Steve Curtis taught me how to dive some 25 years ago in Mombasa and has gone from strength to strength over the past 2 decades opening and running various dive clubs.
If you are staying around the Malindi or Watamu area and you are a diver; diving with Steve Curtis and his team is a must.
Aqua Ventures operates out of the New Ocean Sports Resort in Watamu on one of
Aqua Ventures Instructors can speak and instruct in English, German, French and Spanish. This ensures that you feel at home diving with us, while learning in your language.
Our attention to safety is well known and is achieved through;
For further information – click on http://www.diveinkenya.com]]>
AMAZING TOUR OF IDYLLIC ISLAND ON THE SOUTH COAST
Story by BRYAN HARRIS
Publication Date: 1/10/2007
One of the treasures of Kenya’s south coast is Kisite Marine Park, an underwater wonderland and sanctuary for an astonishing variety of reef fish and corals. It is in the top bracket of diving sites in the world, as visibility can be up to 20 metres.
Later developments included a diving school, dhow cruises, fun diving, snorkelling and — for those simply looking for a day out, with lunch thrown in — dining at its finest besides the sea.
Kisite was gazetted as a national marine park in 1977. Shortly after this, Wasini Island Restaurant opened its doors.
A draw for visitors
Diving facilities aboard dedicated dhows began in 1995. It is these trips that have made investments such as Charlie Claws hotel such a draw for visitors to the coast.
Wasini Island diving is particularly attractive to residents and tourists because of the modest all-in-one cost. This includes a pick-up and drop-off by mini-bus from hotels along the coast, a traditional Swahili breakfast of mandazi and fruit on arrival at Shimoni and a dhow trip under sail to Kisite Marine Park.
Other attractions include a morning of diving with an aqualung under tuition or, in the case of novice divers, swimming and free diving with a snorkel over the reef.
For those who like to stay above water, the alternative is to be dropped on a sandy beach with a cool box of refreshing fruit drinks and soda to hand.
Other visitors choose to watch the action from the shade of an awning, aboard the dhow.
Move in any direction
Such is the introduction available to anyone of an underwater world of endless varieties of multi-coloured reef fish, exquisite coral formations and unique experience of weightlessness and ability to move in any direction at will.
All this during what the Charlie Claws brochure describes as a fun-dive, which could be translated to mean “no previous experience necessary”.
Some people are fortunate to swim with a pod of friendly dolphins. On several occasions, these wonderful creatures share time with their human counterparts. It is quite usual to come upon a green turtle resting on the sandy bottom.
We did, and it allowed us to approach to within a metre or so without showing the least sign of alarm.
During certain seasons of the year, humpback whales and whale sharks — the world’s largest fish that, for all their size, are totally harmless — have been known to pass by Kisite during their long migrations north and south. These can also be viewed from the dhows.
All this and the day had only half begun. When the divers, snorkellers or the simply idle who have done nothing but sip fruit juice on the deck of the dhow with the idea of enhancing their sun tan, decide it’s time for lunch, it’s up anchor for the short cruise back to Wasini Island.
Waiting for us at the exclusive open air restaurant was a menu that has made the island famous around the world.
First course: as many succulent broiled crab claws as it’s possible to eat.
Second course: a whole grilled red snapper.
Third course: a choice of deserts, followed by coffee in the Arab style.
Several options now await. They include a visit to an ethnic village on the island and a tour of a mangrove forest. The trees have fascinating root structures that can be viewed from a board-walk high above the high tide mark.
Ancient slave caves
This is a community project run by women from the village. There is, also, an opportunity to explore ancient slave caves on the mainland.
Some time after 4.00pm, we were taken back across the lagoon to the jetty at Shimoni for the drive back to our hotels.
So, the day’s diary had gone like this: collected from north coast hotels at around 6.30am and from south coast resorts at 7.30am. Arrive at Shimoni at around 9.00am to board a dhow, complete with traditional lateen sail, bound for the Kisite National Park for diving, snorkelling or pure relaxation.
Then a leisurely lunch and, maybe, some exploration. Arrive back at hotels by 6.30pm as dusk is falling.
It is doubtful whether there is a day out to be had anywhere that would surpass all this. And it’s right on our doorstep.]]>
Watamu, 25 km south of Malindi, offers one of the best diving locations on the Kenyan coast. Due to several coral reefs stretched out in front of Watamu, plankton rich water gathers in this bay. This leads to an accumulation of a diversity of sea flora and fauna, as well as the chances to encounter manta rays and whale shark- a divers dream!
The dive centre Scuba Diving Watamu Ltd, formerly Scuba Diving Kenya Ltd. (PADI Dive Center as well as a VDST (German CMAS) diving school) was established more than 20 years ago. It is owned and managed by Lorenz and Maja Riedl.
The dive centre is located next to the Blue Bay Village Hotel. The diving base is equipped with 6 diving boats, 3 Bauer air compressors and 150 diving tanks (INT and DIN). Customers have access to a fully equipped workshop with a charging station, as well as a storage facility for personal diving gear. A free shuttle service from your hotel in Watamu to the diving base is offered.
The 2 daily dives are carried out in the morning (8h and 10h20) on Mondays till Saturdays in the Marine National Park and Reserve. Almost all dive spots can be reached within 10 to 20 min by boat. Dives lead to a depth of between 10 and 40 m. There are approx. 15 dive sites to choose from. Water temperatures vary between 25 and 29 C. Visibility ranges from 20 to 40 m.
In May, June and July the center remains closed. In August & September dives have to take place inside the reef due to bad conditions. The diving season for experienced divers extends from beginning of November through to the end of March. For beginners conditions are also suitable from August till October.
Scuba Diving Watamu Ltd is associated with VDST / MTA (CMAS Germany) and PADI, which sets high standards in the diving education as well as on the qualification of its instructors.
They offer most of the PADI courses ranging from Discover Scuba Diving and Open water Diver up to Divemaster, and VDST/CMAS - courses up to DTSA-Gold resp.CMAS*** which are conducted by very experienced instructors.
During a storm in 1990 the fishing trawler "Shakwe" of 25m length capsized and sank. She lies at a depth of only 12 m, almost undamaged on her starboard side. Within a short period of time her hull was overgrown with small coral heads in which many small crabs of different kinds, as well as nudibranchs can be found. A shoal of batfish has established its home here. A apart from the wheelhouse the wreck is not accessible. But the observation of large groupers, stingrays, and octopus compensates you. The wreck is an ideal point for beginners.
These 4 dive areas are located on the northern reef and drop from 10 to about 27 m from where they turn into sandy bottom. In the 'Canyon' the reef rises again after a 25 m wide ditch. In this channel, where you sometimes experience a current, one can often spot reef sharks or large stingrays. Of course the normal coral growth it not missing here. At many of these dive points leaf fish have established their homes. The 'Brain Coral' is a very old coral hill, now partly collapsing, which hosts a diversity of coral fish. All these dive locations are also suitable for beginners.
The whale shark: a diver's dream! Due to the high concentration of plankton in the bay of Watamu, one can face manta rays or whale sharks. They are frequently seen at Manta Place, at the wreck, the Black Coral Reef or at the Soldierfish place. Chances of encounters are not less likely at the other dive sites. The best period is during the months of January and February. The Watamu bay is well known for its whale sharks and therefore a MUST for all divers.