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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 quiet stretch of beach close to the main airstrip, Diani Marine has, for many years, been home to one of the premium dive operations in the area. It is centred on a modest main building containing the reception area and several function guest bedrooms. The extensive gardens contain a nice swimming pool with bar alongside, a very pleasant dining area, a small spa and a substantial watersports centre, above a superb white sand beach. The accommodation is remarkably good value for money, so this is a great option for budget conscious and dive-focused guests. The well known Forty Thieves bar and Ali Barbour restaurant are right next door.
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 and the relative simplicity of the lodge itself.