24 November 2020
Five marine parks protect Kenya's fringing coral reef. Her coastline is on the Indian ocean, with Tanzania to the south.
The water is warm in Kenya - average temperatures range from 25 oC in August to 30 oC in March. April and May are the wettest months. You can dive all year round but October to March when seas are calmest is the best time. Whale sharks and manta rays visit between November and February, and humpback whales appear from July to October.
More properly called the Republic of Kenya, you need a visa to enter. You can either get a visa on arrival at the airport. To minimise time spent queuing at the airport though, it's best to get a visa before you travel.
International flights are going. You must have a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued no more than 96 hours before departure and fill out a "Travelers Health Surveillance Form". Anyone who shows symptoms of coronavirus on arrival will be required to quarantine in their accommodation for the first 14 days. Passengers seated on two rows surrounding anyone on a flight displaying symptoms will be traced and required to quarantine for 14 days. Face masks must be worn in public places. Make sure that you have insurance which covers COVID-19.
According to the British Foreign Office, the southern coast - where the main diving areas are - is generally trouble-free, but you should avoid the areas of Kenya adjoining Somalia. The coastal areas are predominantly Muslim. Although there are no strict dress codes, you should dress conservatively away from the hotels. Homosexual activity is illegal. Take adequate insurance with diving cover - for insurance for scuba diving down to over 40 m see our Insurance page.
Kenya has several marine parks, including Diani - Chale, Kisite-Mpunguti, Kiunga, Malindi, Mombasa and Watamu. The best dive sites? Diving highlights include the deep wall at Nyuli where two currents meet. The Canyon at Watamu Marine Park also features steep walls. Galu Reef is good for macro divers with ornate ghost pipefish, seahorses, frogfish and leaf scorpionfish. A good reef to see large pelagics is Kinondo Reef, which also has huge shoals of smaller fish. For wreck diving take a look at the Dania Wreck. She was deliberately sunk as an artificial reef in 2002 and is a popular dive spot.
The Watamu marine reserve is an important area for green turtles - they are especially common on Turtle Reef. Whale sharks pass by November to January. For leopard and white tip reef sharks, and large manta rays, head to Kisite. Here you also find Dolphin point and may even see a humpback whale in November or December.
"The 1st purposely sunk wreck in East Africa. 400 ton fishing
trawler sitting at a ideal depth and has become a very successful artificial
reef and home to marine life.
Daniel Floren, Diving the Crab Dive Centre, 2010
"Great site to see Turtles. Nice start site for beginners and
experienced divers and a short boat ride. Colorful corals everywhere.
Daniel Floren, Diving the Crab Dive Centre, 2010
Large shoals of fish live here - barracuda, trigger fish, snappers. There is also a good chance of seeing larger animals like dolphins, or, in season, whale sharks. Depth between 10 and 20 m.
A deep dive where currents converge. A coral reef wall starts at 28 m. Look for leopard and white tip reef sharks on the sandy bottom. You may also encounter Napoleon wrasse, large groupers and manta rays. You need to be experienced to dive this site, and you can generally only dive it in the dry season.
Watamu marine reserve, north of Mombassa, is a great place to see green turtles as they lay on the beaches here. Turtle reef is quite a shallow dive, at 15 m. You will also see many parrot fish and surgeon fish.
Steep walls mark the Canyon. When a current flows look for white tip reef sharks. An impressive arch covered in coral is a highlight. Whale sharks visit from November to January. .
Cargo boat which was purposely sank in 2002 for divers. 80 m long, she lies in around 30 m.
"Wreck that Buccaneer [diving centre] sank. 77 m cattle craft @ 30 m amazing wreck still complete."
"Great reef at 12-25 m on sand flat where white tip reef sharks gather. "
"Shark Point is one of the best dive sites at the Mombasa Marine Park. Its on a slope starting at 12 meter going down to about 24 meter. A great chance to see White Tip Reef Sharks. Also very common are:Turtles, Napoleon, Giant Moray Eel, Leopard Moray Eel, Scorpion Fish, Giant Grouper among others."
Chris (Peponi Divers) , 2010
"Turtles galore! Beautiful slow sloping reef 10-18m. "
"Peponi Divers Mombasa under Swiss management. Teaching all PADI courses in English and German. We are registered PADI and BSAC resort.
Feel free to enjoy best diving with Peponi Divers Mombasa. With 25 dives sites the greatest variety along the coast you will get great dives at highest safety standards and best services. You can participate to all PADI courses up to Divemaster and several speciality courses such as Turtle Awareness, Shark Awareness, Deep Diver, Drift Diver and more."
"Great, small groups, attention to the customer"
Pedro de Figueiredo, 2010
Buccaneer Diving 5 star center
"Returning to do IDC in May! Fantastic centre! Can't wait to return. Two small dive boats. Really reasonable prices - especially their multi=dive packages. Small groups of divers no crowds - NEW DIVING HOT SPOT! Stayed at Voyager Hotel. Fantastic hotel; excellent staff.
Diving The Crab
P.O. Box 5011
80401 Diani Beach
Tel: +254 723108108
"Diving the Crab has been on Diani Beach since 1982 and is very
experienced with diving in East Africa also holding a record altitude dive
on Mt Kenya. Voted in the top 100 dive centers around the world in the Unterwasser magazine 2007.
Daniel Floren, Diving the Crab, 2010
Tel: +254 40 320 2367
Tel: +254 (0)734 237692
Turtle Bay Dive Center
Turtle Bay Beach Club
Tel: +254 707 180074
P.O. Box 275
Tel: +254 (0)703628102
Chalkoko Birding and Wildlife Safaris
P.O. box 98397