At Kinasi we proudly control and operate our own Whale Shark excursions for our guests, in order to ensure best practice protocols of sustainable swimming with whale sharks is followed with minimal impact on their behavior.
This is not always easy with excited visitors experiencing this amazing adventure for the first time and boat captains who wish to please them. In the past this has led to situations with too many swimmers in the water at the same time on one single Whale Shark (especially when few sharks are around and there are several boat-loads of people from different hotels and operators in the water).There are currently five registered and licensed operators with a total of seven boats, so careful management is required.
An in-depth briefing including the protocols of both boat positioning and swimming/snorkelling behavior will be studied by all our guests before they are conducted on this excursion. They will also be accompanied by a Kinasi, Blue World guide, who will assist in and out of the water. The guide will swim with a GoPro if you wish to be in the video with the sharks. For our guest’s safety and enjoyment, we urge all to follow the briefing and instructions given by the guide.
The whale shark encounter includes maintaining a boat distance of 30m from any whale shark and if more than two boats are present others must wait (at 300m distance) their turn to enter this “control area”. In this situation swimmers will be allowed 30 minutes with the sharks and then must withdraw to allow another boat to enter and give their passengers a chance to enter the water with the sharks. Our captain will obey these protocols.
Most operators go at 0600-0800 so to avoid the “rush hour” we will depart later. Our excursions will depart Kinasi after breakfast by road at 10h00, and leave the shore at Kilindoni Jetty (the nearest beach to the sharks) at 10h30. Information should be available by then from the early boats and fishermen on the whereabouts of the sharks (as well as our captain’s knowledge and experience of their feeding movements combined with weather conditions).
Our boats include “Utu” (“human kindness”) and “Fulsi” (“to flash or shine, beam of light”), both equipped and fitted
specifically for the Whale Sharks. The boats are powered by outboard engines for good maneuverability and are
equipped with life jackets, safety buoyancy ring, first aid and a coolbox of water and snacks. We will take a maximum of
8 guests on any trip, to avoid crowding and stressing the sharks.
After the whale shark experience (hopefully
successful!)Utu will travel on to either Fungu Sefu
sand bank or Ras Kisimani beach for a picnic lunch
before returning guests to the shore and their return
trip to Kinasi Lodge. In this way we make the Whale
Shark Excursion an amazing day’s unforgettable