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Diving in Kenya

Diving in Kenya

Quick facts

  • A humanitarian crisis erupted in Kenya after incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election held on December 27, 2007. Police shot a number of demonstrators, causing more violence directed toward the police. As of February 28 2008, the National Accord and Reconciliation Act was signed, which establishes the office of prime minister and creates a coalition government. Tourism suffered as a result of tourists deserting Kenya as a holiday destination. Since March, tour operators have been slashing their prices in an attempt to tempt visitors back. Visitors should seek advice locally from tour operators or the local authorities, particularly if contemplating visiting areas affected by election-related violence, such as Nakuru District.
  • Malaria risk - check for up-to-date information before you travel.
  • BE AWARE: Lariam (mefloquine) is an anti-malarial drug used in regions of the world where chloroquine resistant falciparum malaria is prevalent. e.g. East Africa, South East Asia. Possible side effects of lariam such as dizziness, blurred vision and a disturbed sense of balance are common and could cause problems for divers. These effects can often imitate or even worsen the symptoms of DCI. There could also be confusion between the side effects of lariam and the symptoms of DCI or nitrogen narcosis resulting in a misleading diagnosis.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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USD 2,238Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 1,447Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers

What to see

Language:
Swahili but English is widely spoken
Currency:
Kenyan shilling
Time:
GMT +3
Climate:
Varies from tropical along the coast to arid in the interior
Natural hazards:
Recurring drought; flooding during rainy season (April to June)
Diving season:
November to end March
Water temperature:
28C/82F (Jan-March)
25C/77F (July-Sept)
Air temperature:
24C - 28C

Calendar

For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Country

Scubadviser - sunset in KenyaWell, we all know its in Africa... but where exactly??? Kenya is in Eastern Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest, with the Indian Ocean running along the southeast border. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark.

Diving in Kenya is generally good all year round, although visibility lessens during July and August due to silting and high seas. The weather is consistently warm and sunny, with excellent water temperature that makes for great diving conditions. October to March is the best time for diving. Divers visiting Kenya typically dive in one of the large marine reserves:

  • Watamu Marine National Park - a well protected and managed area. This is an important area for egg laying for the endangered Green sea Turtle, which lay on the beaches at Watamu several times a year and they are often seen around this reef.
  • Nearby Moray Reef has a breathtaking overhang dropping 28 metres to a sandy bottom. The coral here is a refuge for octopus and eel and a massive semi-tame moray. Whale sharks pass through each year from October to February, with good sightings reported each day.
  • Kisite Mpunguti Marine Reserve - for some of the largest Manta Rays on the East African coast.
  • Mombasa Marine Park And National Reserve - Mombasa, a coral island off the coast of Kenya, has beautiful coral reef and marine life; this makes the whole experience of diving and snorkeling fabulous.
  • The Malindi Marine Park - between the shoreline and the two main reefs, North Reef and Barracuda Reef, runs Barracuda Channel.

In the island archipelagos of Northern Kenya, around Lamu and Manda, new dive sites are currently being explored and made accessible. The reefs along the Kenya coast are extremely diverse and all standards of diving can be found to suit even the most fastidious diver.

Getting there

  • The 80 metre ship MV Dania lies in around 35 metres of water, just off Bamburi Beach. She was fully prepared for sinking (engines removed and hull cleaned to negate any environmental impact) and her interior fully cleared for safe penetration by divers. She now has a specialized "assault course" for trainee divers on her upper deck (at around 15 metres) while special direction lines have been laid below decks for divers who wish to penetrate the wreck.
  • The Vuma Caves near Kilifi Creek – at a depth of 20 metres beneath the surface on the face of some seaside cliffs, the open sea around the entrance is a good place to spot dolphins, while the interior of the caves is a refuge for eels, some very large grouper and barracuda. Exit is through a 10 metre chimney which emerges through a hole in the reef above.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.