Watamu Beach Holidays
A favourite with locals and travellers alike, the pristine sands and shimmering waters of Watamu’s stunning beach make this area one of the most idyllic locations to visit on Africa’s coast.
Renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and diverse marine life, the coastal town of Watamu is among Kenya’s best beach destinations. Located 100 km north of the historic city of Mombasa, Watamu holds an important role in Kenya’s history as a centre of Swahili civilization. Nowadays, travellers flock to this serene coastal community for its wealth of stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine wildlife. Enjoy its spectacular Marine National Park and Reserve, set off on safaris of Watamu to glimpse its rich animal population or just sit back and take in the pure splendour of the African coast. However you’d like to explore the African paradise of Watamu, Keyna, do it in luxury with Scott Dunn.
Things to Do in Watamu, Kenya
Go Snorkelling and Diving
Thanks to the area’s crystal-clear, turquoise waters, rich marine life, and gorgeous coral reefs, the coastal community of Watamu, Kenya, is perhaps one of the best places for snorkelling and diving on the African coast. Watamu Marine National Park in Kenya is home to over 600 species of fish, including clownfish, lionfish, parrotfish, sea turtles and even whale sharks between November to February.
Watamu’s variety of snorkelling and diving activities are accessible to divers of all ability levels. Beginners can enjoy Watumu’s sprawling coral reefs and the marine life that call them home, while more experienced divers can explore deep wall dives and uncover shipwrecks scattered across the seafloor. Remember, you’ll need a permit to snorkel or dive in Watamu’s National Marine Park from the Kenya Wildlife Service Hut, located a stone’s throw from the Turtle Bay Beach Resort.
Visit Watamu Beach
Offering panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, along with a variety of places to eat and water sports to enjoy like surfing and kitesurfing, Kenya’s Watamu Beach makes for an ideal place to unwind and absorb the natural beauty of the country’s coastline. For those looking to visit one of Kenya’s most secluded islands, you can embark on a boat excursion from Watamu Beach to the picturesque Love Island. Here, you can spend your day relaxing and taking in the limitless serenity of the island, swimming in its warm waters and lounging on its sun-kissed beaches.
Set Off on a Mida Creek Cruise
To experience some of the most beautiful natural wonders of the African coast, we’d recommend setting sail on a cruise of Mida Creek. Snaking inland from the Indian Ocean down to the Arabuko Sokoke Forest, the mangrove-lined banks of Mida Creek are home to a wealth of diverse bird life, including flamingos, kingfishers and African fish eagles. Whether you choose to glide along its sunlit banks in a boat, kayak or a traditional Dhow (wooden boat), exploring Mida Creek is perhaps one of the best things to do in Watamu, Kenya. Experience the feeling of adventure with plenty to uncover and learn about, ideal for those travelling with teenagers.
Explore the Gedi Ruins
For explorers interested in the rich culture of the local Swahili people, the Gedi Ruins, situated 15 km from Watamu, are an excellent place to spend an afternoon learning about the history of the region and its people. Dating back to the 13th century, the Gedi Ruins form the remnants of an ancient Swahili village, including houses, mosques and even a great palace. Nowadays, the ruins are an important archaeological site for research on ancient Kenyan culture, as well as being home to a museum housing a plethora of artefacts excavated from the area.
Test Your Nerve at Bio-Ken Snake Park
A must-visit for animal lovers, Bio-Ken Snake Farm in Watamu, Kenya houses the largest collection of snakes in East Africa, with their scaled selection playing a vital role in research into snake bites and their treatment. Located just a short drive from central Watamu, the centre was founded in 1980 and has dedicated itself to educating local people in snake identification, helping to save lives across the continent. For those interested in learning more about Africa’s snakes and the work of Bio-Ken, a visit to this farm makes for an exciting and educational day out, perfect for families.
Traverse Arabuko Sokoke National Park
For those interested in embarking on one of the most exciting and diverse safaris in Watamu, look no further than Arabuko Sokoke National Park. Spanning 420 square kilometres of Kenyan coastline, this vibrant forest is home to a wealth of rare and endangered animal species, including African elephants, buffaloes and duikers. Containing over 260 species of bird, the park is also a beacon for bird watchers all over the continent. Thanks to its rich biodiversity, the park is a vital conservation area, with a range of sustainable tours and guides on offer aiding in protecting this natural paradise.
Support Local Sea Turtle Conservation
If you’re wondering when the best time to visit Kenya is, visiting Watamu between May and August brings the opportunity to witness one of nature's most awe-inspiring natural phenomena. Summer is nesting season and during this time female sea turtles travel for thousands of miles to lay their eggs on Watamu Beach, Kenya - where the turtles are born. With every species of sea turtle now being classified as endangered, Watamu’s Local Ocean Trust is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to conserving and protecting these majestic sea creatures. You can take a tour of their conservation centre to learn more about the work they do or visit the beach at sunset for an unforgettable experience watching the hatching baby turtles embark on their march to the sea.
Top Tours of Kenya
If you’d like to make the most of every minute of your tour of Kenya, our Scott Dunn travel experts have put together itineraries of the very best things to do in Kenya’s other pristine beach locations, including Watamu, Lamu and Diani. Use them for inspiration while crafting your dream Kenyan adventure or join us for the whole experience – the choice is entirely yours.
Watamu, Lamu and the coast, Kenya
Hemingways Watamu is an informal hotel with a tradition of game fishing and good service at Watamu Bay, just outside Malindi on the Kenyan coast. It is an area of great beauty, from the coral reefs to the ruins of ancient Gede.
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