WATAMU – KENYA
Watamu is a small town located approximately 105 km north of Mombasa and about 15 km south of Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It lies on a small headland, between the Blue Lagoon and Watamu Bay. Its main economic activities are tourism and fishing. The town has a population of around 30,000 in 2020 and it is part of the Kilifi County.
The shoreline in the area features white sand beaches and offshore coral formations arranged in different bays and beaches: Garoda Beach, Turtle Bay, Blue Lagoon Bay, Watamu Bay, Ocean breeze, and Kanani reef and Jacaranda beach. They are protected as part of the Watamu Marine National Park. The Marine Park is considered one of the best snorkeling and diving areas on the coast of East Africa. It is also rated the third-best beach in Africa, for its crystal clear water and silver sand beaches. In order to assist the managing authorities namely Kenyan Wildlife Service, in protecting the Park, local community groups, the tourist sector and environmental groups have formed a unique organisation Watamu Marine Association. Members of this group are Turtle Bay, Hemingways, Ocean Sports, Arocha Kenya, Lonno Lodge, Mida Community Conservation group, Watamu Boat Operator, Safari Sellers and women’s group. The ruins of Gedi (also known as Gede) are located near Watamu.
Watamu, located on the northern coast of Kenya, is a picturesque coastal town known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and rich marine life.
Watamu Marine National Park:
The highlight of Watamu is its Marine National Park, a protected area renowned for its coral reefs and diverse marine ecosystem. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore the vibrant underwater world, spotting colorful fish, turtles, dolphins, and even whale sharks. Glass-bottom boat tours and dhow cruises are also popular activities for enjoying the marine park.
Watamu boasts beautiful white sandy beaches lined with palm trees. Relax on the soft sand, take a dip in the clear turquoise waters, and soak up the sun. The main beaches in Watamu include Watamu Beach, Blue Lagoon Beach, and Turtle Bay Beach.
Watamu Turtle Watch:
Watamu is a nesting site for green turtles and hawksbill turtles. Visit the Watamu Turtle Watch, a conservation project dedicated to the protection of these endangered species. Learn about the turtle conservation efforts, witness turtle hatchings, and even have the opportunity to release baby turtles into the ocean.
Explore the scenic Mida Creek, a tidal inlet surrounded by mangrove forests. Take a boat ride along the creek, go kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. Mida Creek is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to numerous bird species.
Just a short distance from Watamu, you can visit the ancient Gede Ruins, a historical site that was once a Swahili trading town. Explore the well-preserved ruins of this 13th-century settlement, which include a mosque, palace, and houses. Guided tours are available to learn about the fascinating history and architecture of Gede.
Nature lovers should visit the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, a large coastal forest reserve near Watamu. It is home to a wide variety of bird species, including rare and endemic birds. Take a guided nature walk or bird watching tour to discover the unique flora and fauna of this bio diverse forest.
Experience the local culture by visiting the village of Watamu. Interact with the friendly locals, visit the market, and explore the narrow streets to get a glimpse of daily life in a coastal Kenyan village.
Water Sports and Activities:
Watamu offers various water sports and activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and sailing. Local operators and dive centers provide equipment rental and guided excursions.
Sample delicious Swahili and seafood cuisine in Watamu. Try local dishes like grilled fish, coconut rice, Swahili curries, and fresh seafood platters. Many restaurants offer oceanfront dining, allowing you to enjoy beautiful views while savoring your meal.
Watamu is a paradise for beach lovers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking an authentic coastal experience. With its breathtaking natural beauty, vibrant marine life, and cultural attractions, Watamu offers a diverse range of activities and experiences for a memorable vacation.