The Coast

The Coast

Kenya has a 1,420km coastline, including some islands, off the Indian Ocean western shore. The northern coast is characterized by mangroves and tidal flats. Tracts of mangroves are again found at the southern end. Between, there is a 390kms continental coastline of white sand beach and coralline - ideal for beach resorts and three marine parks (Kisite, Watamu and Malindi) - for which Kenya is acclaimed.

Tidal fluctuation is semi-diurnal (two highs and two lows during each 24-hour period), with average high tide at 2.96 m and the average low tide 0.71 m.

The monsoon south-east wind (Kusi) blows from mid March to sometime in November and is cooler than the north-east wind (Kaskazi) which blows the rest of the time. The seas are warmer and calmer during the Kaskazi months.

For diving, the reefs along the Kenya coast are extremely diverse and all standards of diving can be found. Large schools of Baracuda, shoals of yellow and blue lined Snappers, red snappers, trigger fish and the greatest possibility of seeing Pelagic fish. Moray eels and Lobsters also frequent.

For deep-sea fishing, is from July to mid April. The main billfish (sailfish and marlin) season runs from November to mid/late March but sailfish and black Marlin often come inshore in numbers in August. There are no fewer than six varieties of billfish and the possibilities of a grand slam are very real. Apart from billfish there are huge sharks (mako, tiger, hammerhead to name but a few), exciting tuna, large wahoo, narrow-barred mackerel, barracuda, world-record size giant trevally plus many others including broadbill swordfish.

The Kenya coast is a popular nesting area and migration route for turtles while dolphins are regular sightings. Offshore, whales and sharks (including giant whale sharks) have their migration routes.

Other activities available at the coast include swimming, wind and kite surfing, kayaking, floating restaurants, scuba diving and cruise trip, sailing on traditional dhows.