No ecological realm can be quieter than the underwater world. Visiting any of the many underwater parks along the Kenyan coast allows people to truly experience the diversity of the area’s sea life.
There are lots of sites for an essentially maritime exploration tour in Kenya, with countless coral reefs in the pristine seas of the Indian Ocean.
Let’s look at five of the best marine parks in Kenya.
The best marine parks in Kenya
1. Malindi Marine National Park & Reserve
Malindi Marine National Park & Reserve is situated south of Malindi Coastal Area. The 213 square kilometer park, set in 1979 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered one of Africa’s oldest marine national parks.
The Coral Gardens are mangroves, seagulls, fencing reefs, coral reefs, mudflats, and a high diversity of fish, marine mammals, turtles, and shorebirds.
The park offers a variety of activities making it a perfect destination for beach holidays and safaris. The activities include swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, glass-bottom boat rides , jet-skiing, camping, bird-watching, and beaches. The entry fee is KSH 100 for residents and 15 USD for foreigners.
2. Watamu Marine National Park
The Watamu Marine Park is 120 kilometres North of Mombasa. The park was designated as a protected area in 1968 and is a UN World Biosphere Reserve. The 10-square-kilometre park is home to a plethora of marine life, including molluscs, stony corals, dugongs, crustaceans, and over 500 different species of fish.
Sunbathing on the white sandy beaches, snorkelling, water skiing, windsurfing, and glass-bottomed boat cruises are among the activities available to tourists. Being one of the best marine parks in Kenya, visitors also get to see the endangered Green sea turtle, octopus, and barracudas, then later on take a dive around the Canyon to see rays and reef sharks.
3. Mombasa Marine National Park
Warm turquoise waters, swaying coconut trees, and beautiful sandy beaches: these are the markers of Mombasa Marine National Park. The stunning scenic park which was formed in 1986 is home to a brilliant array of marine life, indigenous vegetation and attractive migratory birds.
Lying between Mtwapa and Tudor Creeks near Mombasa’s shoreline, its azure waters are great for windsurfing, water skiing, boat trips, birdwatching, snorkelling, and diving. Charges go for KSH 100 for resident adults and USD 15 for non-residents.
4. Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park
Kisite Marine Park, also known as the Dolphin Sanctuary, is located on the south Kenyan coast, close to the Tanzanian border, among the coral gardens south of Wasimi Island. The park protects an abundance of marine species including approximately 200 dolphin individuals (bottle-nosed, spinner, and humpback), pufferfish, parrotfish, snappers, damselfish among others.
The park comprises three multiple small coral rag forest islands (Mpunguti ya Juu, Mpunguti ya Chini and Liwe la Jahazi) (Mpunguti ya Juu, Mpunguti ya Chini and Liwe la Jahazi).
Kisite delights its tourists with thrilling activities such as snorkelling, bird watching, amazing beautiful vistas and lounging. It charges locals KSH 200 adults KSH 100 children and USD 15 adults USD 10 children for non residents.
5. Kiunga Marine National Reserve
A unspoiled section of rough coral islands surrounded by reefs of rainbow coral and part of the mystical Swahili domain of the Lamu Archipelago, Kiunga Marine Reserve offers live coral gardens, contoured coves, rolling seabirds, unique turtles, magic dugongs and an incredible underwater beauty, adventure and excitement.
Located further north along Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast, Kiunga includes approximately 50 offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago.
Visitors get to observe a shifting rainbow of small fish, worms, shrimps, octopus and clams hide in the crevices as blue and yellow parrot fish use their powerful beaks to gnaw off lumps of coral. In addition The Reserve’s creeks and bays also serve as a large breeding area for the unusual mermaid-like creature called the dugong.
The reserve provides fantastic opportunities for windsurfing, diving and snorkeling, water skiing, and sunbathing.
Are there any other marine parks in Kenya that we may have left out? Let us know in the comment section below.
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