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15 Best Things To Do in Diani, Kenya

15 Best Things To Do in Diani, Kenya


Diani, a seaside resort city alongside the south coast of Kenya, is an unbelievable vacation spot with so many thrilling issues to do and see. It’s residence to luxurious resorts, seaside villas, white sands, and different points of interest common with households, backpackers, honeymooners, and solo vacationers.

If you like strolling alongside sandy seashores, swimming with dolphins, or taking nature walks, Diani has one thing for you. It’s additionally situated near small islands and coral gardens, making it a haven for water sports activities lovers.

I spent nearly two weeks exploring Diani and different locations alongside the south coast. Its seashores have been charming, the city laid again and charming, and all the things else was nonetheless enticing.

In this text, I’ll describe a number of the finest issues to do and locations to go to in Diani. Some could be explored independently, whereas others, like diving, could be organized by skilled operators.

15 Best Things To Do in Diani

There are much more than the next 15 issues to do in Diani. However, as a neighborhood Kenyan who’s been to Diani just a few occasions, I’ve narrowed the listing to my favourite locations. They’re primarily based on accessibility, value, stage of enjoyable, and journey.

1. Explore the Magnificent Beaches

One of the perfect issues to do in Diani is to discover the various seashores. The small coastal city is residence to a number of lovely seashores and hosts quite a few luxurious resorts. You can stroll alongside the seashores, sunbathe, calm down, or get pleasure from scrumptious meals and chilly drinks.

Galu Kinondo is the perfect seaside in Diani for watersports and rest, whereas Tiwi is ideal for an off-beat time out. If you like white sands and blue waters, head to the magnificent Diani Beach.

The beautiful Diani Beach is along the shores of the Indian Ocean in Mombasa, Kenya.

To add to the seaside enjoyable, a number of eating places in Diani provide a beautiful eating expertise. My favorites embrace the Nomad Beach Bar for seafood, and the romantic Ali Barbour’s Cave.

2. Discover the Local Lifestyle with a Local

Most vacationers, together with locals like me, get caught up within the appeal of Diani Beach and neglect to discover the world farther inland.

During my current journey to Diani, I resisted the urge to restrict myself to the seaside and ventured inland. I needed to see how folks lived in that a part of Kenya, their structure, tradition, and day by day actions.

So, I walked alongside the streets of Ukunda, talked to native shopkeepers in Gazi, and marveled at conventional buildings in Tiwi.

If you need to expertise the native life in Diani, join this exciting walking tour round Ukunda city. During the guided tour, you’ll work together with locals, discover markets, and style native dishes.

3. Go on a Sunset Canoe Ride on the Kongo River

Kongo River winds down between mangroves and drains into the Indian Ocean – separating Diani Beach and Tiwi Beach. This magical river is great for birders, nature lovers, and sundown chasers.

It has a large upstream however turns into shallow in direction of the ocean; permitting folks to entry the 2 seashores simply.

Aerial view of the Kongo River.

The finest option to discover the Kongo River is by joining this guided experience. The tour begins with a go to to the historic Kongo Mosque. You’ll then experience in a canoe, recognizing varied birds, studying concerning the space, and watching the sundown.

After the canoe experience, you may get pleasure from dinner on the Estuary Beach Lounge or share tales round a seaside bonfire.

There are many seaside motels close to the Kongo River. However, I extremely suggest staying at Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort.

4. Swim within the Africa Pool alongside Tiwi Beach

Tiwi Beach might not be as well-known as Diani Beach, however it’s simply as lovely and hosts one of many hidden gems in Diani – Africa Pool. This magical pool resembles the map of Africa and its surrounding islands. It’s seen throughout low tide and is a pleasant swimming spot.

While it’s doable to stroll alongside Tiwi Beach to the Africa Pool, I extremely suggest being accompanied by a local guide. During the stroll, you’ll see coral cliffs, caves, and seashells, and spot different swimming pools alongside the best way.

Be conscious that some stretches of this seaside have many sea urchins. Therefore, make sure you put on footwear to guard your toes from their stinging spikes.

Check out these top hotel and accommodation options. when you’re questioning the place to remain close to Tiwi Beach. You may also expertise seaside tenting at Twiga Lodge.

5. Sail on a Traditional Dhow to Wasini Island

One of the highest highlights of my journey to Diani was visiting Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park, the place dolphins, turtles, fish species, and delightful coral gardens thrive.

The marine park is situated off the coast and might solely be accessed by boat. It has heat waters, which are perfect for snorkeling and swimming.

The dhow sailing boat in Kenya.

The finest option to expertise the park’s magnificence is by joining this guided tour. You’ll depart Shimoni city by a dhow (boat) cruise to Kisite Mpunguti, the place you’ll go snorkeling and dolphin recognizing.

Afterward, you’ll go to Wasini Island village for a seafood lunch and drinks earlier than returning to Shimoni.

While nonetheless in Shimoni, I like to recommend visiting Shimoni Caves. These limestone caves have been as soon as used as ready locations for captured enslaved folks earlier than they have been taken to the Zanzibar slave market and past.

6. Go Scuba Diving (One of the Best Things to do in Diani)

Diani’s magnificence isn’t restricted to what’s on the floor but in addition stretches into the huge world beneath. It’s residence to a number of dive websites which host teams of uncommon fish species and enticing corals. These websites embrace pure reefs reminiscent of Galu Reef and purpose-sunk ships just like the Waa Wreck.

If you’re searching for locations to go diving in Kenya, go to Diani. The seaside city is welcoming to all varieties of divers, from freshmen to consultants. Its local weather can also be favorable, permitting you to get pleasure from diving all yr spherical.

The finest option to be a part of a diving journey in Diani is by contacting a diving operator. One of the facilities within the space is Diving the Crab. They’re situated at The Sands at Nomad Hotel and have pleasant, skilled divers who know the dive websites nicely.

7. Visit the Magical Funzi Island

Funzi Island is a fishing village in Kwale county. It’s surrounded by mangroves and has a ravishing seaside alongside its shores. Although the island is much less explored, it’s the most effective locations to go to close to Diani.

The finest option to expertise Funzi Island is by joining this tour. It consists of cruising between mangroves, experiencing the seaside, a experience alongside the Ramisi River to see crocodiles, and a village tour.

A beautiful beach paradise in Funzi Island.

Although I wouldn’t suggest it due to the hustle of accessibility, it’s doable to discover Funzi Island independently.

During my current go to, I boarded a matatu (minibus) from Likoni bus station close to Mombasa to Ramisi Sugar Factory, after which took a bodaboda (bike taxi) to Bodo village. From there, I hopped on a ready boat to the island.

8. Explore the Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest

Kaya Kinondo Forest is among the eleven forests alongside the Kenyan coast and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forest holds the stays of fortified villages constructed by the Mijikenda people in the course of the sixteenth century.

This forest grove is taken into account a sacred abode of the Mijikenda ancestors, and it’s used as a spot of prayer and a supply of conventional medication.

If you’re nonetheless searching for extra issues to do in Diani, head to Kaya Kinondo Forest. It’s a nature lover’s paradise; a middle of wealthy historical past, and a spot for a memorable cultural expertise.

Although Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest is situated off the vacationer path, the hidden gem in Diani is well accessible. You can drive there from Diani or join a guided bike tour.

9. Visit Colobus Conservation Center

Diani is residence to a number of primate species, together with colobus monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, and Syke’s monkeys. Most of those primates are endangered and require safety.

Colobus Conservation Center is among the organizations devoted to the preservation of primates just like the Angolan colobus monkey. Located alongside Diani Beach Road, the middle leads the best way in conservation by reforestation, education schemes, and animal welfare.

Tired and sad looking Colobus monkey perched in a tree.

Plan a go to and study concerning the facilities’ efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and launch primates into their habitats.

The heart is open for guided primate eco-tours from Monday to Saturday between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Check out their website for reserving.

10. Visit the Bora Bora Wildlife Park

Bora Bora Wildlife Park is among the finest locations to go to in Diani for lovers of nature and wildlife. The park is in the identical ecosystem because the Kaya Kinondo Forest – a sacred abode of the Mijikenda group.

If you’re searching for a spot to calm down, take nature walks, and watch wildlife, go to Bora Bora. You’ll additionally study varied varieties of bushes within the forest path and their conventional medicinal makes use of.

Besides wildlife like giraffes and zebras, the park is residence to Syke’s monkeys, crocodiles, and varied hen species. It additionally has a ravishing tented camp the place you may keep throughout your journey to Diani.

You don’t want to rent a journey company to go to Bora Bora Wildlife Park. However, when you love biking, I like to recommend joining this tour.

11. Explore Chale Island (One of the Best Things to do Outside Diani)

In addition to Wasini and Funzi, there’s another secluded island close to Diani value exploring – Chale Island.

Chale is a non-public resort island located off the coast that’s simply seen from Gazi Beach. It contains a small stretch of unspoiled seaside, spectacular coral reefs, and forests of mangroves.

A panoramic view of the Indian Ocean from Chale Island, Kenya.

The island additionally hosts the luxurious Sands at Chale Island. This seaside resort is the one lodging facility on the island. It’s lovely and options elegant rooms, a restaurant, and facilities for a romantic getaway.

To attain Chale Island, take a ship experience from the island’s workplace on the end of Diani Beach Road or join this tour. You may also drive alongside the ocean monitor when the tide is low.

12. Join a Tour of Shimba Hills National Reserve

Less than an hour’s drive from Ukunda city is the Shimba Hills National Reserve – the most effective day journeys from Diani Beach.

This recreation reserve includes a various habitat, together with big bushes, grasslands, forestlands, and scrub areas. It additionally holds one of many largest coastal forests in East Africa, solely second to Arabuko Sokoke.

Shimba Hills is a good vacation spot if you wish to escape the seaside for a day. It gives guests a memorable wildlife expertise with sightings of animals reminiscent of elephants, giraffes, and the uncommon sable antelope.

It’s additionally residence to the spectacular Sheldrick Falls and a wide range of hen species.

The nationwide reserve is well accessible by highway from Diani. You may also join this organized day trip.

13. Learn to Kitesurf at Galu Kinondo Beach

I’ve all the time needed to learn to kitesurf. When I visited Galu Kinondo Beach, the sight of surfers rekindled my curiosity – however I used to be quick on time.

Galu Kinondo is a spectacular, much less crowded seaside barely south of Diani Beach. The palm-lined stretch is common for water actions reminiscent of kitesurfing and paddleboarding.

Kitesurfing on the sea at sunset.

Also boasting two close by coral reefs, Galu Kinondo is among the finest locations to go to in Diani for diving and snorkeling.

If you’re like me and are desirous about studying learn how to surf, go to Kenya Kitesurf School alongside Galu Kinondo Beach. They provide classes to finish freshmen, and their charges are cheap.

There are a number of locations to remain and eat close to this seaside. For first-time guests, I like to recommend enjoyable on the Neptune Village Resort and Spa and having fun with contemporary fish at Mvureni Beach Restaurant.

14. Walk Between Mangroves at Gazi Beach

If you’re searching for distinctive issues to do in Diani with a social affect, you’ll love visiting the Gazi Women Mangrove BoardWalk alongside Gazi Beach. Here, you may take a stroll between mangroves, watch birds or calm down by the ocean.

Although much less visited, this is among the finest locations within the space for nature lovers. It’s run by cheerful native ladies who love conservation and their cultural heritage. During the quick go to, they’ll present you round and educate you on the several types of mangroves and their makes use of.

When I final visited Gazi, I used to be led to a seaside the place fishermen promote their catch to merchants. Next to this beach, there’s a slave home that dates again to when Gazi was a slave buying and selling publish.

15. Take a Day Trip to Mombasa City

To finish this listing of the perfect issues to do in Diani, I like to recommend taking a day journey to Mombasa. The island metropolis is situated about 30 kilometers from Diani and has loads of vacationer points of interest.

There are varied locations to go to in Mombasa such because the Fort Jesus Museum and Wild Waters. You may also join an exciting food tour, expertise Mombasa’s vibrant nightlife, or explore the old town on foot.

Mombasa Island as seen from the mainland.

The metropolis has some lovely seashores too. It’s residence to the well-known Pirates Public Beach, the alluring Nyali Beach, and the much less crowded Shanzu Beach. You’ll additionally discover nice resorts, eating places, and procuring facilities shut to those seashores and points of interest.

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 Best Beaches in Mombasa

Quick Travel Itineraries For Diani

Here are just a few prompt itineraries for as much as 7 days in Diani. They embrace the perfect issues to do and locations to go to within the coastal city.

1 Day in Diani Itinerary

One day in Diani is finest spent alongside the seaside. Book your self right into a seaside resort just like the Diani Reef and be prepared for enjoyable within the solar.

Start your day with an extended stroll alongside Diani Beach to Tiwi Beach. Relax and luxuriate in lunch at Estuary Beach Lounge earlier than strolling to the Africa Pool.

After exploring the coral caves and swimming within the pool, head again to Kongo River Beach for a sunset canoe ride. Finish your day with a eating expertise at Nomad Beach Bar.

2-3 Days in Diani Itinerary

Here’s how one can expertise most of Diani points of interest in two-three days.

Day 1: Spend your first-day exploring Ukunda with a local, visiting Colobus Conservation Center, and enjoyable on the seaside.

Day 2: Start your second day with a morning seaside stroll and breakfast in a pleasant restaurant. From there, head to Tiwi Beach and spend your afternoon exploring coral caves and swimming within the Africa Pool. Finish your day with a sunset canoe ride on the Kongo River and dinner at this restaurant.

Day 3: Venture exterior Diani Beach for a day trip to Shimba Hills National Park, Wasini Island, or Gazi Beach.

1 Week in Diani Itinerary

Here are just a few concepts for 7 days in Diani. All the locations could be explored out of your resort, lodge, or trip rental in Diani Beach.

Day 1: Join this strolling tour of Ukunda within the morning. From there, go to the Colobus Conservation Center after which spend your night strolling alongside the seaside.

Day 2: I like to recommend spending the second day in Diani exploring Tiwi Beach and Kongo River as per the above itinerary. Make positive you go to the Kongo Mosque.

The stunning sandy beach in Tiwi Beach in Mombasa

Day 3: Spend the third day in nature exterior Diani with a go to to Bora Bora Wildlife Park and Kaya Kinondo Forest.

Day 4: I like to recommend spending your fourth day visiting Gazi Beach. You can take a nature stroll alongside the mangrove boardwalk and go to the fishermen’s seaside to see the close by slave home. An various is taking a ship experience to Chale Island Beach.

Day 5: Take a day trip to Kisite Mpunguti Marine Reserve to swim, snorkel, and spot dolphins. A guided tour of Kisite Mpunguti additionally takes you to Wasini Island for a scrumptious seafood lunch.

Day 6: Join a day trip to Shimba Hills National Park or journey north and explore Mombasa metropolis. If you go for Mombasa, be sure to strive hen biryani at Jahazi Coffee House.

Day 7: Depending in your curiosity, you may spend the final day scuba diving or visiting Funzi Island. Make positive you end the day in Diani with dinner on the Nomad Beach Bar and Restaurant.

Where to Stay in Diani

Unlike different coastal locations like Mombasa, Diani is residence to some neighborhoods. However, the seaside city is dotted with world-class beach resorts and distinctive trip leases.

Holiday resort at Diani beach in Kenya

Below are a number of the finest lodging choices in Diani for vacationers.

Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa: Best for Families and Couples

This 5-star resort is among the most well-known lodging amenities in Diani. It’s located alongside Diani Beach and gives world-class hospitality to households, {couples}, and company vacationers.

With multi-cuisine eating places, bars, elegant rooms, suites, a swimming pool, and a spa, it guarantees nothing however a very memorable expertise.

For journey lovers, scuba diving, snorkeling, and windsurfing actions could be organized from the resort.

Baobab Beach Resort & Spa: Best for Families and First-time Visitors

Baobab is one other great spot to remain in Diani for consolation, luxurious, and tranquility. It’s set in an 80-acre coastal forest overlooking the seaside and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

The resort boasts lovely rooms with distinctive inside designs and fashionable facilities. You can swim in certainly one of their three swimming swimming pools, get pleasure from contemporary meals at their restaurant, and unwind with drinks on the pool bar.

Nearby points of interest embrace Kaya Kinondo Forest, Colobus Conservation Center, and Bora Bora Wildlife Park.

The Sands At Nomad: Best for Adventure Seekers and Food Lovers

Nomad is the best seaside lodge in Diani to get pleasure from a soothing seaside trip with nice providers. The lodge is about in an enormous indigenous forest subsequent to Diani Beach and options all of the facilities for an ideal keep.

Besides the spacious lodging amenities, an outside swimming pool, and a spa, the lodge has a completely outfitted health heart.

It’s additionally residence to a watersport heart (Diving the Crab) and the most effective eating places in Diani – Nomad Beach Bar.

Tequila Sunrise: Best for Families and Small Groups

The Tequila Sunrise is among the many finest trip leases alongside the south coast. This distinctive serviced seaside residence is about in a serene 4-acre pure forest that hosts totally different primates. It’s surrounded by baobabs and gives lovely views of the ocean.

The 2-bedroom residence options 3 beds and a pair of baths and is good for as much as 4 company. It prices about $140 per night time.

Nirvana Suite: Best for Couples and Solo Travelers

This gorgeous seaside villa is ideal for anybody looking for luxurious, peace, and rest close to Diani Beach. It contains a king-size mattress, spacious toilet, infinity pool, absolutely outfitted kitchen, and different facilities.

Nirvana Suite is conveniently situated inside strolling distance of Diani’s finest points of interest, eating places, retailers, and bars. Its charges begin from $179 per night time and is good for honeymooners, solo vacationers, and digital nomads.

If you fancy a romantic dinner, I recommend Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant.

Best Restaurants in Diani

Whether you’re into native dishes like biryani or seafood like contemporary prawns, you’ll discover an excellent restaurant to fit your fancy in Diani. So, to provide you some concepts, beneath are my favourite locations to eat alongside Diani Beach.

Nomad Beach Bar and Restaurant

This is my favourite restaurant alongside the gorgeous Diani Beach. Besides its very good ocean views, the beachfront eatery gives high quality native and worldwide dishes. It additionally contains a trendy exterior seating area the place you may calm down and benefit from the ocean breeze.

When it involves indulging in superb eating, the Nomad’s menu has a wide range of dishes for all tastes. You can order seafood, Swahili dishes, vegetarian meals, and extra.

Try out their seafood platter. It consists of octopus, fish fillet, prawn skewer, calamari, and garlic butter, served with candy potato chips.

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant

If you’re searching for romantic issues in Diani, go for dinner at Ali Barbour’s. This distinctive restaurant is about inside a coral cave and lit with colourful candles. It additionally has a gap that brings pure mild from the starlit sky at night time.

The beautiful ambiance of the restaurant is complimented by scrumptious meals and a wide array of drinks. You can order seafood reminiscent of garlic prawns, pizza, steak, hen tagine, salmon, and extra.

Asha Bistro

While strolling alongside Diani Beach someday again, I got here throughout this beachfront restaurant. Although small, Asha Bistro is charming and gives guests an area to attach and benefit from the ocean view.

The restaurant has a wide range of dishes and drinks at reasonably priced charges. Make positive you check out their tasty barbeque served with garlic bread or roast potatoes.

How to Get to Diani

Ukunda, the gateway to Diani Beach, has a small airport served by home flights flying in from different airports in Kenya like JKIA, Wilson, and Lamu. Some of the perfect airways from Nairobi to Diani embrace Jambojet, Fly540, and Fly Safarilink.

You may also journey from Nairobi to Mombasa by prepare after which connect with Diani by taxi or shared van. There are three day by day trains from Nairobi to Mombasa.

Traveling from Mombasa to Diani is simple. You can self-drive, hail a taxi, or use a matatu (native van). These matatus are boarded at Likoni, a brief ferry experience from Mombasa Island.

Things To Do in Diani: FAQs

Here are some solutions to generally requested questions on visiting Diani.

In Closing

Diani is among the prime seaside locations in Kenya and it’s someplace that I’ll positively return to. While the seaside is unbelievable, and it’ll most likely be exhausting to peel your self away, attempt to go inland and expertise a distinct aspect of Diani.

I hope you’ve loved this publish on the perfect issues to do in Diani and that it helps you propose a memorable journey.

See extra articles about Kenya right here:

  • 15 Best Places to Visit in Kenya
  • Top 10 Best Beaches in Kenya
  • 10 Best Things To Do in Nakuru
  • 25 Best Things To Do in Nairobi
  • 15 Best Things To Do in Mombasa
  • 10 Best Things To Do in Nanyuki

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