Open Water Swim in Mombasa

Added by Huzeifa Dawood

A beautiful open water swim across the 300m wide channel that separates Mombasa Island from the mainland. If you happen to be visiting Mombasa Island, this is definitely worth trying; a breath taking experience indeed.

The best way to approach the shore is by walking along Sir Mbarak Hinawy Rd and taking the first right that leads you to a downhill road. At the end of the road, turn right again and behold the first thing your eyes will catch is the spectacular view of the Indian Ocean. On the opposite side of the channel you will see privately owned villas, luxury apartments, an old abandoned jetty and the popular English Point Marina. A series of steps will lead you to a small sandy beach, which is where your starting point of the swim will be.

Already excited and can't wait to dive in? Not so fast! There are a couple of things you need to know before you taste those pristine waters. Firstly, you will have to keep your clothes and footwear on the rocks, so it is highly advisable not to carry your valuables such as wallets, phones, cameras etc. You can leave them with a partner who is not swimming or give them to a watchman who would not mind a small tip for the favour. Secondly and importantly, you should be knowing the tide times, as this will help you avoid swimming in the wrong side of the currents. My general rule of thumb is, if it is a flow tide(meaning that the waters are flowing into the channel) swim towards the jetty and if it is an ebb tide swim towards the English Point Marina. Now that you know the key things, what are you waiting for? Take a deep breath, and dive in for a fun and refreshing swim in the Indian Ocean.


  • Don't swim alone if you are a beginner. Always swim with a partner who is proficient in swimming. Ideally, you can also swim with the locals who swim almost everyday in the channel between 4pm to 6pm. You can also get them early in the morning from 6am to 7am.
  • Keep a constant look out for boats and jet skis, although they do not appear frequently.
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Fort Jesus sea front

Swimming across the channel in 1997 was an unforgettable experience

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