Diani Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in Kenya, and for good reasons. It has a stunning 25 km stretch of white sand, crystal clear water, and a variety of activities and attractions to suit every taste and budget. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, an adventurous holiday, or a cultural experience, Diani Beach has something for you. In this article, we will explore some of the must-see destinations in Diani, South Coast in Kenya, and why you should visit them.
1. Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
If you love snorkeling and diving, then you should not miss the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park. This is a protected area that covers four small islands and the surrounding coral reefs. It is home to over 250 species of fish, including dolphins, turtles, rays, and sharks. You can also spot humpback whales during their migration season from July to October. The marine park offers a spectacular underwater scenery, with colorful corals, sponges, and sea fans. You can join a boat tour from Diani Beach and enjoy a full-day excursion that includes snorkeling, diving, and a delicious seafood lunch on Wasini Island.
2. Colobus Conservation
If you are interested in wildlife and conservation, then you should visit the Colobus Conservation. This is a non-profit organization that works to protect the endangered Angolan colobus monkeys and their habitat. The colobus monkeys are black and white primates that live in the coastal forests of Kenya. They are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict. The Colobus Conservation rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned monkeys, and educates the local community about the importance of conservation. You can take a guided tour of the sanctuary and see the monkeys up close, as well as other animals such as bush babies, vervet monkeys, and sykes monkeys. You can also volunteer at the Colobus Conservation and help with the daily tasks of caring for the animals.
3. Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest
If you want to learn more about the culture and history of the Digo people, the indigenous community of Diani, then you should visit the Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest. This is a sacred site that has been used for centuries by the Digo for rituals, ceremonies, and prayers. The forest is a natural wonder, with ancient trees, medicinal plants, and diverse wildlife. You can take a guided walk through the forest and learn about the traditions and beliefs of the Digo, as well as their efforts to preserve the forest and their culture. You can also participate in a cultural exchange program and visit a local village, where you can interact with the locals and experience their way of life.
4. Skydive Diani
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, then you should try skydiving at Skydive Diani. This is the only skydiving center in Kenya, and it offers a unique and thrilling experience. You can jump from a plane at 12,000 feet and freefall for 45 seconds, reaching speeds of up to 200 km/h. You can then enjoy a scenic parachute ride over the stunning Diani Beach, with views of the ocean, the coral reef, and the forest. You can choose to do a tandem jump with an instructor, or a solo jump if you have previous experience. Skydive Diani also offers courses and coaching for beginners and advanced skydivers.
5. The Sands at Nomad
If you are looking for a place to stay in Diani Beach, then you should consider the Sands at Nomad. This is a luxury boutique hotel that offers a perfect blend of comfort, style, and nature. The hotel has 37 rooms, suites, and cottages, each with a unique design and decor, and equipped with modern amenities. You can enjoy the views of the ocean, the garden, or the forest from your balcony or terrace. The hotel also has a restaurant, a bar, a spa, a pool, and a private beach. You can also take advantage of the hotel’s activities and services, such as water sports, yoga, golf, safari, and airport transfers.
6. Diani Beach
Of course, no visit to Diani would be complete without spending some time on the magnificent Diani Beach. This is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Kenya, and for good reasons. It has a long stretch of soft white sand, fringed by palm trees and turquoise water. The beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, kite surfing, jet skiing, and other water sports. You can also enjoy a camel ride, a massage, or a shopping spree at the various stalls and shops along the beach. Diani Beach is also a lively spot for nightlife, with many bars, restaurants, and clubs to choose from.
7. Shimba Hills National Reserve
If you want to experience some of the wildlife and nature of Kenya, then you should head to the Shimba Hills National Reserve. This is a small but diverse reserve that covers an area of coastal rainforest, woodland, and grassland. It is home to over 50% of the rare plants in Kenya, including some endangered species of cycad and orchid. It is also a haven for birds and butterflies, with over 100 species recorded. The main attraction of the reserve, however, is the wildlife. Here you can see the endangered sable antelope, the only population in Kenya, as well as elephants, giraffes, leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, and monkeys. You can also visit the scenic Sheldrick Falls and the Mwaluganje Forest, where you can see more elephants and learn about the conservation efforts.
8. Wasini Island
If you are looking for a day trip from Diani, then you should consider Wasini Island. This is a small island in the Indian Ocean, opposite the village of Shimoni. The island is a cultural and natural gem, with a rich history and a stunning marine park. You can take a boat tour from Diani Beach and enjoy a full-day excursion that includes dolphin watching, snorkeling, diving, and a delicious seafood lunch. You can explore the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park, where you can see colorful corals, fish, turtles, and dolphins. You can also visit the Wasini village, where you can learn about the traditions and beliefs of the Swahili people, who have lived on the island for centuries. You can also see the remains of an old mosque and a slave cave, which testify to the island’s past.