is located in Diani Beach
on the South Coast
This stunning 15km stretch of white-sand beach has acted as a magnet to visitors from the very earliest days of tourism in Kenya. These days it is very much a major centre for mass-market packaged tourism, but its not quite so heavily developed as one might imagine. Although the inland town of Ukunda, with its airport hub, is something of an urban sprawl, the network of roads that runs closer to the ocean are generally more relaxed, with a sprinkling of modern infrastructure, including, shops, restaurants, shopping malls and even a golf course.
Along the ocean itself, large sections of the beach are backed with low density private plots dotted with palm trees and modest houses, small hotels and the occasional resort. Only in a couple of core areas are there serious clusters of very big and often quite downmarket resorts, many of which are either on their last legs or long since closed down.
Situated on a relatively peaceful stretch of beach close to the main airstrip, Diani House grounds extend to a remarkable five hectares, much larger than some of the biggest resorts in the area. The lodge is centred on a very pleasant colonial bungalow, which is a home from home for John and Lulu Archer Clark and is hosted by their lovely staff. Guest accommodation is in just six rooms, three in the main building, one in a detached bungalow and the last two in a separate two storey family suite just behind. The gardens contain a nice swimming pool and often host cute black and white colobus monkeys. A very intimate and pleasant home-stay, in that familiar Kenyan shabby chic style.
Activities include diving, snorkelling, paddle-boarding, body-boarding, sailing, kite-surfing, wind-surfing and kayaking. plus golf, sky-diving and other facilities in the greater Diani area. Day trips further afield are available for excellent diving, snorkelling and swimming with dolphins in the Kisite Marine Reserve to the south.
The main potential downsides are the busy nature of the Diani area, the hustle that one can encounter when out on the beach or around town, the slightly old-fashioned nature of the lodge itself and the fact that most of the activities are off the property.