North Coast

Stretching from Nyali to Malindi, the North Coast is known for its long white beaches, its trading history and its Swahili ruins. Highlights include Tana River Delta, Malindi Marine National Park, Watamu Marine National Park, Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek and Gede Ruins.


Overview

What is referred to as the North Coast is the northern half of Kenya’s east coast. The north coast beaches are Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu, Kikambala, Vipingo, Takaungu, Kilifi, Watamu and Malindi. Nyali, Mtwapa, Watamu and Malindi are sizeable towns. Mombasa, to the south, has an international airport called Moi International Airport. Malindi, to the north, has a domestic airport that receives scheduled flights daily from destinations in Kenya. The road from Mombasa to Malindi is generally good; the road from Malindi to Lamu requires 4WD.

Tana River Primate Reserve, on the lower Tana River, has riparian forests, dry woodlands and savannah habitats. Two endangered primates, Mangabey and red colobus monkey, are found here, as well as a variety of wildlife and over 200 species of birds. The reserve offers bird watching, primate watching, walking trails and game viewing.

Malindi Marine National Park is Africa’s oldest marine park. Located to the south of Malindi town, the marine park has fringing reefs, coral gardens, mangroves and a high diversity of fish, marine mammals and shorebirds. Activities include snorkelling, scuba diving, boat rides and nature walks. There is a resource centre, a library and an education centre. Malindi town is a 12th century Swahili town, around which resorts, bars, casinos and shopping centres have grown up.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek and Watamu Marine National Park form one large ecosystem supporting a huge diversity of plant, animal and birdlife. The marine park is enclosed by Malindi Marine National Park. Marine life includes fish, turtles, dugongs and crabs. Activities include windsurfing, snorkelling, water-skiing, scuba diving and trips in glass bottomed boats. Mida Creek, bordering Watamu Marine National Park, is a large tidal inlet with productive mangrove forests. The high diversity of mangrove species provides refuge to both resident and migrant bird species. The suspended boardwalk makes an ideal place from which to bird watch or enjoy a sundowner. Arabuko Sokoke Forest, an indigenous coastal forest, is home to over 500 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies. Nature walks, bird watching and night tours are all on offer. Nyari viewpoint and the tree platform have wonderful views. It is also possible to camp in the forest or on the tree platform.

Gede Ruins are one of the most significant and attractive Swahili ruins on the coast. Established in the 13th century, Gede became a trading post. Ming Chinese porcelain and glazed earthenware from Persia have been found here. The compound, consisting of houses, palaces, mosques and tombs, was mysteriously abandoned in the 17th or 18th century. Guided tours and nature walks are recommended.

At the entrance to the Gede ruins, Kipepeo Butterfly Project gives visitors a chance to see conservation in action. The project was started by a zoologist from the University of Nairobi, and breeds and sells butterflies taken from Arabuko Sokoke Forest. Profits support local conservation projects; butterflies are on display in the Butterfly House.


Listings In The North coast Region

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The stunning Neem House is built in traditional Swahili style, with Arabic arches, wrought iron windows and antique Lamu doors. Traditional boriti poles decorate the roofs and cool Galana stone paves the floors. The courtyard has an attractive swimming pool and the extensive rooftop offers breath-taking views over the treetops. ...

Established in 1946, Nyali International Beach Hotel was extensively refurbished in 2010. The hotel is in lush gardens on the beachfront. There are 48 palm wing seafacing rooms, 102 garden wing rooms, 3 luxury villas, 3 presidential suites and 3 executive suites. All rooms are equipped with satellite TV, telephone, digital safe, minibar, kettle, hairdryer and WiFi. ...

Tamarind Village is a collection of luxury serviced apartments on the waterfront in Nyali. With its towering white walls, curling archways and classical turrets, the village rises from its coral ramparts like a formidable 14th century fortress. There are 48 apartments, made up of 24 1-bedroom, 9 2-bedroom and 15 3-bedroom apartments. Each apartment ...

A vibrant, ship-themed resort, Voyager Beach Resort is moored on the coast, at Nyali Beach. The resort provides family entertainment and animation programmes, including themed journeys across the seven seas. The 232 cabins are made up of 68 seaview cabins, 96 gardenview cabins, 12 superior seaview cabins, 51 superior gardenview cabins, 2 large studio cabins and 3 ...

Reef Hotel is set in spacious beachfront gardens, and offers a selection of restaurants, bars, conference rooms, water sports and nightly entertainment. The hotel opened in 1972 and was extensively refurbished in 2005. There are 134 en-suite rooms, made up of 96 standard sea facing, 23 garden wing and 15 superior sea facing. All rooms have ...

Fusing Swahili interiors and Arabic architecture, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa is an exotic resort on Bamburi Beach. Set in 22 acres of landscaped gardens, this resort has the largest beachfront on the North Coast. Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa has 338 en-suite bedrooms on 3 floors, made up of 133 standard ...

Kahama Hotel is a bright, cheerful and friendly hotel set in gardens dotted with palm trees. The hotel has a lively night scene, with regular live bands and DJs. There are 32 en-suite double rooms and 2 apartments. All rooms are spacious, and are equipped with aircon, telephone, mosquito net and satellite ...

On palm fringed Bamburi Beach, Sentido Neptune Beach Resort has a family atmosphere and offers a range of activities in the water, on the beach and in the resort. The 78 en-suite rooms are made up of doubles, superiors and deluxe. All the rooms have a telephone, satellite TV, safe, kettle, ...

On Bamburi Beach, Severin Sea Lodge provides a wide variety of sports, leisure and entertainment. The hotel was awarded by the TÜV Rhineland in Germany for the quality of its service. The 200 en-suite rooms are designed in traditional Swahili style. There are standard and superior rooms in the main ...

On peaceful Shanzu Beach, Serena Beach Hotel and Spa offers a wide selection of facilities and activities. The hotel replicates the winding lanes and colourful market places of a 13th century Swahili town. At the centre lies the coral Fortress of Tranquillity, in which is found the Maisha Mind Body ...

On the opposite side of the bridge from Kilifi, Mnarani Club looks out on the creek. The name, meaning lighthouse, refers to the hotel’s position at the entrance to the creek. The hotel’s infinity pool appears to be tumbling into the creek. There are 82 en-suite rooms, made up ...

Set in 26,000m2 of tropical gardens, Kilifi Bay Beach Resort has 130 metres of sandy beachfront. The only hotel on this stretch of beach, the resort enjoys complete privacy. There are 49 en-suite rooms, including 9 suites intended for families, with double room, twin room, sitting room and bathroom. The main dining room ...

Manfriday’s Mida Creek is a collection of individually designed beach villas, located near the world bio-heritage Mida Creek. It combines the facilities of a hotel with the privacy of private villas. There are 4 villas, all elegantly furnished, fully equipped and fully staffed including private chef. Stonehouse is designed in ...

Named after an ancient temple on the headland, Temple Point Resort is an attractive resort with an extensive selection of activities and facilities. The resort, set in lush gardens, covers the whole headland and has its own private beach. There are 106 en-suite rooms, made up of garden rooms and Mida ...

Turtle Bay Beach Club is set in 10 acres of manicured gardens on the edge of Watamu Marine National Park. Entitled the responsible resort, Turtle Bay has received a prestigious gold award from Ecotourism Kenya. The 89 super club rooms have a double and single bed; some have interconnecting doors; 3 are designed ...

Hemingways Resort, a luxury tropical retreat, lies along the fringe of Watamu Marine National Park. Named for Ernest Hemingway, it recreates this famous author’s style and elegance. Hemingways has 2 accommodation wings, one each side of a central block which houses the bars, restaurant, reception, shops and business centre. There ...

In 1952, Ian Pritchard sailed into Watamu and set up a drinking hole on the beach which he named Ocean Sports. The original boat he sailed in still stands prominently in the bar, along with trophies from fishing grounds near the resort. To this day, Ocean Sports remains popular with beach ...

Giriama Residence is an attractive whitewashed house with a friendly atmosphere. The house is located near the main Watamu junction and is convenient for all the shops, restaurants and bars of Watamu. There are 6 en-suite rooms, made up of 4 doubles and 2 family rooms. All rooms have carved 4-poster bed, table, ...

The sun, considered the life giver, and the lion, considered a force of nature, were chosen to give their names to this luxury resort. The resort’s concept is open spaces, freedom, unique environment, complete relaxation and self discovery. Arab and Indian influences fuse in the architecture. There are 7 suites, 7 ...

In beachfront gardens on Malindi Beach, Kilili Baharini Resort and Spa is an exclusive resort, offering luxurious relaxation. There are 29 en-suite rooms, 4 suites and 2 junior suites. All rooms have aircon, fan, minibar, safe, telephone and mosquito net. They are tastefully furnished in Swahili style, and adorned with African artefacts and ...

Set in tropical gardens along Malindi Beach, Sandies Tropical Village offers an all inclusive package. The 109 en-suite garden rooms are made up of 85 deluxe garden rooms, 12 of which interconnect for families with children, and 24 junior suites. The rooms are designed in Lamu or English style, and have a mini fridge, ...

The Driftwood Beach Club has long been a favourite with locals. The charming club, set in beachfront gardens, is one of the original hotels in Malindi. There are 30 thatched bandas, each containing an en-suite double room. All bandas have aircon, telephone and veranda. There are 2 luxury director’s cottages, in ...

Coral Key Beach Resort provides its guests with a complete holiday without their having to leave its grounds, offering everything from conferences to beauty treatments to water sports. Harbour Key Cottages are 32 thatched bungalows set in brilliant bougainvillea gardens. Coral Key Park contains 2-floor African-style bungalows set in private grounds ...

Lawford’s is one of the oldest and loveliest hotels in Malindi. It was renovated in 2006, and combines old English style, African atmosphere and Italian hospitality. The resort is in a large tropical garden that extends along Malindi’s beachfront. There are 60 suites, made up of 50 junior suites and 10 executive ...

Che Shale is a boutique hotel situated on 5km of deserted beach, fringed by coral reef and surrounded by thousands of palm trees and lush indigenous vegetation. Che Shale is renowned for being the pioneer of kite surfing in East Africa and has conditions that are ideal for learners and ...

Perched on top of rolling sand dunes, Delta Dunes Lodge has panoramic views of the Tana River Delta and the Indian Ocean. The only wetland of its type in East Africa, the area provides unique birdlife, aquatic life and wildlife. There are 7 elegant en-suite cottages, built from driftwood, mangrove poles ...

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