Diani Beach, Kenya; Day 9

We chose Wednesday for the day of our “Sea Safari”. Our spot was off the coast of Southeastern Kenya to the Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park. Early this morning we took a one hour drive down to the town of Shimoni and hired a boat and guide to take us snorkeling.

This Sea Safari (named to compete in Kenya with the land versions) promised to show us dolphins and take us to one of the best snorkeling spots anywhere in East Africa. We live in Southern California and have seen dolphins stampede in the hundreds but these Africa bottlenose dolphins gave us a bit of an air and sea show which we enjoyed. Dolphins never get old.

We took a number of images and videos above and below the waterline and will share some of them here. We will probably find time to put together a total Kenya video reviewing the three safaris that we will take before leaving at the end of the month.

After watching the dolphins play around for about 20 minutes it was time to get to the Marine Park. It lies just south of Wasini Island (population 3,600). The boat trip was about an hour to get to the Park. Our Captain Ali gave control of the boat to his First Mate Muhammad and then came forward. We weren’t sure what his business in the bow of the boat would be until we noticed him stretch out on the bench. In all fairness it was a pretty boring ride out to the reef and Captain Ali knows how to delegate.

The snorkeling itself was nice but the water clarity wasn’t ideal for our day. The sun was also hidden behind some clouds which limited visibility and color range. The sun emerged a bit and everything improved toward the end of our hour in the water. The kids enjoyed it – it was more of a true reef than they’ve snorkeled on before with schools of fish darting about. Brian and Tiffany have had better snorkeling excursions but it was fun to share the experience with the kids.

Suaram captured about twenty minutes of underwater video with the GoPro camera which we can share in a future post after its been edited. Here are a couple of shots from that footage showing some fish and the quality of the water today. Good, not great.

We all had a chance to point at something in the water and to try to get everyone’s attention to see it. After getting back into the boat and heading toward Wasini Island for lunch, the best look-and-point came from Tiffany who shouted “Turtle!” and pointed in the water as we sped past.

Captain Ali ordered Muhammad to turn around and we went in pursuit of Tiffany’s turtle. We were all rewarded with the some underwater turtle footage after Captain Ali grabbed the GoPro and dove into the water. This was the highlight for most of the kids today. It doesn’t look it but the shell was easily 3 feet wide.

Our lunch today was at the Wasini Mpunguti Lodge on Wasini Island. We waded ashore from the boat to enjoy chicken, prawns, and fresh fish. The serving sizes were large and our hosts kept bringing out more items for us to try. It was wonderful and Brian’s highlight of the day!

On the whole, we were all pretty satisfied with our day on the Sea Safari.

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