The beautiful beach at Watamu is fringed with coconut palms the powder white sand stretches for about 7kms. Offshore it is protected by a coral reef and there is a cluster of rocks, which adds more character to this unique location. It is situated about 100kms north of Mombassa and 20kms south of Malindi. It is ideal for swimming, walking and sunbathing. You can explore the rock pools at low tide and find brightly coloured fish and witness the site of many beautiful sea birds milling along the shoreline. As part of the Watamu Marine National Park, the beach is strictly protected as a turtle nesting site so there are no noisy jet skis to spoil your peace and tranquillity. However, sailing, wind and kite surfing, scuba diving and snorkelling are amongst the attractions and there is a big game fishing base towards the northern end near the local small and medium sized hotels.
Watamu Marine National Park is possibly the finest Marine National Park in Kenya. The coral gardens are merely 300 metres from the shore and are home to a vast number of fish (over 600 species) and other wonderful sea-creatures. There are approximately 600 species of fish in the Marine Park, 110 species of stony coral and countless invertebrates, crustacea and molluscs.
Water temperatures vary from 20-30 degrees Celsius depending on the season, the coldest being June-October and the warmest being from December to May. It is easy to spend 4 or 5 hours marvelling at the wonders of the sea!
Watamu has a number of resident expert guides who will be able to name many of the fish and corals encountered during your snorkelling. The most spectacular area for goggling is around the Coral Gardens, where species of Surgeonfish, Snappers, Parrotfish, Angelfish, Pufferfish, Butterfly fish, Triggerfish and many, many others offer an unbelievable display of variety and colour. Several types for Ray and occasionally young (and harmless!) Sharks can also be seen. As well as the main Coral Gardens there are countless other interesting places to snorkel in the park, especially for the confident and intrepid snorkeller!
There are many operators of glass-bottomed boats to take you goggling, usually to the Coral Gardens. For confident swimmers, goggling can be undertaken direct from the beach, but beware of tidal currents, especially near the entrance to Mida Creek.