Kwale County is found on the southern end of Kenya’s coast. It covers an area of 8,270 sq km with most of it being on the shoreline of the Indian Ocean. The county is considered home to Africa’s best beach destinations. Offering classy resorts, villas, and unique beach experiences. Here’s a list of the top 10 places to visit in Kwale County.
1) Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park
Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park and Reserve lie on the coral gardens south of Wasini Island, approximately 12 km off the coastline at Shimoni. The marine park is Kenya’s first Blue Park and part of a growing network of 21 Blue Parks around the world. It was awarded a golden level Blue Park Award for meeting the most stringent science-based standards for marine life management and protection. It’s one of the best destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving.
2) Wasini Island
Wasini Island is located on the Shimoni south coast approximately 3 km opposite the harbor of Shimoni. It’s a tiny island coving about 5 sq km. There are no cars or bicycles on the island, and the only way to move around is by foot. The sandy white beaches, palm trees, Swahili culture, and tasty seafood make it the perfect holiday getaway. It’s the ideal destination for snorkeling, dhow-sailing, cruises, dolphin spotting, and sunbathing.
3) Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest
This is the only sacred forest along the Kenyan coast that is open to the public. The forest is a place of worship for the Digo community and is believed to be a source of powerful ritual energy. It’s an amazing place to visit and learn about the culture of the Digo. While you’re at it, enjoy the nature walk and bird watching as you explore the forest.
4) Colobus Conservation Park
Colobus Conservation Park in Diani was established in 1997 as a primate rescue facility, research base, information center, and home for colobus monkeys. You can get a guided tour of the park and you might even get to see baboons, vervets, and sykes. The entrance fee is KES. 250 for citizens and KES. 750 for non-residents.
5) Shimoni Slave Caves
Shimoni Slave Caves are found in Shimoni village near the Wasini Islands. The name Shimoni means ‘holes’ in Swahili and is derived from the presence of caves by the village’s seashore. The caves are made of limestone and are believed to have been, at one time, joined to extend some 6 km inland. During the colonial era, the Imperial British East African Company had its headquarters in Shimoni and the caves were used to hold slaves before being shipped to Europe.
6) Tiwi Beach
Tiwi Beach is a tranquil travel destination found on the south coast. Compared to the neighboring beaches like Diani Beach, Tiwi Beach is relatively affordable and therefore a favorite for those looking to experience the white sandy beaches on a budget. It’s an ideal location for snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing.
7) Shimba Hills National Reserve
The Shimba Hills National Reserve is a relatively small reserve found in Kwale district, approximately 33 km from Mombasa. The reserve has one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa. It’s also home to Sheldrick Falls and Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary. At the reserve, you can; take nature walks, camp, and go for game drives where you’re bound to see vervets, sykes, hyenas, leopards, a variety of birds, and endangered sable antelopes.
8) Diani Beach
Diani Beach stretches approximately 18 km, from the Kongo River to Galu Beach. The tranquil white sandy beach in Diani Beach makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya. It’s the ideal destination for swimming, boat riding, snorkeling, jet skiing, and skydiving.
9) Sheldrick’s Falls
Sheldrick’s Falls is a breathtaking 80 ft waterfall found within Shimba Hills National Reserve. After a tour of the reserve, it’s only right that you maneuver through the nature trail leading to the waterfall and take a dip in the pool that Sherdrick’s Falls pours into. It’s also one of the best spots in the reserve to take photos for the gram.
10) Chale Island
Chale Island is located on the northern end of Msambweni Bay. The island is divided into 2 sections; the Chale Marine Park and Forest, and the resort. The marine park was set up in 1995 in an effort to protect the coral reef surrounding the island. The island is absolutely breathtaking and the perfect destination for snorkeling, sailing, and fishing using traditional dhows.
I am a charismatic 23-year-old student at the University of Nairobi. I enjoy traveling be it planned or impromptu. I also enjoy partying. I'll be there with a drink in my cup all through the night, chasing the sun. Life's too short not to choose the fast lane. Carpe diem!