The nation's shoreline has a lot to offer, from tropical beaches to Swahili heritage.


The earliest reference to Mombasa, in the second century AD, when Ptolemy charted the settlement's position on his map of the world. Kenya's second-largest city is steeped in history, its architecture conveying an alluring mix of Arab, European and African cultures. A good place to start is the 16th-century Portuguese stronghold, Fort Jesus, and its museum.


The number of species of fish that have been recorded in Watamu Marine Reserve on Kenya's north coast. The turquoise waters are rich with life from sea turtles and coloured fish to whale sharks and humpback whales. Explore underwater with Dive Worldwide's 14-day "Deluxe Kenya Diving" holiday, which starts at £2,529 per person including flights and accommodation.


The century when the Swahili town of Gedi was abandoned. Established in the 12th century, the town is today in ruins. Excavations uncovered a mosque, stone houses, beads from Venice and porcelain from China. The site is now populated by Sykes' monkeys. Stay at Hemingways Resort, in nearby Watamu.


The number of vehicles on the island of Lamu, off Kenya's north coast. These comprise the mayor's 4x4, an ambulance, a tractor and donkey ambulance. The best way to explore the sinuous streets of the capital, Lamu Town is on foot. Stay at Baytil Ajaib – a Swahili townhouse.


The number of elephants thought to populate Shimba Hills National Reserve in the Coast Province. Less than an hour's drive from Diani Beach, the reserve offers the chance to swap beaches for branches, with a treehouse stay at Kutazama Lodge. Rates start at US$475 (£317) for two people, full board.