Diani is a love at first sight kind of place. Everything about it seems pristine and untouched, a veritable Eden of sorts. What everyone who goes there can agree on is that it’s a place to be visited again and again and again. With Jambojet flying to Diani daily your coastal adventure is only an hour away with affordable flights. Check out our flight schedules to find the best flight for you and book your ticket today
Diani, Ukunda, or South Coast as some prefer to call it, is a coastal town located 30 kilometers south of Mombasa, and 515 km from Nairobi. The town, with its elongated white beaches, mostly lives off of tourism.
Did you know that this coastal town has been voted Africa's leading beach destination for the third time running since 2015? The town is popular for its pristine white sand beaches, coral reefs, swimming dolphins, black-and-white Colubus monkeys, and for the nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve. The sandy beaches stretching for miles, and the clear warm water of the Indian Ocean are probably enough to make it a popular destination; but Diani has much more to offer its visitors.
The whale shark, which is the world’s largest fish, is an elusive, highly migratory oceanic fish that occasionally ventures to a handful of coastlines one of which is Diani. Many tourists therefore visit Diani for a chance to swim with these magnificent beasts during the Whale shark satellite tagging expeditions. Apart of that, Diani is a hub for plenty of water sports including scuba diving; windsurfing; kite surfing; sky diving, and deep sea fishing.
Apart from the popular water sports, there is plenty more to do in Ukunda.
Colobus Conservation is a re-adaptation center and orphanage for Angolan colobus monkeys. If you want to see one of the six primate species in South Coast Kenya visit the Colobus Conservancy and watch these majestic primates as they are rehabilitated and released into the wild.
At Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest, You can stroll through a nature trail and experience the sacred ambience in this special forest which can only be visited with a guide. It's a place rich in cultural heritage as well as different plant species. One has to tie a black kanga as a sign of respect to the spirits residing in the holy forest. A cleared area shows the residence of the ancestors where you can make wishes while hugging a sacred tree.
Go on a guided quad trip on dirt roads through small villages and beautiful scenery, you can also choose the more African ride on a camel’s back.
If you are feeling daring and adventurous, try kite surfing, snorkeling or diving: There are two big diving schools at Diani Beach where you can learn how to swim under the sea and experience under water life up-close. If you are more on the wary side of life, you can take a trip with a glass bottom boat or a canoe on the sandbank. Dolphin spotting trips are offered by the beach or on tours to Wasini Island
The Shimba hills allow amarvelous panoramic view across the Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary and the river valley. A day tour to Shimba Hills Green Lodge enables travelers to relax in impressive natural surroundings.
Diani Beach Art Gallery is the only gallery in the south coast, that boasts some elegant works from contemporary artists around Africa. This is definitely a good place to start to expand your art collection or simply absorb a bit of the higher local culture. You might catch some exhibitions or visiting artists doing a small personal show so make sure you visit again each time.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, they say.
After the kite surfing, water sports and exploring Diani, you are sure to work up quite an appetite. This then is your chance to sample local food. The local Swahili cuisine has Arab, Indian and Portuguese influences and uses a variety of spices like coriander, clove, chili and black pepper together with a range of staples like maize, cassava, rice, wheat and sorghum. Sea food is also very popular along the coast. Diani has many restaurants that offer sumptuous Swahili food including Swahili Pot, African Pot, Coast Dishes, Qua Bruce Restaurant and Mvureni Beach Bar and Restaurant.
There are also plenty of other international cuisine options to choose from in Diani. Ali Barbour's Cave has a la carte menu specializing in seafood, international & traditional cuisine and is accompanied by a great wine-list. Sails Beach Bar & Restaurant and The Edge Beach Restaurant offer European, Seafood, African and vegetarian meals. For Pizza and Sushi, head over to Nomad Restaurant. Kokkos Café is famous for Delicious cake and other tasty sweets. They also have really good steak and fish dishes.
Because of how remote Diani is, it allows you to disconnect yourself from the hustle of modern day life and enjoy a tranquil and peaceful vacation on the beach.
There are numerous accommodation options that give you top notch hospitality and five star services. Among them is Mbuyu (baobab) Beach Bungalow, which is not your everyday hotel. It is a well-kept secret hidden among the palm trees on Msambweni beach. It has five spacious, well equipped bungalows which give a ‘home away from home’ feeling. The Southern Palms Beach is a 4-star resort featuring 2 outdoor swimming pools and 5 restaurants. It serves a variety of international cuisines that will leave you smacking your lips. Other hotels with fine and luxurious services include the AfroChic Diani, Swahili Beach, Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort and many more.
For budget friendly options, Diani has Sunset Villa Boutique Resort which offers Standard Rooms, spacious suites and garden villas. It also makes your stay much enjoyable by offering a free shuttle service to the beach and free on-site parking. Lofta Resort, Diani Bay Resort and Pride Inn Express Diani also grant their visitors value and great services at a budget. Other superb Accommodation options for someone on a budget are Blue Marlin Beach Hotel and Bidi Badu Beach Resort among others.
On the other end of the spectrum, you will find Villas, Apartments, B&Bs and a lot of other special accommodation options like Amani Luxury Apartments which offers 120 square meters of luxurious apartments. This is a perfect place to stay with family or a group of friends for extended periods. Maisha Tabasamu offers accommodation with a fully equipped kitchen to make your more convenient. There are uncountable other places that cater for special needs including but not limited to Watano Beach Houses and Galawa Beach Apartments. It doesn’t matter what your accommodation needs are, Diani has them all.
Check out Booking.com for a complete list of accommodation options in Diani.