Safarilink operates two daily flights to and from Diani. Flights arrive and depart from Ukunda airstrip, which is a five-minute taxi drive from the lovely Diani beach. Beaches further south and the Shimba Hills are easily accessible from here.
Diani Beach is the longest and liveliest of Kenya’s many attractive beaches. The beach is home to all manner of hotels and resorts, from the budget to the boutique, and is liberally scattered with bars, nightclubs, restaurants, art galleries, shops, spas and golf courses. Many of the resorts have a daily programme of activities run by their professional animation teams, and there is also a number of tour, travel and adventure sports companies that specialise in specific activities.
Water sports here are many and varied. Kite surfing has recently taken off, and numerous operators offer courses in this popular sport, as well as providing equipment for sale or hire. Deep-sea fishing, glass-bottom boat trips, wind surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling and body boarding are just a few of the activities available here. Adventure sports are also popular: sky diving with an instructor or – if you’re already certified – alone is on offer, as are scenic flights up the coast in in a microlight.
The East African Whale Shark Trust works to protect whale sharks, and has a wealth of projects including the research and tracking of sharks, education of children in schools, and creating awareness among local fishermen. Their sister company, Whale Shark Adventures, offers swimming with whale sharks, whale shark tracking and other interactive activities during the early months of the year when whale sharks pass through Kenya’s waters. The Colobus Trust, also based in Diani, works to protect these special monkeys. Their many projects include forest conservation, animal welfare and education programmes, and give visitors the opportunity to adopt a monkey.
The lovely Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park, to the south of Diani, is an area with four small islands surrounded by coral reef. The marine park is particularly known for triggerfish, moray eels, angelfish, hawksbill turtles and dolphins. Boat trips to the park, including scuba diving and snorkelling, can be arranged from Diani; many such trips throw in a tasty seafood lunch on an attractive island during the course of the day. The islands Wasini, Chale and Funzi are little developed havens of mangroves, dolphins and crocodiles.
Nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve gives people staying in Diani the chance to combine a safari with their beach holiday. The reserve is most famous for being home to Kenya’s only population of Sable antelope, also known as the Shimba Sable, and for the large numbers of elephants found there and in neighbouring Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary. The reserve is also an important site for birds, butterflies, and certain endangered species of cycad and orchids.