An hour’s drive and a short ferry ride south of Mombasa, Diani Beach is the quintessential tropical escape. With its blend of natural beauty and uptown chic, this former fishing village has become one of the most in-demand destinations on Kenya’s south coast. Stretching from the mouth of the Mwachema River to the remote Gazi Bay, Diani Beach lines up 25 kilometers of beach. It’s textbook stuff, with soft white sands that melt gently into the cobalt waters of the Indian Sea. Dotted along the sand are makuti-roofed huts serving ice-cold beers and snacks, and the watersports centers offer everything from kite-surfing to windsurfing. Best of all are the neon-bright coral formations – just 10 minutes away when you board a white-sailed dhow boat. Just a 20-minute drive away is the Shimba Hills National Reserve, one of Kenya’s smallest and most compact national parks. Several hundred elephants, the rarely-sighted sable antelopes, plus leopards, monkeys and giraffes can all be spotted through your binocular lenses. And Sheldrick Falls, a breathtaking 25-metre waterfall, is just the feather in the cap.