The Indian Ocean coastline makes the ideal water-sporting venue and the majority of resorts offer a wide range of options, which generally include any or all of the following: wind-surfing, kite-surfing, snorkelling, fun-boats, glass-bottom boats, catamarans and dinghies, boogie boards, jet-skis surfing, pedallos and water-skiing.
Usually lessons can also be taken (windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing in particular).
The Indian Ocean coast features some magnificent dive sites and a wide selection of dive centres, which cater for complete beginners and experienced divers alike. It is also possible to do a ‘fun dive’ where no experience is required and a guide takes you down to 6 metres. Due to the Indo-Pacific current, the Indian Ocean boasts the same fish species as Australia: manta rays; reef, hammerhead and whale sharks; turtles and multi-coloured reef fish in coral gardens. Wall and pinnacle dives with dramatic drop-offs together with wreck, drift and night drives are also offered. Divers must carry internationally recognized accreditation both PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club)are acceptable.
Kenya, in particular, offers specific wreck dives, many of which explore the mysterious world of a number of purpose-sunk and safety-ensured wrecks.
PADI Dive Schools
Many of the Indian Ocean Resorts have their own dive schools, all of which offer one-off ‘fun dives’ and full-training PADI certificated training courses.
The Kenyan barrier reef is one of the most extensive and accessible in the world. Most Kenyan beaches offer glass-bottom boats, which carry snorkellers out the short distance to the reef. Most supply snorkeling equipment and guides – however you may prefer to bring you own. If swimming a marine park, you will have to buy a ticket – which are usually available from the hotel or the boat captain. Snorkelling can be done at all times of the year, but conditions are considered best from December to March. The best visibility for snorkeling is at low tide just before the tide turns.
Options for sailing vary greatly ranging from hired catamarans and dinghies to trips on traditional fishing boats (known as ngalawa) or dhows. Sailing is good all year round, though October is particularly good.
A number of beaches in Kenya offer kite surfing. Most also offer equipment hire and surfing schools. Che-Shale is one of the best places in the world for kite surfing with an empty beach and wind blowing from 8-25 knots; Nyali Beach, Diani Beach and Watamu are also popular.