Diani has consistently been voted one of the top beaches in Africa. This is a great place to spend at least your first day on the south coast. You can either fly into Diani’s airport or take the ferry from Mombasa town. If you opt for the ferry, it is advisable to cross in either a private car or to negotiate a rate with a tuk tuk, as the freestanding-passenger process can be very hot and often turns into a bit of a stampede. It is definitely doable, but if you are heading to the beach, chances are you want to relax a bit.
If you are on a bit of a budget, Stilts Backpackers or Diani Backpackers are both good bets. For those a bit more flexible in terms of budget, Kitu Kidogo Cottages or AfroChic Diani are nice options to consider.
After grabbing breakfast at your hotel, your day in Diani should naturally begin with some beach time. If you have opted for budget accommodation, or are not staying right by the beach, you can snag some nice beach beds by ordering drinks from a beachfront resort. Take some time to enjoy the long stretch of white sand and take a dip in the Indian Ocean. When you start getting hungry, you can check out African Pot on Diani Beach Road, for delicious Swahili-inspired curries. There’s also The Edge Beach Restaurant, where you can take your pick of the fresh seafood available.
After lunch, head to the Colobus Conservation Center to get up close and personal with some monkeys and see the incredible efforts of locally-driven conservation programs. Or, if you are feeling really adventurous, you can do a beach-landing skydive with Skydive Diani.
For seafood and a bit of luxury, head to Sails Restaurant Beach Bar and Restaurant at the Almanara Luxury Villas. You should book ahead to avoid disappointment as Sails is (rightfully) considered the best restaurant in Diani. Prepare yourself for a seafood feast.
Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant is perhaps more worth a visit for its uniqueness than its food. Nevertheless, it is a stunning venue set in a cave, with an open roof to gaze at the stars under candlelight. Ali Barbour’s is hard to beat in terms of its romantic vibes so you should consider it for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles, or a nightcap.
On day two, a visit to Wasini Island makes a great day trip. You will be able to see (and possibly swim with) dolphins and snorkel by joining a boat tour. These usually include lunch and all equipment. You can head back to Diani to enjoy the evening by the beach, or to make arrangements to extend your stay on the coast.