Diani Beach in Ukunda, Kenya

Diani Beach in Ukunda, Kenya


Diani Beach in Ukunda, Kenya Diani Beach is a major beach resort on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is located 30 kilometres south of Mombasa, in the nearby Kwale County. It has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination for the fifth time running since 2015. The beach is about 17 kilometres long, from the Kongo river to the north and Galu beach to the south. Diani is one of the most prominent tourism resort areas of Kenya. The indigenous people of the area are Digo, one of the nine ethnic communities known as the Mijikenda. Today the area includes Kenyans of various ethnicities who have migrated to Diani, drawn by the promise of a tourism related economy. With a population of over 100,000 inhabitants, the Diani/Ukunda urban area is one of the largest at the Kenyan coast and forms part of the larger Mombasa metropolitan region. A small airstrip – Ukunda Airport – is located between the beach area and the Mombasa-Lunga Lunga road. The water remains shallow near shore, with some underwater sandbars near the surface which allow wading with a clear view of the sandy bottom. Inland from the beach, there is extensive vegetation, including numerous palm trees which cover the coastal areas, unlike the dry acacia trees of the mountainous Kenyan Highlands. The Mwachema River flows into the sea at Diani Beach. The general area is known for its coral reefs, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and for the closely located Shimba Hills National Reserve, a wildlife reserve which looks out over the Indian Ocean. Diani Beach has restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, and several shopping centres. Diani Beach is also a popular kitesurfing, sky diving, jet skiing, and snorkelling location. The 16th century Kongo Mosque is located at the Northern tip of Diani Beach, where the Kongo river flows into the ocean. It is the last remaining ancient swahili structure in Diani. Five Places to Go in Diani Beach, Kenya Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant Founded in the late 1970s and rediscovered by travelers, this seafood spot is in a cave believed to be between 120,000 and 180,000 years old. Its candlelit tables are dotted across a subterranean warren of small caves. A cocktail bar carved from stone makes this the perfect spot for an aperitif. Alfajiri Villas This five-star hotel has hosted numerous celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and U2’s Bono. Guests can choose from one of Alfajiri’s three private villas tucked on a cliff overlooking a private strip of Diani Beach, a giraffe-patterned infinity pool and the Indian Ocean. Rooms are decorated with traditional beaded furniture from the Samburu region and midcentury objects from the Maasai region. Diani Beach Art Gallery This independent contemporary art gallery has been a regular haunt of locals since it opened two years ago. The gallery has a strong roster of East African artists, including established painters like Kizito Maria Kasule and Maggie Otieno, and emerging talent such as the sculptor Lukwago Saad. Whale Shark Adventures In 2015, the Swedish scientist Volker Bassen launched a conservation initiative on the Diani coast to combat the extinction of whale sharks. On weekends, he runs water safaris, offering the once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with whale sharks — a nice extension of Kenya’s intrepid safari culture. Zanzara Boutique With rare Kenyan souvenirs on sale, this spot is the perfect place to browse bone crockery, handmade wooden cutlery and hand-printed textiles from Mombasa, a city about 20 miles away. Locals like Marika Molinar, owner of the luxurious Alfajiri Villas, consider the three-year-old boutique to be “the best shopping in Diani.” Until recently, Kenya’s Diani Beach was a well-kept secret for a cultured international crowd that has been vacationing on the coast since the 1970s, fueled by a passion for the sparkling white-gold beaches, rare sea safaris and luxury hotel scene that characterizes this strip of coastline on the Indian Ocean. But with the arrival of new dining, shopping and drinking spots, and a celebrity following, Diani Beach is now the trendy escape for tourists looking for respite after safari trips in the Samburu and Maasai regions. At only an hour’s domestic flight away from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, the golden stretch of beach is becoming one of the most popular sun, sea and sand destinations in the country. Like us and Join us at Xtreme Collections for more fun and knowledge.

1 thought on “Diani Beach in Ukunda, Kenya

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