To attract tourists from around the world, Diani, located on the Indian Ocean coastal portion of Kenya, has kicked off their annual skydiving calendar. The events that are lined up for the first portion of the year are designed to delight and encourage the locals to join in on the skydiving fun. One of these events, the Kenya Skydive Boogie, occurs every year at Diani Beach. Here, guests gather to socialize before making their way to the local airstrip.
The annual event has become so popular that it has started being included in Diani’s international itinerary. Skydiving has increased in popularity over the years in Diani. It has been suggested that people are attracted to this sport due to the exhilarating thrill of free falling combined with the pleasant views of the coastline. However, the Kenya Skydive Boogie attracts non-jumpers too. These non-divers gather on Diani Beach to watch their fellow skydiving enthusiasts as they jump from an airplane and free fall to the ground.
This sports’ tourism activity generates a great deal of profit. Especially for hotel owners who are able to book rooms for the duration of the Kenya Skydive Boogie, which continued until March 12th.
Gary Lincoln, the Quarterly Diani Skydiving Chief Instructor, said that skydiving events, such as the Kenya Skydive Boogie, are spread throughout the year in quarterly portions. According to Lincoln, the quarterly schedule is designed to aid the Diani market and transform it into a highly sought after destination spot for tourists. “Skydiving is held in four quarters annually, so as to boost tourism in this area,” Lincoln stated.
The majority of the tourism stakeholders along the coastal region have begun to introduce sports activities. These ocean attractions include snorkeling, skydiving, scuba diving, kite and windsurfing. Each activity is safe and well-suited for the coastal environment, which has increased their popularity among tourists.
Najib Balala, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, launched the new sports tourism agenda last year. The service is a product of Kilifi county’s coastal town: Watamu. Balala decided it was worth the risk to jump out of an aircraft 10,000 feet above the ground to find out what skydiving was like. After Balala made his first jump, the entire experience left such a great impression on him, that he began to encourage tourism stakeholders to invest in the industry. Balala has stated that these Watamu and Diani attractions provide the most thrilling way to enjoy the coastal area.
As the popularity of Diani’s Skydiving Calendar grows with each event, Lincoln has noticed an increase in training inquires:
“The skydiving sport is interesting and we keep on getting new learners and people who wish to train almost on a daily basis, therefore we call upon every tourist, both local and foreign to come and sample the new product in our tourism sector,” Lincoln implored.
The excitement of Skydiving in Kenya does not end with Balala and Lincoln. Although these two gentlemen represent the building force behind Diani Skydiving, the main driving factor is the fans. Many who have had the pleasure of participating in these sports activities have declared that it is an absolute must for anyone who is visiting Kenya.
“The absolute MUST DO in Kenya…One of, if not the BEST life experiences we have ever had! Six of us attended an AFF course with Skydive Diani in February for two weeks. We started with no experience and now, after over 25 breathtaking jumps, all hold our USPA A License, enabling us to jump basically anywhere in the world!” -ryandb25, March 6th, 2017, Trip Advisor.