Wassini Island near Shimoni,
Location: East coast of Kenya, south of Mombassa.
The last days of our trip we decided to spend in Wassini Island. It was too late to go to Lamu (way up north, closer to the border with Somalia) and we were tired of driving though the country. Roads here are very Polish : ) Max calles some of them a ‘free massage roads’ and this description is really appropriate. Bumps and holes everywhere. Wassini Island was closer to Mombassa from which we had our flight back to Europe. Diving in Kisite Marine Park We took a package offered by African Mozaic Tours and this contained a drive to Shimoni village, a lovely short cruise on a boat, snorkeling in Kisite marine park and a sea food lunch on Wassini Island. On the boat there were two people who wanted to dive, a girl from Columbia and a guy from Gwatemala. He had some little experience with diving and she has never been diving before. We thought with dad, that we could go with them and help a little bit. Of course we both really wanted to dive as well. 55 dollars per person and we could jump into the water, fully equipped.
WHAT A REEF!
It was just so extremely beautiful, such a high abundance of fish everywhere. Everything was as colorful as you see it in National Geographic documentaries. I could not believe my own eyes. Blue spotted rays, four huge murine eels (at least 1,5 meters long!) healthy coral. So contradictory to what we have seen in Borneo, where most of the reefs were destructed, or slowly recovering from overfishing, dynamite fishing, trawling, anchoring ect. Now I can tell, that it does really have a huge impact on the state of coral reefs, to have them protected. In Borneo we were diving on non-protected reefs, where everybody could go.
In Kisite Marine park fishing is strongly prohibited. This encounters for the high abundance of marine life and huge schools of fish. Upon entering the park you need to pay a daily fee (20$ adult). This makes the park less open to public, therefore the destruction made by bad divers and snorkelers is also limited. And divers can appreciate the untouched and incredible beauty of the underwater world, while also supporting some local projects and further improvement of ocean protected areas. So far, unfortunately only 1% of all the marine areas worldwide are protected. This number must increase soon, or the world will suffer from such consequences as famine. 70% of the world population is relying on oceans as the main source of food! Yet still we are not taking proper care of those precious resources and the techniques we use exploit the seas and their natural ability to maintain balance within various ecosystems. Kisite Marine Park could serve as a perfect example of a proper maintenance and protection of a tropical coral reef, which is also a popular tourist attraction. The daily patrolling of the park by special guards results in limiting the illegal fishing and poaching in this area, providing a safe habitat for many endangered species of birds, fish and turtles. T
he reef in Kisite Marine Park is far the most beautiful reef I’ve ever seen! Hopefully there will be more places like that in the nearly future!