Mombasa has some of great water sports and activities. From the expected surfing, kite surfing and body boarding, to the more adventurous diving as well as the more extreme sky diving. This post will be focused on some of the popular water-based activities available here in mombasa. Water sports, diving, skydiving and fishing.
Lets start off with the most accessible of water-based activities. Those that can be done on the beach. Basically all the hotels here have water-sport centers attached to them. They do not necessarily belong to the hotel, but rather independent companies who have made a deal with the hotel to work there. Obviously this is a lucrative collaboration. Anyways, there are multiple activities on offer. Might be a bit over-priced (must remember, they are targeting the hotel dwelling tourists) but can be good fun.
Kitesurfing has recently taken off here in Mombasa. The sea is calm (since we have a reef protecting the shore) with gental winds which make the sea here the perfect place for the beginner to learn the ropes. If you are looking for high thrills, best head down to Cape Town. If you aren’t feeling that adventurous, why not tone it down a bit and enjoy some sailing, surfing or fun body boarding.
Mombasa is a prime spot for divers as it hosts a beautiful reef with all manner of aquatic life. Sharks, eels, turtles, you name it. There has even been on accasion, whales spotted either just of the coast and just recently up the Tudor creek.
Diving season falls between November and April. The water is calm and the visibility good. The rest of the year is host to our ‘rainy season’ (as we don’t have the conventional seasons here since we are situated on the equator). When I arrived in Mombasa in December of 2010, I took the opportunity to start diving. I acheived my PADI Open Water Diving license and have since been on a few social dives. I will be advancing onto the Advance Open Water licence this coming month (September).
There are a number of top class dive schools in and around Mombasa. I did my licence with Baracuda and found the experience fun and relaxed. The instructors, although young, know what they are doing and are very friendly. I will be using them again when I come to doing my Advanced Open Water later this month. See more here.
Another top class dive school in Mombasa is Buccaneers. Buccaneers is probably the largest organisation of the three mentioned here, with diving performed in Zanzibar as well as Kenya. They run a very tight ship and ensure that they act professional in all aspects of the diving scene. See more here.
If you have the motivation to head up to Watamu (and I recommend it), Aqua Ventures is the dive centre of choice. Watamu sports some beautiful underwater life and well preserved reefs. Top class instructors with new dive equipment makes this the top class diving school in Kenya. Spend a some time with Steve, the owner/manager/dive instructor and you will learn a lot of interesting history and hear some great tales of times gone by. See more here.
Mombasa sports some increadible fishing. Baracuda, Marlin and Dorado. Feel like fishing in style? Hire a fully equiped fishing boat. The staff are well trained, all the equipment required is included, and most importantly, the knowledge of the secret fishing spots come with the skipper. Sit back and relax with a beer or two while the staff bait and set up the lines. You jump into action as soon as something whips the line away. This is sport fishing however; so dont expect to take home the fish you catch. Usually the skipper will get you a decent cut of fish for you to take home and braai (bbq).
Of course, if you wish to just head out on your own or with some friends, fishing can take place out at sea (if you have the stomach for it) or in the creek. Local fishermen in their boats will hapily point you to a good spot or sell you some fresh fish. Just make sure you dont end up over the marine park or you could look at some serious fines.
Twice a year there is a skydiving event that takes place in Diani just south of Mombasa. Professional skydivers from Europe travel down to have some fun by teaching anyone who is keen to skydive. They provide the full course which when completed will leave you with an internationally known license with which you can do skydiving anywhere else in the world. Tandem jump are available for the inexperienced who do not wish to do the course. The event is very popular it is prerogative that your book your slot early as places are limited.