Diani Beach is a major beach on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya (in eastern Africa). It is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Mombasa, in the nearby Kwale County.
The beach is about 10 kilometres (6 mi) long, from the Kongo river to the north and Galu beach to the south (the southern point of reference is an old Baobab tree). It is adjacent to the town of Ukunda, the population of which nears 100,000 inhabitants.
Diani can be reached either by plane or road by passing from the mainland onto Mombasa island and from thence on a picturesque ferry which crosses the sea inlet to the docks, land on the south coast mainland, and from there a drive of about 20 kms to this small paradise.
Diani was just a fishing settlement about 40 years ago, but saw a boom in the 70s when tourists wishing to come to Africa found Kenya the ideal place, as there was so much strife and problems in other African countries.
Hotels mushroomed along the 5 mile coast road, which was tarmacadamed at that time from a dusty track; a small airport was built by literally by hand (and blessed by the late first Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta); and Diani has continued to develop to the cosmopolitan resort it is now, without losing its charm and simple ambience.
The water remains shallow near shore, with some underwater sandbars near the surface which allow wading with a clear view of the sandy bottom. Inland from the beach, there is extensive vegetation, including numerous palm trees which cover the coastal areas, unlike the dry acacia trees of the mountainous Kenyan Highlands. The Mwachema River flows into the sea at Diani Beach.
The general area is known for its coral reefs, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and for the closely located Shimba Hills National Reserve, a wildlife reserve which looks out over the Indian Ocean. Diani Beach has high-class restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, and several shopping centres.
Diani Beach is also a popular kitesurfing location.