Visit 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.
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.
Map of Watamu
Places & hotels on the map
Places near Watamu
- Kenya's Coastline 22 miles away
- Mombasa 55 miles away
- The Tana Delta 59 miles away
- Diani Beach 76 miles away
- Tsavo East National Park 94 miles away
- Funzi Island 94 miles away
- Lamu Archipelago 96 miles away
- The Parks & Reserves of Southern Kenya 97 miles away
- Tsavo West National Park 142 miles away
- The Chyulu Hills 161 miles away
- Amboseli National Park 205 miles away
- Nairobi 264 miles away
- The Parks & Reserves of Northern Kenya 271 miles away
- Meru National Park 273 miles away
- Shompole Magadi 281 miles away
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 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 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.
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.
Take a leisurely sunset cruise aboard a traditional dhow or a dolphin cruise out into the Watamu Marine National Park.