Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest

Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest, Diani Beach: Address, Phone Number, Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest Reviews: 4/5

Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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104 reviews
Very good

London72 contributions
Aug 2020
This sacred forest is not on most people's bucket list when they go to Kenya but if you are in the area I highly recommend a visit, especially if you are into nature, spirituality, learning about medicinal plants/trees and local culture and traditions. They charge 1000 ($10) per person + tips are extra. The tour around the forest lasts about an hour. Our guide Mohammed was very nice and knowledgable and told us about the uses of the different plants and trees.

Most people spend their whole time at Diani beach but learn very little about local culture. Visiting Kaya Kinondo is an opportunity to do so as well as understand the importance of medicinal plants and the eco system.

Go visit the forest and enjoy nature's gifts!
Written August 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Caroline s
Newquay22 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
We did the 1:30-2h walking tour in the forest with a guide showing us all kinds of trees with medicinal properties. He explained the ways of life of his ancestors and current people.
I did not give 5 stars just because they were not overly helpful in helping out with a cab back and the payment seemed a bit informal (no ticket...just cash in hand). Obviously we believe the money raised goes into community projects, but it would be nice to be sure.
The forest is located a bit south of diani beach so maybe book an Uber to get there and agree the return (much cheaper than using cabs if you look like a tourist).
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Volkmar K
Floeha, Germany10 contributions
Mar 2022
A small, but one of the last remaining patches of primary Coast Rainforest on the Kenyan Coast. Worth to visit! The local guide can explain a lot about the plants and their medial use by local tribes in this forest. There is still some potential to guide people with special interest in the animals living in this forest. We saw some Monkeys (Colobos, Sykes' monkey) and Guinea fowls there. Best time to visit is the early morning or late afternoon.
Written March 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Larkspur, CO245 contributions
Jan 2021
Our review is skewed because we had an issue, but there are some major things to know about:
1. Getting to this location requires several kilometers down a rough road. The Uber drivers in Diani would not go there for the Uber fare as it's too rough on the car. We had to walk to a resort on the way back to finally get a number of a driver that would come. Charge - 1000 ksh each way from that driver.

2. Ants got all over us right away on the walk, biting us up so badly that we had to quit the tour and get out of there. I think the ants might have been inside the black wrap that they give you to take the tour. The guide just stopped and stared at us as we had ants crawling and biting us - we expected some sort of help or information, it was awkward as we were getting eaten with no help.

3. It's too much time and information for children, so I do not recommend it for families. For adults, the background pre-tour information was more interesting than the actual forest walk or story.

4. The entrance fee is high for what you get, relative to other attractions.

If you are REALLY into tribal spiritual life, then I'd recommend it for you. However, if you are just seeing this as a possible attraction in Diani Beach, I would not recommend.
Written January 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jessica B
Mississippi5 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
We just walk for a couple of hours across the forest. Our knowledgeable and informative guide explained us many amazing properties of each trees in this quite and sacred forest. We felt the spirit of the nature. We had a good time walking around.
Written February 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wetzlar, Germany5 contributions
Dec 2019
It was really a random trip to the forest as we didn't plan this in our itinerary from the start. However, we definitely love this place! It's a beautiful forest and our guide Hamsa was a star! He was knowledgeable and showed us many different plants and tell us about the medicinal properties of these plants and what the people would do with these leaves, seeds and bark of the various trees to heal themselves. We find this to be very important information and we hope that people like Hamsa will be better recognised in their work of trying to protect their culture and also to pass on their knowledge of the medicinal properties that different species offer to the next generation and others! :-)
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vancouver, Canada125 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
Wonderful tour and a good insight into the local culture. My guide Hamza was knowledgeable about the pants and area. He showed me how the locals use the plants as medicine. Hamza told me how the locals live with nature in the forest. Definitely recommended for any travellers in Diani
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Prague, Czech Republic8 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
We have been annoyed with the beachboys on the Tiwi/Diani beach as everybody was/is/ and propably will be. One of these guys (called himself Jeyjey)even scammed us for 2000 Ksh (he didn't show up!!!), but we have found a rare exception. Luchi Hassan came to us on Tiwi beach, he told us, that he can take us with his Motorcycle (aka Bodaboda) to the Sacred forest for a very reasonable price (1500Ksh for the whole trip without entrance/guide fee - 2pax). The receptionist at our Hotel/campsite (twiga lodge) knew him, so we gave him a chance. The trip to the sacred forest is nothing really special but interesting. A lot about the culture and history of the local Digo people, interesteing bitheistic approach between Islam and the Religion of the ancestors and a lot of Info about the trees and what kind of use every tree had in the past (medicine, clothing, watter search etc). But what was the best about the whole trip - The Luchi. We went with him after the trip on Lunch a spoke a lot about the living on Diani, about his live, work. He is a very nice guy and he is much different from all the others beach boys. He's not pushy at all, very humble, very friendly, very informative, He has a very good english. He even payed for himself most of his lunch! For the whole trip nothing was a problem. He drove the motorcycle very safe. He made stop stop for us at the Nakumatt and on the very end, he even show us where does he live, his beautiful wife and his beautiful newborn child. So I have promised myself. If there should be anytime better time for Diani, I have to write about this guy. If you are looking for a good local guide from Diani, give him a call. I Hope u won't regret. We definitely didn't. You can contact him over the internet http://luchisafaris.wordpress.com/ or just ask in the Twiga lodge on the Tiwi beach.
Written November 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Larvik, Norway137 contributions
Jan 2012
A better way to spend a morning! We booked a tour to the sacred forest and the eco-tourism project through our hotel and were picked up by a car in the morning. The driver/guide was excellent, an educated young man, very knowledgeable. We were taken first through the villages off the main highway, then to the village school. Unfortunately, we did the tour on a Saturday, so the children were off, but we toured the school grounds, visited one of the class rooms and were given more information on what the eco-tourism project is all about. Following the tour of the school, we paid a visit to the medicin man and were allowed to interview him with our guide as interpreter. He let us smell all the secret remedies in his array of bottles and vials - a unique expereience! The morning ended with a tour of the sacred forest - a must for butterfly lovers and tree huggers! All in all, it was an unforgettable experience, and we were given insight to sides of life in Kenya we would never have seen otherwise. Recommended!
Written February 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pretoria, South Africa244 contributions
Oct 2019
Kaya Kinondo has been on my list of places to visit in Diani for years now and I finally went with my family and several others. Reviews of the place are mixed and I think it has a lot to do with the guide. Hamza was our guide and he was fantastic, young, enthusiastic, well-informed, and very patient with the kids in our group. When you arrive you will receive a length of black cloth which you have to wear around your waist. There are a few others rules to follow out of respect given that this is a sacred place for the Digo people. The forest is relatively compact but densely filled with vegetation - trees that have been there for centuries. Hamza did a great job balancing the interests of the adults with those of the kids. We learned a lot about the medicinal properties of various trees and plants included the Neem and a tree that the Digos call "kick the brain" as the scent of the crushed leaves helps clear up congestion. We learned about the religious practices of the Digo and how they use the sacred forest. And the kids got to swing on some of the vines which helped keep things interesting for them. Be sure to apply bug spray before you enter the forest - there are lots of mosquitos. Kaya Kinondo is definitely worth an hour of your time when in Diani. While most come to Diani for the beautiful beach, a visit to the kaya will give you a better appreciation for the people that live here.
Written October 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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