All You Need To KNow About Watamu Kenya

Watamu is a small coastal town in Kenya located about 15km south of Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast 105km north of Mombasa with a complete natural beauty offering scenic coastal views that will take leave you mesmerized. It’s famous for Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve with 3 bays namely: Watamu, Blue Lagoon and Turtle bays then its andy beaches and coral gardens are the finest explanations of why the place is the best to visit as it boasts with seabirds, green and hawksbill turtles and Mida Creek with its sand flats and mangrove forest. Inland, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve is home to elephants, monkeys and rare birdlife.

Brief History of Watamu

Watamu was just a forest without population of people, there were occasional fishermen from Malindi and Lamu belonging to the Bajuni people, came as a result of intermarriages between Giriama and Arab traders who once in a while swam to shore when the sea was unfriendly seeking for refuge in the grass thatched huts in Northern Beach in close proximity with the current Watamu village.

Watamu’s history can be traced from 1937 after an Irish family of the Flynns, wrecked around it and ended up being washed ashore on the present-day beach of Turtle Bay and they opted live in an upturned boat but the development of Watamu started around 1950-1960 immediately after the British colonial government drew 50 pitches on the beach which invited white settlers in Kenya drawing international attention as a holiday destination with the first hotel to be established here being Ocean Sports which started as a bar on the beach in Turtle Bay and in 1979 Watamu was given greater international protection after its declaration as a United Nation’s Man and Biosphere Reserve (UNMBR).

Attractions of Watamu

  • Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve

Watamu marine national park is one of Kenya’s oldest marine parks established in 1968 by the Kenyan government 90 miles north of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city and it is 300 meters offshore along the Indian Ocean. The park contains soft and hard coral reefs adequately offering nutrients to over 500 species of fish in the main park and over 1000 living in the reserve. Fishermen are permitted to fish in the reserve as long as they catch fish the park authority allows and if they use the international fishing standards.

  • Watamu Beach

It is a popular swimming, snorkeling & diving destination containing calm sandy beach which is home to diverse marine life.

  • Ruins of Gedi

It is a historic walled city with a palace known as an Archaeological site with mosques, a palace & several houses of the early settlers.

  • Mida Creek

This is where visitors and residents take a canoe ride through the mangrove banks of Mida Creek, a large saline lagoon and tidal creek merging with a masive mangrove forest and it is a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve providing a safe haven for national waterfowl and a number of migratory species, including large flamingos and crab-plovers, greenshanks and sacred ibises.

  • Arabuko Sokoke forest

This forest occupies 420 square kilometer piece of land between Kilifi and Malindi towns with a variety of butterfly species and snakes.

How to get to Watamu

It is a 30 minutes drive from Malindi International Airport, which is a 40-minute flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

Jambojet Limited and Fly540 fly from Nairobi to Watamu 3 times a day. Alternatively, Modern Coast buses run from Nairobi to Watamu once a day and the journey take about 7 hours 36 minutes.

You can as well rent a car form a trusted car rental or travel agency either on self drive or with driver.

If you are looking forward to visiting Watamu, simply call us today on +254-713510387 or send us an email to and speak with the reservations team.

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