South Coast Beaches, Mombasa
The coastline south of Mombasa is a tropical paradise of white sand beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs. The protective reefs have created ideal beaches, bordered by coastal rainforests with abundant birdlife and variety of wildlife.Shelly Beach, just south of the Likoni Ferry, is the closest beach to Mombasa, it can be reached in about 30 minutes by walking.Tiwi Beach is 17km south of the Likoni Ferry, it is a popular spot for sun bathers and snorkelers. This undeveloped beach is tranquil but busy.
Diani Beach is the most developed on the south coast of Mombasa offering white beaches, palm trees and coral reefs. The majority of tourists to the area are from Europe who are visiting on package tours. Diani offers excellent water-sports, with windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, water-skiing, parasailing and scuba diving.There are many resorts, hotels and restaurants along Diani Beach catering to all budgets.The area is known for the Shimba Hills National Reserve and for its black-and-white colobus monkeys.Ukunda is a little town on the Mombasa-Tanzania highway and is the turn off point for Diani Beach.
Shimba Hills National Reserve
The Shimba Hills National Reserve is an area of coastal rainforest, woodland and grassland. There are some endangered species of cycad and orchids within the rare plants in the Shimba Hills.Approximately 700 elephants live on the reserve along with leopards and abundant birdlife.Guided forest walks are available from the Sheldrick Falls ranger station. There is a swimming hole and picnic area at the scenic Sheldrick Falls on the Machenmwana River.Shimba Rainforest Lodge is located within Shimba Hills National Reserve. It is a Treetops style lodge with a walkway through the rainforest, viewing platform and a baited water hole that attracts a lot of wildlife.
Kongo Mosque, also know as Diani Persian Mosque, lies at the north end of Diani Beach. It is easily reached through the grounds of the Indian Ocean Beach Club.Built between the 14th and 15th C, Kongo Mosque is still very much intact and local islamic leaders have encouraged the community to begin worshipping there again. The Mosque is surrounded by baobabs and features five heavy wooden doors.Kongo Mosque was named for the forest around it and is the only remaining stone building from a Wa-shirazi settlement.