Diani Beach

Diani Beach : One of most visited tourist destinations in Kenya for both safari and beach holiday lovers is Diani Beach which is located on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya a country in East Africa. Diani Beach is approximately 30 kilometres (19miles ) south of Mombasa the second largest city in Kenya and the largest city in the Coastal region of Kenya. It is found in the coastal county of kwale, it is so popular with tourists that it has been voted as the best beach destination for a record number of times since 2015.

Diani Beach is 17 kilometres (11miles) long stretching from the Kongo river to the north to Galu beach to the south. It is one of the premier tourists destinations together with Maasai Mara National Reserve, they both receives thousands and thousands of tourists each year. The inhabitants of the area around Diani Beach are the Digo who are one of the nine subtribes of the Mijikenda, but today the region is inhabited by other various communities brought here by the booming tourism related economy. Diani is today estimated to be having a population of about 400,000 majority of them being the indigenous Digo people, whom they speak Chidigo a bantu language which is closely related to Swahili. Diani Beach is perfect place to visit in Kenya for everyone from family holiday to couples on vocations and holidays , some of them choose to spend some few days on Diani after the end of their safaris in Kenya. This is attributed to the fact that Diani has been regarded as one of the best Beach destinations in the world and also the leading beach destination in Africa.

How to get there

Get to Diani Beach by air: Fly to Kenya’s Capital directly to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from many airports across Europe, United States of America, Arab countries and the Asian countries too. Some of the notable destination are Frankfurt( Lufthansa), Zurich (Swiss), London (British Airways, Kenya Airways), New York( Kenya Airways) and Paris (Kenya Airways) among others. For those who would not which to go to Nairobi can choose to fly directly to Ukunda , Diani from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Fly to Diani Beach

Those who wish to fly directly to Diani Beach from either Mombasa or Nairobi can choose from three available options. That is to fly from Wilson Airport in Nairobi via Safarilink and Silverstone or from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport through jambo jet and for the guests that are already at the coast should fly from Mombasa International Airport via Mombasa Air safari.

There are also several other private chattered planes that fly people in and out from Diani to any location in Kenya most of them flying to Maasai Mara National Reserve, Mombasa , Kisumu or Vipingo.

Going to Diani by Road

Diani Beach in Kwale County can also be visited through the road, with one of the choices being self driven Kenya safari. One can simply choose to self drive to Diani from anywhere in Kenya. Although self diving down to the coast by car is tiring and takes a whole day’s trip as this trip necessarily has to pass through Mombasa. For tourist travelling from upcountry, they may opt to branch off the Mombasa Highway in Samburu then drive all the way through Shimba Hill National Park to Diani Beach to avoid the Mombasa traffic jams and the Likoni ferry congestion.

Go to Diani by Bus: For the visitors who wish to use the public transport system there are two available buses that offer transport from  Nairobi to Ukunda ( Diani).They are the Chania and Simba but they may sometimes be not so comfortable.

Getting to Diani Beach by Sea : This is one of the least common means used by those visiting Diani Beach. This route is mainly used by seafarers doing business of importation from Zanzibar, through the Shimoni port. But from the coastal city of Mombasa there are private boats that can take you to Diani.

Diani Beach by ferry from Mombasa: Visitors from Mombasa must used Likoni ferry to reach Diani Beach.  These five minutes crossing Channel runs regularly continuously the whole day. After disembarking from the ferry , you will drive or be driven to Diani a journey that takes approximately thirty minutes on a good tarmacked road.

There are other available public transport vehicles popularly known as Matatus or minibuses which operate this route from the Likoni ferry to Ukunda. They usually charge around Ksh 200 for a journey that takes approximately 30 minutes.

Diani Beach means of transport

At Diani Beach there are various options to aide you in your mobility around the Beach, ranging from motorbikes and taxis ,TukTuks to self driven. At any one given time there are at least hundred taxis around Diani Beach that are easily and readily available. Some of the places highly likely to find ready awaiting taxis are around Diani shopping centre, Petro, Barbara, Barclays shopping centre, Ushago and the Nomad Hotel. The taxis are well maintained and in excellent condition, they have professional friendly and knowledgeable drivers.

Diani Beach
Diani Beach

Matatus transport system

Public transport in Kenya popularly known as the Matatu industry is one of the attractive cultures in Kenya. Some of the operating routes in Diani Beach are;

Pavilion- Ukunda – This route leads to the right side of Diani Beach.

Likoni -Ukunda-These route takes you from Likoni ferry to Diani Beach.

Leisure- Ukunda– This route leads to the left side of Diani Beach.

Matatus have no specific timelines, they are simply available throughout the day from 6 am in the morning to late in the night. The matatu can stop almost anywhere of your preferred drop point. They can also be stopped for pick up at almost anywhere by just a simple gesture of waving the hand to signify stop. You are required to inquire the charges to your destination before boarding.

Other attractions of Diani Beach

Visit the Kongo mosque

The Kongo mosque is named after the surrounding forest, the Kongo forests. This ancient structure is one of a kind and rich in history is one of the tourist attractions here.

It was once named Diani Persian mosque by the Arabs merchant who came to trade and live in the area but later changed to Kongo mosque.

Shimoni slave caves

The name Shimoni is a Swahili word meaning the land of the caves. These caves have rich history  dating back to many centuries ago.

It is one of the major tourist attractions of the Diani Beach. These amazing caves are old evidently shown by the huge stalactites and stalagmites found inside. Shimoni Caves have a sense of horror feel and the history of the Shimoni resolve around the caves.

Kaya Kinondo Forest

 This is one of the oldest forests found on the south coast of Kenya. It has 187 plant species, 48 species of birds and around 45 species of butterfly. These butterflies represent the five percent found in Kenya, some of the species are Zanj Elephants shrew.

One of the other notable species here are the colobus monkey among others. The forest visit will highlight the culture and the spiritual connection with the inhabitants the Digo people.

Diani Art Gallery

Diani art gallery has a wide selection of painted work, sculptures and photography from well known artists and other artistic works from Kenya and Africa. This is the only gallery found in the coastal Kenya that displays a variety of fine African art.

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