Discover what award winning Diani has to offer beyond its miles of perfect beach…
Voted ‘Africa’s Leading Beach Destination 2014’ at the recent World Travel Awards, Diani Beach on Kenya’s south coast is the jewel in Kenya’s crown. Ten kilometres of palm-fringed coastline meet the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, creating a picture-postcard holiday destination. A choice of world-class resorts, apartments and private villas cater to a range of budgets, and the excellent accommodation is complemented by equally impressive retail, dining and entertainment facilities. Of course there’s so much more to Diani than just miles of perfect beach. The coral reef ensures calm waters, ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving, as well as a range of water-sports including windsurfing, sailing and kite-surfing. And Diani is also the gateway to Kwale County’s many other attractions including Shimba Hills National Reserve, the coastal rainforest that is home to the endangered Sable antelope.
Diani Day Trips: three memorable experiences
1 Sacred Kaya Forests
A ‘kaya’ is a sacred forest of the Mijikenda people. The forests are revered as sacred sites and maintained by councils of elders. Eleven of the approximately 30 separate kayas have been grouped together and inscribed as the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to Kaya Kinondo at the southern end of Diani Beach are given a fascinating tour by a knowledgeable Diga tribesman, identifying the endemic fauna and flora, sampling local herbal remedies and hugging a tree!
2 The Colobus Trust
The Colobus Trust at the heart of Diani Beach is a non-profit organisation established to rescue and rehabilitate the area’s threatened primates such as the Angolan colobus monkey, vervet monkeys, Sykes monkeys, bush babies and yellow baboons. Visitors are treated to an educational tour through the park and there is an interactive learning centre.
3 Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
South of Diani, the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park is a 39-sq-km sanctuary of four islands surrounded by a coral reef. The clear waters, stunning coral gardens and abundance of tropical fish make the park a spectacular destination for snorkellers and divers. You can also take a traditional dhow across the Shimoni-Wasini channel, spotting dolphins on the way. Birdwatchers are in for a treat as the islands are home to significant numbers of crab-plovers and roseate terns which migrate from Europe.