Wasini island lies approximately 25 km south of Diani, an ancient island that overtime has stood head and shoulders above tourist sites across the Kenyan Coast and Africa at large. Wasini beams of cultural heritage dating far back to the slave trade era whose history is well embedded in her sister mainland town of Shimoni where slaves were kept awaiting shipment to foreign lands.
Wasini lies adjacent to Shimoni, though separated by a strip of the ocean these towns are of the same kin and folk. Walking through the streets here, it is evident that the local’s ambition to align these towns with modern architecture matches their desire to preserve the heritage these towns have carried down across generations. Combining the marine park tour and the rich history these town bears, makes Wasini Island one of the most adventurous travel experiences money can buy, so I will paint you a picture of what you should expect whilst visiting Wasini though am certain no amount of words can match the in-person exposure to Wasini.
How to get to Wasini Island
The most common way to access Wasini is by road, You can drive from either Mombasa/Diani to Shimoni (Road is all tarmac).
Once at Shimoni which is the mainland, you can take a boat ride to the Kisite Marine Park and Wasini island which is divided into two villages, Wasini and Mkwiro.
Going by road is mostly preferred due to its convenience in time and cost, if none of those matter to you then, you can hire a private boat ride from either Mombasa/Diani and enjoy reeling across the oceans.
What to expect in Wasini
- Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park:
- Home to vast sea life, there are about 12,000 sea species, 7,000 of which live by coral reefs.
- A good amount of these species are available at Wasini…I was unable to ascertain the exact numbers available in Wasini but rest assured what you’ll see in Kisite Marine park is more than you can see anywhere along the East African Coastal strip.
- Dolphins: Sea Queens of Wasini, there are about 7 species of dolphins available at Wasini on a good day – dolphins exist in schools of 200 members.
- Dolphins feed on other fish, they are always shifting across the ocean to zones rich of fish (explains why most are available in Wasini). Key to note is that based on several factors dolphins may not always be available at Wasini but this is on extremely rare cases.
Shimoni Slave Caves:
- Shimoni is a Swahili word which means, place of the Cave.
- The caves were formed millions of years ago, traditionally used by locals as “kayas” (shrines of worship) and hiding zones during war times.
- Later on in the 18th and 19th centuries, slaves captured in the hinterlands were kept here awaiting trade dhows from Arabia to took them to Zanzibar in Tanzania which was the slave market serving Asia, Europe, and America.
- I know you’ve probably enjoyed seafood before but Wasini’s food culture is something else, they not only have recipes dating as far back as the 18th century but also cook seaweed.
- This is not common along the coastal strip, it is one of the unique cuisines Wasini boosts of and you can’t deny your taste buds that experience.
- It goes without saying of their welcoming nature, Wasini has a population of averagely 3,000 people all of which have some sort of family ties – this relationship of theirs is extended to visitors and tourists who are mostly accorded the courtesy one offers to family.
- Their language is somewhere between Digo and Swahili – a language outstanding in the coastal region due to its poetic nature.
What to do before & during a trip to Wasini Island:
- Check weather and sea conditions before boarding the boats to the Marine Park and Wasini islands.
- Ensure you have paid the marine park fees and boat operator charges – this is normally coordinated by your agent.
- Ensure you wear your floaters once on the boat.
- Support the local economy by buying local products.
- Consult with your boat operator before doing anything whilst on the ocean.
What to Avoid While Visiting Wasini Island:
- Avoiding touching, feeding or removing fish or coral from the sea as this disrupts the marine ecosystem, besides not all sea creatures are safe, some can attack you if you touch them.
- Don’t buy shells or marine products as this encourages the plundering of reefs and sea life.
- Don’t litter by the beach or ocean, marine life is extremely affected by this.
- Don’t give money to kids as this encourages them to stay out of school.
- Don’t take photos of locals without their consent.
Booking a trip to Wasini.
- Diani.travel has established itself as the ultimate service provider/connecter in the tourism industry in the south coast.
- Visit Diani.travel and give life to your travel and tour desires.