Scuba Destinations

 

Kenya

Caves, wrecks, reefs, whale sharks . . . . . combined with safari, Kenya has it all!
Overview:
Scubadviser - sunset in Kenya

Well, 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.  You can download a map of the sites in Diani here:

Thank you to Daniel Floren, Diving the Crab, for providing these documents.  Diving the Crab was the first dive center in Kenya to become CarbonZero through a range of ethical and verified projects.

What to see:
  • 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.
Need to know:
  • 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.
Useful stuff:
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

Africa - Kenya: Latest User Reviews

Excellent Diving  Diving the Crab - Headquarters, Kenya 5 Star Rating Added: 13th November 2012 by jander4454
We were 8 UK and Ireland scientific divers carrying out bio-diversity research and were magnificantly served by Diving the Crab. Excellent staff, guides and boat staff made our preparations and diving effortless and allowed us maximum time on the bottom to carry out our observations. Management Response from Diving the Crab We...
Jambo from France  Diving the Crab - Headquarters, Kenya 5 Star Rating Added: 10th March 2012 by megane
My diving club "USM plongée" from Melun in France - Seine et Marne - just came back from Diani after 4 days of divings with you. We are 17 divers very happy of your welcome, and beautifull divings : good water temperature (28°C), good visibility and a lot of new...
Fantastic Diving Experience  Buccaneer Diving, Voyager Hotel, Kenya 5 Star Rating Added: 30th November 2011 by MariaJ
Went diving with Buccaneer in August. A Open Water diver who had never been diving in the sea before - very nervous! Had the best time, dive masters fantastic, really built my confidence! Saw lots of sea life, visibility not always brilliant!! Going back in February to do our advance...
Great Experience, Saved the Day  Diving the Crab - Headquarters, Kenya 5 Star Rating Added: 11th September 2011 by DiveCouple
Diving with the Crab was a great experience. After a poor experience with other dive centers on the Diani coast, I can confidently say that the Crab has NO COMPETITION WHATSOEVER. 10 out of 10 for the Crab. Can't wait to go back.
Excercise Caution  Southern Cross Scuba, Kenya 1 Star Rating Added: 11th September 2011 by DiveCouple
Excercise caution when considering diving with Southern Cross. The quality of the Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa which hosts the dive center is not representative of what you find once you have booked a dive with this company. They offer dangerously damaged, old, and faulty equipment and have demonstrated on...
Diving the Crab - Great dives supported by a professional team  Diving the Crab - Southern Palms Hotel, Kenya 5 Star Rating Added: 4th August 2011 by Haddowp
Diving the Crab team is run by highly professional and experienced divers who take great care to ensure that their customers have really enjoyable and safe dives. We found the equipment and organisation of the dive centre to be of a high standard with obvious attention to detail. The team...
20 years and counting...  Diving the Crab - Baobab Hotel, Kenya 5 Star Rating Added: 19th June 2011 by Onei1y
Diving the Crab - June 2011 20 years and counting I first visited Kenya about 20 years ago when I stayed at the Jardini Beach Hotel (now closed) I was not a diver and could only dream when viewing the pictures of the Whale Sharks on the wall of the dive centre...
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