Visiting Dreamy Diani on a Budget: Affordable Things to Do in Diani
Dubbed one of Africa’s best beaches, Diani doubles up as a perfect holiday/weekend getaway destination along the Kenyan South Coast. Its sandy beaches and blue waters rival Santorini and I kid you not!
Diani is the Kenyan coast’s middle child; it’s not as busy as Mombasa, nor as secretive as Lamu but quite the mixture, definitely leaning towards chilled Malindi. The whitewashed buildings and villas teleport you to a little Grecian town. Diani is quite interesting.
There’s the humid air constantly reminding you that you’re at the coast and should have fun. There are the locals; warm and friendly. The colourful tuk tuks driving about and colobus monkeys crossing the road every two seconds. Breaking into a smile is inevitable as you observe all this while listening in to the locals conversations, trying frantically to make of what they’re saying in Giriama (which sounds a lot like Swahili) at a kibanda eating chapati and beans.
A walk down the beach is quite dreamy, especially in the mornings when it is not too hot, there are determined chaps jogging, Mr. crab is getting his head out of the sand and you can see dhows across the horizon. It’s surreal this place. So alive yet so still. So noisy yet so quiet. It truly is a paradise.
Things to do in Diani
First things first, enjoy the magical sunrises and sunsets in Diani. Spend time at the beach, swimming, walking, and chilling. Beach aside, there’s plenty to do in Diani.
- Water activities vary from swimming, snorkelling, kitesurfing, jet skiing, and scuba diving to sky diving or strolling along the beach.
- Tiwi: Swim at the Map of Africa in Tiwi (a natural pool shaped like the map of Africa) during the low tide and if you are brave, jump off the cliff. Swim at the Pool of Africa is also found in Tiwi. Pass by Starfish Island to the beautiful creatures in their natural environment.
- Get your adrenaline fix by driving Quadbikes.
- Go on a sea safari and watch dolphins in Wasini.
- Visit the beautiful Chale Island which is a boat ride away.
- Catch beautiful sunsets at Kongo River.
- Visit the Kongo Museum and Colobus Conservation.
- Go on a game drive at Shimba Hills Reserve which is just some kilometres away. From there hike to Sheldrick Falls and enjoy a dip.
Your choice of accommodation could also advise and organize these activities for you.
Places to Stay in Diani
My friends and I stayed at Diani Backpackers. Rates per person per night was Kshs 1,100 which is very affordable. The best part about Diani Backpackers is that they have a pool and it’s located less than ten minutes away from the beach. Their rooms are dorm-style but they also have private rooms and grounds for camping. Guests have access to the kitchen but you can also order your meals from the onsite restaurant (P.S Their Spaghetti Carbonara slaps).
Backpackers are affordable places that are fantastic alternatives to hotels and villas. They are more social as they are hostels/dorms however they also have private rooms. Backpackers are great for independent young travellers.
Here you get to meet like-minded travellers and probably swap travel experiences over a cocktail or beer(Insert preferred drink). If you are looking for a place to bond with your besties and have a great time, do check in at a backpackers. Easy on the pocket and way too fun! Most have camping facilities as well which is fantastic for travellers on a budget.
Tasty food is available for sale however I do recommend that you buy and cook your own food (you have to liaise with the kitchen staff though) as it is cheaper. We realized this on our last day unfortunately but lesson learnt. Kibandas are everywhere and are great options for local food as well as tons of seafood sold by the beach. Kibandas have the best Swahili food, make sure you try chapati maharagwe.
For the party animals, there are plenty of clubs in Diani including Forty Thieves and Shakatak.
Diani is definitely worth visiting. Worth every penny my friend!
As I watch MTV’s Ridiculousness, I’m secretly I could go back. We all need beaches and sunshine right?
Love and love:)
Until next time, Bye!