“The Kenyan coastline is amongst the finest scenery in the world; the beaches are breathtaking and the calms sea waters protected by the reef have an indescribable color when you look at them from above." Those were the thoughts that crossed Gary Lincoln-Hope's mind while falling down at 120 mph towards the Diani Beach in 2013 and transformed into the first ever drop zone to open in Kenya.
And he couldn't be more precise; palm trees, white sandy beaches and turquoise water are indeed best to see from altitude. Kenya’s South Coast has a more rustic feel than Nyali Beach for example, or any of the other suburban beaches immediately north of Mombasa, the closest biggest city, partially because there are no roads that would connect them. To get there from Mombasa, one needs to use a ferry.
All the staff at Skydive Diani is friendly, helpful and professional. The DZ is a USPA member and their jump planes are regularly serviced and maintained by Mombasa International Airport staff; you could not be in safer hands. Gary started jumping 17 years ago in the British Army when he joined the elite Parachute Regiment. From that moment on, whether under a military 'round' canopy from 800 ft or the modern high performance skydiving canopies from 14,000 ft, leaping from planes became a real passion.
It was a hard work but together with other enthusiastic people, who not only bring cultural diversity to the party but valuable skydiving experience, Gary and the rest of the crew have not only created a permanent place to skydive but a great jumping community.
Apart from tandem jumps and AFF, licensed skydivers will appreciate jump tickets starting at 40 bucks per jump. The DZ is open every day, all year round from early morning to sunset. It is recommended to book in advance and if you want, the crew will even let you jump barefoot in shorts and a t-shirt. But that's not what you should want in the first place; it is the view of Diani, free-falling through a cloud, and landing on the beach that makes this drop zone an experience not to be missed.
Photos: © Skydive Diani