Tiwi Beach: Our favorite spot on the Kenyan coast

Jesse, Claire and I have just returned from an amazing trip to Tiwi Beach on the Kenyan Coast.

Watermarked Image Tiwi 4

Jesse and I have been going to Tiwi Beach for years…  Back in the day, when we used to have R&R breaks from field work, we would pack our car and go camping on the beach at Twiga Lodge.  While we still love camping, we have fallen in love with a new spot at Tiwi Beach….  Sand Island Beach Cottages.

Watermarked Image Sand Island 1

Sand Island is truly paradise on Earth, with eight cottages situated right on the beach.  The cottages are simple, beautiful and comfortable.  Sand Island is self-catering, so you must bring your own food.  But you can easily hire a cook for 700 KSH per day who will do all the cooking and clean-up in your kitchen.  Fresh fish is available daily from local fisherman who have set up a small shop at the edge of the beach.

What I love most about this place is the cottages’ proximity to the beach.  This means – no packing a beach bag!  When you’re traveling with kids, you’ve got to pack tons of stuff to carry along – water, snacks, blankets, shade, etc.  Not at Sand Island.  You just walk down to the sand for a play, or down to the water for a swim.  When you’re done, you just head back up to your cozy, shady verandah for whatever you need.  If you’ve ever lugged a heavy beach bag AND a toddler through sand, you’ll know why this is such a bonus.

Watermarked Image Sand Island 2

But really, our favorite thing about Sand Island?  The Starfish Gardens.  Seriously – AMAZING.

Watermarked Image Starfish 2

We took a small dugout canoe for a ride out to a very special reef, teeming with colorful starfish.  Our guide helped us walk around and collect starfish of all different sizes and colors, surrounding us with the beautiful creatures.  Kids can play with the starfish, something that Claire particularly loved.

Watermarked Image Starfish 3

Our guide also taught us all about starfish – what they eat, how long they live, how they move, and how they mate (wink wink).

Watermarked Image Starfish 4

There are many reasons we keep going back to Tiwi Beach after all these years.  It really is our favorite place on the Kenyan coast.  We love that it’s less crowded than Diani, Watamu and Malindi.  We love that it’s so close to Mombasa.  We love that there are no “beach boys,” and very few people harassing you to buy stuff (and those who are selling items on the beach leave you alone after a simple “No, thanks”).  And, we love the sunrises…

Watermarked Image Tiwi 7

What’s your favorite beach destination?

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9 Responses to Tiwi Beach: Our favorite spot on the Kenyan coast

  1. Scott Quarforth says:

    I didn’t know you wrote a blog. Love the photos and story, especially the one with all the starfish!

  2. Lindsay says:

    We love sand island as well…you just have to book early!

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  6. Khainde says:

    Hey….beautiful stories indeed….would you do a blog of how my much it costs you to camp at Tiwi?…or rather…how much does it cost per person per night and what are the important and necessary items to pack?

    • Mama Mgeni says:

      Hi Kahinde! I actually wrote a post about camping at Tiwi that you can find here. Unfortunately, Twiga Lodge (where you can camp on the beach) has no website, but camping used to cost 300 KSH per person, per night – that may certainly have changed over the years. The campsite has bathroom and shower facilities. As for what to pack – same as any other camping trip, minus the cold weather clothing, plus swimsuits! 🙂 Enjoy!

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