Tips on surfing in Mombasa: top sites, conditions and when to go  

Mombasa is one of the popular wind surfing and kit surfing destination in Africa for its stable winds and  warm tropical waters. Whether you are surfing from the north coast beaches or the south coast beaches, Mombasa has some incredible wind swells that gives wave riders the desired thrilling experience. The presence of some flat water lagoons also make the 536 km long stretch of the coastline a perfect hide away for kite surfers. In this guide we shall cover some of the most ideal surfing destination in Mombasa north and south coast, conditions and when to go.  

 Wind surfing and kite surfing conditions in Mombasa 

Mombasa is ideally one of the top wind surfing and kiting destination in the world. Though the winds are quite good throughout the year, the months between June and October; and between Dec and April when the south eastly kusi and north eastly kaskaz winds are blowing are the most ideal moment to go for a wind sporting excursion. Since the Kenyan coastline lies very close to the equator ( 1.7 degrees south and 4.6 degrees south) the winds here are excellently consistent and stable. The waters are also very warm and you do not need to wear sweet suits. On average the kusi and kaskaz winds have a strength of between 17- 25 knots which is a good condition for both experienced for both beginners and experienced surfers. In high tides the Kenyan coastline has great surfable swells that could rise to 2 m and therefore have some great places for wind surfing. The presence of a coral reef running from the Kiunga in the eastern edge of the coastline to shimoni in the southern end of the coastline leads to some great lagoon that create incredible flat water perfect for kitting in low tides.  


Watamu is possibly the most sought after water sporting destination in the north coast. This coastline is unique for its many bays, pristine white sand coastlines and fascinatingly beautiful lush tropical flora. The beach has previously been voted as one of the top beaches in Africa. Here the wind activities are  quite good though the months between July and october when the south eastly winds are blowing and between Dec and April when the north eastly wind are blowing onshores. The bay of watamu which is behind a coral reef offers the perfect location for kite surfing with the water remaining calm and flat. The turtle bay, mida creek sand bar and gorada beachfront are also popular with kiters.  The conditions here are perfect for both experienced kiters and beginners. During hightides watamu also receives large swells of over 1-2 m ideal for some great wave riding escapades.  


Diani is Kenya’s top beach in Mombasa south coast. The beach has been ranked as one of top 5 beaches in Africa consistently over the years. Featuring mesmerizing white sand coastal strip, alluring turquoise seas and beautiful flora setting Diani is the perfect hideaway where they can relax in a tropical beach when they are not surfing. The beach receives consistent kusi and Kaskaz wind leading to optimal conditions for carrying on wind related activities. The beach has several flat lagoons which provide calm, shallow and flat water for kiters in low tides thanks to the long Diani reef that act as a natural barrier that diffuse the strength of the waves. Ngazi bay and funzi island are the most sought after kiting locations. In high tide, there are consistent and large swells for wave riding. Along this strip there also several kiters and wind surfing schools to assist beginners.  


Malindi is in the north coast in the immediate north of Watamu. The beach destination boasts incredible white sand coastline lined by picturesque doum palms. Malindi is also a popular hideaway for surfers especially kiters who enjoy the serene, calm and perfectly flat waters at the Malindi bay. The lagoon at Malindi bay is a good start for beginners though it only work in kusi wind season. There are also plenty of sandy lagoons in the northern part of the beach. For wind surfing, the Malindi bay offer some fabulous locations in high tides with large and surfable waves coming close to the shoreline.  


Lamu archipelago is a group of islands to the north of Malindi. The most famous is the Lamu and Manda islands who besides being top beach destination has one of the richest cultural heritage along the Kenyan coastline. Much of the surfing activities are done in the shela beach in lamu island. The beach is surrounded by large coral reef close to the shoreline which acts as a natural barrier that diffuse the ocean currents leading to a flat and calm water lagoon ideal for kit surfing. During high tides the outer reefs is met by large waves that are the ideal conditions for wind surfing activities. Manda bay in the manda island is another great spot for kitting.  


Shanzu is a quiet little coastline situated along Mombasa Marine park just 13km to the north of the port city of Mombasa. The beach shorelines are more unpeopled and are enclosed by spectacular rocks tucked in the lush coastal tropical forest giving it unmatched natural taste. Here wind surfing is the most popular activity with the shanzu outer reef getting some great surfable swells on high tides. Some Kite surfing activities are done on the mtwapa creek which has great flat water conditions.  

When to go for surfing in Mombasa 

Mombasa has considerable windy conditions most part of the year.  However the season between July and October  and Dec – April are the best periods to go for wind activities as the south eastly and north eastly trade offshore winds are blowing these season. However, south eastly kusi winds are more reliable and consistent and last for a longer period ( can go up to 6 months). In July/ August when the Kusi winds are peaking is ideally the optimal period for surfing.