Here are some more pictures of rustic Shimoni that I feel compelled to share. Hope you enjoy!!
Quiet morning at Shimoni, thats Wasini Island in the horizon.
Old house that belonged where the English colonial administrator lived.
Goats find solace from the heat in the 80 year old building.
Front view of the grand old house.
Local women use the grand house as a meeting point.
A dhow, commonly used to transport people, spices and goods between Shimoni and Pemba.
The charming simplicity of Shimoni.
Did you know that Shimoni actually means ‘The place of the cave’ in Swahili? These caves have a fascinating history going back many centuries. The age of the caves is evident with the huge stalactites and stalagmites inside that complete the horror feel. Shimoni’s history revolves alot around the cave.
A long time ago, people used the caves for spiritual rituals or as hidding places whenever there was a war. Later on, at the height of slave trade, the same caves were used by Arab slave traders as holding pens for slaves before they were shipped of to Zanzibar and onwards to Yemen. It is beleved that the slaves were held here for 2-3 weeks, before being packed in dhows -upto 1000 at a time. As many as 400 died during that voyage and were thrown overboard to be eaten by sharks.
Shimoni lies further South and currently is a somewhat sleepy fishing village with resorts and companies that specialise in scuba diving, dolphin safaris providing accommodation and recreation for visitors. If you are in Diani Beach with a day to spare, consider a Shimoni tour and you will not be disappointed.
Getting to Shimoni, its a small place, find the directions of all the places you would like to go to here.
Sign Outside the historic slaves, entry is subject to rates above.
Staircase leading to the dark, bat infested caves.
The remains of the chains where slaves were shackled to the cave walls.
Cave has a skylight?
The stalactites in the cave are simply amazing!
Theres the exit. Cave tour is over
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Vacations to Diani Beach for some involves holidays where most of the hours of a day are spent in the sun with sunglasses on reading a new bestseller. However, between the trips to take a dip in the ocean or the pool and afternoon siesta’s beneath the palm trees, there is a lot of time to discover. If only one is willing to veer off the trodden path.
This article is about taking that different route to spice up your holiday with activities that are not in the usual holiday itinerary and that many people don’t usually do. So here are 3 off beat things yo can do while at Diani Beach.
1.Go to the End of Diani Beach
Would you like to know where Diani Beach ends? Literally go to the end of the road? Well, you can and make it much more fun by inviting a couple of friends and hire Quad-bikes to take you there. To find the quads, get to Baharini plaza and ask for directions from there, it is about 200m past the plaza and it is easy to spot the quads parked outside under a tree. Kick the quads on Southwards where your guide will take you through the the resort areas of Diani, Kinondo, Galu and eventually through a desolate but amazingly beautiful area towards Chale. The earth road passes through the Kinondo forest before getting to Chale. There, you will be wowed by the beauty of Chale Island.
2. Dive into Africa
The rock pools of Tiwi
What? How? You can actually dive into Africa, but you need to go to Tiwi Beach first . Really, there is a place in Tiwi where you can dive into an oddly shaped rock pool that actually resembles the map of Africa. Here, you can snorkel or dive into the pool and enjoy the colorful underwater kaleidescope in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean. You can hire the snorkeling gear from the local operators or the bring your own and spend a few delightful hours in the warm-clear water and enjoy a superb break especially for those on all inclusive holidays.
The are tens of shops/wooden shacks and open air vendors along Diani Beach where you can go for a hunt of unique little treasures that please your eyes. Some of the trinkets are unimaginative and generic but amongst them you will find some exquisite things like a nicely carved bone pedant or a polished coconut shell jewelry box. You have to see a lot of things to find your treasure but there is something for everyone. Bring your best haggling skills and you will be surprised at how little you spend in this treasure hunt.
People agree the camping is a nice way to enjoy the outdoors and spend some quality time reconnecting with your loved ones. Camping is a great addition to normal vacation activities and can be one way to spice up beach holidays. For those seeking a cheap holiday option, nothing beats camping on the quaint Tiwi Beach.
Just in for Diani Beach Residents and Visitors from the East African Whale Shark Trust.
TAGGING EXPEDITION 2011 INFORMATION SHEET
Thank you for your interest in our tagging expedition from Feb 15 to March 15. This year we continue to put out our first set of acoustic receivers and tags. These will tell us very quickly whether our whale shark population is resident and for what periods of the year they are around.
The expedition leader and underwater videographer is Capt Volker Bassen and the lead scientist is Dr Rachel Graham (it is unlikely that Rachel will be able to join us this year in which case Volker will do the tagging). We meet at Aqualand Watersports Centre next to Pinewood Hotel at 10am for a pre-departure briefing. We will leave around 11am and you can expect to be back around 3pm. We will provide water but if you get hungry please bring your own refreshments! There is no toilet on board but you can use the sea at any time. We will provide life jackets if you are a beginner snorkeler. The conditions are very calm in Feb/March.
The air support will lead us to the whale sharks via radio link. The researcher and underwater videographer will get in the water first and we ask you to watch remaining in your seats, calm, completely still and quiet. When they have finished working, we invite you into the water to snorkel with the whale sharks, take any pictures you might want to and enjoy the mighty presence of the biggest fish on the planet!! We will do our best to organise you in the water so that everyone gets a chance to get up close and personal. However it is strictly forbidden to touch the animal and we ask you to pay close attention to the expedition leader at all times especially when in the water.
Coming on one of our expeditions is a chance of lifetime! You get to watch the research team work, interact with them and be part of our team. You will also swim with whale sharks!! We ask all expedition members to bear in mind that whale sharks are wild and free. If we don’t see them, it won’t be for want of trying but we can give no guarantees. Every cent of the money you pay for your seat goes straight to the project to fund the research. So as well as having the time of your life you will be contributing to a very worthy cause!! We look forward to welcoming you as part of the team!
Price is KES 8,500 or USD100
Committed to whale shark conservation and educationCALL 0720293156
1. Go Diving
The Indian Ocean waters off Diani Beach are warm and clear during this dry period and the best for diving with great visibility. There are several diving spots along the coast and several companies offer dive sessions for an affordable fee everyday. The clear waters, colourful reef and vibrant aquatic life make Diani Beach a must for all divers.
For your diving package or course, contact:
Diving the crab
Diving The Crab was established in 1985 when the first school was opened at Jadini Beach Hotel. Since then Diving the Crab has concentrated all efforts in providing a professional and dedicated service to clients.
Southern Cross Scuba
Southern Cross Scuba was created in 2002 in recognition of an expanding, worldwide market for Adventure Tourism. The “ Watersport Adventure Centers ” provide a wide range of exciting, unique activities run by a vibrant team who are specialized within their own field.
Diani Marine has been providing first class diving excursions for more than 30 years, and with exemplary safety records are unique. Diani Marine does one boat trip per day (2 dives) and an additional one in the afternoon on request (min 12 divers).
2. Whaleshark Safari
Little is known about the whale shark, the largest fish in the world, measuring up to 18 metres and tipping the scales at 20 tons. The whale shark is a protected species that currently thrives on the warm waters off Diani Beach where the East African Whale Shark Trust EAWST is involved projects to create awareness, tag and monitor the whale shark population. Sign up as a volunteer and get involved first hand in the conservancy efforts.
3. Eco Bike Ride
This is an eco friendly guided tour of Diani Beach and its environs that will take you through various parts of Diani. What better way to tour than cycling along the beach, through the villages and even to the revered Kaya Kinondo forest. This memorable tour is arranged by Diani Bikes who pride themselves as having the most modern bikes.
4. Discover Kaya Kinondo Forest
This is one of the oldest forests on Kenyas South Coast with 187 plant species, 48 species of birds and 45 of butterfly, representing five per cent of Kenya’s known butterfly species, the rare Zanj Elephants Shrew and threatened Colobus Monkey, among others. A tour to this forest will leave one enlightened on the cultural and spiritual importance of the forest to the Digo people.
5. Go Deep Sea Fishing
Diani is not far from the Pemba Channel, one of the best fishing spots in the worid and home to Striped, Black and Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Broadbill, Mako, Tiger and other sharks, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Giant Trevally among others. A trip to the Pemba channel will not disappoint those looking for some big game fishing.
Aqualand offers half or full day fishing excursion departing direct off the beach from Pinewood Village. Aqualand runs a strict tag and release program, which is run in accordance with IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) and designed to preserve rare and endangered species.
The Pemba Channel Fishing Club
The Pemba Channel Fishing Club is recognised world-wide as a fishermen’s paradise and is situated in the tiny fishing village of Shimoni, 80kms south of Mombasa, enjoying stunning picturesque views over the Indian Ocean and the neighbouring island of Wasini
6.Work with the Colobus Trust
This is a non profit organisation that is wholly dedicated to the conservation of the Colobus monkey. Specifically Colobus angolensis, that is found in Diani has been classified as an endagered species whose population has been drastically reduced by human encroachment, road kills and snares.
You can help by joining as an Eco-volunteer for 3-4 weeks for a volunteering holiday. There are no other specific requirements apart from the energy and the will to participate in the Trust activities!
7. Visit Diani Art Gallery
This recently opened gallery has already made a huge impression on lovers of fine African Art in Diani Beach. Find art by artists all over Africa, from the West, North, South and East of this continent. Stop by and enjoy the atmosphere while discovering the story of every painting, sculpture and object d’art, learn more about the artists or take part in a workshop to discover your artistic side.