Prepare for an adventure to the Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park, a coastal paradise known as the “Home of the Dolphins.” This unspoiled marine sanctuary was established with a noble mission—to safeguard the scenic islands and the unique habitats that harbor a multitude of endemic marine creatures and serve as a breeding ground for migratory birds. Nestled amid the coral gardens to the south of Wasini Island, this pristine park boasts three captivating coral rag forest islands, each adorned with extensive fringing reefs. Kisite Marine Park is a haven for snorkeling, bird watching, diving, and, of course, sunbathing.
Considered the Masai Mara of the sea, Kisite Mpunguti is a protected haven teeming with coral reefs and small islands. Here, dolphins, turtles, a plethora of fish species, and a myriad of sea birds call this sanctuary their home. The marine life is so abundant that you can expect to encounter curious dolphins leaping alongside your boat. Dive into some of the most rewarding snorkeling and diving experiences imaginable. The warm, crystalline waters and vibrant coral reefs extend a year-round invitation to explore this outstanding reserve.
Situated not far from the coastal city of Mombasa and even closer to the enchanting Diani Beach, visitors can embark on a dhow cruise to discover the wonders of this vibrant marine reserve. Created to protect the coral gardens and four neighboring islands, the reserve is a thriving ecosystem with over 45 coral species and 360 fish species, including grouper, pufferfish, blue-lined snapper, butterfly fish, triggerfish, as well as moray eels, turtles, and dolphins.
Kisite Mpunguti welcomes visitors year-round. However, the prime time for diving and snorkeling is between October and March when visibility is at its best. During this period, the seas are calm, providing ideal conditions for underwater exploration. From July to December, the clear, warm waters occasionally host migrating humpback whales, nurturing their calves in this marine paradise.
Kisite Mpunguti is home to over 200 playful and friendly cetaceans, including spinner, humpback, and bottle-nosed dolphins. Lucky visitors may even have the chance to swim alongside these charismatic creatures. The protected reefs and islands within the park are also nesting sites for a multitude of sea birds, including the crab-plover and roseate tern.
This pristine coral barrier reef, often likened to the rainforests of the sea, stretches along the coastline, serving as a vital sanctuary and food source for countless marine species. Along the reef’s edge, every nook and cranny is inhabited by various aquatic wonders, creating a kaleidoscopic underwater world awaiting your exploration.
Kisite Mpunguti is situated on the southern coast of Kenya, near Shimoni and south of Wasini Island, close to the Tanzanian border. It is approximately 120 km (75 miles) from Mombasa and 605 km (375 miles) from Nairobi. The region enjoys a humid and relatively cool climate, with temperatures averaging around 22°C (71°F) and an annual rainfall of 19 inches.
Access to the park is exclusively by boat, typically a cruise aboard a traditional dhow. You can conveniently book a tour with Natural World Kenya Safaris from Mombasa’s coastal resorts and Diani Beach.
Immerse yourself in the warm, clear waters and stunning coral formations, making Kisite Mpunguti one of East Africa’s premier diving and snorkeling destinations.
This captivating island, enveloped by a pristine sandy beach, is a vital habitat for various bird populations. Witness the spectacle of roseate and sooty tern colonies breeding in July within this essential seabird sanctuary.
Keep a keen eye out for graceful green and hawksbill turtles gliding through the crystal-clear waters or basking on the sun-drenched rocks.
Delve into the rich history of these ancient coral caves, once sacred sites of worship for local communities. Sadly, these tranquil caves also bear the somber legacy of being used as holding pens for enslaved individuals en route to Zanzibar’s slave markets during the 18th and 19th centuries. Your entrance fee contributes to the salaries of local educators and supports children in need by covering school fees.