Diani is a beautiful beach located roughly 19 kilometres to the south of Mombasa.
Its warmth and allure is hard to come by, and the sand is something to contend with. It forms the perfect getaway for vacations with family and loved ones for a few days away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
If you are considering visiting Diani then I have the perfect list of to-do activities that can keep you fully engaged in your holiday and feel fulfilled at the same time, not to mention the value for money.
Whether you are looking for spas to have your tense muscles relieved and lazily lie in the sun hoping to tan your skin, or you are hoping for some nature vibe or a combination of both, Diani has you fully covered.
Skydiving, Snorkelling, and Scuba Diving
Fancy some adrenaline rush? These are your go-to activities at the beach.
With skydiving, you get the rare chance to be airborne, having a panoramic view of the exquisite scenery beneath. It’s basically the act of safe jumping from a plane, and you get to have that experience from as low as USD 350, and for a small additional fee, you get to have yourself filmed to relieve the experience over time.
Snorkelling on the other hand is the act of swimming while fully equipped with snorkelling gear, swim fins, and a breathing tube.
This too is a rare chance to interact with marine life, so if you have been wondering what lies beneath the blue waters, there’s only one way to find out, and Diani gives you that opportunity for as little as USD 32.
There is a thin line between snorkelling and scuba diving. Snorkelling allows you to interact with marine life but only at the surface.
For the insatiable ones, scuba diving gives you the chance to go deeper into the waters and find out what lies there; all kinds of marine life and coral reefs at such close quarters is worth the shot, and you can have that experience for as low as USD 160, and as if that’s not enough, agencies are more than willing to teach beginners the basics of diving for an additional fee.
Visiting The Shimba Hills
Located only a few kilometres from the coast, these would be a perfect stopover for you if you’re a nature lover.
The views and scenery are epic, not to mention the various animals you get to see; elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs, monkeys, and giraffes, name them. Even the rare sable antelope is found here.
The ample space and serenity is perfect for picnics and camping with family, friends, and even team-building activities.
Towards the south of Shimba Hills, you find the Sheldrick’s falls, a spectacular site for sore eyes. Suffice to say, everything on Shimba Hills speaks of beauty and an aura of serenity, a clean break from the daily monotony of tiring jobs.
The site has friendly guides who are at everyone’s beck and call, giving directions on the place and ready to help.
In Case you’re wondering where to put up for a night or two, the site has accommodation facilities such as the Shimba Hills Lodge that offer luxurious and comfortable facilities to their guests at pretty affordable prices.
If you’re considering cheaper alternatives, then all you need is a sleeping bag and a few amenities to set you camping. Don’t worry, you will be well protected from any harm.
Touring The Diani Beach Art Gallery
If you are a sucker for art, and every sense of the word is enough to flip you over, then this is just the place for you.
The Diani Beach Art Gallery offers an excellent collection of different versions of art, and the whole place speaks of cultural diversity. Swift artists display their prowess in the vast field, and the best and most outstanding get picked.
Here you are guaranteed to interact with fellow artisans and exchange a few skills on the topic and you might just learn something new.
Different paintings and sculptures speak depth into the cultures of different communities and not just in the country but the whole of Africa.
The staff are well versed with the activities that go on and are ready to answer any questions. There are also display rooms filled with different forms of art, you could spend an entire day marvelling at the depth of it all, not to mention it’s a break from the beaches in Diani.
Making Merry At The Forty Thieves Beach Bar
There’s no better way to unwind other than visiting a bar, having a well-prepared meal, and drowning it in a drink of your choice.
Located ten minutes from the Mombasa International airport, the Forty Thieves beach bar is renowned for its exquisiteness in the whole of Diani.
The night is not lost away, and one gets the chance to listen to live music as local and international bands steal the show. Games are also played such as billiards, or you may choose a quiet night under the clear skies listening to the waves of the nearby waters.
Nothing gets better than that, and the whole place feels like a slice of heaven.
Within the vicinity are numerous accommodation facilities in case you are worried about where to spend the night; all at pocket-friendly prices, like the Lofta Resort, which is only a few minutes drive from Forty Thieves. Its geography is eye-catching, and it speaks of comfort and serenity.
Touring The Famous Fort Jesus
Opened in 1593, this is a historic site that delves into the history of the Kenyan coast, from how it was invaded, and the struggle for domination between the Portuguese and the British, to how the majestic building came to be, telling a tale of ancient slavery and eminent torture, to a struggle for survival.
If you don’t mind filling your head with facts about the Portuguese invasion, then this is the place for you. The heritage site, although very ancient, is quite intriguing, especially when the guards go about the occurrences at the place, telling a story of fortification to its conversion as a prison and how it turned to be a great landmark on the Kenyan Coast.
The guides at Fort Jesus are friendly as well and offer proper guidance as the site is quite vast with numerous rooms, each telling harrowing stories of how prisoners fought for their lives in such small spaces with barely any optimism for the future.
Entrance to the fort is free, but if you don’t know the way around, hiring a guide costs roughly Ksh. 800 on the higher side.
Not far from the site are a few restaurants such as the Jahazi Coffee house that offer refreshments as you prepare for the adventure.
Colobus Conservation And The Kaya Kinondo Forest
As the name hints, Colobus Conservation is an NGO dedicated to the preservation of the almost extinct colobus monkey.
The conservation works from an inclusivity strategy and involves the larger community in aiding in preserving the monkey species. Seeing how dedicated the team is, in caring for the monkeys, might touch a nerve and motivate you to do something worthwhile.
The Kaya Kinondo forest is a sacred stretch of land with vast varieties of trees, it’s the perfect description of quiet and nature, and if something in this domain is fascinating to you, then it’s the ideal location.
The forest has friendly guides who can expertly explain how the different types of trees work, their origin and what kind of value they can add, especially medically.
You can also use the opportunity to unwind by going on a nature trail, listening to the chirping of birds, inhaling the crisp air, and just getting lost in the beauty of nature, the whole experience at these two places would be really sentimental to one who is passionate about nature and wildlife.
Paying A Visit To Kongo Mosque and Chale Island
The Kongo mosque is located in Diani and is iconic since it’s the oldest in East Africa.
Historians say that it was built by Arabs, back when they used the Kenyan coast as a trading avenue. If you are intrigued by religion, then this is the right place for you.
Muslims are said to have gathered here every so often to worship and hold the place in high regard. Its surroundings are quite lush and there is the presence of the Kongo river which adds to the beautiful scenery.
Chale Island is located to the south of Diani and is also a place of worship.
Its outlook however offers a more romantic set-up due to its white beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean.
If you are looking for some privacy in an intimate place, then this is perfect for you. The island may look small, but there’s more than meets the eye, and the activities you can engage in are quite many, you even get the chance to shop for unique souvenirs.