After Nairobi, I headed to the Kenyan coast, for some much needed relaxation. The Mombasa area is known for its great beaches, and I decided to spend my time at Diani Beach, about 30 kilometers south. Diani Beach is known for its turquoise waters and white sands, a truly picturesque coastline.
I arrived to Mombasa from Nairobi on a night bus, getting there just after sunrise. After sharing a taxi with 2 Germans, I arrived at my hostel for the next four days, South Coast Backpackers. South Coast was one of the better hostels I’ve stayed at thus far in Africa, complete with a pool, bar, and even fellow travelers! (Most of the hostels I’ve stayed at have been pretty empty, in fact I was the only guest for one night at the hostel I stayed at in Nairobi).
After having a bite to eat, I headed to the beach with a few others. The beach was as beautiful as I had imagined, with the added bonus that it was practically deserted. The water was very clear and extremely warm, probably the warmest body of water I’ve ever been in. We hung out on the beach after going in for a dip, but were soon accosted by the local “beach boys”, trying to hawker various trinkets and food items such as coconuts. These guys would not take a polite no for an answer and were very persistent. Since there were no others at the beach, they then sat down next to us, and told us they would leave us alone if we gave them money, even telling us how nice they were since they weren’t robbing us, but instead trying to sell stuff. Finally, we had enough and got up and moved further down the beach. These beach boys, while known to be a nuisance, have become more aggressive as of late, as the Mombasa area has seen a sharp reduction in the number of tourists due to the proximity of Somalia and the recent terrorist attacks in 2013 and 2014. I do sympathize with those whose jobs and livelihood depend on tourism, but there are much better ways to remedy the situation.
The next few days were spent relaxing on the beach and later on in the days, back at the hostel near the pool. Some highlights include spending a day at one of the 5 star resorts on the beach to avoid the hassling beach boys, going out one night to celebrate the birthday of one of the girls who worked at the hostel, taking a local boat (dhow) out to the sand bar and going snorkeling, paddle boarding, celebrating Kenya’s independence day at a reggae concert on the beach, and seeing the sunset over the cliffs at Shimba Hills National Reserve, about an hour’s drive away.
Leaving Diani Beach was tough due to the many great times and friendships I was able to form in just a few short days, but knowing that my next stop was to the island of Zanzibar, it made leaving a little bit easier.
To Stay: South Coast Backpackers
To Hang out: Swahili Beach Resort
To Go Out: Forty Thieves Beach Bar
Must Do: Snorkeling and riding on a dhow