Discovering new corners of the world can sometimes seem daunting for even the most seasoned travelers. We strive to make your visit to Alfajiri Villas as effortless and memorable as possible with a few easy tips and recommendations to consider when traveling to Diani Beach. Whether you are in the beginning phases of planning your trip to Kenya or have just boarded your flight, our Diani Beach Travel Guide covers everything you need to know before arriving in Africa’s most sought-after beach destination.
Where is Diani Beach?
Kenya is a vibrant East African country that boasts wildlife-rich savannah plains, beautiful lakes, mountain ranges, and the iconic Great Rift Valley. In addition to these diverse landscapes, Kenya is also blessed with a coastline bordering the Indian Ocean that offers a truly unique beach experience with an African twist. Diani Beach is found on this very coastline and stretches across 9 miles of snow-white beaches. Bordering the coastal town of Ukunda and about 19 miles south of the port city of Mombasa, Diani has repeatedly been named the most beautiful beach in Africa.
How do I get to Diani Beach?
With its ideal location within 20 miles of Mombasa Airport, getting to Diani Beach is an easy journey. If you are traveling from abroad, direct flights to Mombasa Airport are available from the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy followed by a 1-hour road transfer to Diani Beach. Travelers visiting Diani after their safaris in Masai Mara Reserve, Samburu National Park or Nairobi, have the option of flying directly into Ukunda Airstrip by private charter or scheduled flights with SafariLink and Mombasa Air. Ukunda Airstrip is a short 5-minute drive to Diani Beach.
What’s the weather like in Diani Beach?
Best time to go:
Thanks to its warm, tropical climate Diani Beach is an all-year-round destination with an average temperature of 26 Celsius (compared to London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C). Its high humidity brings a pleasant sea breeze which perfectly balances out the African sun and is also the reason for Diani’s ideal kitesurfing conditions. Contrary to what one might think, the best time to visit Diani Beach in Kenya is between the cooler months of July to September and the dry months from December to March.
The region experiences a mild rainy season starting towards the end of April / beginning of May and lasting until July, but don’t let this stop you from traveling during this time. Rainfall during the rainy season usually occurs in the late afternoon or during the night which means that it won’t interfere with your daily routine. If you are sensitive to high temperatures, August is the ideal time to travel to Diani Beach as it is also considered the “coldest” month with an average of 24 Celsius (compared to its warmest month in March with an average temperature of 29 Celsius!).
Best months for kitesurfing
Diani Beach is renowned for being one of the best kitesurfing destinations in the world and for this reason you can rest assured that the best time to travel to Diani Beach for this sport is all year around. This being said, avid kitesurfers might like to know that they can expect cooler and stronger southern winds from April until September and warmer, more reliable Northern winds from December to March. On average you can expect winds of 20 knots.
Best months for diving
With water temperatures rarely dropping below 21 Celsius on the Kenyan coastline, diving is a pleasant experience all year round. However, more favorable conditions for scuba diving are marked between the months of October and March due to great visibility, abundant marine life, calmer waters, and less wind. If you would like the opportunity to see whale sharks, these majestic creatures are most active between the months of December and March.
Best months for safari
If you are planning on combining your coastal getaway with a classic Kenya safari the best time to visit will be during the dry season from July to October. This also coincides with the Great Wildebeest Migration which reaches the Masai Mara in August and lasts until October. This is a bucket list experience not to be missed!
What wildlife can I expect to see in Diani Beach?
The coastline of Diani Beach consists of 2 reefs that are home to abundant marine life and flourishing corals. On the inner reef, you will find more delicate species such as nudibranchs, starfish, crabs, sea cucumbers, lizard fish, razorfish and various other smaller fish. In the slightly deeper waters, on the outer reef, sightings of lionfish, leaffish, flounders, flatworms, scorpionfish, and moray eels are more common.
Much to our delight, Diani is a known sea turtle hotspot and all-year-round sightings can be expected. With extensive research being executed by Diani Turtle Watch in the conservation of these unique beings, travelers with an interest to gain a better understanding of sea turtles can visit the Marine Educational Centre in Diani.
Other marine creatures that frequent the Kenyan coastline are whale sharks (during the months of November) humpback whales (late August and early September) and dolphins (all year round).
The rare Angolan colobus monkey is the most iconic of Diani’s wildlife and great efforts have been made to protect this endangered primate species in Kenya. Visit Colobus Conservation to learn more about the active conservation initiatives in Diani Beach on a guided eco-tour.
Other inhabitants of the coastal forests are vervet monkeys, baboons and bushbabies. Birdlife frequently spotted on the coast includes the Southern Banded Snake-eagle, Plain-backed Sunbird, and Fischer’s Turaco.
If you would like to explore further afield to experience a classic Kenya safari, Shimba Hills National Reserve is the closest safari destination from Diani Beach. A scenic 1-hour road transfer will take you to this wildlife haven home to the endangered Sable Antelope, Colobus monkey, elephant, giraffe, leopard, hyena, buffalo, and many other antelope and primate species.
Bird enthusiasts can also feast their eyes on Shimba Hill’s 111 recorded bird species among which 22 are endemic coastal species namely; Ostrich Eagle, African Hawk, Falcon, Kenya Crested Bird, Honey Guide, Hornbill, Sunbird, and much more.
What type of experiences are recommended in the area?
As Kenya’s major beach destination, Diani’s activity offering caters to all ages and all experience levels. From snorkeling, kayaking and boat safaris for the entire family, to deep-sea fishing and jet skiing for adults, there is no shortage of experiences to pursue. More specialized activities such as scuba diving, kitesurfing and windsurfing are widely offered and tailored to your experience level.
From golf days to spa days, Diani is home to world-class establishments such as the Leisure Lodge Golf Resort and the Uzuri Spa located only 500m from Alfajiri Villas to pursue all your much-loved hobbies and wellness experiences. Private yoga classes and in-villa massages are offered to all Alfajiri Villa guests.
Travelers with an interest in connecting with the people of Kenya and conservation initiatives also have the opportunity to visit a number of non-profit organizations such as Colobus Conservation, the Marine Educational Centre, Chincherini Foundation and Diani Turtle Watch.
Some frequently asked questions from our Alfajiri Guests:
Can I do my PADI Scuba Diving Course in Diani?
The answer is yes! Diani Beach has a number of accredited diving centers that offer Padi diving courses. Diani Marine is our recommended dive center for its excellent track record with our clients and more than 35 years of experience in diving excursions. They offer a variety of diving courses such as Open Water Diver, Advanced OWD, Rescue Diver, Speciality courses (such as wreck dives) Divemaster and Instructor courses. Diani Marine always provides divers with the latest Mares diving equipment to ensure utmost safety and comfort during dives.
What currencies are accepted in Diani Beach?
Kenyan Shillings are predominantly used by locals in Diani Beach but credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted by hotels, restaurants and other establishments. It should be noted that American Express and Diners Club cards are accepted less often. ATMs are common in major tourist destinations and should you wish to exchange money all major banks, bureaux de change, or authorized hotels will be able to assist. The banks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport also have 24-hour exchange services for US Dollars, Pounds Sterling and Euros.
Tipping Guideline for your stay at Alfajiri Villas, Diani Beach
Although tipping is at your own discretion, the recommended tipping amount for general staff at Alfajiri Villas is between USD $10 and USD $15 per guest per day. The accumulated amount will then be shared amongst all the staff, except the butler. Should you wish to tip your dedicated butler we recommend anything from USD $15 to USD $20 per guest per day.
For the convenience of our staff, tips are only accepted in cash (preferably USD or Kenya Shillings.)
Should you need more information on Diani Beach travel tips, get in touch with the Alfajiri team who will gladly answer any questions you might have for your upcoming beach getaway.