Diani lures more Ugandan visitors 

Representives from different lodges and hotels on Diani Beach during a cocktail to sell Destination Diani. PHOTO/JONATHAN KAMOGA

What you need to know:

  • Diani Beach is a major beach on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is located 30 kilometres south of Mombasa, in Kwale County. It has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination for the fifth time running since 2015.

According to recent data, Uganda still ranks high as one of Kenya’s biggest tourism source markets in the region.

Many Ugandans who visit Kenya though mostly come for the coastal beach experience and Mombasa is one of the popular choices for them. 

But the Kenyan coast is not just Mombasa! It boosts of several other destinations such as Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, and Diani among others. 

Its against this backdrop that a group of hotel owners, tour operators and travel agents from Diani Beach under their umbrella, Destination Diani, has since 2020 embarked on a campaign to see Ugandan travelers explore more coastal towns away from just Mombasa.

During the seventh edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo last month in Kampala, tourism agents from Diani sought to lure more Ugandans to visit the coastal destination. 

“The Ugandan market has become a very important one for the destination and  I dare say magical Kenya. Most of the Ugandans who travel to Diani travel for weddings, honey moons, adventure and other things so we need this market,” Mr Patrick Kinuthia, the reservations manager at Baobab Beach Resort and SPA said. 

According to authorities, the destination boosts of different activities ranging from wind surfing, paragliding, Snorkelling, scuba diving and rounds of golf on the Championship course.

Others are kite surfing, deep sea fishing, fly fishing, dhow safari and a microlight flight. 

Diani Beach, largely categorised among the most popular beach destinations in Kenya and is consistently voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the World, offers  many exciting stuff.

Located South of Mombasa, the holiday resort area, whose pristine white sand beach against cerulean waters and waving palm trees hugging the India ocean stretches about 10km, has many luxury hotels, high-class restaurants, nightclubs, cafes and shops.

The beach also bares coral reefs and sand bars making it perfect for swimming and other water sports.

Uganda’s consul general to Mombasa, Ambassador Paul Mukumbya said that as government, Uganda would ensure support for the destination mostly through expos and conferences.

He announced that later this year, the Kenya- Uganda tourism summit will be held in Diani but he also asked travel agents in Diani to equally support Ugandan tourism by putting it on their African itineraries. 

“It is a win win situation for all of us. Last year, we hosted the Mombasa tourism conference that was later followed by a familiarization trip of about 30 Kenyan coastal tour operators that were able to familiarize with attractions in Western Uganda and are now able to sell the destination on their itineraries than before,” he said. 

Currently, the Uganda Airlines has daily direct flights between Entebbe and Mombasa. It is the only airline operating this route which is also one of its most lucrative, giving travelers to nearby Diani faster connection. 

Uganda still remains one of Kenya’s biggest tourism source markets and last year according to the Kenyan tourism ministry, Uganda contributed about 12 percent of total arrivals to Kenya in 2022, coming only second to the United States which took the top overall spot with a 16 percent contribution.