Kenya Safari Guide to Kenyan Coastal Highlights

© Ocean view from Alfajiri Vila. Diani Beach

There is nothing like finishing off a busy safari with some sunbathing on soft white sand or scuba diving in clear warm Indian Ocean water. Many people choose to head for Kenya's coast to do just this, and there are so many resorts to choose from that advice should be taken to make sure you do not end up in a booze and bingo hot spot, if that is not what you want.

As a first time visitor you may be surprised to see that the East African coast is more Arabic than African. The reasons go as far back as the 8th century when Arabic traders found it a convenient place from which to trade. Subsequently many intermarried with Africans and the melodic Swahili language and culture evolved.

The strategic coastline has been fought over several times, because everybody wanted a piece of the rich trading action between east and west and Arabia and Africa. The Portuguese took over in the 1500's and brought Catholicism with them, but when the Sultans of Oman assumed control in 1698 the forcibly 'converted' reverted back to Islam.

Arabs then dominated the East African coast, trading in spices, slaves and ivory, until the British and German colonists decided it was time they had a go at ruling the area.

Mombasa has seen many masters but chanting from the minarets proclaim it still to be a Muslim district. Mombasa is Kenya's second largest city but only the old town is worth a visit.

Most beach resorts are found to the north or south of Mombasa and are so self contained that visitors don't often venture out. With a choice of multiple swimming pools, every kind of water sports, several restaurants, bars, tennis courts and children's activities, it is easy to understand why.

Further up the coast at Watamu was Ernest Hemmingway's favourite big game fishing spots and one notable up-market hotel is named after him. Hemmingway was heard to say, 'I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke that I was not happy.' Most people who visit Kenya would say the same!

Recommended Accommodation on Kenya's Coast:

Visit Kenya Coastal Resorts for excellent Kenya island and coastal accommodation options.

South and East African Safaris
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