It is also known as Mpunguti Marine National Park. The park is a two in one. Kisite covers over 11sqkm and Mpunguti reserve covers 28sqkm. It lies on Kenya’s coast in the south, close to Shimoni and Wasini Island in Kwale District, it’s also near the border of Tanzania. The park is surrounded by four Islands though small, with coral reefs. The park was reserved to protect marine life. It accommodates a number of them, and sea birds. There quite many activities to enjoy and attractions that will take your breath away. Some of the Marine life include, dolphins, whale sharks, green see turtles, groupers, snappers, anger fish, butterfly fish, scorpion fish, puffer fish, and humpback whales, among others.
How to Access the park
The park is located in the coast province in Kenya. The closest city is Mombasa. It can be accessed by road and after the main road, you take a boat. It lies 500km from Nairobi and 90km from Mombasa. By boat its 5km offshore at the Jetty. One can also use a ferry to the southern parts of the park.
What to go with
On top of your necessities, it’s advisable you pack sunglasses, a hat, contact lenses, camera, and binoculars. Some equipment can be hired.
When to Visit
The park has average temperatures between 21-33degrees Celsius and average rainfall. It can be enjoyed throughout the year although some months are outstanding compared to others. For a wonderful time in the park, one should visit during dry season (June-October and January to February) than the wet season (November – December and March-May).
During the dry season, the waters are very clear and tourists enjoy views of the marine life clearly.
Still in the same season, the temperatures are perfect for diving, swimming, snorkeling, boat drives, among others.
Whales can be spotted between August and October.
In the wet season, waters aren’t clear enough and some activities can’t be enjoyed like boat drives, watching marine life. It can be challenging.
Things to do
The wonderful park is a cool and relaxing place to view the marine life and exploring the sea life. There many activities that bring excitement to tourists in the area, but the best activities to enjoy are as below.
This is one of the commonest activities at the park. It is most practiced by diving experts, but there’s room for learners to participate in the activity. Tourists wear protective wear and hit the water world. You will have a chance to see most of the fish species. This activity is most practiced in the dry season.
The park is a home for different species of birds. The activity is most enjoyed during the rainy season where the residents of the park are joined by the migratory birds from Europe. To enjoy this activity one needs to have a pair of binoculars to have clear views of these sea birds.
The presence of water in the locality, gives opportunities of this activity. However, one to enjoy this, he or she should visit one of the closest beaches and have a wonderful time under the sun. It is so relaxing after a tour around the place or after a long period of diving.
Viewing Marine life
This is the highlight of the park. The likes of dolphins, fish species, whale species, and sea turtles will be at your disposal. Trips to view these unique creatures and to have a feel of the place, this is a must do activity. You will also a personal moment with these creatures, especially dolphins.
This is another must do activity. It is open for even first timers. It gives tourists an opportunity to enjoy the ocean world and its creatures, and of course have a wonderful experience, equipment can be hired.
Fishing in the conserved area is restricted, but there areas where tourists can enjoy this activity. Tourists travel to Pemba Cannel that isn’t far away from the park. You will get a chance of catching most of the common fish in the area. The likes of kingfish, barracudas, marlin, and sail fish, among others will be at your disposal. No worries of fishing equipment, it can be hired.
There is a wide range of opportunities for tourists to enjoy this activity. This is a better way of exploring the whole area and watching marine life. Tourists can visit the four islands and the park and see what they have at their disposal. As you take on this tours, it might be a long one so it’s better for one to go with packed lunch.
Tourists get an opportunity to swim back and forth to the reefs. There dhows anchor at the rim of the reefs, between 4 and 8meters deep. These normally have protective jackets that make it safe for even first time swimmers. It is so nice seeing these reefs.
If you’re set to have a trip to this park, these are the unique and breathing features that the park possesses.
The friendly creatures can be found in the park. Tourists can even get a chance of swimming with them. They are one of the fee creatures in water that can tolerate humans. The park has over 70 species of dolphins. Come and have a wonderful time with the likes of humpback, bottle nosed, spinner, among others.
These are about 200 species in the park. Divers have a great time with these sea creatures. They are one of the ancient creatures of the sea. You will have a chance to see their way of life, diet, and if you visit during March-October, you might see some of the mating. They spend most of their time in water.
The park has sea birds and also in the wet season, migratory birds visit the area. Bird lovers and first time bird watchers shouldn’t miss sight of the different species from Europe and nearby countries. Come and see these birds that are said to live longer and having fewer young ones than normal birds. These can be seen on shores of the and at different islands with the help of binoculars.
These are seasonal creatures in the park since they migrate to other areas. They are viewed in August – October. The views of these huge creatures is so rewarding, that some tourists specifically visit the park to get views of these whales.
The park has over 65 species of coral reefs that tourists will get to see. Tourists will enjoy better views of these during day, and in the dry season when waters are clear. When enjoying a dive, or on a boat cruise, these views will be amazing for the eyes. Look out for lilac blue, stag horn, brain, and mushroom, among others.
The Shimoni Slave Caves.
These have survived for so many years. They are located near the Shimoni pier. They have served as ‘Kayas’ sacred places of worship for the local community. In the 18th and 19th centuries, these caves acted as holding centers for captured slaves, awaiting to be sold to Arabs during that time. Spend time and pay a visit.
There no hotels or lodges in the park, rather camping sites. These are perfect accommodation areas for budget expenditure tourists. They provide accommodation I form of tents, and private bathrooms.
Campsites with the park include, Kenya Wildlife Service, where tourists do their cooking, Shimoni Cottages, Wisini Island Guest House, and Mpunguti Campsite. These arrange all activities in the park for tourists.
However, there lodges and hotels beyond he park, that offer budget, midrange and luxury accommodation. These include:
The Villa Luxury Suites
Located in Diani town,700m from Diani beach shopping center. It offers customized luxury service and a number of facilities and activities to tourists.
Ocean Village club
Located in Diani beach area of Mombasa. The place is a peaceful relaxing ground. It has garden, trees and dinning outside.
Shimoni Reef Lodge
Lies close to Shimoni village, has accommodation is form of cottages, private setting, has a fully equipped kitchen, but private cooking can also be done. They have a swimming pool, a bar among others.
The Blue Monkey beach Cottages
Located in Wasini, have guest houses, cottages, and lodges for accommodation. The place is a paradise for monkeys, you will see wonderful views from your room. Cottages are spacious and separated, with private bathrooms. Have solar power, and other facilities.
The sands at Chale Island
This is a wondrous place, it has a beach for all water activities, has gardens, and African touch of construction of their buildings. They have fully furnished self- contained rooms and relaxing environment.
The park is a wonderful place to visit for it has a lot of the unusual creatures in water that we don’t get to see more often. It a park where tourists can enjoy all activities on water. So once you visit, take time to have an experience of all these activities for an amazing experience.