After our trip in Tanzania, we were ready for some beach life again. Over the next few weeks we spent our time in such a range of places including the cosmopolitan Mombassa, trendy Diani beach and took a trip south to the remote Wasini Island. Here we run through our top recommendations for Diani Beach and a tip for covering Wasini Island too.
Relax and chill at Diani beach of course!
A rather obvious tip… but a little insight we can provide is that if you walk north along Diani beach you can find an area with more locals and significantly less beach boys attempting to sell you merchandise. If you aim for closer to Copa Cabana bar it should be quieter down this end of the beach and you can even find the perfect sideways palm tree to have some fun and take a few shots along the way.
Party at Diani Beach Bars Fourty Thieves and Bidibadu
Don’t expect a full on techno-pumping vibe but Ali barbour’s fourty thieves is a beach side bar that has a DJ playing disco tunes late into the night on Friday’s and Saturday’s. We had a great time there mingling with locals and other travellers alike. The local people were really fun and ready to have a good time. When compared to Tanzania (who were also amazing people), the Kenyan people did feel a little more liberal!
You can also find a reggae night at Bidibadu – the perfect vibe for Diani beach we would say.
Head towards Ukunda to soak up the Kenyan culture
Diani is a stunning beach but as a popular stop off for holidaymakers after a safari in Masia Mara, it’s certainly set up for tourists. However if you take a stroll to the slightly chaotic Ukunda you’ll get a much better feel for Kenyan life. It’s around 4km away so if you get tired you can always grab one of the endless number of tuk tuks that pass. On the way there’ll be local shops as well as the tourist markets too. Fi was even able to get a hand tailored skirt – the clothes designer went to the market to pick the material and then tailored it to Fi!
Treat yourself to a date night on Diani Beach at Nomads
We went to Nomads on our final night, and whilst a little bit pricey on a travel budget, the food really was divine! It offered a mix of both local and international cuisine and as we chose a dish from each, we can safely say both were excellent. The espresso martini’s for desert were some of the best we’ve had on our travels! A special shout out for the fattest cat we had ever seen residing there too.
Day trip or stay on Wasini Island
When staying in Diani beach we met a lot of holidaymakers who had visited Wasini Island for day trip snorkelling excursions. Tails were told of swimming with dolphins and sea turtles and some of the best coral reefs they had seen. So, the explorer in us was of course intrigued.
We decided we didn’t want just a day trip – although it is possible in a day – so we looked for accommodation on the island. Wasini island is only 5km long and has just 2 places in which tourists can stay. We opted for an Eco-lodge located on the sea and a room well and truly in the bush! Monkeys were often picking berries just outside our window and we had our first encounter with a monitor lizard.
It was run by a German lady and her partner whom was born in Wasini and they were both lovely. They also arranged tours to the marine park at a cheaper price than the Diani tour operators and ran slightly more expensive private snorkelling/diving trips too. Each evening you can even get freshly caught lobster and crab prepared for your meal. Just be aware it’s a proper eco stay – lights and plug sockets are solar powered and there’s no running water on Wasini! Plenty of water is provided for washing.
Kisite Marine National Park
We took a snorkelling trip to the marine park ourselves although it didn’t turn out quite as we’d planned. Encountering very heavy rain on a very choppy boat but in spite of this we still saw a good number of fish and even got a small glimpse of a group of dolphins. We enjoyed our time in the water snorkelling, although those being sick around us on the boat would have probably said it wasn’t worth it! On a sunny day it would have been a brilliant trip.