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  • Kenya Coast Digest

Kenya Coast Digest

Welcome to the Kenya Coast Digest, a blog providing a forum for information and discussion on matters relating to the Kenya coastline.

Photo of the Month - February 2011

on Thursday, 17 February 2011. Posted in South Coast

Wave Energy off Kenya's coastline

on Thursday, 17 February 2011. Posted in Environment

Renewable energy project given the go ahead

Wave Energy off Kenya's coastline

As oceans go, the Indian Ocean is more well known for calmer seas and less violent storms than the likes of the Southern and Atlantic Oceans, although the occasional violent cyclone and some gusty monsoon winds can reap havoc from time to time.

The seas off the Kenya Coast therefore, may not see like the most ideal location to embark on an alternative energy project - but thanks to a an enterprising energy company and the approval from the Kenya Government - a new wave energy project is due to get underway in the near future.

Diani Beach Touch Rugby

on Friday, 11 February 2011. Posted in Diani, South Coast, Events, Community

Diani Beach Touch Rugby

The 2011 Diani Beach 5-a-side Tough Rugby Tournament will be held from 1st to 3rd July.

Team entries close on 30th May 2011 - entry forms can be downloaded from their website.

There are various divisions catering to ladies, gents, mixed teams, and vets (over 40's).

The annual event is held at Forty Thieves Beach Bar - and has been a succesful and fun event since it began in 2009.


Photo of the Month - January 2011

on Wednesday, 12 January 2011.

Photo of the Month - January 2011

The Ngalawa is a small dugout canoe with two stabilising outriggers.
Mainly used to carry fisherman to reefs and fishing relatively near to the shore.

December Solstice

on Monday, 20 December 2010. Posted in Environment

December Solsctice heralds the return of the subsolar point towards the equator.

December Solstice

21 December - the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, longest day in the Southern Hemisphere.

The subsolar point reaches it's southernmost limit - the Tropic of Capricorn (23.4 degrees south). The subsolar point now moves north - reaching the equator on March 21 / 22 - the vernal equinox.

Photo of the month - December 2010

on Sunday, 19 December 2010. Posted in Travel

Photo of the month - December 2010

Aerial photograph of a bech on the Kenya Coast. This photograph was taken by renowned landscape photographer - Charlie Grieves-Cook.

Memories of the Kenya Coast

on Wednesday, 15 December 2010.

Guest blogger - Katie Cahill shares some thoughts on the Kenya Coast

Memories of the Kenya Coast

I dream about the Kenya coast. It holds a special place in my heart as I spent all my childhood holidays there with my family and close friends. The beaches stretch for miles and are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The warmth of the Indian Ocean is so inviting to swim in and the tidal changes reveal the reefs at low tide making it a spectacular place to explore and learn about what lives beneath.

Photo of the month - November 2010

on Friday, 19 November 2010. Posted in Lamu Archipelago, Fishing

Photo of the month - November 2010

'Tusitiri' is a live-aboard dhow based in the Lamu Archipelago

Lamu Archipelago geographic point of interest

on Saturday, 13 November 2010. Posted in Lamu Archipelago, Environment


Currently the Ewaso Nyiro river ends in the Lorian Swamp in North-East Kenya. It has been suggested that the river once flowed into the Indian Ocean, causing what is now the Lamu Archipelago. However - the course that seems more etched into the earth displayed on Google Maps is one of a more east direction, entering the Indian Ocean north of Kismaayo in Somalia.

View Ewaso Nyiro ancient river course? in a larger map

The Entrance to an Ancient Harbour

on Wednesday, 10 November 2010. Posted in Mombasa

The Entrance to an Ancient Harbour

Mombasa Island (a 15 square kilomtere coral outcrop) has two ports. The modern Port Reitz in Kilindini is located on the southern side of the island and services the majority of modern ocean going vessels. By far the older and more historic port is that of the 'old harbour', more recently named Port Tudor after the British Royal Navy captain who surveyed the area. Tudior Creek is the name of the channel seperating the northern side of Mombasa from the northern mainland.

Billfish Season on the Kenya Coast

on Friday, 05 November 2010. Posted in Fishing

Best times of year to head out Deep-Sea Fishing for billfish off the Kenya Coast

Billfish Season on the Kenya Coast

Deep-Sea Fishing, or Sport Fishing off the Kenya Coast is among the best in the world.

An array of billfish are found in the waters off the Kenya Coastincluding the Black MarlinBlue MarlinStriped MarlinSailfish,Broadbill Swordfish, and the rare Shortbill Spearfish.

Although fishing off the Kenya Coast is quality all year around - there are times of year when there are far more billfish off the coast. Being migratory animals the quantity of numbers increase at certain times of year.

The ITCZ and Rainfall Patterns on the Kenya Coast

on Friday, 29 October 2010. Posted in Climate

Article 3/3: An overview of the Kenya Coast's climatic model

The ITCZ and Rainfall Patterns on the Kenya Coast

As described in the previous article - the earth orbits the sun with it's axis tilted at an angle of about 23.4 degrees in relation to the Plane of the Ecliptic. The resulting effect of the sun's changing position in the sky causing the subsolar point to move between the tropics, and across the equator twice a year causing a change in the season's in the northern and southern hemisphere, and more locally in East Africa, the changing of the monsoon winds, and the alternating wet and dry seasons.


This article looks at the Kenya Coast's weather pattern in more detail and outlines a generalised climate model for this region.


The equatorial region's weather patterns are dominated by the Hadley Cell, an atmospheric circulation pattern occurring between the tropics that produce the easterly trade winds.


In the Hadley cell, air rises near the equator, flows out towards the poles at high altitude, descends back to the Earth's surface at the outer edges of the tropics, and completes the cycle by flowing back towards the equator near the earth's surface.

Why the Monsoon Winds Change

on Tuesday, 26 October 2010. Posted in Climate

Article 2/3: Why the East African Monsoon Winds change at the same time each year

Why the Monsoon Winds Change

The regularity and predictability of the East African monsoon winds have been the driving force behind the shaping of the East African Coast's human geography for centuries. So what explains why this regular wind pattern repeats itself in such a similar fashion around the same times of year, every year.

As described in the previous article - the period of change for the east african monsoon winds is in March and September, by no coincidence - these times of year are also the timings of the equinox - equal day and equal night over the equator.

As the earth orbits the sun along the Plane of the Ecliptic (it's orbital path) it is not angled vertically, but rather tilted at an angle of approximately 23.4 degrees, such as a spinning top angled over slightly to one side. The earth constantly remains at this angle throughout it's annual orbit. It is this tilted axis that causes the sun's position to change in the sky and hence lead to seasonal changes throughout the year.

The East African Monsoon Winds

on Tuesday, 19 October 2010. Posted in Climate

Article 1/3: A brief overview of the winds influencing the Kenya Coast

The East African Monsoon Winds

The equatorial Kenya Coast has a rich and ancient history, thanks in no small part to the magnificent Indian Ocean, with its consistent and relatively predictable monsoon 'tradewinds' that have been an integral part of coastal life for the peoples of this region for many centuries. The pattern of these winds has been understood and harnessed by mariners, traders and explorers from as far off as Arabia, India and China. The word monsoon is said to originate from the Arabic name for these winds - 'muusum'.

Lamu Cultural Festival

on Wednesday, 13 October 2010. Posted in Lamu Archipelago, North Coast, Events, Travel, Community

5th annual festival, Lamu Old Town

This event will be held in Lamu Old Town from Friday 18th November through to Sunday 20th November 2010.

The three day festival celebrates Lamu's rich cultural history.

Lamu Old Town became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001 and is rated as being one of the best remaining and active examples of a traditional Swahili settlement.

The port of Lamu Old Town is believed to have existed for at least 1,000 years.

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