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What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

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20 posts
48 reviews
What to do for 3 days on and around Diani


i'm planning to be there for ~3 days in July and am wondering what we should plan to do. The beach looks gorgeous, but none of the photos suggest people sit on it and/or swim - true?

We will be coming at the end of a safari - so we are looking for things that are more active than sitting in another car...

Do we need to set up transportation before we arrive?


8 replies to this topic
Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Nairobi, Kenya
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5,767 posts
46 reviews
1. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

So you want to hit the beach after the safari ? Presumably you want to travel from NBO ?

Take the new SGR Madaraka Train, takes 5 Hours.

There are luxury buses to MBA but journey is too long. Train is faster & more comfortable.


Diani beach is lovely with plenty of hotels, bars & restaurants. There's a Ferry crossing to Diani which you should know about.

Things to do in Diani.


Good Luck

Edited: 06 January 2018, 23:08
United Kingdom
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835 posts
2. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

Stefani,Have you been on the new train? Did you go in the old train? How do they compare? Which bus would you recommend to get to Mombasa from Nairobi?

Nairobi, Kenya
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for Nairobi, Kenya
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3. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

My friends & office colleagues have used the new train.

Professional service & very efficient.

The only problem is getting hold of the tickets. You have to buy it in person. The online system portal went 'Live' some days back.

The old train is no longer in service.

Modern Coast Oxygen Luxury Bus is highly recommended. I use them bcoz the drivers are very disciplined.

I'm told there are road diversions ( due to construction ), 8 hr journey now takes upto 10-12 hours.


Edited: 07 January 2018, 01:39
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1,520 posts
4. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

I recommend flying to Diani if you've only three days. Ground transport both ways, whether it's bus or train, is long and uncomfortable and is going to leave you tired.

Jambojet and Fly540 are discount carriers that serve Ukunda (Diani) and if you book several weeks in advance you should enjoy reasonable fares.

Re the perceived emptiness of the beach, Diani is far less crowded than would be the case for a beach of similar grade in other countries. Tourism has fallen off here, and the photos the OP saw may have been taken during low season. I love Diani's lack of crowding and the water is superb, it has nothing to do with the apparent lack of swimmers.

For around 10 USD per person you can board a "glass bottom boat" for a 1 km, 3-hour excursion to the reef at low tide. There you can snorkel amid the reef life. It's probably the best excursion deal in Diani. The tours can be booked last minute at Bidi Badu beach bar or next door at the thatched bar in front of Kim4Love.

For a higher fee you can book a full day excursion to Wasini Island for snorkeling and dolphin viewing.

Edited: 07 January 2018, 01:50
Mtwapa, Kenya
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for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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5. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

The train is European commuter standard, not the higher spec InterCity or High Speed standard. The stations in Nairobi and Mombassa are both out of the way, so you've got to factor in getting to and from them. In both cases they are further out than the airports. In Nairobi you will have the cost of a taxi or to station or you can get a commuter train to the SGR station but it leaves an hour before the SGR is scheduled to leave (There are two a day, the stopping train that leaves at 8.30 and takes 6 hours, and the Madaraka Express which leaves at 14.30 and takes just under 5 hours) . In Mombasa if there are no traffic or ferry problems it will take another hour or something to go through Mombasa Town to the ferry and onto the South Coast, and this will cost you around 5,000/- .

So you are looking at up to 9 hours or more, when you could fly to Ukunda airstrip, around a 45 minute flight from Nairobi and just a short taxi ride from Diani Beach for around 10,000 to 11,000/-.

You can only book 30 days in advance, but you can't book online unless you pay with Mpesa (local mobile money), though there are a few agents who will book the ticket on your behalf.

So unless cost is a major factor I'd fly, I certainly wouldn't recommend the buses after the carnage on the roads here in December many incidents involving buses

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1,520 posts
6. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

Doff (and others interested),

I've been playing around with fares and found the newest airline, Silverstone Air, seems to beat the other discount carriers. For a Nairobi-Ukunda-Nairobi flight 3-4 weeks from today they quoted 9,000 KES return while Jambojet and Fly540 were closer to 12,000. Their travel times are excellent, around lunch time, though they use Wilson Airport not JKIA.

My Kisumu-based neighbour here on the beach came down with Silverstone, no adverse comments from her.

I couldn't navigate to their page on baggage allowances but I'm assuming the fare includes carry-on only. But so little is needed for a holiday in Diani, that's not an issue for most.

Edited: 07 January 2018, 02:47
New York City, New...
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8 reviews
7. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

Fly on an airplane. Do not take a bus(due to dangerous driving on Mombasa Road). Consider the value of your time when thinking about the train. The train ride itself is great. What isn't great is the travel between the Mombasa train station and the southcoast. This can, if traffic is bad, take as long as the train ride itself.

What can you do when you find yourself on one of the world's most beautiful beaches?

Get up early and enjoy a sunrise.

Swim in the ocean.

Take walks along the beach.

Arrange for a snorkel with a beach boy. You should be able to get a half-day snorkel on a glass-bottom boat for about $USD10(including a well-used mask and snorkel).

Visit a Colobbus Monkey Sanctary.

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1 post
35 reviews
8. Re: What to do for 3 days on and around Diani

We live in Diani and everyone is right...........Fly, don’t go on road or rail. Silverstone is our recommended airline - both we and our grownup children have used them many times and without any problem.

What to do? Relax and enjoy the beach. Go to Shimba Hills National Reserve. Go to Piri Piries for food and drink and Friday hockey or Saturday petanque. Play golf at Leisure Lodge golf club.

Go to Tiki bar for chilled out beers and go to Lymingtons for romantic dinner right on the beach.

There is so much more including Nomads and Sails restaurants, and the Cave is a ‘must do’ ........ like nowhere else.


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