A trip to Kenya should be on every travel lover’s wish list. This stunning country is home to a rich culture and heritage, and allows visitors an insight into its colonial history, colorful Maasai culture, and prehistoric artefacts. The locals are friendly and helpful, and tourists can hire knowledgeable tour guides to ensure that their visit is enriching. Kenya is famous for its safari parks which offer scenic views and are home to spectacular wildlife. A trip to Kenya is incomplete without visiting its pristine and breathtaking islands. Here are the top 7 islands of Kenya that everyone must see!
1. Mombasa Island
Until 1840, Mombasa was fought over by Turks, Arabs, Persians, and the Portugese, till it came under the sultan of Zanzibar in 1840, and then under British rule in 1895. The region is a unique blend of these rich and beautiful cultures. The port serves coastal towns of Kenya as well as the rest of East Africa. The relaxing beaches act as the perfect getaway spots, and visitors can enjoy watching the vivid greenery. They can also visit Fort Jesus, a historic location that is a UNESCO world heritage sight. It allows tourists to observe a variety of artefacts collected through the ages! Mombasa is home to marine creatures such as crabs, jellyfish, lionfish, angelfish, sea urchins, sharks, octopuses, zebrafish, and starfish. Tourists can enjoy exciting water activities such as boating, snorkeling, and scuba diving among the vibrant coral reef.
Local Fisherman Mombasa by Denzel Denys via Pixabay, Image Source: Pixabay.Com
2. Lamu Island
Lamu Island is one of the top 10 islands of Kenya. It’s diverse culture Swahili, Omani, Portuguese, and Turkish influences. Tourists can enjoy the mouthwatering local food, ride a dhow, or relax at the pristine sandy beach. The island is peaceful and serene so visitors can unwind and let go of their worries and stresses. In the town, tourists can move around on donkeys, which is a unique and memorable experience. Nearby, travellers can visit archaeological sites and ancient ruins at Manda, Kiwayu, Siyu, and Pate. The locals are friendly and down-to-earth, and good accommodation is easily available, so the trip is comfortable and full of fun and excitement!
Lamu Fort Beach by Henry James via Pixabay, Image Source: Pixabay.Com
3. Rusinga Island
The largest island in the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria is the gorgeous Rusinga Island, also known as Chula. The region is tranquil and serene, and has comfortable and luxurious resorts and lodges that offer excellent accommodation. The locals are friendly and engage in fishing. Rusinga is small in size, so it can be explored easily. The island is a bird paradise as it is home to over 300 magnificent species of birds, including egrets, kingfishers, eagles, pelicans, and grey herons!
This island is located at the east of Lake Victoria, and is the second largest island on the Kenyan side of the lake. Tourists can take or boat, or fly, to the island where they can enjoy being close to nature, play in the water, relax and unwind away from the crowds, and meet locals who engage in fishing. The island is best known for its rock art. These geometric paintings are said to have been made by Twa hunter-gatherers around 2000 – 4000 years ago. Tourists can take a boat to Mawanga village and walk up to Mawanga cave, to see this rock art. Some of the paintings are found in Kwintone, which is reached via a 40 minute hike through the sacred forest.
5. Mbasa Island
Mbasa Island is also known as Birds Island. As it is a bird’s sanctuary, no one lives on the island. This wetland is home to over a 100 species of birds, including fish eagles, long tailed cormorants, white egrets, and marsh harriers. The island is reached via an enjoyable boat ride with a local fisherman, which can allow tourists to learn about the local culture and lifestyle. The island offers seclusion, tranquility, and privacy.
Flamingo Birds by Alp Cem via Pixabay, Image Source: Pixabay.Com
6. Chale island
Famous as a sacred location, Chale Island is a stunning island in Kenya’s South East. The scenery is breathtaking, and the weather is mostly pleasant. Lodges and resorts offer comfortable and luxurious accommodation in airy, beautifully designed rooms, and provide excellent facilities and delicious local and international food. At Diani Chale Marine Park, visitors can take part in fun activities such as sailing, snorkeling, traditional dhow fishing trips, windsurfing, and glass bottom boat rides!
7. Manda Island
Accessible through a ferry and by air, the gorgeous Manda Island is a wonderful spot for exciting water sports, surfing, and swimming! As the beach picks up the most swell in Kenya, it is ideal for surfers of all levels. Tourists can also see the breathtaking coral reef. The island is known for the 9th century ports of Takwa and Manda town. Visitors can go to the Takwa ruins which were classified as a Kenyan National Monument in 1982. The unspoilt island is perfect for a relaxing trip.