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Kisite Marine Park, located at the far south of the Kenyan coast, is undoubtedly the most beautiful snorkeling spot in the country. Its reef drop-off, healthy and colorful, offers a great underwater spectacle. During your snorkeling, you may spot clownfish nestled in their sea anemone, a turtle sleeping in a hollow of the reef, a stingray lurking in the sand, or superb angelfish gliding between the corals.

Kisite Island and coral reef seen from the boat
Kisite Island and coral reef seen from a tour boat.

How to get to Kisite Marine Park snorkeling spot?

Kisite National Marine Park is located about 50km south of Diani. You will find in Diani many tour operators offering day boat trips in the Marine Park, usually including snorkeling at Kisite, dolphin watching near the coast, as well as lunch on Wasini Island. Some tours, like the traditional dhow excursion offered by Pili Pipa, offer two snorkeling stops on the reef.

Tours include transfer by minibus between your hotel in Diani and Shimoni, from where the boats depart (approximately a 1-hour drive). Tours cost around 90 to 120 USD pp., all inclusive for the day.

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Kisite Marine Park

You will enter the water from a boat. Your guide will tell you when and where to get in the water. Due to the light current on the reef, you will usually be dropped off at one location and picked up at another.

Kisite Marine Park snorkeling exploration tips

The snorkeling area you’ll be taken to is located near Kisite Island. It stretches all along the north face of the reef that edges the island. To the west, the reef ends near a sandbank that emerges only at low tide, and on which excursionists are sometimes dropped off.

Coral reef and chromis in Kisite
Thousands of chromis gather around the branching coral.

Once in the water, you will snorkel along the reef following the direction of the current, generally barely perceptible. The flat, on which the water level varies from 1 to 10ft/0.5 to 3m, ends by falling abruptly on sandy bottoms (↕20-30ft/6-10m).

The coral is probably one of the richest and healthiest in Kenya. Hard and soft corals, in various shapes and colors, intermingle to form a magical underwater landscape.

Bluespotted stingray
Keep an eye on the deep sandy beds, where bluespotted stingrays are fairly common.

Exploring the reef, you will alternately spot schools of hundreds of chromis, small groups of blackspotted rubberlips, huge groupers resting on the bottom, and sometimes an emperor angelfish or a goldtail angelfish wandering on the reef

In total, there are hundreds of species of reef fish that you could potentially encounter here, including ten species of wrasse, almost as many butterflyfish, and various damselfish.

Green sea turtle at Kisite Marine Park
A green sea turtle having a rest on Kisite’s reef.

On the sandy bottoms at the foot of the reef, look for small bluespotted stingrays, whose only eyes are generally visible. Your guide will certainly show them to you. Green sea turtles are quite common here, but they are not seen on every trip.

Emperor angelfish
The emperor angelfish is a common sight at Kisite’s reef.

Here as elsewhere, the corals suffer from intense tourist frequentation. Do not touch them, and be careful not to break them with your fins.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Most tours include lunch at one of the Wasini Island restaurants. Inquire when you book.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaKisite Mpunguti Marine National Park & Reserve
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m on the reef, 30ft/10m at the foot of the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom a tour boat
  • LifeguardGuided snorkeling
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsCost of a boat snorkeling tour (from $90pp.)

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.