Diani Beach Road, Diani,
Ukunda, Coast, Kenya.
Mon - Sun 8.00 - 18.00

Welcome to Kenya


Sun, sea, sand, SKYDIVE

A country of 48 million people, the Republic of Kenya sits right on the equator on the East Coast of Africa. It is bordered by five countries – Tanzania to the South, Uganda to the West, South Sudan in to the North-West, Ethiopia to the North and Somalia to the North-East.

Across the nation there can be found everything from permanently snow-capped mountains, temperate hillsides, wide savannahs and dense jungle. The coast has a humid, tropical climate while higher elevations inland are cooler – such as around the capital Nairobi – and especially closer to Mount Kenya itself.

Although Kenya was under British rule for over 70 years, it won its independence from colonialism in 1963 and became a republic. Modern-day Kenya is a country with much diversity and no single dominant culture that identifies it. The most recognisable populations are that of the Swahili (Coastal), Bantu (Central/West) and Nilotic (Northwest) communities. Although a relatively small part of Kenya’s population, the Maasai culture is renowned for their dress, tribal dances and elaborate jewellery (You’ll recognize them immediately.)

Diani Beach

Located 30 kilometres South of Mombasa, our dropzone home of Diani Beach is a major resort on the Indian Ocean. The beach itself is about 10 kilometres long and runs from the Kongo river in the North to Galu beach to the South. The nearest population centre is the town of Ukunda, which has a population of 100,000 and lends its name to the local airport we use.

Diani Beach is generally known for its vibrant coral reefs, its black-and-white colobus monkeys and the nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve. Diani Beach a popular tourist area (mostly with Germans and the British), and bristles with private resorts along its length. These range from backpacker dorms all the way up to super-fancy.

Diani Town itself is quite small, but it has a couple of supermarkets, some great restaurants, and a solid selection of activities around with which to entertain yourself. These range from scuba diving, kitesurfing, jet-skiing and fly-boarding, through to inland safaris on which you are frequently able to spot all of the most glamorous African wildlife.

SkyDive Diani

Our dropzone here on Diani Beach was set up a handful of years ago by former British paratrooper Gary Lincoln-Hope. It was founded not as a commercial operation but as a means to get up in the sky–both personally and for the small but eager skydiving community in East Africa. Skydive Diani is becoming ever more popular as a dropzone for all skydivers to visit and enjoy and now routinely welcomes groups of jumpers from all over the world.

Skydiving in Kenya is a unique experience. There are few dropzones in the world that can claim such beauty–and no other skydiving operation where you can land on the beach every time, sip from a fresh coconut on your way back from landing, shoo away the monkeys who want your treats and experience the friendly and vibrant Kenyan culture.

Getting here

Your options for arriving from overseas will most likely either be transferring in Nairobi on to a flight for Ukunda, or landing in Mombasa and finishing the journey by car. Skydive Diani operates from the municipal airport at Ukunda airport alongside other commercial air traffic, so your very best bet is to simply book a flight to land at Ukunda Airport (UKA).


You will almost certainly land at Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) when you first arrive in Kenya. It is an international transport hub which serves as a gateway for many travellers into Kenya and other parts of Africa.

NBO is large and modern, with all the things you expect to find such as lounges and duty free shops. If you are transferring through Nairobi onto an internal flight then be prepared and allow time to retrieve your bags and move to the domestic terminal, which is a short walk away and a little bit more chaotic when you get there. If you have a long wait to deal with here there is a pay-to-play lounge ($20) that will make things a little more comfortable with soft chairs, drinks, perfunctory snacks and WiFi.


Kenya’s second largest city offers some direct international routes, so you might find Mombasa Moi International (MBA) as your first port of call. Although you will often actually fly over the city of Mombasa on your climb to altitude, do not be fooled: It is not a short journey. You will have to face both the traffic and a sketchy-scheduled ferry trip across the harbour (requiring you to allow 1-2 hours for the journey, should you choose to fly in and out of MBA).


You are here! Ukunda airstrip is where the jump planes go from. UKA is a little place with just a single small building for those awaiting to depart and an outdoor seating area for arrivals, next to which your luggage will be unceremoniously heaped.

Located about halfway down the length of Diani Beach, Ukunda is just a short drive to both the dropzone and all the most popular resorts and hotels. Although a ready supply of taxis and tuctucs awaits every flight that comes in, the best way to arrange a smooth and easy transfer to your accommodation is via the dropzone.

Ground Transport

Once again, the best way to arrange ground transport is via the dropzone. It will cost you a little less and comes with the reassuring sight of a man holding a sign with your name on it as you leave the airport.


If you require a visa to visit Kenya you can either arrange it online in advance or buy one at immigration when you arrive.

The best plan is to arrange your visa through the Kenyan Immigration website before you set off, as it will save you having to wait in a really long, sweaty line. If you opt to get a visa when you arrive, you must have cash to pay for it at the desk (€40/$50). There is an ATM in the arrivals hallway, but it might or might not work, and will charge you big fee if it does.


Kenya is a tropical sub-Saharan country, and as such some attention should be paid to health considerations before and during your stay. While travellers to big tourist areas like Diani Beach are at low risk compared to areas of the country with greater poverty and problems with sanitation, be sure to check with a medical professional which vaccinations and/or medications you require before arriving in-country.
All travellers are required to be immunised against Typhoid, Hepatitis and Yellow Fever, all three of which cannot be completed directly before travel. Seek out the correct information well in advance and plan accordingly.


Mosquitoes are horrible little creatures and you will certainly hear them buzzing around, but only really at dawn and dusk. Diani Beach isn’t a significantly bitey place, but it happens – and while you are not going to be running down the street chased by a cloud of the little blighters, it is certainly worth bringing some mozzi repellent.

To pill, or not to pill, that is the question. Antimalarials work, but can make you feel really iffy and, dare we say it – not particularly needed here in Diani. As a point of reference, none of the staff, some of which have been here for our full four-year history, take them.

However, we do advise you take advice and then make your own decision based on the three possible scenarios:

  1. Take Expensive Pills: These will cost you a bit but they work just fine.
  2. Take Cheap Pills: These work too, but can sometimes make you feel like ass and give you a rash.
  3. Take No Pills: You probably won’t get malaria, but you might. If you do, you probably won’t die – but you might.


Tap water in Diani is not safe to drink. Many sources of information say that thoroughly boiling it is fine, but the water is not tasty and only way to guarantee safety is buying bottled. There will be lots and lots of water available at the drop zone throughout the boogie to keep you fully hydrated.

Medical Care

The available standard of health care in Kenya is hugely varied. In developed areas it can be excellent but off-the-beaten-track, facilities and technology quickly become sparse. Diani Beach has two perfectly decent private hospitals should you require it, and Mombasa has several extremely good hospitals should incidents of a much more serious nature occur.

Insurance is not a prerequisite at Skydive Diani, and the hospitals do operate a Pay-As-You-Go system but it can obviously get pricey. Just be certain that your personal travel (and specific skydiving) insurance is appropriate and paid up. Most common pharmaceutical drugs can be bought over the counter without a prescription, but be wary of those which have expired, have been stored incorrectly as to make them ineffective, or are outright counterfeit. Bring necessary medication from home.

Safety and Security

Diani Beach is quite safe and going about your daily business is straightforward. The infrastructure is generally good and problems are rarely serious. However, some general care and attention should be paid to your personal security.

That said, it is STRONGLY recommended that you do not walk along the beach or main roads after dark. This is when, if incidents are to occur, they will happen. Skydive Diani will assist you with taxis at any time.

Getting Around

Although the community of Diani is small, it is spread out along the length of the sand. Therefore if you are away from the drop zone (and the most immediate accommodation options) you will likely make frequent use of the available motorized transport.

Proper taxis are readily available. Anywhere that has gatherings of people will likely have a driver or two lingering outside, or one can be arranged on very short notice. Tuctucs are numerous and most of the journeys you make in Diani will not cost you more than a hundred shillings ($1). If you ride for more than a few minutes or if your driver goes above and beyond in some way then a little bit more will cover it. Don’t be shy – it is common to share tuctucs with others and the locals are quite friendly. If you are economising wherever possible (and/or feeling brave) then there are many motorcycles on which a local will haul you around for the small coins in your pocket. Although handy and very cheap, riding on the back of a motorcycle driven by a teenager while wearing flip-flops and no helmet is something nobody should consider a good idea.

Wherever possible hang on to some small money to pay for rides. If you are unsure what the fare might be then ask in advance and check that the guy has change for your larger notes (he does). Every now and then someone will chance it and try being sad or mad at you for more money. Just say thanks and no. If you come across a driver that you like then getting a phone number so you can support him with repeat business is a good idea. It is rare to wait any length of time for some available transport to go by but it can happen if you are a little away from the centre of town. Having someone you can call is handy.


Diani Beach is a fun and friendly place to spend some time. It is possible to get into trouble anywhere in the world if you are not paying attention, and just a little bit of common sense will keep you safe and well. The locals know you are comparatively wealthy and want to gain from your presence, but at the same time they are genuinely friendly and for every interaction that is a pain in the ass there are twenty that are fun and positive.


Compared with a lot of other colorful parts of the world the street hustle in Diani is very light. The local traders, hawkers, performers and assorted other sellers will frequently approach you but it is almost always friendly and free of stress. A firm ‘no thanks’ will work. In the busier parts of the town you will get asked to buy someone food when you go inside the supermarket. The people that ask you to do this invariably look strung-out so buying them that “bag of rice” is not going to help. If you are feeling generous then supporting the local businesses or giving to a legit charity is a better way to help out.


In the daytime walking around in Diani is perfectly fine, but by night there is an increased chance of attracting some unwanted attention and being relieved of your possessions, so you should stick to motorised transport. Robberies in Diani are not common but you should consider yourself as being a valuable score for the wrong kind of human and make plans to avoid meeting them.


There are many things to see and do along the beach. While your primary goal is likely to jump as much as you can over the beautiful coastline and land on the sand many times, the surrounding area is a holiday resort that caters for every budget and should not be overlooked.

This list is not supposed to be a comprehensive guide. Instead, it is designed to help you find some of the most popular and useful locations in the surrounding area.

Please remember: if you are looking for accommodation, somewhere to eat as a group, or would like to get involved in any of the activities on offer the best way to get things arranged is always do so via the dropzone. Skydive Diani continually works on developing its relationships in the community and frequently a much better deal can be negotiated via existing contacts.


Ukunda airfield serves Diani Beach for all aviation purposes. The jump planes go from here, as do various other commercial aircraft such as smaller passenger jets and light airframes off to various other safari and resort destinations. The airport is a small place and can be busy – you might be arriving on a 737 from Nairobi and get to high-five your friends as they pass by the outdoor arrivals area and pile into the jump ship.


Chandarana is the centrally located supermarket in Diani where you can find most of the things that you require. There is not much fresh produce inside but there is a permanent tent in the carpark filled with very affordable fruit and vegetables. There is also an ATM here that has a guard after dark.


The Nakumatt is a larger supermarket where you can find a wider variety of consumer goods if you need them, such as electronics and kitchenware. There are a couple of ATM machines here, an ice-cream parlour and a café. Upstairs is Safaricom, which is the most practical SIM card solution if you require a reliable connection during your stay.


Ali Barbour’s is a beautiful underground restaurant built into a natural cave thought to be a hundred thousand years old. The roof is open to the sky (with covers for the rainy season) which provides a unique dining experience. It doesn’t look like much from the outside and you easily could walk right past without realising what is downstairs, but it is well worth a visit. It is fancy-ish, so while you can get away with your beachwear when it is quiet you may prefer to make a reservation and put on some proper clothes.


Kokko’s is a popular cafe in the busiest part of Diani. Here you can find locals and tourists alike throughout the day having coffee and cake, or dining on the varied menu. There are nightly offers on food and drink and a reasonable internet connection (which makes this the place to go if you have any serious desking to do).


‘Nomads’ is a large beachfront bar and restaurant that represents a good choice if you are looking for a nice evening walk down the beach with refreshment at the destination. They have a decent menu and a cooling wind to enjoy at the end of a long hot day.


Sails is considered by many as the best restaurant in Diani. A comfortable and beautiful secluded beach area with particularly good seafood. It takes a taxi or tuctuc ride to get to Sails but is well worth the effort to experience.


Good Italian food can be had in Diani in the form of Leonardo’s restaurant. The prices are reasonable, they make nice pizza and there is home-made ice-cream.


If you are hungry for a more authentic Kenyan experience without venturing away from the main road then Torta Nera Bites is unmissable. Open for lunch from around 12:30 you will receive gentlemanly service from Andrew – the chef and proprietor –  and you can generally choose from a menu of either ‘meat’ or ‘no-meat’. There is no electricity, no running water, no cold drinks and only half a roof – but the food and the experience are both great.


Diani Marine offer daily boat dives to a selection of sites a short trip out from the beach. On offer are single or double dive packages, generally either to decent reef spots where you will likely see giant turtles and the odd octopus – or a purposefully sunk wreck for the slightly more experienced. There is also a training pool if you need a refresher course to get back in the scuba saddle.


Sand and Sea are on the beach right next to the DZ and while they offer a long list of activities the most visual and active part of the operation is their kite surfing school. Rental gear is available for all levels – as is basic instruction through to more advanced coaching. If it gets too windy to jump that is the perfect time for a lesson.


A scenic flight in a ultralight is a fun experience (and possibly terrifying for a skydiver with no parachute on their back). You cannot jump it, but the view is still beautiful and it is great option for any non-jumpers who might feel left out on the ground.


Any experience with dolphins is a wonderful privilege, and while there presence and behaviour can never be 100% guaranteed the best choice in Diani is with Pilli Pippa.


Every evening at seven, a selection of these nimble little critters descend from the protected forest around Stilts for their nocturnal breakfast. You can hand feed slices of banana to these adorable fuzz balls for about fifteen minutes before they leap back into the foliage. While this is technically free, you should buy things from the bar (or donate), as Stilts protects the forest from poachers.

Do and Dont’s

Do Wear Shoes

Landing on the beach every time is great and the sand is beautiful, but it cannot be guaranteed that there is nothing sharp to hurt yourself on. At very low tide there is exposed coral and it only takes one stray bit of pointy coconut husk in the bottom of your foot to ruin your trip. Also, the ground at the airport can too hot to stand on if you have to wait for the plane. If you insist on jumping barefoot nobody is going to stop you – but you will find little sympathy if you have to spend weeks with very painful bits of sea urchin in your foot.

Do Budget For Packing

It is hot. You will not want to pack. You will not be the first or the last to imagine yourself packing only to abandon the idea after one attempt. Skydive Diani has a packing army; 20 very well trained and experienced packers on hand, all day, every day. They are tried and tested, very capable and can efficiently and effectively pack all canopy sizes including super small, super fast ones. Ask the CCI for direction if you are jumping a sub-100 canopy and he will gladly point you in the right direction.

Do Drink Lots of Water

It is hot in Kenya. While rushing about on a dropzone having a super time it is easy to forget to eat and drink properly. If you want to get the most out of your trip and have energy all day long – stay hydrated.

Do Plan and Jump Responsibly

The beach is very long in both directions. Landing in the sea is not a great idea. Landing off over land is a bad one. If your jumps involve movement, think about it properly and pick a leader that can navigate with confidence.

Don’t Walk Around After Dark

Diani is quite safe during the day, but there is some small risk of being relieved of your possessions if you are not careful at night. If you have to go somewhere in the dark, take a tuctuc or a taxi and stick to well-lit areas. If you do find yourself in such a situation, just hand over your things and get the insurance money later.

Don’t Chase Your Gear

If you should have cutaway, resist the temptation to follow your main canopy – even if it should land on a sandbar at low tide. Skydive Diani has a jet ski in the water during all jump operations and a rarely does any gear get claimed by the sea.

Don’t Worry About Your Stuff

The drop zone is a safe place to leave your things when you go to jump and is guarded throughout the night, so do not be concerned about your equipment.   

Don’t Leave Your Snacks Out In The Open

Those monkeys have spotted your food long before you have spotted them. Even the briefest window of opportunity will see them high up in the trees munching on your treats and laughing at you about it.

Things You Need To Bring

Skydiving Documents

Skydive Diani is a USPA affiliated dropzone. As such, your documents should be valid and your reserve in date. Just like a grown-up.

Travel Insurance

Diani Beach is a safe place but only a nincompoop goes off adventuring out in the world without some insurance for lost/stolen/damaged things.  

Skydiving Insurance

You do not need to be covered by a personal policy for parachuting to jump in Kenya, but you should have it.  Any third party insurance provided by membership to your national skydiving authority will not help you in the event of an accident.


Magic backpack time, everybody. Bring your AAD information card to avoid problems at airport security. If you do have to explain how a parachute works to someone in a position to ruin your day, then be nice about it.

Sun Cream

Diani Beach is 4.2 degrees South of the Equator. It is hot and you will burn if you are not paying attention. Invest in some good quality sun cream and remember to wear it. A parachute can be a very, very uncomfortable thing indeed if you burn your shoulders.

Things You Should Bring

Copies Of Your Documents

A thoroughly good idea whenever you travel is to photocopy every single important document you possess and keep them separate from the originals. Better still – make additional digital copies and store them online somewhere too.


It is hot. You will be sweaty. Buffs are good for this as you can wear one around your wrist to dab your face with instead of using the sleeve of your fancy jumpsuit. You can thank us later.

A Waterproof Bag For Your Phone

At some point you will likely want to bring your phone along on a jump to take photos of the Ukunda village on the way to the airport, of going through the security with all of you gear on, of the camels in the landing area, etc., and something that will protect your phone from sea water is not a bad plan. The beach is very big and landing in the water is rare, but something water-tight will give you peace of mind.

A final word from the Club Chief Instructor:

We hope you have found this information useful and comprehensive, but if
there is ANYTHING else no matter how big or small, please just ping us an
email at jump@skydivediani.com and we will get back to you immediately. See
you in the air, on the beach and at the bar really soon!!!




QUESTIONS? GIVE US A CALL AT +254 701 300 400