Watamu Town Guide

Watamu Town  is a beach resort on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. Watamu Kenya lies on a small headland, between the Blue Lagoon and Watamu Bay. Watamu’s main industries are tourism and fishing. The nearest big town is Malindi to which it is connected by frequent matatu.

Watamu Town Climate and Geography

Watamu’s climate is classified as tropical. The winters are rainier than the summers in Watamu. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is As. The average annual temperature is 26.0 °C in Watamu. About 1083 mm of precipitation falls annually.

Watamu lies on a small headland, between the Blue Lagoon and Watamu Bay. Watamu has a population of around 1900 and it is part of the Kilifi County.

Watamu Town History

Watamu Town is a small town 20 kilometres or so south of Malindi. The name translates into ‘sweet people’. It lies between Watamu Bay to the north and Blue Lagoon to the south. The stunning Turtle Bay extends south from Blue Lagoon where it meets Mida Creek.

Watamu town itself has grown from a small coastal village into a small ramshackle settlement of huts and buildings. The town has an accelarating growth rate due to the popularity of the area as a great holdiday destination with a growing economy and population.

Economic Activities in Watamu Kenya

Watamu’s main industries are tourism and fishing. it has banks, petrol stations, post office, lodges, nightclubs playing latest western and local music, restaurant serving local and exotic dishes, supermarkets, dry cleaners and lively markets places.

The name “Watamu” means “sweet people” in Swahili. The name came from the fact that Arab slave traders used to distribute sweets to entice the local population before taking them as slaves.

People of Watamu Kenya

Watamu is home to the Bajuni people; who trace their descend to the intermarriages between the local Giriama People and the Arab traders. As at now, various tribes from inland Kenya such as the Luo, Kisii, Kikuyu, Kamba, kalenjin, Luhyas have all immigrated to the area to work in the Hotel industry. this movement has led to an increase in the population of the Watamu as earlier stated.

Getting to Watamu Kenya

Fly from Nairobi to the coastal city of Mombasa. From Mombasa International Airport you can drive around 90 minutes to Watamu, which is a scenic journey along the coast passing through sisal plantations and crossing beautiful Kilifi creek. A taxi from there will cost around 6,000-8,000 Kenya Shillings. You can also take 45-minute flight from Nairaobi to Malindi airport on coast. Watamu is just 30 minutes from the airport and a taxi from Malindi to Watamu will cost between 2,000-3,000 Kenya Shillings .

 Things to do and Places to Visit in Watamu Town

Watamu Marine National Park

Tourists Attractions in Watamu Kenya

The best reason for getting out of the boat, your clothes and yourself are the coral reefs and abundant fish, which characterise the marine life of Watamu. Hire a glass-bottomed boat (at least for the sake of the person on board – who wants to simply peer at the wonder of the ocean, without moving a muscle). But abandoning the safe ship of paradise, generates the most reward.

Watch the sunset from the dhow or catch a glimpse of East African birds. Photo: Mail Today

Snorkelling in these waters, I’m just kissing distance away from a litany of brain, fan and sponge coral, which provide the required nutrition and shelter for a plethora of fish life. In the distance, pods of dolphin frolic. Close at hand, a stingray glances at me, as I admire the variety of fish – parrotfish and starfish, angelfish and moray eels – dancing around me in playful abandon.

Gede Ruins And Museum

Tourists Attractions in Watamu Kenya

Mysterious and beguiling are adjectives frequently bandied about, when describing this ancient site of medieval Swahili-Arab settlement. Not least because, many of the stories of this vast complex of crumbling coral-brick houses, palaces and mosques – are still unknown.
The guide points out the differences in living conditions between the elite and the lower echelons – in terms of the material used in building construction (stone versus mud), for starters. Gede was clearly an advanced city – evidenced in the layout of the streets, the facilities of running water and drainage. Archeological finds of Chinese vases and Venetian glass and even an Indian lamp, throw light on its robust trade relations.
The surrounding National Park houses a museum – which has a permanent display on Swahili Culture. While the artifacts on display inside are illuminating, it’s the call of the hornbill and the desire to spot the goldenrump elephant shrew that makes me want to linger.

Gede Snake Park

Tourists Attractions in Watamu Kenya

There is distinct pleasure in sharing an experience of wildlife, with people who know a great deal more about it than you do. And Mr Shadrack who manages the Snake Park within the precinct of the Gede ruins clearly inhabits that spirit.
Shadrack says he doesn’t use gloves while handling the snakes, because he wants to be as gentle with them as possible. Under his watchful gaze he let’s me handle one of the non-poisonous. In this controlled environment, it’s easy to want more time with these sinuous creatures, understand how their milk is used to make anti-venom for local communities, and the importance of preservation of snake-habitats.

Kipepeo Butterfly Project

Tourists Attractions in Watamu Kenya

In Watamu, where it’s common to find an institution dedicated to the care of turtles, or a man passionate about snakes, it comes as no surprise that just a few paces from the snake farm, is the Kipepeo Butterfly Project.
Here as elsewhere, are signs on the wall – signaling the need to establish a link between conservation and livelihood. With the zeal of an evangelist, the guide talks us through a series of carefully-curated exhibits (with butterflies fluttering overhead) on how forests can provide local communities with unexpected sources of income. This local community for instance produces nature-based products of silk cloth and honey. The Orange Dog Butterflies locked in passionate embrace in the garden, seem to be acknowledging this sentiment.

Dhow Cruise On Mida Creek

Tourists Attractions in Watamu Kenya

Mida Creek has earned its stripes as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This 32-sq km tidal estuary, lined with mangroves and beaches, is as pretty as an ornamental placemat. A good way to experience the mangroves – is to travel down Mida Creek on a traditional Arab Dhow.
Medina Palms, a good stay option while you’re in Watamu, not just for its plush accommodation that includes sea-facing villas, but also for the activities it helps organise – everything from golf to turtle-sanctuary visits – organises a Sunset dhow cruise. The cocktails are so abundant that chances are you’ll end up skipping dinner. If you’re not peering through the binoculars on board, marvelling at the not-sohard-to-see brigade of colourful East African birds or admiring the sky fade into sunset colours, you’re simply reclining on deck, cocktail in hand, letting the serene beauty seep in.

Watamu Beach

The shoreline in the area features white sand beaches and offshore coral formations arranged in different bays and beach: Garoda Beach, Turtle Bay, Blue Lagoon Bay, Watamu Bay, Ocean breaze, and Kanani reaf and Jacaranda beach. They are protected as part of the Watamu Marine National Park. The Marine Park is considered one of the best snorkelling and diving areas on the coast of East Africa. It is also rated the third best beaches in Africa, for it crystal clear water and silver sand beaches. In order to assist the managing authorities namely Kenyan Wildlife Service, in protecting the Park, local community groups, the tourist sector and environmental groups have formed a unique organisation,Watamu Marine Association Members of this group are Turtle Bay,Hemingways,Ocean Sports , Arocha Kenya,Lonno Lodge Mida Community Conservation group, Watamu Boat Operator, Safari Sellers and women’s group

watamu beach
watamu beach



Watamu Kenya Hotels

1. Temple Point Resort

Category: Hotels in Watamu Kenya

Temple point resort is situated in the middle of the Watamu Marine National Park. They offer the most comprehensive collection of sports and leisure activities in all of Kenya. They have a restaurant that offers international cuisine.

For further information please visitTemple point resort

2. Watamu Adventist Beach Resort and Campsite

Category: Hotels in Watamu Kenya

Managed by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Watamu Adventist Beach Resort and Campsite offers conferences, seminars and retreats. The resort is located on Watamu Beach and many of its rooms have sea views. The resort is an alcohol and smoking tree zone

For further information please visit: Watamu Adventist Beach Resort and Campsite

3. Sun Palm Hotel

Category: Hotels in Watamu Kenya

Sun Palm Hotel is a small resort with a selection of facilities and activities on the main road in Watamu.Activities include horse riding and water sports. There is also a beach volleyball court and a pool table. Kamele Tours and Safaris has an office at reception, and can book tours, excursions and safaris to destinations in Kenya‘ Local sites of interest include Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Gede Ruins Mida Creek, Kipepeo Butterfly Project and the Snake Farm.

For further information please visitSun Palm Hotel

4.  Watamu Villas

Category: Hotels in Watamu Kenya

Watamu Villas  is a collection of self-catering villas available for rent on a long or short~term basis. The villas are whitewashed, with red tiled roofs. Flower-lined paths weave between the villas.In the centre of the garden is a swimming pool, surrounded by sunbathing terrace.  Local sites of interest include Watamu Beach, the Gede Ruins, Kipepeo Butterfly Project and the Snake Farm.

For further information please visitvillas Watamu

5. Savannah Restaurant and Bar

Category: Hotels in Watamu Kenya

Savannah is a lush garden with an attractive restaurant and bar, and self-catering bandas.The open sided restaurant is surrounded by flowers, succulents and driftwood art. Murals of trees stand out from whitewashed walls. The terrace is furnished with tables and chairs and shaded by umbrellas.

For further information please visit: Savannah Restaurant and Bar

Turtle Bay Watamu

Located in Watamu in the region of Coast, 13 miles from Malindi, Turtle Bay Beach Club features a playground and sun terrace.Turtle Bay was chosen as a Best All Inclusive Hotel in Africa by TripAdvisor® in its 2012 Travelers’ Choice® awards. Now in its tenth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travelers.

Watamu Cottages

Relaxing romantic well equipped beach cottages situated right on the beautiful beach of Watamu.

  • We offer three well appointed, air-conditioned, self catering holiday cottages situated and a luxury Banda on a lovely beachfront property.
  • Each cottage has two bedrooms, both with bathrooms ensuite; a fully equipped kitchen and a lovely patio to lounge away lazy afternoons.
  • We will organise a personal cook to prepare all your meals – a real holiday treat!
  • The three cottages all face onto a sparkling blue pool – perfect to cool off after a hot day down on the beach.
  • This is an ideal destination for beach lovers looking for a family vacation or a romantic getaway.
  • There are various activities to keep you occupied – Fishing, Kite surfing and Dhow cruises; a good choice of bars and restaurants to explore. All in close proximity to our property.

Plot 38, Turtle Bay Road, Watamu
Fb: @watamubeachcottages
Call : 0728 986066

Ocean Sports Watamu

The Ocean Sports Resort is a laid-back, easy-going accommodation for your non-frill beach vacation in Kenya, and if you are planning a family holiday on Watamu Beach with AfricanMecca, the location of this hotel or the nearby Turtle Bay Beach Club is an ideal spot to build a lifetime of bonded memories without having a mass of tourists on the beach when compared to the seashores of Mombasa. Couples visiting on their modest honeymoon or cushy solo travelers will love the natural beauty of the powder white sands, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and resplendent tropical greenery. This seaside hotel offers you good value for money with basic amenities and friendly, attentive service. The hotel is a sprawling property laid over an area of six hectares of carefully landscaped gardens with blooming flowers that turn it into a riot of color all year around.

Ocean Sports Resort
1 Mida Creek Road

Phone: +254(0)724 389 732
Alt Phone: +254 (0)734 195 227


Other Hotels in Watamu Kenya

  1. Kobe Suit Resort
  2. Mawimbi Lodge Hotel
  3. Mawe Resort Watamu Boutique Hotel
  4. Medina Palm
  5. Seven Islands Resort
  6. Jumbo Watamu
  7. Watamu Tropical Resort
  8. Ocean Sports Resort
  9. Temple Point Resort
  10. Jacaranda Beach
  11. Barracuda Inn Resort
  12. Gecko Resort

Night Clubs and Nightlife in Watamu Town

  1. Turtle Bay Beach Club
  2. Villas Watamu Resort
  3. African Sun Resort
  4. Come Back Club Watamu
  5. The Charming Lonno Lodge
  6. Sun Palm Beach Resort
  7. Watamu Palm Beach
  8. Aquarius Club International Resort

Watamu Town- Videos