Kwale County is a county in the former Coast Province of Kenya. Its capital is Kwale, although Ukunda is the largest town. Kwale county has an estimated population of 649,931.
Kwale is mainly an inland county, but it has coastline south of Mombasa. Diani Beach is part of the Msambweni division. Shimba Hills National Reserve and Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary are other attractions in the county.
Where is Kwale
Kwale County is located in south coast of Kenya, it borders the Republic of Tanzania to the South West, and the following Counties; Taita Taveta to the West, Kilifi to the North, Mombasa to the North East and the Indian Ocean to the East.
Kwale County covers a total surface area of 8,270.2 square km and accounts for 1.42 per cent of Kenya`s total surface area.
Headquarters and Major Towns
The County`s capital is Kwale Town which is located 30 km southwest of Mombasa and 15km inland. It borders the Shimba Hills National Reserve. Other major towns include:
- Kinango, and
- Lunga Lunga
Weather and Climate in Kwale
Kwale County has four major topographical features namely the coastal plain, the foot plateau, the coastal uplands and the Nyika plateau. This county has a monsoon type of climate; it`s hot and dry from January â€` April while June to August is the coolest period of the year.
Rainfall comes in two seasons i.e. short rains are experienced from October to December while the long rains run from March- June/July. The average temperature of the county is 24.2oC and rainfall amounts range between 400mm and 1,680 mm per annum.
Seasonal rivers and the Ramisi River form the drainage pattern in the district. The main rivers and streams are Marere, Mwaluganje and river Ramisi. Rivers Marere and Mwaluganje have been harnessed to provide piped water.
The People of Kwale County
Based on the 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census, the county had a population of 649,931 which accounted for 1.7 per cent of the total Kenyan population.
Kwale County is populated mainly by the Digo and Duruma. These people belong to the Mijikenda ethnic group of coastal Kenya. Other tribes found in the district include the Kambas, Arabs and Indians though to a very small proportion compared to the Digos and Durumas.
Things to Do in Kwale
Have you ever visited a new place and felt ‘wow’ about it? For many visitors, it happens in Kwale in general and at Diani Beach specifically.
Diani Beach may not be as popular as other cities in Kenya, but don’t let that fool you. Diani Beach is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.
You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at Diani Beach.
If you have plans to visit Kenya and are not sure if Diani Beach should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in Diani Beach and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.
Shimba Hills National Reserve
The reserve is located in Kwale district, approximately 33 kilometres south of Mombasa. Major attractions at the reserve include elephants, the endangered sable antelope, giraffes, leopards, different species of birds, hyenas, different species of reptiles, vervet and Sykes monkeys.
The reserve offers an enabling environment for game viewing activities, camping and nature walk. Sheldrick falls and the Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary are located within the reserve.
Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park
It lies in the coral gardens south of Wasini Island, approximately 11 kilometres off the Kenyan Coast at Shimoni. It was established to protect the scenic islands and special habitats of marine animals at the Kenyan Coast. It is one the best location for snorkelling, diving, bird watching, camping and sunbathing.
The island is situated about 3 kilometres opposite the harbour of the port village of Shimoni. It is a perfect destination for snorkelling, scuba diving, dhow sailing, sunset cruise and dolphin spotting. You can also enjoy exquisite seafood at the island.
It is a perfect chill spot for lovers of a tranquil environment. It is an ideal destination for swimming, jet skiing, snorkelling, skydiving, boat rides and various water sports.
Kaya Kinondo Forest
It is the only sacred forest at the Kenyan Coast that is open to the public. It is a sacred forest and place of worship for the Digo community. It is actually a nice place to visit and learn the cultural practices of the Digo people, enjoy nature walks and birdwatching.
Chale Marine Park and Reserve
The reserve covers an area of 250 hectares. It was developed in 1995 to protect the coral reef of the coastal region. The reserve offers viewing excursions, water sports and marine activities such as sailing, fishing trips with traditional dhows and snorkelling. Its located at the beautiful Chale Island.
Colobus Conservation Centre
It is situated in Diani, South Coast Kenya. It is a primate rescue facility and home to a habituated troop of colobus monkeys. You can visit the place for guided primate eco-tour. It is usually open from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday.
Diani Beach Art Gallery
It was officially opened in September 2010, to promote fine African art locally and internationally through exhibiting, selling and supporting African artwork in the gallery’s space. It is a perfect place to view and buy different paintings, sculptures, framed and unframed photography.
Jungle Snake Park
It is located in Mwamanga, Ukunda. The park features different species of snakes, turtles, crocodiles, tortoise and other small reptiles. It is usually open from 9 am to 5.30 pm, Monday to Saturday.
It is a tranquil beach located in the Kenyan South Coast. It is an ideal destination for swimming, snorkeling and various water sports. Several beachfront hotels and lodges are located within the beach.