South of Mombasa lies the stuff of tropical beach dreams, reached after a distinctly non-dreamy but often entertaining ride on the busy Likoni Ferry. Blindingly white beaches, soft sun warmed sand, palm fronds rustling in the breeze, it's completely clichéd but only because it really is this beautiful.
The sea too, is just as glorious, dark inky blue beyond the reef, shading to aquamarine and then finally as clear as glass as it rolls in. The reef walls provide good diving, and act as a breakwater, so the sea in between is perfect for swimming. Several luxury resorts line Diani Beach, and there are secluded spots such as Tiwi Beach. Inland are lush coastal rainforests ringing with birdsong and rich with wildlife, including the rare colobus monkey. Shimba Hills National Reserve, a stronghold for sable antelope and home to elephant, buffalo, and leopard as well, is a short drive inland.