A complete guide to scuba diving in Kenya: The deep blue is a magical place to explore. You’ll experience a sense of space travel while scuba diving. You will experience things beyond your wildest dreams thanks to the weightlessness sensation and the fantastic underwater life.
Kenya has some of the best scuba diving in the entire world. It is also one of the best-kept secrets in the diving world. Kenya’s coastline in the Indian Ocean fronts 230 kilometers of breathtaking coral reef. The reef is in good shape despite some overfishing, is virtually untouched in some areas, and is home to almost a million different species of marine life.
Mombasa, Watamu, Kisite, Kiunga, and Malindi are Kenya’s five marine parks or reserves, which are the main scuba diving locations, but the entire length of the country’s coastline is teeming with underwater intrigue. Divers can explore coral islands in Lamu, dive fringing reefs in Diani, hunt crabs in mangroves in Watamu, and dive in caves in Kilifi.
The following sea creatures can be spotted while scuba diving in Kenya: turtle, dolphin, grouper, barracuda, moray eel, dugong, whale shark, humpback whale, manta ray, and white-tip reef shark (occasionally hammerheads).
You can see nudibranchs, frogfish, blennies, lionfish seahorses, leaf scorpionfish, rare crustaceans, and countless varieties of coral on the macro side. Divers can choose from a wide range of diving options in Kenya, including deep, night, drift, cave, and wreck diving.
And to top it all off, the underwater world is just as beautiful as the surface. The palm-fringed white-sand paradises of Diani, Tiwi, Mombasa, Malindi, Watamu, and Lamu are ideal for relaxing after exploring the depths of the Indian Ocean.
You’ll be taken aback by the coral reefs, vibrant fish, and breathtaking complexions of the underwater ecosystem, both literally and figuratively. You’re in for a treat if you’re visiting Kenya and enjoy diving. Some of the best diving excursions you will go on are in Kenya. Here is everything you need to know about diving in Kenya.
BEST TIME TO GO DIVING IN KENYA
Kenya’s waters maintain a constant, mild temperature all year. Swimming and diving are activities you can enjoy all year. But from October to March, the water is perfectly clear for the best diving experience. The best months are January and February because the water is ideal, and you might even get to see whale sharks during this time. It is not advisable to travel to Kenya from March to May when it rains. During these months, the rain can raise the river’s water level, which reduces visibility.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Although the coastal areas are generally secure, you should avoid going close to the Somalia border. Additionally, you must dress appropriately because of the nation’s strict dress code.
WHAT CAN I SEE WHEN SCUBA DIVING IN KENYA?
The entire variety of tropical Indian Ocean species—a list too long to even attempt on paper—can be expected to be seen. Ribbon eels, fire dartfish, octopus, squid, wrasse, pufferfish, scorpionfish, damselfish, ray, parrotfish, surgeonfish, unicornfish, snapper, red-tooth triggerfish, giant moray eels, crocodile fish, enormous potato grouper, and turtle are some of the fish you might see on the inland reefs.
The following marine species can be seen outside of the reef: loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, and green sea turtles; reef sharks; bottlenose and spinner dolphins; barracuda; yellowfin tuna; trevally; and humpback whales.
Although they can be seen from October to April, whale shark sightings are most frequent in November and December, which is also humpback whale season. In the winter, hammerhead sharks are occasionally spotted along the farthest reefs.
WHERE CAN I SCUBA DIVE IN KENYA?
All levels of scuba diving experience can be satisfied in the areas along the coastline, which are home to stunning reefs and varied topography. The protected reef is home to an abundance of marine life of all kinds and many large corals that are in excellent condition.
Diani has five marine parks:
Kisite—Mpunguti Marine Park
South of Mombasa, close to Wasini Island, is where you’ll find Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park. There are two parks—Kisite and Mpunguti—that together offer 15 square kilometers of protected, pristine underwater paradise. The parks contain 360 different species of fish, 45 different types of coral, and 11 authorized dive sites. One of the best places to see humpback whales and whale sharks as they pass through Kenya is Kisite.
A complete guide to scuba diving in Kenya : Mombasa Marine Park and Reserve
Around Mombasa, the second-largest city in Kenya, there is an 84 sq. km. coral reef protected by the Mombasa Marine Park and Reserve. It benefits from having dive locations that are just a short boat ride from land, mostly along the coral reef that is located nearby. There are octopuses, starfish, angelfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, lionfish, damselfish, turtles, dolphins, and, if you’re really lucky, a humpback whale.
A complete guide to scuba diving in Kenya : Watamu Marine Park
Among the best in the nation are the 20 dive sites at Watamu Marine Park. In a hugely diverse underwater landscape, Watamu offers dives for divers of all experience levels. Dive sites in Watamu include coral beds, overhangs, cliffs, channels, and a wreck. There are 600 different species of fish, 100 different types of coral, and numerous other marine life in Watamu Marine Park. One of the best places in Kenya to swim with turtles is at the Watamu’s white-sand beaches, where they lay their eggs.
A complete guide to scuba diving in Kenya : Malindi Marine Park
Malindi Marine Park, now a reserve under the Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme of UNESCO, was Kenya’s first marine protected area. A deep trench known as the Barracuda Channel is located between the North Reef and Barracuda Reef and is one of the many habitats in the marine park, along with seagrass, mangroves, and mudflats. More than 600 different fish species can be found in the park, and loggerhead, green, olive ridley, and hawksbill turtles all have nesting grounds there.
A complete guide to scuba diving in Kenya : Kiunga Marine National Reserve
The most well-known of the coral reefs and calcareous isles in the 37-mile-long Kiunga Marine National Reserve is the ancient Swahili town of Lamu. Due to the islands serving as a breeding ground for this endangered animal, Kiunga is one of the few places in Kenya to see dugongs (also known as sea cows). The 51 islands are home to a wide variety of tropical fish as well as sharks, moray eels, and turtles.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The price of your dive will depend on a number of factors. It can cost anywhere between $80 for a dive and $550 for a week’s worth of diving, according to information from a diving website in Kenya. In the event that you are unfamiliar with the process, the diving operators also provide training courses. Depending on the operator you choose and the package they offer, beginner courses can cost anywhere between $50 and $500, while professional courses can run you between $80 and $850.
Dive exploration is a lovely adventure that everyone should take part in. If you enjoy diving a lot, book your flight to Kenya right away and prepare to be amazed by all that it has to offer. If you have never dived before, get packing, look up some tutorials, and get ready for a journey that will change your life. Make sure to visit the Maasai Mara and Amboseli National park since you are traveling to Kenya.