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What is Watamu Known For?

Watamu is a beautiful and peaceful village on the Kenya Coast, nestled between pristine beaches and lush tropical forest. Since it was first settled as a remote Swahili outpost at Gedi, this area has become the most natural and undeveloped area along the coast.

What makes Watamu famous

  1. Beautiful Beaches and Hotels

Several bays and beaches anchor the shoreline of the area, including Garoda Beach, Turtle Bay, Blue Lagoon Bay, Watamu Bay, Ocean breeze, and Kanani reef, and Jacaranda beach.  As a result, it is a highly recommended destination for hotels, resorts, boutiques, villas, and all things luxury and vacation-related.

For its crystal clear water and silver sand beaches, it is rated as the third-best beach in Africa. A unique organization, the Watamu Marine Association, has been formed by local community groups, the tourist industry, and environmental groups to assist the Kenyan Wildlife Service in protecting the Park

  1. Marine Excursions

Many visitors to the Watamu area get the opportunity to enjoy snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing at the nearby coral gardens. Other than countless fish, you may see whales, manta rays, and endangered sea turtles.

  1. A Home for Reptiles

The Bio-Ken Research Center deals with snakes and snakebites. The Snake Museum is in Watamu, Kenya and is less than five minutes away from the hotels, and is open to the public.

Notably, Kenya has about 127 snake species. Six of these have the potential to kill you, and only 18 have caused human fatalities. The remaining 93 or so are neither dangerous nor venomous.

  1. Arabuko Sokoke Forest

Located on the coast of Kenya, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve covers an area of 420 km2. With 20% of Kenya’s bird species, 30% of its butterfly species, and at least 24 rare and endemic bird and mammal species, it is the largest and most intact coastal forest in East Africa.

In Arabuko-Sokoke, one can undertake the following activities: Forest walks, forest drives, bird watching, butterfly watching, camping, cycling, picnicking, and running.

  1. Watamu Marine Park

As one of the world’s first national marine parks, Watamu Marine Park was established in 1968. At 300 meters (980 feet) from the shore, the main protected area includes coral reefs, seagrasses, caves, and Mida Creek water. The park is home to over 600 species of fish, coral gardens, and many invertebrates and crustaceans. The park is fantastic for diving and snorkeling and was designated as a UN Biosphere Reserve in 1979.

  1. Mida Creek

This 32km2 creek has wide, healthy beds of seagrass and coral, home to many species of fish and feeding sea turtles, while in the mangroves smaller streams and inlets provide a refuge for crabs and birdlife.

Mida is a stopover point for many migratory birds and an essential protected area for their survival. This makes it one of the most important and beautiful natural attractions on the Kenyan coast.

  1. Gedi

Not far from Watamu, near the junction with the main Mombasa-Malindi road, lie the Gedi Ruins, a National Museum site, and a window into the mysterious past of this stretch of coastline.

The town of Gedi was a Swahili settlement established in the 13th-century town and inhabited by sailors, traders, and settlers from Oman who plied the spice trade between the Middle East and Africa.

Unlike other well-known Swahili towns such as Lamu, Mombasa, or Zanzibar, however, almost no historical record was made of the town, nor was it marked on maps from that period. The reason for the secrecy surrounding the existence of Gedi is unknown, and the cause of its downfall also remains a great historical mystery.

  1. Humans of Watamu

The name Watamu is a Swahili word that means “gentle people”, and this area was named in reference to the Swahili people friendly and kind that inhabit this area. However, other theories suggest that the Arabs used sweets to attract locals and then capture them as slaves.

Fun Fact: Watamu is known to be famous for having a great number of Octopus.



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