If you’re a travel enthusiast, then you have probably visited Diani or at least, plan on visiting someday. Diani is one of the most famous beaches in the world and was voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the 2020 Travellers’ Choice Awards.
The 25-kilometre stretch is beloved for its white sandy beaches, blue ocean and an array of marine and wildlife. It also has a beautiful and vibrant Swahili culture giving visitors a taste of the hospitable life on the Kenyan coast. These are a few reasons to put Diani on your travel bucket list. Thanks to its beautiful scenery, vibrant culture and rich history, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable experience.
Whether you’re an adventurer or more laidback, there are a wide range of fun activities to do in Diani. Here are some.
Go snorkeling and visit Wasini Island
There are several places where you can snorkel in Diani such as Tiwi Beach and Nomad Beach. However, some of the best marine life such as dolphins, octopuses and turtles can be found near Wasini Island. You will need to set sail on board a dhow to get to Wasini Island. Just a few miles from the coast, the adventure begins. The dhow crew will take you on a guided snorkelling experience for roughly an hour. You’ll also get to see dolphins. After that, they will take you for lunch and a tour of Wasini Island. The whole package costs around Ksh 13,000 or $115 per person.
Learn to kite surf
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can learn how to kite surf. Diani is renowned for its world-class water sports condition making it an ideal place to learn how to kite surf and become a pro. Additionally, kite surfing can be challenging at the beginning but you progress really quickly once you get the hang of things. It can take a few days to become a confident kite surfer. Not to mention, it seems like a lot of fun.
For thrill-seekers, skydiving from thousands of feet above a beautiful beach is a dream come true. For the rest of us, it may sound like a nightmare. Skydiving is not for the fainthearted but a thrilling experience, nonetheless. It’s an opportunity to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you feel alive. So, when you’re in Diani, you shouldn’t pass on this activity. It costs roughly Ksh 40,000 or $350 for tandem jumps while a complete skydiving course costs Ksh 300,000 or $2,600.
Go for a game drive at Shimba Hills National Reserve
If you’re wondering if you can see the Big 5 while at the coast, the answer is yes. That is the beauty of the African landscape. You get both beach and safari in one place. Shimba Hills National Reserve is an incredible location only 45 minutes from Diani Beach where you can spot a variety of wild animals including elephants, antelopes, birds, mongoose and other small mammals. You can also enjoy the beautiful landscape which comprises waterfalls and dense forests. Park fees for citizens and residents are Ksh 300 for adults and Ksh 125 for children. For non-residents, it’s $22 for adults and $13 for children.
Dine at Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant
This unique cave-turned-eatery is a must-visit while in Diani. Ali Barbour’s prides itself in offering a magical and unforgettable dining experience and judging from the reviews, they don’t disappoint. The ambient lighting allows diners to enjoy the beauty of the cave as well as view the night sky clearly. However, the experience doesn’t stop there. The restaurant specializes in international cuisines making it an ideal choice for a romantic date night or elegant dining with friends and family. Children under 6 aren’t allowed in the restaurant and children under 12 aren’t allowed after 8.30 pm. It’s open from Monday to Sunday from 5.00 pm to 11.00 pm.
Almasi Art Gallery
If you’re curious about the art scene in the coastal region, this place is for you. The art scene in Diani is still on the come and there aren’t many art galleries in the region. However, there are many talented artists and galleries like these show the rest of the country and the world the kind of talent in the region. It’s a great place to view and learn about fine African art. You can also find the gallery owner there who is warm and knowledgeable.
Visit the Colobus Conservation Center
Diani’s landscape boasts unique wildlife such as the Colobus Monkey. These beautiful creatures can be spotted at the Colobus Conservation Center, which is an organization that was started by local Diani residents in an effort to save the iconic monkeys from human encroachment. The centre offers educational tours about this endangered species. Visitors can also support the centre by sponsoring a tree for $10. Visiting hours are between 8.30 am to 6.30 pm from Monday to Sunday.
Visit the Kongo Mosque
Kongo Mosque is the oldest mosque in East Africa, constructed by Arabs in the 14th Century. Though it’s a historical building, it’s still a functioning mosque and believers attend regular prayers here. When you visit the mosque, you’re greeted by an ancient structure surrounded by tall baobab trees which were also planted by the Arabs. The caretaker of the mosques takes visitors on a tour explaining the history of the place. However, visitors who aren’t Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque according to the rules of the religion.
Enjoy sundowners by the beach
There’s no better feeling than sipping your favourite beer or cocktail by the beach while watching the sunset. It’s a magical experience that you don’t want to miss. While you’re in Diani, there are many bars and eateries along the beach where you can get a drink. You can also find vendors along the beach or bring your own drinks and have a picnic. Either way, it’s an affordable activity that you’ll enjoy.
Go camel riding at the beach
Speaking of affordable activities, camel riding is one of the most iconic things you can do on Diani Beach and any other beach within the region. These towering creatures offer a fun and, at times, scary experience for beachgoers. You’ll find them strolling along the beach with one or two riders on top. If you’re not brave enough to ride them, you can take a picture for the gram which is still a fun experience.