Holidaymakers flock to Kenya every year to enjoy its impressive safaris and gorgeous beaches. This can make it tricky to have a peaceful luxury break if you want to get away from it all, but it's not impossible! Read on to find out more about how to have a quiet beach holiday and safari in Africa.
Escape the safari crowds
Kenya is one of the most popular destinations in Africa for a safari - and it's not hard to see why. Its landscape is diverse and ranges from valleys and mountains to desert and lake-strewn plains, attracting a variety of wildlife in the process.
The main safari areas are Masai Mara - which is part of the Serengeti - along with Naivasha, Amboseli and Samburu. These locations tend to be full of tourists for most of the year, but it's possible to escape the crowds by doing your research and booking into the right accommodation.
In Masai Mara, for example, it's ideal to look for one of the more high-end camps that tend to keep most holidaymakers on smaller budgets away. It's best to stay in up to three camps over a week or so, but this will obviously depend on availability and how long you want to stay the area.
If you want to go on safari in Naivasha, it might seem nearly impossible to find somewhere to stay that isn't crowded with tourists. However, the western part of the lake offers some opportunities for a relatively peaceful stay, as it isn't as easily accessible as other parts of the region.
Your best bet for a crowd-free safari experience is Samburu. Many visitors congregate along the central section of the riverside here, so make a beeline for one of the lodges elsewhere in the region.
Kenya's beaches are truly spectacular, but, unfortunately, this has led to lots of development - especially in and around Mombasa. Luckily, travelling up or down the coast from the city can yield rich rewards in the form of laidback, nearly deserted beaches backed by peaceful towns and villages.
Go south from Mombasa and bypass Diani Beach - it might be famously beautiful, but this means it's also a haven for sunbathers! You'll eventually come to Gazi and Kinondo, where you'll find some excellent private lodges, a few of which have their own stretch of sand for true peace and quiet.
Nearby Msambweni also offers possibilities for a relaxing getaway. Access to the beach seems to be little more than a dirt road, giving you some idea of how quiet it can get. You can either rent a house or stay at one of the small hotels here.
Choose to travel north from Mombasa and you'll have your pick of peaceful beach lodges and house rentals close to near-deserted shores. The best areas to visit are Kiwayu and the Tana Delta, along with Lamu and Manda. Kiwayu is the northernmost of the islands here, making it perfect for a beach break in a remote location. The Tana Delta, meanwhile, is more of a wildlife hotspot, but there is still sand aplenty.
Lamu is probably the main attraction along this section of coast, but it's still pretty laidback, considering! Manda is even quieter and tends to draw visitors on day trips from Lamu, but it's also a worthy beach destination in its own right.