Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park & Reserve
Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve is found off the Kenyan coast, 75 miles south of Mombasa. This Marine Park and Reserve has been a center of discussion for European marine biologists because of its increasing number of new fish species and corals being documented, and particularly because of the marine environment still being intact. There are currently around 250 varieties of marine fishes, and over 40 varieties of coral species documented.
Mpunguti and Kisite, which jointly gained its status as a Marine Reserve and Park in 1978, actually consist of the Inner and outer Mpunguti Islands and Kisite Island. A dhow transports you over to the shallow marine reserve from the coastal mainland, where you have the opportunity to witness the clarity of water and awesomeness of diverse number of marine life. Kisite - Mpunguti Marine Park and National Reserves is loved by snorkels and divers because of the ease of viewing (but not touching or examining) and picture taking. (Read about Wasini Island Dhow). Deep sea fishing lovers can travel further down south to the Pemba channel to catch large barracudas and kingfish. In the Kisite - Mpunguti Marine Park and National Reserves some of the commonly seen fish include: large numbers of pelagic fish, butterfly, parrot, rockcod, angel, manta ray. Turtles, dolphins, reef sharks are also seen. The pristine coral varieties are impeccable; corals like staghorn, brain, liliac-blue, mushroom, and lavender present unique photo taking opportunities. The colorful beauty of the coral, complimented by the large number of yellow and red tuna and snappers are unmatched.
Mombasa South Coast Dive Sites
Dive Location And Specific Sites: Tiwi Beach tri-location. Encompassing locations Kongo reef, Bwana Mwanza reef and Tiwi reef.
Rating (out of 5): 3½ - 4 depending on the specific location, Tiwi Creek being the best.
Dive Level: Intermediate and experienced.
Visibility: Approximately 20 feet during the monsoon season; greater than 35 feet during short rains season. Strong currents during the monsoon season may cause some difficulty during the dive.
Temperature: Almost always greater than 74 F
Comment: Tiwi dive sites are by far one of the best on East African coast. A variety of marine life is seen that are not commonly seen on the north coast dives centers. There are soft and hard corals, sponges, and other colorful vegetation seen. Night dives are also performed in groups at Tiwi Creek.
Dive Location and Specific Sites: Ukunda - Diani location. Encompassing locations Kinonodo reef and Mvuvu
Rating (out of 5): 4
Dive Level: All levels.
Visibility: Approximately 25 feet during the monsoon season; greater than 40 feet during short rains season.
Temperature: Almost always greater than 74 F.
Comment: Opportunity to view beautiful coral and diverse marine life. Close to the beach hotels, and thus perfect for many to try out. Snorkeling enjoyed by many tourists.
Dive Location and Specific Sites: Shimoni Caves location. Particular location Nyuli reef.
Rating (out of 5): 4½.
Dive Level: Experienced levels only, due to strong tidal current.
Visibility: Approximately 20 feet during the monsoon season; greater than 40 feet during short rains season. Experienced diver will find it adventurous.
Temperature: Almost always greater than 72 F.
Comment: Famous for its coral caves; Fishing also a big sport around this location. Large marine life always seen, such as sharks and sting rays. Also large schools of fish seen too.
Dive Location And Specific Sites: The private Chale Island; particular locations Snorkeling and Chale reef
Rating (out of 5): 5
Dive Level: All levels; best for beginners.
Visibility: Good visibility all year round.
Temperature: Almost always greater than 76 F.
Comment: Perfect location for beginners learning to dive. Opportunity to see turtles and multi-colored marine life and vegetation. Corals are beautiful here, and region is well preserved because it is operated by a private organization.
||Dive Location and Specific Sites: Mpunguti - Kisite locations. Specific locations Pink reef, Dolphin point, area encompassing Kisite Marine Park.
Rating (out of 5): 5.
Dive Level: Dives very much enjoyed by all levels.
Visibility: Good visibilities all year round; sometimes greater than 95 100 feet during November and December.
Temperature: Almost always greater than 77 F
Comment: Considered the best location on the Kenyan coast by many. Opportunity to see plenty of marine life like dolphins, butterfly fish, sharks, turtle. Bright colorful corals complement the schools of fish at all depths.