This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Diani.
Diani is a beachside resort town along the Indian Ocean coastline in Kenya. The six-mile (ten-kilometer) stretch of beach reaches from Galu Beach in the south to the Kongo River in the north, and sees the Mwachema River join the ocean. Besides the water, Diani also features the town of Ukunda, where locals and visitors alike can find several shopping centers, shops, and supermarkets.
To get around this resort town, your two feet will get you just about anywhere. If you are too tired or it is late at night, you may opt to take one of the many tuktuks or matatus available.
The first stop you will want to make is at your accommodation of choice. Travelers who are watching their budgets have a handful of wallet-friendly hostels at their disposal. Many hostels and other accommodations in Diani are located along the road immediately in front of the beach while others can be found within a ten-minute walking distance from the coast. Look for the word “backpackers” when searching for hostels.
The typical Diani hostel is priced along the cheaper end of the spectrum, yet receives high marks from former guests who appreciate the cleanliness, helpful hosts, and cozy atmosphere. While food usually is not included in the price, the hostels tend to have onsite bars or chefs in order to provide their guests with low-cost food options. Dormitories, private rooms, and even treetop huts are offered within these hostels. Guests should beware of the mosquitoes; although mosquito nets are the norm, a bit of insect repellent might provide extra protection. Also watch out for the monkeys who might steal whatever bit of food you leave behind.
Once you have located your ideal hostel and tucked your belongings away, you will be ready to begin your beachside adventures. Early in the morning, you might like to go for a jog or brisk walk along the water to get your daily portion of exercise. Once the heat hits, you can stay cool by staying within the water while snorkeling, diving, or taking a boat ride. When the afternoon brings cooler temperatures again, you can try your luck at kitesurfing, get on top of a camel for an exotic ride along the powdery white sand, or look for gorgeous sea shells along the clear, aqua-hued water.
For the more adventure-craving tourist, there are opportunities for extreme sports such as sky diving. Dolphin enthusiasts will wish to secure a spot on a dolphin safari. Mystique-lovers will enjoy venturing over to the Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest, where a guide awaits you to introduce you to the secrets of the woods. While wearing a black kanga tied around your waist, you will enter the mystic forest where you will learn how to commune with nature and feel the energy of the spirits. Make a wish while hugging an ancient tree and witness a dance to the beat of the heart of the jungle.
As evening sets in, head back to your welcoming hostel where you can refuel with a delicious, home cooked dinner. Then share stories of the day’s adventures with fellow travelers while feeding the black and white colobus monkey babies as they come out from the trees.
Written by local enthusiast for Diani hostelsJakob Lombardi