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Kenya's South Coast - a tropical paradise
South Coast - A tropical paradise of palm fringed white sandy beachesThe coastline south of Mombasa is a tropical paradise of palm fringed white sand beaches, where the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean meet beautiful coral reefs. The protective reefs have created ideal beaches with calm, inviting waters. Days are filled with sunshine and nights are balmy and warm with gentle sea breezes. The offshore reefs are alive with coral, myriad fish, sea turtles and dolphins.

Both outer and inner reef walls offer world class diving with spectacular coral gardens and drop offs. At Kisite-Mpunguti, a Marine Reserve has been established around beautiful Wasini Island, an ideal day trip for divers and snorkellers.
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How to get to South Coast, Mombasa
The gateway to the South Coast is Mombasa. There are no bridges from Mombasa island to the South Coast, and a vehicular ferry is used to cross the Likoni channel.

Driving your own car or hired car to the south coast is very easy. There are regular buses and Matatus along the south coast strip.

Many hotels and resorts in this area have Mombasa shuttles or can arrange vehicle transfers. Private taxis from Mombasa will also take you to the South Coast for an agreed fare.

There is an airstrip at Ukunda for Charter flights. For those entering Kenya by land via the coast, the South Coast highway crosses the border after the town of LungaLunga.

There is a border post and immigration office. Regular buses and matatus service the South Coast Highway. Taxis can be found in any town, or at most hotels or resorts.

 
Where to stay in South Coast, Mombasa
There is a very wide range of accommodation available on the South Coast. There are five star International resort hotels with casinos, nightclubs and international restaurants, basic campsites, private guesthouses and rental apartments and villas.
 
Dining in South Coast, Mombasa
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There is also a great many restaurants throughout the South Coast serving a range of international cuisines. The obvious culinary attraction on the South Coast is seafood, and there is plenty available, with excellent fish, crabs, lobster, oysters and more.

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South Coast - What to do
On the South Coast there are beaches to suit any travellers tastes and interest. There are busy resorts with plenty of organized activities and non- stop nightlife. And quiet beach destinations offering the chance to relax and experience nature.

The Beaches south of Mombasa are an earthly paradise of tropical forests, white sand beaches and coral reefs. On the South Coast there are beaches to suit any travellers tastes and interest. There are busy resorts with plenty of organized activities and non- stop nightlife. And quiet beach destinations offering the chance to relax and experience nature.

Whether you are looking for a base to actively explore this fascinating region, or just somewhere to unwind and find peace, Kenya’s south coast has everything you could wish for.
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Shopping in South Coast, Mombasa
If you love shopping when travelling, then the south coast is your kind of place. In addition to coastal handicrafts and art, there are good selections of art and craft from all over Kenya. Coastal specialities include Swahili boxes, intricately carved and inlaid with brass, copper or marble work. These vary in size from small jewelry boxes to huge chests. Similarly styled candle holders and other wooden objects are often also sold.

Other wood carvings available on the coast are Makonde, a traditional style that originated in Tanzania. These beautiful carvings are almost impossibly intricate, producing detailed single figures, abstract creations and masses of tiny, elaborate figures whose limbs and bodies intertwine into large columns known as the Tree of Life.

One thing every visitor to the coast should buy is a kikoy or khanga. These traditional cloths are worn as a wrap around garment by both men and women all over the East African coast, similar to the sarong of South East Asia.

The kikoy is a bright, usually striped, cloth with knotted tassles along each hem. The khanga is larger, more elaborately patterned and traditionally emblazoned with a Swahili proverb offering a pearl of conventional wisdom.

These cloths are synonymous with the Kenyan coast, and their fabrics are often adapted into clothing, tablecloths, bedlinen, and just about anything else possible. A khanga or kikoy is perfect for the beach and can either be worn or used as a beach towel, or both.

The coast is also home to a range of boutique shops producing modern art objects, paintings, clothing and jewellery.

 
Cultural Safari in South Coast, Mombasa
Historically, the South Coast was a route for shipping and dhow trade both from Swahili settlements in the North and southwards to Zanzibar.
The south coast was the most densely populated area of Swahili territory. Just South of Mombasa at Kongo is the 15th Century Mwana Mosque. The large vaulted roof of this Mosque is still standing and local worshippers still use the ruins for prayer.

Recently made a locally administered National Monument, the deep and mysterious Shimoni (from the Swahili- literally "in the hole") caves remain and enigma to historians and archaeologists alike. There is evidence of long-standing human use of the caves, though it is as yet unclear what purpose they served. Possible explanations include a Slave trading store, or a refuge from Slavers, although a recently discovered 'shrine' suggests that the caves may have held some ritualistic significance.

Inland, the South coast is the home of Mijikenda group of tribes, including the Giriama, Duruma and Digo.
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Kiunga Marine National Reserve
The reserve incorporates a chain of about 50 calcareous offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago, running for some 60 km parallel to the coast in northern Kenya and adjacent to Dodori and Boni National Reserves.