Kitesurfing near Mombasa, Kenya
Harry Cox, January 29, 2012
The brilliant white sand, azure skies and turquoise waters of the south Kenyan coast has long served as a magnet for beach lovers. Whilst these idyllic features provide the perfect setting for a relaxed coastal break, there enough wind to entertain those looking for a little more adventure.
Kitesurfing on the coastline south of Mombasa has been well known for a number of years, catering for both the beginner and the advanced crowds. From mid-December through until early March the Kaskzai (northerly) trade winds provide a steady side-shore wind which strengthens during the day from around 10 knots in the morning, up to winds in excess of 20 knots by late afternoon.
This wind is replaced from June by the Kuzi (southerly) trade winds which blow through until September. The Kuzi provides side to side-onshore winds which range in strength from 15-30 knots and can bring with them a stronger swell. However the protection provided by offshore reefs means that protection from the larger waves can always be found if desired.
Operating from three centers located on Diani and Galu beaches, H20 Extreme provides instruction and guidance for beginner and advanced kitesurfers. As a complete novice I was impressed by the quality of tuition I received and felt challenged by the pace of the course but never unduly uncomfortable. For those with greater experience it is also possible to hire gear and with the balmy water temperature and a vast expanse of water at your disposal, there couldn’t be a better place to hone your skills and cut loose.
Diani Beach is a well established tourist destination in its own right with a wide range of accommodation options. For those looking for somewhere slightly further from the beaten track I would highly recommend Kenyaways, situated on Galu Beach. This former beach house has been converted into a B&B guesthouse and is home to one of H20 kiting centers.
Diani and Galu Beaches are under an hour’s drive south of Mombasa, the major transport hub with regular flights to Nairobi as well as international destinations. For those with a little more time on their hands, try out the iconic overnight train from Nairobi to Mombasa – a fitting way to begin any African adventure.