Scuba Diving Locations -
Scuba Diving in East Africa
Wednesday, 02 September 2009 18:18
Kenya lies across the equator on the eastern coast of Africa, covering an area of about 586,600km sq, which may not seem vast to some, however within the borders of this single country, you will not only find savannahs rich with big game, majestic snow capped mountains, timeless cultures unchanged by the modern world and equatorial forests but pristine beaches and a breathtaking under water world teeming with stunning fish and marine life.
Given the profusion of dive centers and the fact that the entire coast of Kenya is a very popular tourist destination, it is no surprise that diving is the most popular water sport along the coast, divers come from all over the world to explore our magnificent reefs and diverse dive sites.
The dive sites in Kenya are suited to varying levels of experience and there are several training facilities all along the Kenyan coast ranging from Lamu in the north all the way down to Diani Beach that will help anyone who needs get certified. Diving in Kenya is an amazing experience and one not to be missed by novice and professional divers alike, there is so much to see and so many sites to dive, finishing your ‘safari’ with a week at the coast with a couple of dives thrown in is the perfect way to end your holiday.
Diving Wrecks in Kenya
The H.M.S Hildasay sunk June 21st 1945. "H.M.S. Hildasay" and her sister ship "H.M.S. Shapinsay" were armed steam trawlers based at Mombasa and allocated to the Kenya Royal Navy volunteer reserve in the latter part of the World War II. Built in 1941 these two vessels had been used as mine sweepers off the East African Coast replacing two older earlier vessels.
HMS Hildasay lies in the sand at 22m hull up, which means the wreck itself is not wildly interesting. However, there are always interesting and rare fish on and around the wreck so it is a dive that is well worth doing.
MFV Alpha Funguo, a 44.5-meter steel tuna long line fishing vessel with a gross tonnage of 385, arrived in Mombasa by sea from South Korea in March 1980 where she started long lining for tuna along the East African coastline generally within a 200-mile radius of Mombasa.
In June 1997 she ran aground, after a fire, on a reef just outside the harbor of Mombasa at Shelly Beach. Southern Engineering Co. LTD. then salvaged her bring her into the harbor. She then sat in dock till Diving The Crab bought her in 2001 for use as an artificial reef.
MFV Alpha Funguo became the first artificial reef to be created for the purpose of diving tourism on the Kenyan Coast.
Arriving with MFV Funguo from the Mombasa Harbor were a small school of Sergeant Major's. These were not known to exist south of Mombasa Island. Their numbers have now increased and are a common sight around the anchor line and have been known to accompany divers during the ascent and decent.
Best Time to Dive in Kenya
You can dive in Kenya all year round as temperature factors aren’t really an issue. One of the things that you can base your diving time around is the migration patterns of certain marine animals that you might wish to see during your dive times. If you want to see whale sharks, then you can visit Kenya in October through till April and Humpback Whales migration is from July through till October.
Best Places to Dive in Kenya
Types of Marine Life in Kenya
Soft and Hard Coral’s, Parrotfish, Acropora, Sweetlips, Barracuda Black and White Tipped Reef Sharks, Snapper, Anemones, Trevally, Tuna, Moray Eels, Leaf Fish, Frog Fish Ghost Pipe fish, Sea Turtles, and many other types of Indian Ocean fish.
Kenya Diving Fact Sheet:
Average Air Temperature: 25C – 35C
Average Water Temperature: 22C – 29C
Recommended Exposure Protection: A 3mm – 7 mm wetsuit is recommended for most dives.
Average Visibility: 5–30 meters
Coldest Times: June to October
Hottest Times: November to May
Best Diving months: October through to April
Airport Info: Charter flights fly into Mombasa otherwise most airlines fly into Moi international airport Nairobi, connecting flights are then available daily to the coast airports, Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa and Diani.
Language: Although there are over 40 tribes in Kenya the language most widely spoken is Swahili, most people understand and speak English and because the coast is a popular tourist destination many of the local people also speak Italian and German.
Health: Drink bottled water only and lots of it to stay hydrated in the hot climate. Be wary of Food and vegetables that haven’t been cooked or peeled.
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