BY MATHIAS RINGA
Diani Beach in Kwale County, has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination for the sixth time in a row by the World Travel Awards.
Since 2013 to 2018, Diani beach has been scooping the prestigious global award after overcoming fierce competition from other popular African beach destinations such as Sharm El Sheikh from Egypt, Cape Town from South Africa and Zanzibar.
The Kenya’s best beach has over the years been retaining the global award due its stunningly beautiful white-sand, the crystal clear turquoise waters, lush green surroundings and clean environment.
Hoteliers and residents in Diani, as well as Kwale County Government, deserve a pat on the back for conserving the iconic beach, which attracts holidaymakers from across the globe.
On the other hand, the world renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve was voted Africa’s leading national park for the fifth consecutive year.
The Kenya’s best park overcame competition from the world famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda, Etosha National Park in Namibia and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa in the South Coast was crowned Africa’s leading beach resort 2018 by the World Travel Awards after beating 12 other hotels in the category.
Winners from across the continent were presented with the prestigious global awards at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2018, which took place at the Durban International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa, last Saturday.
Commenting on the win, Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa managing director Bobby Kamani said: “The Diani Reef family is ecstatic to have been chosen as the winner for Africa’s leading beach resort 2018 at the just concluded WTA Gala Awards ceremony.
“We are grateful that our efforts in upgrading our product as well as enhancing our service levels have been recognised by clients, who have voted for us.
“Diani Reef, a heritage hotel, has made significant improvement in the product and invested considerable time, effort and resources into training its incredible team members.
“In addition, a state-of-the-art conference facility, which is one of the largest at the Coast has also been an added benefit to conference delegates visiting the region.
“Our sincere thanks to our voters for believing in us. We look forward to welcoming you back to your home in Diani.”
Graham Cooke, founder and president, World Travel Awards, said: “We have had the privilege of recognising the leading hotels, airlines and hospitality providers from across Africa and the Indian Ocean. My congratulations to each of them.
Other winners from Kenya, were Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, which was voted Africa’s leading hotel, Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi scooped the Africa’s leading luxury hotel award, while Finch Hattons bagged the Africa’s leading tented safari camp award.
Olare Mara Kempinski Maasai Mara scooped the Africa’s leading luxury tented safari camp award, Gamewatchers Safaris won the Africa’s Responsible Tourism award, Bonfire Adventures scooped the Africa’s leading travel agency award, and Pollman’s Tours and Safaris bagged the Africa’s leading tour operator award.
Manday Bay from Lamu County was crowned Africa’s leading private island resort, Palacina The Residence and The Suites won the Africa’s leading hotel residences, while Rhino Africa scooped the Africa’s leading safari company award.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy was voted Africa’s leading conservation company, Aberdare Country Club bagged the Africa’s leading green hotel award, while Leopard Beach Resort and Spa won the Africa’s Family Resort award.
National carrier Kenya Airways scooped the Africa’s leading airline-Business Class award, as well as the Africa’s leading airline-Economy Class award.