Diani Beach travel guide

Diani Beach Tourism | Diani Beach Guide

You're Going to Love Diani Beach

Stretching along Kenya's Indian Ocean coast like a ribbon of brilliant white, Diani Beach is a gorgeous setting for a beach vacation. Against the backdrop of forests echoing with the cries of wildlife, visitors can relax in a truly idyllic destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Diani Beach

1. The Beach

The centerpiece of Diani Beach isn't a mystery: the resort built along its eponymous beach, a pure white strand of sun-baked sand.

2. Enjoy a Wide Range of Water Sports

Diani Beach is a magnet for water sports fans, with the opportunity to windsurf, water ski, jet ski, swim, snorkel, kayak, sail, and dive.

3. The Shimba Hills Are Right Next Door

Visible from the beach, the Shimba Hills National Reserve is a haven of biodiversity where you can glimpse elephants and sable antelopes, and hike to gorgeous waterfalls.

4. It's a Great Diving Destination

Diving is a big deal in Diani Beach, where you can take "diving safaris" on traditional dhows, including excursions to the Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve - home to a huge dolphin colony.

5. There Are Plenty of Land-Based Activities

If you are a land-lubber, Diani Beach delivers as well, with golf courses, great shopping centers, and - for the most adventurous - a popular skydiving school.

What to do in Diani Beach

1. African Paradise

Kenya's eastern coastline on the Indian Ocean is prized for its clear blue waters, sandy beaches, and many outdoor sporting activities. Diani Beach is a renowned beach resort 30km south of Mombasa which sees thousands of sun-drenched tourists each year. Here you can swim in the shallow waters, snorkel among colorful reefs, dive in deep sea canyons, or try your hand at kitesurfing. There are also many restaurants and bars which cater to international tastes at Diani Beach.

2. Explore The Depths

Visit the 39 kilometers of protected waters at Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park off the coast of Wasini Island for some truly fantastic snorkeling opportunities. The Kenya Wildlife Service oversees the protection of the waters to ensure a healthy reef environment and help visitors to better enjoy its natural beauty. The park is brimming with marine life, including 250 species of fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and whales. Travel tip: Pilli Pipa Dhow Safari offers diving equipment and all-inclusive guided tours of the Marine Park for visitors.

3. A Living History

Sacred Kaya forests are part of a cultural practice of conservation and reverence for the natural world held by members of nine different ethnic groups throughout Kenya. The Kaya Kinodo Sacred Forest carries on its cultural traditions to become the first Mijikenda sacred forest to open up for ecotourism. After many years of private cultural heritage, the community elders decided to open the Kaya forest to the public in the hope that interacting with foreign visitors can directly improve the social and economic benefits of the local community. Take a guided tour by one of the local tribe members as they recount the history and significance of the Kaya forest in their culture.

4. Explore The Wild

Visit the Shimba Hills National Reserve to take advantage of one of Kenya's most famous attractions--it's breathtaking wilderness. The 300sq km area is comprised of three different types of terrain: coastal rainforests, woodland canopies, and expansive grasslands and can be accessed by organized tours from Mombasa. Over half of Kenya's indigenous plant population can be found at Shimba Hills National Reserve, with a special emphasis on butterfly and bird populations. The National Reserve is also an important biodiversity spot for black and white colobus monkeys, Sable Antelope, and African elephant species.

5. A Murky Past

Before British colonialists landed in Kenya, Shimoni was a primarily rural town to the south of Mombasa. However, in the mid 18th century, Shimoni was then designated as a port stop city which participated in East Africa's coastal slave trade. The route stretched from the Middle East all the way to South Africa, stopping in Shimoni to take advantage of the natural cave holding pens used to corral slaves. Today there remains a few old colonial British structures alongside the caves, which tourists can visit to gain a greater understanding of the slave trade's effects on the local Kenyan population.

1. African Paradise

Kenya's eastern coastline on the Indian Ocean is prized for its clear blue waters, sandy beaches, and many outdoor sporting activities. Diani Beach is a renowned beach resort 30km south of Mombasa which sees thousands of sun-drenched tourists each year. Here you can swim in the shallow waters, snorkel among colorful reefs, dive in deep sea canyons, or try your hand at kitesurfing. There are also many restaurants and bars which cater to international tastes at Diani Beach.

2. Explore The Depths

Visit the 39 kilometers of protected waters at Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park off the coast of Wasini Island for some truly fantastic snorkeling opportunities. The Kenya Wildlife Service oversees the protection of the waters to ensure a healthy reef environment and help visitors to better enjoy its natural beauty. The park is brimming with marine life, including 250 species of fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and whales. Travel tip: Pilli Pipa Dhow Safari offers diving equipment and all-inclusive guided tours of the Marine Park for visitors.

3. A Living History

Sacred Kaya forests are part of a cultural practice of conservation and reverence for the natural world held by members of nine different ethnic groups throughout Kenya. The Kaya Kinodo Sacred Forest carries on its cultural traditions to become the first Mijikenda sacred forest to open up for ecotourism. After many years of private cultural heritage, the community elders decided to open the Kaya forest to the public in the hope that interacting with foreign visitors can directly improve the social and economic benefits of the local community. Take a guided tour by one of the local tribe members as they recount the history and significance of the Kaya forest in their culture.

4. Explore The Wild

Visit the Shimba Hills National Reserve to take advantage of one of Kenya's most famous attractions--it's breathtaking wilderness. The 300sq km area is comprised of three different types of terrain: coastal rainforests, woodland canopies, and expansive grasslands and can be accessed by organized tours from Mombasa. Over half of Kenya's indigenous plant population can be found at Shimba Hills National Reserve, with a special emphasis on butterfly and bird populations. The National Reserve is also an important biodiversity spot for black and white colobus monkeys, Sable Antelope, and African elephant species.

5. A Murky Past

Before British colonialists landed in Kenya, Shimoni was a primarily rural town to the south of Mombasa. However, in the mid 18th century, Shimoni was then designated as a port stop city which participated in East Africa's coastal slave trade. The route stretched from the Middle East all the way to South Africa, stopping in Shimoni to take advantage of the natural cave holding pens used to corral slaves. Today there remains a few old colonial British structures alongside the caves, which tourists can visit to gain a greater understanding of the slave trade's effects on the local Kenyan population.

Top activities & attractions in Diani Beach

Where to Eat in Diani Beach

Great dining establishments can be found along Diani's seafront. For some of the best food in town, book a table at Lymington's (where the seafood is sublime), or try Swahili Pot, which cooks up meat dishes marinated in authentic Swahili sauces. Expect meals to come to around KSh3,000.

When to visit Diani Beach

Diani Beach in April
Estimated hotel price
$23
1 night at 3-star hotel
Diani Beach in April
Estimated hotel price
$23
1 night at 3-star hotel

The area around Diani Beach experiences a couple of rainy seasons - one from April to May and another in November and December. Any time from June through October should guarantee fine weather.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Diani Beach

Plane

If you are flying from abroad, you are likely to touch down at Mombasa's Moi International, about 30 miles north of Diani Beach. Companies like SunTransfer offer shuttles to the resort, which charge around KSh4,000.

Car

If you choose to drive from Mombasa, just follow the A14 directly to Diani Beach.

Bus

Privately run shuttle buses ply the route between Moi Airport and Diani Beach, and bus connections take around six hours to travel from the capital, Nairobi.

Airports near Diani Beach

Airlines serving Diani Beach

Lufthansa
Good (1,333 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,451 reviews)
KLM
Good (295 reviews)
Air France
Good (289 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,059 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,643 reviews)
British Airways
Good (916 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (347 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (195 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Good (145 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (130 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (97 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (110 reviews)
SAUDIA
Good (109 reviews)
Asiana Airlines
Excellent (53 reviews)
Kuwait Airways
Good (30 reviews)
Kenya Airways
Excellent (30 reviews)
Condor
Okay (22 reviews)
South African
Excellent (2 reviews)
RwandAir
Good (1 reviews)
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Where to stay in Diani Beach

Diani Beach offers some superb accommodation options, including the Southern Palms Beach Resort and the Sands at Nomad Hotel.

Popular neighborhoods in Diani Beach

Diani Beach - the core of the resort itself, Diani Beach has plenty to offer, including the Diani Beach Shopping Centre, where you can stock up on souvenirs at the Diani Beach Art Gallery.

Galu Kinondo - a couple of miles south of Diani, Galu Kinondo is home to a couple of the plushest resort hotels and excellent eateries like Lymington's Bistro on the Beach.

Maweni Beach - North of Diani, Maweni is much quieter, but almost as attractive and provides great access to the Shimba Hills.

Where to stay in popular areas of Diani Beach

Most booked hotels in Diani Beach

The Villa Luxury Suites Hotel
Excellent (9.2, 218 reviews)
$122+
Baobab Beach Resort & Spa
Excellent (8.5, 299 reviews)
$170+
Leisure Lodge Beach & Golf Resort
Excellent (8.3, 231 reviews)
$136+
African Dream Cottages - Diani Beach
Excellent (8.4, 75 reviews)
$44+
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort
Good (7.9, 265 reviews)
$95+
Leopard Beach Resort & Spa
Good (7.8, 237 reviews)
$77+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Diani Beach

Public Transportation

Public transportation is thin on the ground in Diani Beach, and most people rely on taxis or their own vehicles.

Taxi

Taxi companies like Chideri operate in the Diani Beach area. Expect to pay around KSh1,000 per mile.

Car

Rental companies include Cool Auto Hire and Glory Car Hire. Rates start at around KSh700 per day.

The Cost of Living in Diani Beach

Shopping Streets

Central Diani Beach is the place to shop. To be more exact, head to the Diani Beach Shopping Centre, where works of art, clothing, and locally crafted jewelry are all available.

Groceries and Other

Grocery shopping options include M Supermarket and Chandarana. To give an idea of prices, expect to pay around KSh250 for 12 eggs.

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