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Diving in Kenya | Malindi | Mombasa | Shimoni
Turtle near Shimoni

It's unlikely that Kenya would be the first place many divers would think of for a diving holiday – a safari, yes – but this country is not regarded as a specific scuba diving destination.

The marine realm is interesting enough but limited by natural forces. The coast of Kenya is heavily tidal with fringing reefs that run right along the shoreline. These lie just below the surface and are exposed at low tide, which means that the outer reefs are not easily accessible and dives are mostly limited to mornings. Once you get into the water there is plenty of life. Hard corals are the basis of the reef structure with lots of small fish, nudibranchs and crustaceans. There are schooling pelagic fish if you dive on a day when there is a bit of current.

The reefs north of Mombasa seem to be in better condition than those in the south. Watamu Bay is regarded as the best area for diving as the bay is now a marine park. There are blue spotted rays and plenty of moray eels. If you're really, really lucky you might even see a whaleshark as it wends it's way up and down the coast. The operators promote this heavily but you are more likely to see a turtle and masses of nudibranchs.

Kenya dive photo gallery Scuba diving features

Marine Life Angelfish
Moray eels
Napoleon wrasse
Seasons Year round but check for the rainy season
Visibility 10 – 40 metres
Water temperature 25 – 29º C
Deco chambers Mombasa
Flights Direct charters to Mombasa on the coast or flights to Nairobi with an internal connection.
Hotels and dive centres Masses of hotels and most have an on-site dive centre.

Getting to Kenya is easy from Europe with many chartered and scheduled flights. There are also plenty of hotels in all categories and standards are generally quite high. However, these tend to be busy and focused on the needs of package tourists rather than divers.

Generally conditions are straightforward, but experienced divers might find the reefs a bit tame especially when combined with the restriction of no diving at low tide. Once the sea recedes and the fringing reef is exposed, you can't even swim.
We had been to Kenya to see the Big Five prior to becoming divers so it was where we targeted for a combined trip once we were. We have been to Kenya several times, but always with a safari as the main reason for going. After that, the coastal resorts are ideal for some relaxing days and easy diving.
Diving on Africa's
Indian Ocean coast
the Coast


Medjumbe Island
East Zanzibar
Mnemba Atoll
Pemba Island
SAFARI combine an East African diving holiday with a wildlife safari
Locate Kenya with google maps
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