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Watamu, south of Malindi is best known for the Watamu Marine National Park — a spectacular coral reef alive with tropical fish and only a short boat ride, or energetic swim at low tide.

The beach is really a series of wide sandy bays separated by rocky outcrops.

Watamu's marine life

The area is distinctive with its craggy rock islands dotting the bays. Dark and jagged with narrow necks, they invite exploration. At low tide it is possible to walk out to many of these strange isolated formations. Ghost crabs skitter out of sight, and impossible shapes have been sculpted by the sea. Rock pools ring the islands revealing their treasure of shells, seaweed and bright fish each day when the tide is out. Away from the beach there are other things to see.

Mida Creek

The Mida Creek is a wonderful place for a quiet day trip as the mud flats and mangroves are home to a multitude of birds. You may like to wander in to Watamu village for a spot of shopping or take a trip to the Gedi Ruins, a mysteriously abandoned Swahili city.

Watamu has only a handful of hotels but a number of private beachfront homes. At certain times of year (especially May until the end of September) a great deal of seaweed is washed onto the Watamu beaches. Apart from these times, the beach is a shimmering stretch of white sand — perfect for relaxation.

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Audley Travel specialist Lauren

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Watamu by contacting one of our Kenya specialists

Map of Watamu

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Watamu

    Accommodation choices for Watamu

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Watamu. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Watamu

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Watamu, and which use the best local guides.

    • Dhow & Dolphin Cruising
      View from Dar Mida, Watamu

      Dhow & Dolphin Cruising

      Dhow & Dolphin Cruising

      Take a leisurely sunset cruise aboard a traditional dhow or a dolphin cruise out into the Watamu Marine National Park.

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