Malindi is one of Kenya’s most popular coastal destinations, thanks to its rich history, abundance of tourist attractions, and palm-fringed holiday villas. There are also several incredible beaches in Malindi, characterized by golden sands and clear turquoise waters, attracting different types of travelers year-round.
So, whether you’re looking for a beach in Malindi to relax, sunbathe, or engage in some watersports activities, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll share the best sandy beaches in Malindi, from those lined with luxury beach resorts and restaurants to the ones blissfully devoid of people.
I’ve visited Malindi several times and always look forward to revisiting this small, off-the-beaten-path coastal town. In addition to exploring its magnificent beaches, you can also learn the history of the Swahili people, visit various attraction sites, or participate in activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and kitesurfing.
If you plan to visit the Kenyan coast north of Mombasa, walk with me as I share the best Malindi beaches. I’ll also suggest where to stay, the best restaurants in Malindi, and where to relax near each beach.
5 Best Beaches in Malindi
Below, is a list of my favorite beaches in Malindi, Kenya. After exploring them, remember to check out the best things to do and places to visit in Malindi (tourist attractions, historical sites, hotels, and more).
1. Golden Beach (Buntwani)
Golden Beach (Malindi Beach) stands out as the top choice for the best public beach in Malindi. It’s situated near the small town and extends for approximately 7 km, stretching from the mouth of River Sabaki to the iconic Malindi Pier. This beach is renowned for its immaculate golden sands, particularly among local residents who affectionately refer to it as Buntwani.
At Golden Beach, you can observe outdoor enthusiasts engaging in swimming, sunbathing, and beach games such as football and volleyball.
When visiting Malindi, I like heading to this beach between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. when there are fewer crowds. During this time, you can take a walk while enjoying the sound of breaking waves and witness a breathtaking sunrise from the Malindi Pier.
- Location: Off Silversand Road, Malindi
- How to Get There: Take a tuk-tuk or motorcycle taxi from Malindi town
- Best For: Golden sands, catching sunrises, swimming during low tide, walking
- Amenities: This beach lacks beachfront facilities, but you’ll find hotels, villas, and restaurants nearby with clean amenities
Accommodation Near Golden Beach
Below are some top-rated accommodation facilities near Golden Beach (Malindi Beach/Buntwani) and their rates on Booking.com.
White Nyumba: This charming homestay features cozy rooms with a balcony, a terrace, a swimming pool, and a beautiful garden. It’s perfect for couples and those looking for a quiet hideaway outside Malindi town. Click here for more details.
The Cradle: Located just a short walk from the beach, this one-bedroom apartment is ideal for solo travelers or couples. In addition to a fully equipped kitchen and indoor amenities, it features a picnic garden, a shared pool, and a balcony with ocean views. Click here for more details.
Primeshade Guesthouse: If you’re looking for budget accommodation in Malindi near Golden Beach, check out this guesthouse. It features clean and spacious rooms, a garden, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and more facilities for a comfortable stay. Click here for more details.
Restaurants Near Golden Beach
Below are some fantastic restaurants near Golden Beach:
Seafront Swahili Dishes: This is the perfect restaurant in Malindi town for authentic Swahili dishes such as pilau, biryani, and samaki wa nazi (fish in coconut curry). They also serve delicious seafood like fried, fresh fish, and grilled prawns. Click here for directions.
Baby Marrow: This is Malindi’s most popular Italian restaurant and pizzeria. In addition to seafood (octopus, prawns, tuna carpaccio), they serve delicious pizza, pasta, and local delicacies like samosas, ugali, and nyama choma (grilled meat). Click here for directions.
Bar Bar: If you’re looking for a place to eat, drink, and listen to music, Bar Bar is the best spot. They serve various dishes and beverages and host live music every Tuesday evening. Click here for directions.
2. Marine Park Beach
In addition to being my favorite in Malindi, Marine Park Beach is an excellent choice for families, couples, and lovers of water sports. Spanning a small 1.5 km, it features calm, crystal-clear, and warm waters, making it an ideal spot for swimming.
Located within the Malindi Marine National Park, this beach offers a range of amenities, such as well-maintained changing rooms and clean toilets. Additionally, you’ll also find the option to rent snorkeling and diving gear, along with swimwear.
It’s also in proximity to beautiful coral gardens, providing fantastic snorkeling opportunities. For a more immersive experience, consider taking a glass-bottom boat tour for an up-close view of the vibrant underwater world inhabited by colorful fish and turtles.
- Location: P4WJ+3H, Marine Park Road, Malindi
- How to Get There: Take a taxi, motorcycle, or tuk-tuk along Marine Park Road
- Best For: Soft white sands, swimming, and snorkeling
- Amenities: The beach has changing rooms, toilets, rental equipment, and lifeguards
Accommodation Near Marine Park Beach
There are many beach houses, villas, and resorts near Marine Park Beach. Here are a few options to give you ideas of where to stay:
Billionaire Resort & Retreat: This beachfront resort provides comfortable accommodations in air-conditioned rooms featuring a terrace, kitchen, dining area, and clean bathroom. Additionally, it offers a multi-cuisine restaurant, fitness center, and tennis court. Click here for more details.
Swordfish Villas: This beautiful accommodation facility in Malindi boasts plenty of features for a perfect holiday. Each villa is clean and spacious, with access to a swimming pool, shared lounge, and sun terrace. Click here for more details.
Marine Holiday House: This lovely holiday house, just 400m from Marine Park Beach, is a perfect choice for families, groups, and couples. It offers spacious rooms, a clean swimming pool, a beautiful green garden, and numerous amenities. Click here for more details.
Restaurants Near Marine Park Beach
Check out these excellent options if you’re looking for restaurants near Marine Park Beach:
Olimpia Club: This is an excellent eatery with beautiful ocean views where you can grab a pizza or fried fish with ugali. Try the seafood platter (lobsters, prawns, and oysters) and their tasty tiramisu. Click here for directions.
Billionaire Grill & Bar: This is my favorite restaurant near Marine Park Beach thanks to its lovely ambiance, relaxing music, excellent food, warm staff, and stunning ocean view. They offer al fresco dining with a variety of meal options, including their must-try pepper steak beef fillet. Click here for directions.
3. Silversands Beach
Silversands, a popular beach in Malindi, stretches approximately 3 km from the coral cliffs at Vasco da Gama Pillar. The locals particularly favor it, and when combined with the small golden sand area at Tropical Village, this whole stretch is referred to as Casuarina Beach.
This beach provides a tranquil and less crowded experience on weekdays and during most evenings, making it an ideal destination for those searching for serenity. However, it’s worth noting that swimming may not be possible in certain areas due to seaweed. Nonetheless, you can still enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, dine at beachfront restaurants, and relish some incredible views of the Indian Ocean.
Silversands boasts an array of holiday villas along its shores, making it the perfect choice for families and groups of friends. You can take long walks, play beach games, or simply relax in the bespoke accommodation facilities under the shade of palm trees.
- Location: Q48H+V5W, Malindi
- How to Get There: Hop into public buses along Silversand Road or take a tuk-tuk
- Best For: Families, relaxation, luxury resorts, and beach restaurants
- Amenities: The beach has several restaurants with changing rooms and toilets
Accommodation Near Silversands Beach
Here are some of the best places to stay in Malindi near Silversands Beach for tourists:
Beverly Suites: If you’re looking for a self-catering apartment with clean facilities, a lovely ambiance, and helpful staff, check out Beverly Suites. In addition to spacious rooms with a fully equipped kitchen, you’ll have access to swimming pools and a well-maintained garden. Click here for more details.
Diwani Cottage: This beachfront holiday villa is an excellent choice for families, couples, and solo travelers at Silversands Beach. It provides accommodation in Swahili-style rooms with private bathrooms, desks, free WiFi, and pool and garden access. Click here for more details.
African House Resort: If you’re looking for a perfectly quiet place to relax in Malindi, book your stay at this artistic and charming small hotel. It features spacious rooms, a beautiful garden, palm trees, a clean swimming pool, and a welcoming staff. Click here for more details.
Restaurants Near Silversands Beach
Silversands Beach is home to several seafood joints and beach bars. It also hosts several multi-cuisine restaurants within its resorts:
Coco Beach Restaurant: This beach restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and welcoming staff. It serves various dishes, along with a selection of refreshing juices, cocktails, and local beers, making it a perfect choice for a family lunch outing. Try their pizza or seafood platter. Click here for directions.
Rosada: This is one of my favorite beach restaurants on the Kenyan coast. It offers sunbeds, fantastic ocean views, and a diverse menu with options including pizza, pasta, and fried chicken with chips. I’ve attended their Friday beach party twice and highly recommend it. Click here for directions.
Kilili Baharini Resort: This beach resort has a restaurant that offers a great dining experience. It features a multi-cuisine menu and a rustic seating space overlooking a lush garden. Click here for directions.
4. Mambrui Beach
Mambrui Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Malindi and is a must-visit during your stay in the coastal town. This golden sandy beach is in a secluded area north of Malindi, just after crossing the River Sabaki. Its name is derived from the nearby sand dunes.
For those seeking watersports, Mambrui Beach is the ideal location. It’s conveniently located near Malindi’s popular Che Shale Hotel, known for kitesurfing, windsurfing, and water-skiing.
Apart from enjoying the beach, you can also explore the nearby Mambrui sand dunes – a captivating attraction and must-see when in the area. The Marafa Hell’s Kitchen, a spectacular sandstone canyon, is another fantastic sight to include in your Malindi itinerary.
- Location: W5PF+93 Malindi
- How to Get There: Drive, use a tuk-tuk, or hire a motorcycle taxi
- Best For: Golden sands, watersports, relaxation, walking on sand dunes
- Amenities: Several resorts along this beach offer the necessary facilities
Accommodation Near Mambrui Beach
Mambrui Beach is secluded, and there are few top-rated hotels and resorts available. In addition to the following options, you can explore places to stay in the rest of Malindi.
Kola Beach Resort: This resort provides its guests with cozy suites including private verandas, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a garden featuring lush bougainvilleas and palm trees. It’s an excellent choice for travelers who want to explore Mambrui Beach, the nearby sand dunes, and Hell’s Kitchen in Marafa. Click here for more details.
Che Shale Hotel: This small boutique beach hotel offers accommodation in cozy bandas (cottages) with wonderful ocean views and access to an unspoiled beach. It’s also a center for watersports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, and dhow cruises. Click here for more details.
Restaurants Near Mambrui Beach
If you’re looking for places to eat near Mambrui Beach, check out the following places. You can also drive to Malindi town for more options.
Che Shale Restaurant: If you’re staying at the charming Che Shale Hotel, check out their bar and restaurant for delicious meals. Also, make sure to try their famous soft-shell crabs. Click here for directions.
Gold 55 Bar & Restaurant: This restaurant at the Kola Beach Resort is another fantastic spot to enjoy delicious food, drinks, and beach vibes. It has a diverse menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, seafood, grilled meats, vegetarian options, and a selection of beers and cocktails. Click here for directions.
5. Mayungu Beach
Mayungu is a traditional fishing village where you can enjoy the beach and experience the local culture and people’s daily activities. In the evenings, you can observe fishermen preparing their dugouts and dhows for their ocean ventures, and in the mornings, the beach transforms into a bustling fish market.
Having visited Mayungu Beach many times before, I highly recommend it to those seeking a tranquil, less-touristy coastal destination. This beach stands out for its peaceful atmosphere compared to other public beaches in Malindi, making it an excellent choice for a relaxed outing.
If you’re interested in watersports, vibrant nightlife, and beach parties, Mayungu Beach is conveniently located near the charming town of Watamu. In Watamu, you’ll find many things to see and do, from alluring white sandy shores to excellent beachfront bars, restaurants, and hotels.
Accommodation Near Mayungu Beach
Since Mayungu Beach is secluded, there are scarcely any accommodation options other than Malaika Beach Villas. However, the beach is just a short drive away from Malindi or Watamu towns, which host some of the best resorts and hotels along the Kenyan coast.
Restaurants Near Mayungu Beach
Here are the best beach bars and restaurants near Mayungu Public Beach:
Mayungu Beach & Restaurant: This restaurant offers an exceptional beachfront location with incredible ocean views. Their friendly staff serves delicious food, including grilled seafood and a variety of drinks. After enjoying a meal, you can relax on a sunbed or stroll along the white sand beach. Click here for directions.
Malaika Estro Beach Restaurant: This beachfront restaurant is an ideal choice for lunch during your visit to Mayungu Beach. It has sun loungers and cabanas overlooking the Indian Ocean. Although their menu varies based on the daily catch, you can expect to enjoy seafood, pizza, or local Swahili dishes. Click here for directions.
Beaches in Malindi: FAQs
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about visiting the best beaches in Malindi, Kenya:
Malindi boasts several magnificent beaches, and the best pick depends on your preferences. For swimming and snorkeling, consider Marine Park Beach. Mayungu Beach is excellent for kitesurfing.
With several beach restaurants and bars to choose from, Silversands is the best beach in Malindi for partying.
I recommend Golden Beach, Silversands, and Marine Park beaches if you’re traveling with family. These options are clean and conveniently located near beach villas, offering great opportunities for family activities.
For a romantic experience, Mambrui (though secluded), with its white sands and proximity to charming Watamu town, is the best choice for couples. Silversands and Golden beaches are also excellent options.
Mambrui and Mayungu are the best off-track beaches in Malindi.
The finest beaches in Malindi are located around the town area, including Silversands Beach, Golden Beach, and Marine Park Beach.
The turquoise and crystal clear waters of Marine Park Beach attract visitors for swimming and snorkeling.
Head to Mayungu Beach in the southern part of Malindi to enjoy white sandy beaches and clear blue waters.
I hope this guide for the best beaches in Malindi has been helpful.
If you love getting off the tourist trail, I recommend heading to Mambrui Beach for its golden sands, dunes, and kitesurfing school. Golden, Silversands, and Marine Park beaches are perfect for snorkeling, relaxation, and proximity to beach restaurants and historical sites. For those staying in the south close to Watamu, be sure to visit Mayungu Beach.
In addition to strolling along Malindi beaches, there are many other places to visit around the town. These tourist attractions are close to beaches, a short drive, or a day trip away. So, whether you’re into history, learning about other people’s way of life, sandy beaches, or wildlife, there’s a place in Malindi to amaze you.