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Watamu, Kenya

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 beach front 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 Ben

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

    Photos of 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.

    • Hemingways Hotel, Watamu

      Hemingways Hotel

      First Class

      Hemingways is an intimate, privately owned hotel built right at the edge of the beach, which is sandy and good for snorkelling at certain times of year.

    • Medina Palms, Watamu

      Medina Palms

      First Class

      Medina Palms offers high standards and excellent facilities, on a superb beach. It is the only property of its kind in Watamu and somewhere we warmly recommend.

    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.

    • Pelicans & egrets on the Watamu coast

      Deep Sea & Fly Fishing

      Watamu

      Watamu offers some of the finest deep sea fishing in the world with a huge variety of different species close to shore. Black, blue and striped marlin, sailfish, broadbill, wahoo and yellowfin tuna are just some of the species available.

    • View from Dar Mida, Watamu

      Dhow & Dolphin Cruising

      Watamu

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