octopus biryani.
10. Galu Kinondo Beach
I recently visited Ukunda and went to Galu Kinondo Beach. Located immediately south of Diani Beach, this beach is sometimes overlooked by visitors. However, for adventure travelers, this stunning white sand beach offers an opportunity to explore the quiet side of Diani.
Galu Kindodo is also home to Tabasamu Watersports, which organizes kayaking, kitesurfing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding activities.
While at Galu Kinondo Beach, visit the Colobus Conservation Center and learn how the organization promotes the conservation and protection of primates. You can also travel south and explore Kinondo Sacred Forest.
- Location: Galu Kinondo Beach, Diani
- Best For: Watersports, white sands, relaxation, and swimming during low tide.
- Amenities: There’s a beach restaurant that has amenities such as clean toilets and changing rooms. You can rent diving and snorkeling equipment at Tabasamu watersports.
Accommodation Near Galu Kinondo Beach
There are several popular beach villas and resorts near Galu Kinondo Beach. These include Neptune Village Beach Resort and Lantana. However, if you prefer unique vacation rentals, check out the following top-rated Airbnbs.
Tequila Sunrise: Set in a 4-acre forest with fantastic ocean views, this is one of the best beach apartments near Galu Kinondo Beach. The 2-bedroom serviced unit can accommodate up to 4 travelers.
Sheba Apartment: Sheba is a modern apartment situated along Galu Kinondo Beach. This 3-bedroom listing has 4 beds and 3 baths; ideal for up to 6 guests.
Bohemia House: If you’re looking for a beautiful beach villa for up to 9 travelers, check out this beachfront house. It features 4 bedrooms, 6 baths, a swimming pool, and a private garden, among other amenities.
Restaurants Near Galu Kinondo Beach
There are several places to eat near the alluring Galu Kinondo Beach. Some of them include the following beach bars and restaurants.
Mvureni Beach Bar and Restaurant: This restaurant has a beautiful ocean view and serves delicious food like fresh fish with Ugali. You can also order a cold beer while watching ocean activities like surfing and beach football.
Sails Beach Bar & Restaurant: Situated at Almanara Luxury Villas, this beachfront restaurant has a lovely ambiance, beautiful ocean views, and great food.
Blue Marlin Restaurant: If you’re looking for a seafood restaurant near Galu Kinondo Beach, head to Blue Marlin. They serve fresh tuna, octopus, shrimp, and other tasty dishes.
Best Beaches in Mombasa: FAQs
Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about visiting beaches in Mombasa, Kenya.
Due to its proximity to the city, Nyali Beach is the best beach in Mombasa. It’s also perfect for surfing and swimming.
Diani is the best public beach along the south coast of Kenya.
If you’re looking for the best beach north of Mombasa, head to Nyali Beach or Bamburi Beach.
Shelly Beach and Tiwi Beach are the best beaches in Kenya to collect seashells.
Pirates Public Beach is a famous beach in Mombasa for families, while Diani Beach is best for couples.
If you love diving, snorkeling, surfing, and other watersports, head to Shanzu Beach, Nyali Beach, Diani Beach, or Galu Kinondo Beach.
The beaches north of Mombasa are best for families and budget travelers while the ones in the south are perfect for couples and watersports lovers.
Tiwi Beach and Shanzu Beach are the most secluded beaches near Mombasa.
Galu Kinondo Beach is close to Mombasa and has the bluest water and the whitest sand.
It’s possible to visit Mombasa all year round. However, if you want to spend less and avoid crowds, visit between June and October.
Mombasa beaches are safe. However, the most preferred ones include Pirates, Mombasa, and Diani.
Ready For Mombasa’s Beaches?
In addition to visiting beaches in Mombasa, there are many other things to do and see around the city. These attractions are situated close to beaches or a short drive away. Whether you love nature, history, culture, or nightlife, there will always be a place in Mombasa to amaze you.
☞ See Also: Our Kenya Travel Guide for everything you need to know about visiting Kenya.