The first real magnet on the coast south of Mombasa is Tiwi Beach, which lies a couple of kilometres to the east of the main road. Popular among budget travellers having a bit of a splurge, Tiwi rates as genuine tropical paradise material and attracts lots of Kenya resident families down from Nairobi. The reef lies just offshore, and there are good snorkelling opportunities at high tide, especially at the northern end. With the exception of the large Amani Tiwi Beach Resort at its southern end, Tiwi is still cottage territory, with a handful of plots vying for business. The main drawbacks (though you might think they’re advantages) are the relative isolation of the beach from Mombasa and Diani, and the lack of restaurants and bars outside the cottages and guesthouses. The clear pluses are fewer tourists and fewer beach boys. In the dry season, you can walk to the south end of Tiwi Beach and wade across the Mwachema River to Diani Beach and the strange Kongo Mosque, right next to the Indian Ocean Beach Resort.

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