JOURNAL POSTS

Idyllic beach destinations in East Africa to soak up the sun

Looking for the perfect place to enjoy a beach holiday? We know all the best spots…having been fortunate to spend time in them all over many years here.

The East African coast is idyllic year-round – but the months of October and November offer beach goers more privacy with less people around and properties offer reduced rates. Our hottest beach season is December through to end March (28C – 32C). There are a number of magical places to enjoy along the Kenya coast, including Diani, Watamu, Manda and Lamu to name a few of the well-known areas, each with their own magical charm offering white sandy beaches, rustling palm trees and the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean, making this the ultimate holiday destination with a range of accommodation styles from large hotels to luxury boutique villas, privately serviced houses and even private fully staffed sailing dhows.

There’s a wide variety of activities and excursions on offer, guests can enjoy scuba diving in prime spots that offer a number of dive sites for those that are just beginning, to those that are more advanced and want to explore shipwrecks. Regardless of ability there is so much to see under the waves; harmless white tipped reef sharks, rays, turtles and so much more. The coral heads have a myriad of colourful tiny reef fish to marvel at and the occasional octopus can be spotted. The best months are from September to April, the weather is perfect and diving conditions optimal for those wanting to explore the ocean floor.  If you are unable to dive, snorkelling offers just as much in the shallower waters or for those wanting something a little more energetic, a myriad of water sports are available to suit all types, including kite surfing, water skiing, and wind surfing.

For those that want to stay dry but still explore the ocean, sailing and boat trips can be arranged, with the opportunity of seeing Humpback Whales from July to October as they travel annually in their thousands from the Antarctic to Kenya to breed and have their calves in Kenya’s safe tropical waters. Humpback Whales are among the most acrobatic of whales, and spend time leaping or ‘breaching’ to communicate, play, or give themselves a mini spa to remove unwanted skin parasites. Alternatively, for deep sea fishing enthusiasts, the East Africa coastline offers a truly world class experience, especially from October to April. Challenge the predators of the ocean, cast your line and see what bites… you could reel in a mighty Marlin, Sailfish or Kingfish to tasty Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo or the feisty Barracuda. Another more relaxing way to pass away the time on the waves is to enjoy a traditional dhow cruise, especially when the sun sets and the famous ‘Dawa’ drinks are served with canapes!

Tanzania has three magical islands, Mafia, Pemba and Zanzibar with dazzling, sandy white beaches, turquoise-blue water and swaying palm trees and should be on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit. The historic Spice Island seems to have been lost in time with its narrow streets, carved doorways and ancient trade routes. Explore the hidden secrets of Zanzibar Island with a trip to Jozani Forest to watch the rare and endangered Zanziba Red Colobus monkeys, which is a species of colobus monkey endemic to Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago. Continue your tour of the Jozani forest, passing along mangrove boardwalk trails observing the diverse flora and fauna of this unique ecosystem. A visit to Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a must and a place where history still lives. Enjoy spiced tea and local pastries on cool roof top cafes. The ornate stone buildings, meandering alleyways, and markets still existing as they have done for centuries make for a fascinating day of exploring. Even visit the birthplace of Freddie Mercury!

Guests can also enjoy day boat trips, scuba diving and snorkelling to get a glimpse of the dolphins, copious fish and vivid corals that thrive in the crystal-clear waters. A boat trip to Prison Island (Changuu) can be arranged to learn its fascinating history but also hosts more than 100 endangered Aldabra giant tortoises, which were originally a gift from the British governor of the Seychelles. Swimming with the placid Whale Sharks is quite an incredible experience on our Indian Ocean coastline. These gigantic gentle plankton eaters are a sight to behold and visit our shores from October to April before they set off on their long pelagic migration to Northern Australia.

Your time in the coastal destinations of our pristine Indian Ocean can be as active or as leisurely as you wish, with a multitude of experiences to enjoy from water-based activities to exploring the secrets these beautiful locations hold or simply enjoy the favourite coastal pastime of relaxing and soaking up the sun. Let us put together your dream beach holiday, which can be the perfect end to your African safari. Contact Bespoke Safaris to plan when and where to stay for a special memorable experience.