North Coast attractions

Top Choice Museum in Lamu Town

Lamu Museum

The best museum in town (and the second best in Kenya) is housed in a grand Swahili warehouse on the waterfront. This is as good a gateway as you’ll get into Swahili culture and that of the archipelago in particular…
Top Choice Serpentarium in Watamu

Bio-Ken Snake Farm & Laboratory

This humble-looking place is one of the world's most renowned snake research centres. Bio-Ken specialises in antivenin research and acts as an emergency service for snakebite victims throughout the region. Passionat…
Top Choice Beach in Shela

Shela Beach

Most people are here for the beach – a 12km-long, wide sweep of pristine white sand where you’re guaranteed an isolated spot (at least if you’re prepared to walk some way) to catch some rays. Swimming is possible, b…
Top Choice Canyon in Malindi

Marafa Depression

One of the more intriguing sights inland from the north Kenyan coast is Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari (‘the place broken by itself’). About 30km northeast of Malindi, it’s an eroded sandstone gorge where jungle, red rock …
Top Choice Natural Feature in Kilifi

Vuma Cliffs

Just outside the village of Takaungu, you fly on the back of a motorbike down dirt roads, past spiky fields of sisal and giant baobabs towering above maize crops. Abruptly, the land ends in jagged black coral cliffs…
Top Choice Ruins in Manda Island

Takwa Ruins

What sets these ruins, the remains of a city that existed between the 15th and 17th centuries, apart from other archaeological sites on the coast? Quiet. When you’re here and the light shatters in the trees, which h…
Top Choice Ruins in North Coast

Gede Ruins

This extensive collection of 13th- to 17th-century coral palaces, mosques and town houses – some of Kenya's most important Swahili ruins – lies quietly in the jungle’s green grip. Excavation has unearthed many struc…
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in North Coast

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

This 420-sq-km tract of natural forest – the largest indigenous coastal forest remaining in East Africa – is most famous as the home of the golden-rumped elephant shrew. It's also home to about 240 bird species, 33 …
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Watamu

Watamu Turtle Watch

This excellent organisation protects the approximately 50 hawksbill and green turtles that lay their eggs on Watamu Beach. The centre provides much-needed education in the local community about the fragility of sea …
Beach in Kilifi

Bofa Beach

Bofa Beach is a wide slash of white sand, with swaying palms and rolling Indian Ocean surf. It's the stuff of which fantasies are made. A path to the left of Kilifi Bay Beach Resort takes you there.