On the south coast of Kenya lies one of our family’s favourite escapes… the award winning Diani Beach! With sand that is irresistibly soft & brilliantly white; a crystal clear turquoise sea; a reef teaming with vibrant aquatic life; and child friendly activities galore; it was so difficult to limit this list to our Top 10 Things to Do in Diani Beach!
Colobus Conservation – A very simple, no frills, not-for-profit organisation to promote conservation of the colobus and other monkeys and turtles, as well as the whole Diani eco-system and environment … and address the threats to its survival. The organization works in partnership with local communities to promote conservation and we ask you kindly to visit. In our view, its because of this organisation that Diani beach is as it is, they continuously fight the cause.
Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest – for those interested in history, flora & fauna, it is an interesting hour or two. Kaya Kinondo is a sacred forest originally home to the Digo people. Thanks to successful conservation efforts, they now live nearby and use the forest as a place of worship. The Digo people show us a beautiful example of environmental conservation and cultural preservation managed at the grassroots level.
Feeding Bushbaby’s – an incredible activity for adults and kids alike. Jump in a Tuktuk at 6.30pm (book first) and head for Stilts Backpackers for a sundowner and some supper whilst the gorgeous little bushbaby’s are fed at 7pm (you will be able to feed them if you’re lucky). A great night out for kids!
Golf – Diani is home to one of the Kenyan coast’s finest golf courses, the Leisure Lodge Beach and Golf Resort, which offers a championship golf course (18-hole, par 72, course measuring 6084 meters with driving range, chipping green and bunker, resident golf professional, equipment hire and Pro shop.
Ngalawa Fishing Boat Excursion – Kenyan fisherman traditional dugout canoe excursion with a paddle. It’s a natural, exciting and peaceful excursion over the waters of the Indian Ocean. You can even choose to visit the sand bank and snorkel. Child friendly for kids who can swim. Our tip: take water to drink.
Glass Bottom Boat – Contact John +254 (0) 726 678867 to book in advance. A very Kenyan 2-hr long excursion in a shaded glass-bottom boat that will take you out to the sandy reef to snorkel in the pools and have a walk around the reef. The reef can get a bit over-populated in high season but try to get there early. This boat is nothing fancy at all, but full of character and the kids will have a ball. Child friendly to the extreme! Our Tip: Take water to drink.
A Traditional Swahili Dhow day trip – an incredible day out to the local Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park in a traditional boat, with Pilli Pipa. You will join other guests on one of two dhows (both with flushing loos and shades) off which you will be able to dive or snorkel (even if you can’t swim!!). Dolphins and whale shark/humpback whale sightings are a regular occurrence. You will receive lunch at the owners private home prepared by smiling Swahili ladies … there is even a swimming pool! The price includes transport to and from your hotel, all equipment, trained guides, marine park fees, water & snacks, a wonderful lunch and drinks with lunch. Every child visiting Diani who enjoys snorkeling should do this!
Deep Sea Fishing – East Africa is a Mecca for deep-sea fishermen, many world and all-Africa records being held in Kenya. Half day, full day, night & day-night-day trips are available with Sport Fishing Kenya who pride themselves in being passionate about sustainable sportfishing and engage actively in conservation both on the water and onshore. Their policy is to tag and release all billfish and other designated endangered species such as Giant Trevally. There are six types of billfish, striped, blue and black marlin, sailfish, swordfish, sharks, wahoo, yellow fin, tuna and dorado. Boats typically depart in the early morning, trawl for bait and then head out to the deep water to wait for the big catch. The fishing season is August to March (billfish season from November to March). Perfect father & son outing!
Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddling (SUP), Snorkeling … You name it! More fun in the water then you (or your kids!) ever dreamed was possible. All available at Sand & Sea Watersports.
Deep Sea Diving – for complete beginners and experienced divers alike, minimum age is 10 years. It is also possible to do a ‘fun dive’ where no experience is required and a guide takes you down to 6 metres. Due to the Indo-Pacific current, the Indian Ocean boasts the same fish species as Australia: manta rays; reef, hammerhead and whale sharks; turtles and multi-coloured reef fish in coral gardens. A wide range of deep sea diving excursions including certified PADI diving courses and wreck diving can be arranged with Pilli Pipa.
So what are you waiting for? Grab the kiddos & let’s head to Diani Beach!
Looking for the perfect family-friendly place to stay? Check out our blog post on our family’s memory filled holiday on the beach.