Guide To Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve
The Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve is an unforgettable paradise of beautiful sun, sandy beach, and safe ocean adventure.
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve was established just over 20 years ago to protect the coral reef and the resident marine life spread out over a breath taking 210sq.km.
Facts About Mombasa Marine National Park And Reserve
Altitude: Sea level.
Area: Mombasa Marine National Reserve; 200 sq km.
Mombasa Marine National Park; 10 sq km.
Location: Mombasa District, Coast Province; offshore of Mombasa town.
Distance from Nairobi: 485 km south east of the capital.
Climate: Hot and humid.
Vegetation: Mangroves, sea grasses and seaweeds.
Fauna: Myriad species of reef and deep-sea fish, corals and other forms of marine life.
Birds: Numerous shore birds.
Activities: Snorkelling, diving, windsurfing and swimming.
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What To See At Mombasa Marine National Park And Reserve
The reef attracts an incredible range of fish, most of which are almost iridescent in colour and fantastically marked. Look out for the celestial blue and jade-green parrotfish, striped zebra fish, multi-coloured angelfish and the soup plate-sized butterfly fish. Clouds of tiny damselfish also often hover above the branching coral, and under deep ledges you may catch a glimpse of the magnificent lionfish with its mane of sharp spikes (a sting from this fish can be very painful). Hunting sharks, rays, turtle and starfish also hunt the reef.
Turtle and dolphin territory
Kenya’s reef and lagoons also prove popular with the endangered green, hawksbill, loggerhead, Ridley and leatherback sea turtles. Dolphins too are regular visitors to the area (spinner, humpback and bottle-nosed) and can be encountered singly or in schools, above and below the waves.
The beaches that border Mombasa Marine Park
North and south of Mombasa are some of the finest beaches in Africa; endless crescents of silver sand bordered by opulent coastal hotels; and with direct access to the coral gardens of the reef. Nyali Beach, Bamburi Beach, Shanzu Beach and Kenyatta Public Beach all enjoy immediate access to the Mombasa Marine Park.
Note : Shanzu Beach is very popular with sea turtles, which come here to lay their eggs.
What to do at Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve
Besides taking in the beautiful coral gardens, you can sunbathe on the pristine beaches, or enjoy relaxing water sports, like scuba diving and snorkeling. As a point of interest, the greatest amount of marine life comes out two hours either side of low tide. That is the best recommended time to go snorkeling over the reef. Kenya’s coastal waters are warm all year round so, even without a wet suit, diving is quite rewarding.
Accommodation at Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve
There are lots of luxurious, comfortable and culturally rich hotels and lodges to choose from in close proximity to the Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve.
The wonderful news is you don’t have to wait for a speciﬁc time of year to visit the Mombasa Marine Park. The park is open all year round. And with the beautiful Kenyan coastal weather, snorkeling is good all through the year.
What to take with you to Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve
- Footwear, e.g. sandals or ﬂip ﬂops (to protect your feet from the reef)
- T-shirts (to protect your body from sunburn)
- Snorkel, mask, ﬁns, all of which are available for hire
- Camera, hat, sunscreen, insect repellant
- Guide books
- Plenty of drinking water
- A friend(s)
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve: Please respect the marine wildlife code
- Check local weather and sea conditions before entering the reserve.
- Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything underwater.
- Do not damage or remove the coral, it’s a living organism which takes many years to form, and is host to many rare and endangered species
- Do not remove shells, starﬁsh or any other sea Flora or Fauna.
- Removal is illegal; seriously disrupt the eco system and some marine life is dangerous. The areas outside the park and reserves are threatened by excessive shell collection. Empty shell provides home for hermit crabs and some ﬁsh.
- Do not buy shells and other marine animals products as souvenirs as this encourage further plundering of reefs and
- Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastics waste with jelly ﬁsh and they die if they eat it.
- Hand feeding ﬁsh is discouraged. It disrupts normal feeding pattern.
- Hook and line ﬁshing is allowed in marine reserves but prohibited in marine parks. Spear guns are not permitted for used in either.
Environmental friendly activities such as snorkeling and diving are encourage, under the supervision of Kenya wildlife service warden, who work closely with local tour operators and hoteliers to ensure strict adherence to this code of practice.
Avoid restaurants that serve undersized crabs and/or lobsters as this contributes to their rapid demise.
Support traditional coastal livelihoods and industries, and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school. Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people in their habitat without asking for their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress decently.
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve Entrance Fees and Charges
Open: Daily 6.00a.m. To 6.00pm, including public holidays
Current charges: Obtainable via Kenya Wildlife Service HQ conduct at the bottom
Email: email@example.com – Website: www.kws.go.ke
Tel: (Nairobi): +254 (0)20 6000800/ 6002345
Safari card Requirement: At present the park does not operate on safari card system. Entry is by cash only.
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve Contacts
The senior warden/tourism ofﬁcer;
contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Tel: +254 (0)41-2312744/