Located 53 kilometres or approximately 1 hour drive south of Diani, close to the Tanzania border, lies Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park. Kisite is Kenya’s first Blue Park – a gold standard award for achieving the highest science-based standards for marine life protection and management.

Kisite Mpunguti is famous for its exquisite marine life, including almost daily dolphin sightings. Whale sharks and humpback whales can also be spotted here (in season).

For this reason, it’s a top attraction for tourists visiting Kenya’s coast, but is also well managed so it doesn’t become too overcrowded.

I visited the park in December 2021, while I was staying in Diani. To show you what an amazing experience it was. The video really captures the magic – especially the beauty of the underwater world that awaits you!

Pili Pipa Dhow Safari

 

My operator of choice was Pilli Pipa Dhow Safari, who organised the day’s diving from one of their traditional Arab dhows, “Monsoon.” Pilli Pipa run daily trips out of Shimoni port, which is the gateway to the marine park. The large dhow hosts a range of guests who want to relax, sightsee, snorkel or scuba dive.

I found Pili Pipa online and prompted by their good reviews and reputation, decided to drop them a message. They were extremely prompt in replying to me and I found them very helpful and friendly throughout.

On the day of the trip, they picked me up from my hotel in Diani for the 1 hour drive (actually, they arrived a little ahead of schedule!). The driver was friendly and keen to point out things of interest along the beautifully scenic drive.

Things to do in Mombasa - Dhow Trip to Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park

More images – click to enlarge.

Dolphin Watching in Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park

 

Kisite Mpunguti is a haven for dolphins – in fact, with sightings occurring pretty much every day, I’m told it’s a very unlucky day if guests don’t see any! Within a few minutes of leaving Shimoni, we’d spotting dolphins from the boat deck.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to dive with them on this occasion but I’m very hopeful for next time 🙂

More images – click to enlarge.

Dolphin Spotting in Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park, Kenya

Snorkelling and Diving in Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park

 

One of the other major attractions here is the underwater world. Most guests took the opportunity to snorkel, while just two of us enjoyed the amazing dives here. Pilli Pipa told me that mostly guests snorkel and they offer small group dives or even the opportunity to try out scuba diving for the first time.

As many people who come along on the trip are beginners, both snorkelling and scuba diving are well supervised by dive guides. There’s also a safety briefing given by the team before anyone gets in the water. This is re-assuring for anyone who may be a little nervous.

The diving here was beautiful and relaxing. There was no current at all, bathwater-warm waters, 20 metres visibility and calm surface conditions. We saw huge shoals of fish as well as lionfish, moray eels, starfish, pufferfish, turtles and even dolphins from the boat.

Lunch on Wasini Island

 

This amazing trip was followed and concluded by a sumptuous and relaxing seafood lunch on Wasini Island. The food was delicious and service very good. The ladies serving clearly explained what each dish was and how to tackle the yummy crab claws! After eating, there was tea and coffee served, with amble time to relax and enjoy the fantastic view.

Lunch on Wasini Island with Pilli-Pipa Dhow Safar, Kenya

More images – click to enlarge.

Slave Caves in Shimoni

 

Before being transported back to Shimoni and taking the onward scenic journey back to Diani, there was an opportunity to explore the slave caves in Shimoni. This is a dark and daunting memory of the horrendous East African slave trade. The caves were used to hold captured slaves, before they were moved on via slave markets in Mombasa, Kilwa, Zanzibar and Pemba. The caves are now open for visitors to explore.

Closing Comments

 

This was a totally amazing full day trip from Diani and I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did all the other guests by the looks of their faces as we departed. Pilli Pipa is a professional operation that specialises in these tours. The Captain and team are highly knowledgeable and I cannot fault their efforts. I’d highly recommend it if you’re staying in Diani and love the water.

Please note this is not a sponsored post and the trip was fully funded by me. I just wanted to share my experience with you and express my thanks to Pilli Pipa for an awesome day!

Want to have your own Magical Kenya Experience?

 

If you’re thinking of organising a trip, we would be delighted to put together an amazing, unique Kenya travel experience for you. Each itinerary we create is based on our expert knowledge and our guests’ personal requirements. We work with well-established, hand-picked partners and operators in Kenya. In addition our own team has deep experience of the Kenya travel industry, spanning well over 30 years.

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