Kenya Coast

Coastal Kenya, Kenya

Kenya Coast

Kenya’s coastline faces the warm blue water of the Indian Ocean and extends for 360 miles, from the border with Somalia in the north to Tanzania in the south. The Kenyan coast feels like a different world from the savannahs of safari country. Much of the shoreline is covered by an uninterrupted strip of splendid white softs and beach with the sparkling azure-blue of the Indian Ocean, backed by coconut palms, bright bougainvillea, floral shrubs, Casuarinas trees and frangipani.

The culture on the coast is very distinct from the rest of the country. Like the Tanzanian coast and Zanzibar, the Kenyan Coast is where Africans traded with Arab ivory and slave caravans. Under Arab influence, Swahili originated as a lingua franca used by numerous closely related Bantu-speaking tribal groups.

In the early 19th century, the spread of Swahili inland received a great drive from it being the language of the Arab ivory and slave caravans, which entered as far north as Uganda and as far west as Congo. Swahili is widely spoken in most East African countries.

Where to stay on the Kenya coast

There are direct flights from the Maasai Mara and most parts of Kenya to the coast and this makes it easy to add some time to the beach at the end of an exciting safari. But you can also use the coast as a base for your whole holiday, taking safari trips inland.

Normally, once you’ve checked into your hotel, you are left alone to enjoy the Kenyan coast at leisure, though there are plenty of activities to fill during your stay if you have the energy. From scuba diving and deep-sea fishing to city tours, shopping trips and cultural and historical excursions.

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