James in Kenya – The Brilliant Beaches And Reefs You Won’t Have Heard Of

James in Kenya – The Brilliant Beaches And Reefs You Won’t Have Heard Of

5 min read

When you think of Kenya, you’ll immediately think of the Maasi Mara, spending your days tracking the Big Five in the wild. While Kenya is one of the world’s best countries for safari, what you may not know is that it also has some of the very best beaches and snorkelling spots on the planet! 

Part Two of @James0D09 feature on his biggest adventure yet. If you missed Part One it’s definitely worth checking out for the giraffe pics alone!

The coast was calling, and I wanted a swim. After our safari we headed to a coastal town named Malindi, 2 hours north of Kenya’s second busiest city, Mombasa. My advice, Avoid Mombasa if possible, from what we saw and experienced passing through and after staying there for one night on the way to another location, the city is what we Irish would call a kip and has nothing going for it from what we saw. Onward to Malindi we went. We stayed in a 5* beach resort called Diamonds dreams of Africa which was amazing and the service was incredible. All-inclusive job so we stayed there, put the feet up and chilled out for a few days in paradise. We took a trip to the Malindi Marine Park to go snorkeling with some incredible reefs and astounding marine life like this little guy.

From Malindi we travelled south to Tsavo National Park to stay in a spot called Lions Bluff Lodge which was the best accommodation I have ever stayed in and it was a tent. A military style tent with 4 post bed and an ensuite like Oserro Lodge but the lodge is on the side of a ridge overlooking the park and a view like nothing I have ever seen. Even if we did get a visit from some baboons who took off with a packet of pringles and my wash-bag…where’s the humanity?!

Even still, the greatest accommodation ever! After an amazing and different two-day safari there visiting places like Lions Rock (which is straight out of the Disney film) and seeing the elusive black leopard and enormous herds of red elephant, we headed for Diani Beach, ranked number three in Africa’s best beaches awards and definitely earned its position. Gorgeous white sand and turquoise, clear water as far as the eye can see.

At Diani beach we stayed in the 5* Swahili beach resort and it was perfect for a 5 day stay to finish off the trip as it was paradise on earth with bars, good food, access to the beach straight from the hotel and most importantly a games coordinator to organize the s**t out of volleyball matches between residents.

The bar staff were like part of the group by the end of the 5 days and the hotel itself has a strong middle eastern feel to it in the heart of Diani. If you find yourself at Diani, make sure to get to Sails restaurant, Ali Barbour’s Cave for dinner and last but not least, 40 Thieves Bar, the coppers of Diani Beach, sitting on the beachside secluded from the world, parties here go on all night and tourists seem to come from everywhere to hang out here and do what people do best on holiday. Drink silly amounts of alcohol.

 James’ Top Tips For Exploring Kenya

  • In the famous words of Gandalf…fly you fools. Take to the air as much as possible to avoid long unnecessary journeys that could end up costing you a full day of travelling.
  • Our plugs are their plugs so no adaptors needed, rejoice!
  • Have everything arranged before you go with regards to internal transfers, accommodation, safaris, activities etc. LOGISTICS, LOGISTICS AND MORE LOGISTICS. This is the difference between an unforgettable holiday to wishing you could forget it
  • Mix between beach life and Safari outings.3-day Safari is perfect, otherwise, you just see the same things over and over again.
  • Mix it up, Kenya has so much more to offer than just the wildlife
  • Interact with the locals where possible, you’ll seldom find friendlier people in the world
  • Be very conscious of your footprint. Kenya is beautiful, don’t dare do anything to undermine that
  • The accommodation available is breathtaking, do not make negative assumptions
  • We tried to visit Giraffe Manor for breakfast but availability is crazy scarce and staying there is eye-wateringly expensive. It’s worth looking into though…
  • DO NOT PLAN KENYA WITHOUT A TRAVEL AGENT! I am one and I can tell you now, that you must know exactly what your doing to have the holiday you’re dreaming of.


Did you know we are currently in the midst of our biggest adventure sale EVER? Check out some of our biggest African discounted tours and don’t be afraid to give James.ODonoghue@usit.ie a shout! He’s also available on Whatsapp 0874014706.