Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park
The Kenyan Barrier Reef
A wonderful feature of this marine environment, this unspoiled coral barrier reef runs quite a distance along the coast. Sometimes referred to as the rainforests of the sea, these ecosystems shelter and provide food for countless marine life. Along the wall of the reef, just about every nook is inhabited by some sort of aquatic creature. This is a kaleidoscopic underwater world just waiting for your discovery. This entire protected sanctuary is 39 sq. km (15 sq. mi) in area, with four small islands surrounded by coral reefs.
KISITE MPUNGUTI MARINE PARK AND RESERVE HIGHLIGHTS
- The area here is humid and relatively cool with temperatures of about 22o C (71o F) and annual rainfall 19 inches
- On the southern coast of Kenya near Shimoni and south of Wasini Island, near the Tanzanian border. Kisite Mpunguti is 120 km (75 mi) from Mombasa and 605 km (375mi) from Nairobi.
- You can tour, swim and snorkel here all year round. However, the very best time to dive and snorkel is between October and March. The visibility from June through August is not as clear and the seas could be a bit rougher.
- With its warm, clear waters and spectacular coral formations, the underwater experience here is one of the best in East Africa. And because of the variety in dive sites – seven in all – there are opportunities for beginners as well as more proficient divers. Diving sites range from 2 m (6 ft) to 32 m (100 ft).
- Surrounded by a beautiful sandy beach, this island is a vital habitat for the various bird populations. In this vital seabird sanctuary, you’ll see colonies of roseate and sooty terns breeding in July.
- You’re likely to spot plenty of these wonderful land and sea creatures plying through the clear waters. Look for green and hawksbill turtles gracefully swimming or sunning themselves on the rocks.
- Located in a small fishing village, these ancient coral caves were for centuries ‘Kayas’ or sacred sites of worship for the local communities. However, fate and history brought a darker aspect to this tranquil spot. In the 18th and 19th century the caves became pens for captured slaves on their way to the slave markets in Zanzibar. Your entrance fee will help pay the salaries of local teachers and school fees for children in need.