12 Best Islands In Kenya - Updated 2024

islands in kenya
Contributing Writer
| 5 min read

Kenya is ranked as one of the most visited countries in Africa, thanks to its numerous tourist attractions. Among the leading tourist spots, the amazing Kenyan islands found in the Indian Ocean feature at the top of the list. Islands are a perfect destination for couples that fancy sharing unforgettable memories or anyone willing to have a good time away from normal life. Kenya has beautiful islands that offer a unique experience. Most of these islands have breathtaking sceneries and anyone will be amazed by their beauty and uniqueness. Situated amid scenic surroundings, these culturally diverse islands offer plenty of activities you can engage in when you visit them. Planning a vacation in Kenya soon? Check out these excellent safari lodges. Alternatively, if you’d like a more homelike experience, you can also choose an Airbnb vacation rental. In the meantime, continue reading to find out more about the best islands in Kenya.

1. Wasini Island

Wasini coast
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user FredD used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The serene atmosphere, stunning coastal landscapes, and rich marine life make Wasini Island a coveted destination for nature lovers, explorers, and those seeking an unspoiled slice of Kenyan paradise. It is a tropical destination in the Indian Ocean that beckons with its natural beauty and unique experiences. This idyllic island is famed for its vibrant coral reefs, offering world-class snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities.

Meanwhile, Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park & Reserve, just off the coast of the island, is a haven for marine enthusiasts, teeming with dolphins, sea turtles, and colorful fish. For culture enthusiasts, the villages here, such as Mkwiro, provide an authentic taste of local traditions. When they get hungry, visitors can savor delicious seafood at the eateries here.

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2. Pate Island

Pate Island, Kenya
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Erik Hersman used under CC BY 2.0

A captivating destination steeped in history and natural beauty, Pate Island is part of the Lamu Archipelago. This remote location entices visitors with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and rich Swahili culture. Historic ruins such as Siyu Fort and the ancient village of Pate offer a glimpse into its storied past. Travelers can explore the winding streets of the old village made of coral ragstone, which mix with the newer buildings of the modern part of the village. Water sports and dhow sailing excursions are also popular. When you get hungry, try out traditional Swahili cuisine, including fresh lobsters.

Pate Island’s unique blend of history and coastal charm makes it an alluring destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Kenya.

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3. Mombasa Island

Kisite Islands Mombasa Kenya Island For Sale
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Taylor White used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The famous Mombasa Island was discovered in the 16th century by Omani traders and ruled by a series of kingdoms. Mombasa exhibits the culture of the Portuguese, British ad as well as Arabs. Mombasa Island is connected to the mainland by a bridge popularly known as Nyali Bridge. The Likoni ferry is used for commuting between the mainland and the South Coast. It is a port that serves the coastal towns of Kenya as well as the rest of East Africa. It is one of the best places to visit as it can leave you with lots of memories. This is because of the many beautiful sceneries and historical sites located on the island. Fort Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fantastic attraction you can’t miss. You can also try scuba diving in Mombasa if outdoor sports excite the adventurer inside you.

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4. Chale Island (from USD 420)

Diani Beach, Kenya
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michal Vogt used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Chale Island is located at the northern end of Msambweni Bay in Kwale County. Chale is known for its sacred Kaya, which means place of worship. Its location in the South East of Kenya makes it an ideal location to spend your holiday. Chale has breathtaking scenery and a rich historical background. You will find its laidback lifestyle quite irresistible. It has a cold climate perfect for the holidays. Not too far away are several resorts near Diani Beach, one of the most famous beaches on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya.

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Chale Island Resort

Wifi Available

Address: Chale Island

Parking Restaurant Bar 24-HOUR FRONT DESK Garden Terrace Non-smoking rooms Airport shuttle

Kenya Tour Guide

Samuel Njoroge

Samuel Njoroge

My name is Samuel Njoroge, a certified tour guide with the tourism regulatory authority in Kenya. I offer personalized and private tours in Nairobi. Whether you are looking for a half-day tour, full-day tour outside the city or multi-day trips in Kenya, I will get you covered. I'm a native Kenyan passionate about giving guests the best and most professional tour experience of my city, Nairobi.... Read more

5. Takawiri Island

Rusinga Island Lodge, Lake Victoria
Source: Photo by user Victor Ochieng used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Takawiri Island is located at Kenya’s west coast and boasts natural diversity and rich culture. It gives visitors a wide range of activities that make it an ideal destination in Kenya. Lake Victoria has many adorned islands and Takawiri is one of them. Given its location, you can access it easily by air. Moi International Airport is just within the port city of Kisumu. So even when you are in Nairobi or Mombasa, you can take a direct flight to Kisumu and take a taxi to the island. It is fast and straightforward!

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6. Manda Island

Aerial view of an Island
Source: Piqsels

Manda Island is an excellent destination if you want to fall off the radar but still be in Kenya! This is a great place to sit outside in tranquil lake waters and enjoy the peaceful environment in the region. Being home to many lizards, intriguing paintings, and the towering Mt. Kwitutu, Manda Island is well worth a day or two. In several ways, it is one of the best islands one can visit in Kenya. Located on the south coast of the lake, Manda is an excellent location for holidays and honeymoons.

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7. Mfangano Island

Fishermen at Lake Victoria
Source: Pixabay

This is an ideal island if you want to experience a peaceful environment away from the fuss and hustle of the city. Mfangano Island is home to intriguing rock paintings and monitor lizards and the imposing Mt. Kwebo. It gives you an amazing Lake Victoria experience, especially for those looking to catch the experience of lakeshore life. It has a well-connected road network that enables you to move around easily and faster. The welcoming nature of residents in the areas makes it even more fun to visit.

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8. Funzi Island

Swimming pool
Source: Pxfuel

Funzi Island is located on the South Coast of Mombasa County. It is known for its beaches and amazing eco-spaces including indigenous mangrove forests and wetlands. It is an island that serves as a habitat for several turtle species including the olive turtle, green turtle, leatherback turtle, and loggerhead turtle. Visitors should visit Ramisi River and the gardens nearby for cultural tours. There is a spectacular annual migration of Humpback whales between June and December.

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9. Ndere Island

Lake Victoria, Kenya
Source: Pixabay

Located in a tranquil environment along Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria, Ndere Island is a perfect destination for vacations. It has a great geographic and cultural diversity for anyone who wants to enjoy the beauty of Western Kenya. It offers visitors a diverse range of tourist attractions that blend together to give you the perfect set-up for a holiday.

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10. Crescent Island

Naivasha, Kenya
Source: Pixabay

From an aerial view, Crescent Island looks like a green crescent moon that is surrounded by crisp water. It is a peninsula that was formed in the 1980s when waters of Lake Naivasha dropped significantly opening up more land. From this location, you can easily access Crescent Island Game Park by boat from the east or by driving from the west through a swampy path.

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11. Migingo Island

Lake Victoria, Kisumu
Source: Photo by user SuSanA Secretariat used under CC BY 2.0

This is one of the most disputed islands in the country. Despite the controversy surrounding it, Migingo Island is one of the most ideal destinations for any tourist. Thousands of visitors tour the islands annually thanks to its serene environment. Make sure not to miss out on amazing boat rides and other forms of entertainment on the island.

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12. Lamu Island (from USD 176)

Lamu, Lamu Island, Kenya
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Erik Hersman used under CC BY 2.0

Lamu Island is famous for its diverse culture, rich history, and breathtaking architecture. Back in the 13th Century, only the Swahili had settled on the island until Portuguese, Turkish, and Omani traders explored it. After the traders left, Lamu grew a unique culture that exists to date. This is an island that will amaze you to the core. The laidback lifestyle, pristine white sand beaches, traditional cuisines, and luxurious dhow sailing are a fantastic distraction from normal life stresses. It also offers an ideal setting for amazing beach holidays. Lamu has beautiful narrow pathways that make it possible to be adventurous— moving around on donkeys and dhows. The small town has amazing sceneries that you can view on your way to the nearby archaeological sites like Pate, Manda, Siyu, and Kiwayu. You can enjoy the ancient ruins and luxurious resorts on these islands. Over the many years since its inception, Lamu has evolved from a defensive position for the Omani Arabs during the colonial period to an exotic space for fun activities.

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Kijani Hotel

Wifi Available

Address: Off Corniche Path, Shela Village

Restaurant Room service Meeting/banquet facilities Bar Garden Terrace Non-smoking rooms Airport shuttle

Kenya's magical islands

Kenya is a beautiful country that is gifted with the above-mentioned islands. Don’t forget to visit any of these beautiful islands to try some of the best things to do in Kenya the next time you are here. Do check out the most popular festivals here as well. The fun doesn’t end there. There are plenty of other things Kenya is famous for to see!

Frequently asked questions about islands in Kenya

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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