Following our busy Christmas, and the epic visit by the Parks family, Mr Nomad and I were in need of a battery re-charge so after dropping off the Parks Family at Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, we travelled across the city that very same day and hopped on a flight from Wilson Airport to Diani Beach.
Diani Beach can be found on the coast some 30 kilometres from Mombassa in Kenya and welcomes the gently lapping waves of the Indian Ocean. The beach itself is around 17 kilometres in length and as we found out, it is gloriously pristine with shimmering white sand and picture perfect, as if straight out of a glossy travel brochure.
Our tiny plane landed effortlessly at an equally tiny airport and we headed straight to our accommodation, and to meet up with friends who had arrived a couple of days before us and were already in situ. We were to stay at Upper Colobus Beach Front property which was nestled in a forest but only a stone’s throw from the beach.
We were delighted to find that the residents at the property not only included the owners of the land, but dogs, chickens, ducks, Sykes monkeys and Colobus monkeys and bush babies. It was beautiful and being surrounded by the lush forest gave some welcome shade and respite from the scorching African sun. It was dramatically hotter at the coast than where we live in Nanyuki under the shadow of Mount Kenya, and I was constantly sweating despite our inactivity!
The beach was a sight to behold. The glistening white sand stretched on for quite some way and the crystal clear blue ocean was inviting, its warm water enveloping us and making for wonderful snorkelling which we did plenty of.
Diani beach is relatively quiet and peaceful but there is plenty to see in the ocean with coral reefs attracting the sea life. There was also plenty to do in the way of water sports including kite surfing, deep sea fishing, diving and of course, snorkelling. Boats were readily available and we did take advantage of this, jumping aboard a small glass bottomed boat which took us out to a reef to continue our snorkelling activities. We were able to see an abundance of colourful fish along with crabs, prickly sea urchins, star fish and numerous other ocean dwelling creatures. Perhaps surprisingly, there was also the odd camel to be seen, offering rides up and down the beach.
We also took rides in a tuk-tuk on a few occasions to travel along the frontage to get out and about to sample the local bars and restaurants. These rides were usually quite wild but exhilarating! I’m quite sure that my hair dryer has more power than the tuk-tuks but it was fun nonetheless as they whizzed up and down the roads, rattling and shaking under the strain of carrying passengers. Diani beach is incredibly vibrant and buzzing with life and it was wonderful to relax on the beach through the day, dipping in and out of the ocean and then visiting the bars and restaurants to get a glimpse of the exciting night life. There was a chilled out and relaxed atmosphere wherever we went and the local people were friendly and welcoming. It was certainly what we needed to unwind.
Our apartment where we were staying was also a great place to relax and we spent some time wiling away the hours, lazing around on the veranda on the comfy sofa’s, sucking up the coolness under the cover of the trees. Hours were spent being entertained by the hyperactive and cheeky Sykes monkeys who at some point, had wandered into the apartment and rifled through the kitchen cupboards, much to our amusement.
We were also privileged to be visited by a small resident dog, Mini, who seemed at ease in our presence and kept us company on the sofas. One evening, we were visited by a bush baby and having never seen one before, I was utterly captivated by it.
The trip to the coast was topped off by a visit to a local bar on our last night where bush babies were known to frequent, and were fed bananas by the owner of the bar. He also allowed us tourists to get involved and feed the bush babies too. Mr Nomad and I were so excited by this, and grateful to our friends for taking us to the bar and sharing the experience with us. The bush babies were enchanting, and flitted around to whoever had the most banana with which to feed them.
They were the cutest creatures and whilst munching on their treats, I was able to quickly steal a feel and much to my delight, their fur was as soft and silky as it looked. Mr Nomad and I were utterly thrilled to be so close to such a notoriously timid creature and this was a fantastic end to what had been a lovely couple of dreamy days.