KENYA COAST

Some of the first contacts between East Africa and the wider world were along what is now the Kenyan coast. The monsoon winds dictated the Indian Ocean’s annual trading calendar: merchant ships arrived from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, but had to wait for the annual change in the wind to return home. So they anchored here, in the creeks and ports, for months at a time. Such a long stay in Kenya might turn anyone’s head and, every season, some visitors chose to settle on the coast.

Over the course of the first millennium AD, Swahili society was born – still today a vibrant and complex cultural mix of African roots and imported styles; a classic Bantu language with hundreds of Arabic loan words; and a highly nuanced class structure in which claims of overseas ancestry are as critical to high-status families as they are to the Norman aristocracy in Britain or to American descendants of the Mayflower pilgrims.

Fascinating as its history is, most people visit the Kenya coast after the intense experience of a safari, simply to relax on the beach. Kenya beach holidays are the real deal: endless stretches of fine white sand lapped by an azure, bath-warm sea, looking out to the coral reef at the ocean’s edge across a safe expanse of shallow, tidal lagoon. And if you’re in the mood for more wildlife action, a safari in the beautiful Shimba Hills National Park is only a short drive from the coast.

Mainly Mombasa is the coastal town of Kenya that boasts with the sandy, beautiful beaches of the Indian Ocean. This is a place where after a long safari in the dusty, rugged and sometimes muddy areas, one indulges in leisure to rest and have fun. Mombasa is full of activities and one cannot miss on something to engage in. Mombasa is divided into North and South Coast and both have exciting attraction sites.

Places to visit while in Mombasa include Malindi, Watamu, Wasini, Fort Jesus, Haller Park, Shimba Hills, and Lamu.