The fastest way to get from Nairobi to the South Coast, of course, is by flying to Ukunda/Diani Beach (see previous page). Driving down by car is a whole day's trip, but at least you need not necessarily pass through Mombasa. You can avoid the notorious traffic jams and the Likoni ferry bottleneck by branching off Mombasa Highway in Samburu, and then driving through the Shimba Hills.
The 50 km stretch up to Kinango has been completely tarred by mid-2020: the driving time now is just 45 minutes. Nevertheless, the whole trip from Samburu to Ukunda might still take you 2 h 1/2 hours.
If you want to do the trip in one day: make sure that you leave Nairobi in the very early morning, so that you are out of the city before rush hour.
It will take you about 5 to 6 hours on the A109 to reach Samburu, 424 km from Nairobi. Here you branch off to the right. The picture below shows the freshly done road at Vigurungani in September 2019.
In Kinango please turn left at the T-junction and shortly after to the right, then passing by the market place and a petrol station.
The remaining dusty 23 km to Kwale will lead you towards the Shimba Hills, up the slopes and towards the main gate of the National Park. The road is still as red as it can be , and sometimes challenging in rainy season. The Mwache Dam project at the western foot of the Shimba Hills brings with it occasional diversions - the massive construction works are ongoing since early 2020.
In Kwale and downhill towards the ocean you are on tarmac again, for the remaining 50 km. When you reach the coast road A14, turn right, pass through Ukunda, and from there it is just 25 minutes more to Msambweni.
via Mombasa: 536 km, 8 - 10 hours*
via Shimba Hills: 544 km, 8 - 9 hours
*depending on the waiting time at the ferry
In case you miss the Samburu turnoff: there is another road from Mariakani to Kinango - a bit shorter, but not tarred at all.
google calculations differ slightly from personal readings
If you want to combine your ride down to the coast with a short safari, think about a stopover in the Tsavo West National Park. Our suggestion are KITANI BANDAS, a remote place facing Mount Kilimanjaro. You branch off at Mtito Andei, and it is an hours drive from the gate to these well kept self catering bandas. The use of the pool, gym and WIFI in neighboring Severin Safari Camp is included, you can also eat in the restaurant there. Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not bring along that much time, or if you want to avoid the park fees, drive a bit further than Voi. You branch off in Maungu and after 10 km you reach the private ROCK SIDE CAMP with its scenic views of the Sagala Plains and the Taita Hills. You get good value including full board and a breathtaking panorama from the top of the rock itself (provided you climb up). You can stay for just a night - but you might opt for a second one. . .
Mbuyu Beach Bungalows, Msambweni, South Coast, Kenya
www.MbuyuBeach.com +254 707 000 823
WE ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED. Re-opening date on request.
Seasonally open for you from October until Easter. Closed every year from April to the end of
We charge € 70 (kids € 35) per person/ per night incl. half board (pls. see "rooms + rates").
We meet all requirements of the state Corona Protocol. With free standing bungalows and a maximum of a dozen guests, social distancing is no problem on our 2 acre property with 100 meters beachfront. On request the food can be served on the bungalow terrace.
During the pandemic, minimum stay is 5 nights; for your safety we accept neither short term guests nor visitors from outside in the restaurant.