Watamu: one of the world’s most beautiful beaches

Watamu: one of
the world’s most
beautiful beaches

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Watamu beguiles. It abounds in rocky coves backed only by baobab trees, and shimmering lagoons fronted by great sweeps of silver sand. Protected by Kenya’s coral reef, the water is sapphire-clear and bathwater-warm all year round. Watamu has it all: there’s action if you want it and the Robinson-Crusoe-life if you don’t.

Watamu whale shark experience
Swimming with whale sharks

Watamu at a glance

Watamu epitomize tropical paradise: picture-perfect beaches, clear ocean waters, and the space to do as much or as little as you please. And there’s no shortage of activities on offer.

The Watamu National Marine Park and Reserve offer kitesurfing, paddleboarding, boogie-boarding, snorkeling, and sailing. It also boasts a glorious coral reef with 1000 species of reef fish and sightings of manta rays, grouper, and barracuda. A world-renowned diving destination, Watamu offers year-round clear water and an impressive selection of world-class dive profiles including cliffs, dropoffs, night dives, and wreck dives.

Watamu is also known as the game fishing capital of East Africa, boasting record-breaking marlin, wahoo, and sailfish.

Watamu village is a unique mix of enchanting Swahili culture and modern facilities. There are Italian coffee shops, gelato bars, wine shops, delicatessens, and bakeries. Restaurants range from gourmet to authentic local cuisine, and in the evening there’s a great selection of bars, discos, and clubs.

Gedi ruins near Watamu
Gedi ruins - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Essential Watamu

The beaches of Watamu are a favourite nesting site for green, hawksbill, olive ridley, and leatherback turtles. Watamu is also famous for its dolphins and you can enjoy the rare treat of snorkeling or stand up paddle boarding alongside them.

Have a whale of a time
Migratory pods of humpback whales pass by Watamu between July and September and often ‘breach’ right off the headland – so close, you can see them from your bar stool. Between September and December, you can snorkel among the gentle whale sharks, the planet’s largest fish.

Haunted cities and ancient forests
Watamu lies just 7 km from the ruins of the 12th-century Swahili city of Gedi with its Sultan’s temples, market places, and city streets. It also lies just a few kilometers from the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve where you might encounter forest elephants or the even more rare golden rumped elephant shrew. The tidal inlet Mida Creek runs into the forest allowing you to explore by canoe.

 

  • Factfile

    Location: 105 km north of Mombasa and about 15 km south of Malindi.

    Accommodation: 5-star resorts, family resorts, eco-resorts, apartments, simple guesthouses, and safe and secure camping.

    How to get there: It’s a scenic 95 km drive from Mombasa or a short flight from Nairobi to nearby Malindi Airport. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or hire a car from Mombasa. There is also the option of the stunning new Single Gauge Railway, which runs from Nairobi to Mombasa.

Watamu tours

Watamu features

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