Bee from the marketing team here at Scott Dunn recently swapped the British storms for sunshine and adventure in Kenya, here’s her insight into what to do in Watamu.
Watamu, just south of Malindi, has one of the best beaches on the Kenyan coast. The crystal clear Indian Ocean and powder white sands are picture perfect and for those who enjoy snorkeling and diving, Watamu Marine National Park offers coral gardens merely 300 meters from the shore, where there are approximately 600 species of fish and 110 species of stony coral. Watamu is also renowned for its deep-sea fishing, with plenty to catch, including Blue, Black and Striped Marlin, Dorado, Sailfish and Tuna.
The Crab Shack at Mida Creek
Visitors will also love a visit to ‘The Crab Shack’ at Mida Creek. It is situated not far from Dabaso village and the restaurant is a discreet, low impact wooden construction standing at the edge of the mangrove forest with panoramic views of the Creek, Kirepwe Island and it also provides a good spot for bird watching. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner and those guests arriving for dinner are recommended to come early to enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand. It’s the ideal place for a romantic meal, fun dinner with friends and family or just to sit and enjoy sundowners. Access to the restaurant is via a 200 meter boardwalk, which gives guests a unique opportunity to absorb the beauty and magical atmosphere of the mangrove forest and Creek channels.
A canoe trip through the mangroves
The local special menu includes delicious fresh fish, prawns and crab cooked by trained chef and MCCC (Mida Creek Conservation Community) member Dixon. Soft drinks and beers are also available, but you’ll need to bring your own wine. The crabs are farmed as part of another MCCC eco initiative and the fish are caught by local Creek fishermen. Eating out here really does support the local community and all profits go towards MCCC conservation activities.
You can take part in a canoe trip around the mangroves with your local guide beforehand if you like, it’s great fun. The canoes are traditional wooden dugouts, poled along by your expert guides. You’ll float through the mangroves spotting crabs, oysters, flying fish, turtles if you are lucky and huge numbers of beautiful birds. Keep an eye out for the flash of color as a Woodland Kingfisher flits by or enjoy watching Cormorant fish.
Heading back to The Crab Shack for sundowners
The trip is available to book through Hemingways – a relaxed and informal hotel right on the beach. Guests return year after year to enjoy the charm, wonderful personal service and big game fishing. There are 76 rooms, all air-conditioned and en-suite, and the restaurant serves the freshest seafood. There are also lots of fun activities beyond the Mida Creek excursion including learning to kite-surf and a sunset dhow cruise, so you’d never be bored at Hemingways.