Beach Vacations in Watamu, Kenya

A favorite with locals and travelers alike, the bleached white sands and shimmering waters of Watamu Bay’s stunning beach make this area one of the most idyllic locations to visit on Africa’s coast.


Situated on the coast of Kenya, Watamu is a small town renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and diverse marine life. Located around 60 miles north of the historic city of Mombasa, Watamu holds an important role in Kenya’s history as a center of Swahili civilization. Nowadays, visitors 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 splendor 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 Snorkeling 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 snorkeling 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 snorkeling 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, which you can get 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 like surfing and kitesurfing to enjoy, 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 traveling with teenagers.

Explore the Gedi Ruins

For explorers interested in the rich culture of the local Swahili people, the Gedi Ruins, situated 10 miles 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 artifacts excavated from the area.

Brave 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 center 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.

Trek across 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 160 square miles 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, vacations to Watamu between May and August bring 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. With every species of sea turtle now being classified as endangered, Watamu’s Local Ocean Trust is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to conserving and protecting these majestic sea creatures. Visitors can take part in a tour of their conservation center 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.

Plan Your Trip

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.

view all tours

Bjorn Behlert

Africa & Safari Specialist

I was born in Malaysia where my parents used every opportunity to travel Asia as much as possible. As a child I was taken on canoes through the jungle, on trains or elephants through India and many other countries in the region. After returning to Germany, we still spent every school vacation abroad, often traveling to remote areas, which cemented my ever-growing hunger to explore.

Related Guides & Blog Posts

Why Scott Dunn?

Why SD and In the Know Icons_Unique
Unique to You
Unique to you

  • We listen to your travel goals and craft unique trips that are bespoke to you.
  • We’re with you every step of your life’s travel journey, from honeymoons to family trips and beyond.

Why SD and In the Know Icons_Service
Seamless Service
Seamless Service

  • Global offices in the UK, US, and Singapore for 24/7 seamless service.
  • We offer flexibility if your plans change so you can book with confidence and peace of mind.

Why SD and In the Know Icons_Collection
Carefully Curated Collection
Curated Collection

  • We’ve curated an elevated collection of accommodation, experiences, and guides.
  • Committed to fostering close global relationships to continue bringing you unique experiences.

Why SD and In the Know Icons_Luxury
Luxury in Every Sense
Luxury in every sense

  • We deliver a sense of luxury that matters most to you.
  • Awarded Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialists in the World 11 years in a row.

Plan your trip

Please tell us a few details about your vacation plans and provide your phone number so we can call you back..
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

When would you like to go?

Please select Enter your departure date
Please select Year

Where would you like to go?

Please select your interest Select your interest

How many nights?

How many nights? Drag the slider to select nights
0 21 nights +


Number of adults (aged 12+). Minimum 1 adult  
Adults (age 15+)
Children (age 0-15)

Select your budget per person

Select your budget per person

Contact details

Your First name First name*
Your Last name Last name*
Please enter your email address Email address*
Please enter your phone number Phone number*
Tell us about your trip
Let us know if you have fixed dates, who you’re traveling with or if it’s for a special ocassion
Please tick this box to continue  

Unable to submit your request

Unfortunately, we were unable to submit your request. Please try again later or contact us.