List Of Best Things To Do In Watamu

Here is a list of the Best Things To Do in Watamu. Watamu is located 105 kilometers north of Mombasa and 15 kilometers south of Malindi on the Indian Ocean Coast of Kenya, it lies on a small headland between the blue lagoon and Watamu Bay.

Watamu, a true paradise in Kenya, which not many people know about, is a small picturesque and unexploited fishing town. Featuring white sandy beaches, offshore coral formations, turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean, mangroves, and rich cultural history, Watamu is a real gem in magical Kenya that should be on your bucket list.

Top Things To Do In Watamu

1. Relax on Watamu Beach

Begin your vacation in one of the most beautiful places in the region, which is ranked among the best beaches not only in the country but in the entire world. Watamu Beach is rarely crowded, allowing you to spend private time with family or loved ones. You can see the blue ocean waters from the beach. All you have to do when the temperatures start to rise is jump in the water and relax. After that, you can soak up the sun’s rays while sipping your favorite drink or locally sourced palm wine.

Take a walk along the beach to see the sights and interact with the locals, who occasionally sell their wares to tourists, such as shells and bracelets that will serve as the ideal status symbol. Local street delicacies will satisfy your hunger pangs and leave you amazed at how tasty they are whenever you feel hungry. Finish your day with a stroll in the evening to take in the sunset views and cool breeze. Horseback riding is also available at the beach, which would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone. So, if you want to keep your stay at the beach interesting, make sure to fully indulge while there.

2. Staying at Hemingways Residences, Watamu

The gorgeous and resplendent Hemingways Residences, which comprise 21 exclusive apartments, are located along the soft white sandy beach of this coastal town. These apartments are part of Hemingways Watamu, an Indian Ocean luxury 5-star boutique beachfront hotel that provides an oasis of peace and calm while providing signature experiences served with iconic touches of gracious world-class hospitality.

The Hemingways Residences are breathtaking in every way, exquisitely styled with contemporary grace and panache to provide an idyllic backdrop for days of tranquil indulgence. Consider fully furnished and equipped state-of-the-art kitchen arenas, comfortable lounge, and dining areas that effortlessly look out onto the expansive sweep of wide-vista verandas with plenty of natural light.

3. Discover ancient history at Gedi National Monument

Run by the National Museums of Kenya, Gedi National Monument has ruins, a snake park, and a butterfly sanctuary. From the 13th century, Gede Ruins is an ancient town surrounded by tropical forests located between Watamu and Malindi. It was once a developed, cosmopolitan area with archaeological evidence of artifacts from around the world such as Ming Chinese vases and Venetian glass, and researchers are still baffled as to why Gede was abandoned all those centuries ago.

The crumbling ruins indicate that a palace, mosques, several houses, and stone-pillar tombs existed in the area but there is no trace of the former inhabitants. It is a ghost town but a great chance to gain insight into a forgotten piece of history. The butterflies from the Kipepeo project and some of the special breeds that are found at Arabuko Sokoke are bred here and then send to live displays all over the world.

4. Visit Bio-Ken Snake Farm 

One of the most interesting activities in Watamu is the incredible research center and snake farm that houses the largest collection of snakes in East Africa. Snakes at the farm are normally brought/rescued by locals in the villages and kept for educational purposes before being released to Arabuko Sokoke Forest. Bio-Ken is open to the public with an entrance fee of Ksh 1000 for a fascinating guided tour of 100+ species including snakes, tortoises, lizards, and a chameleon.

5. Snorkeling & Diving in Watamu Marine National Park

Best visited early in the morning, Watamu Marine National Park is the United Nations Biosphere Reserve and one of the oldest and best snorkeling areas on the coast. It is 4.2km from Watamu town. With over 600 fish species, the clear waters make spotting them stress-free and there are higher chances of spotting dolphins with ease as compared to Wasini in Diani. It’s the best-protected coral reef along Kenya’s entire coastline, and diving in the warm, clear water gives you a glimpse into this underwater world.

You can also take a boat trip or even swim out to the reef at low tide. Look out for green, hawksbill, and olive ridley turtles, which nest on Watamu’s main beach between April and October. The coral itself is also a highlight, with over 150 species of hard and soft corals thriving here, including cerebral-looking brain corals, delicate fan corals, and sponges. The entry fee is Ksh 200 per adult and Ksh125 per child but you can negotiate the boat ride prices with the vendors.

6. Dhow Cruise along Mida Creek

Watch the sunset with a cocktail (or mocktail) in hand from the comfort of a majestic dhow as you sail through Mida Creek. Trips are run at sunset and include a sailing trip down the creek with drinks and bitings – or even a full meal. Mida Creek is a reserve made of mangroves and palms; an amazing tidal ecosystem that hosts an extensive array of birds and marine life.

The tour would include a walk on the suspended boardwalk among the mangroves with views across the creek. Here you will be welcomed by The Mida Creek Conservation Community, which runs a crab farm and local crab shack restaurant (Crabshack Dabaso restaurant). Take your time, chill out surrounded by the stunning scenery, and enjoy the sunset while tasting the popular crab samosas.

7. Visit Lichtaus by Temple Point for the Sunset

The main reason why you should visit Watamu is to experience the famous nets/ hammocks at Litchaus – the bar where the sun drops into Mida Creek. The place is quite popular. The beauty in this place is unsurpassed and true to the reviews, it gets quite packed as the sunset approaches.

Lichthaus is Watamu’s most popular watering hole, which also serves simple yet delicious food. Most tourists head over to Watamu for a peaceful getaway, but if you like music and being social then you don’t want to miss this vibe.

8. Go to Seven Island Resort 

Located on the shores of the Indian Ocean overlooking the majestic and famous seven Islands of Watamu, this luxury residential complex is one of the best places in Watamu. The resort is named after the seven islands that create Crystal Bay and it is well known for the epic beach parties that they host every Saturday. Walk-in guests are allowed to join the party and the gate charges are Ksh 250 for the ladies and Ksh 500 for the men.

9. Tour the Love Island

Located just offshore Watamu Beach are several little islands. The most popular and beautiful is certainly Love Island: a heart-shaped strip of bright white sand that comes out at low tides. Here on this island, it is easy to have close marine life encounters such as puffers, starfishes, crabs, corals, octopuses, oysters, and more. If the tide is low, you can literarily walk to Love Island as it is only 1 km away from the beach. If the tide is high, you can ask one of the many fishermen around to give you a lift for a small fee.

Local companies and peddlers will try and sell you Love Island as a day or half-day tour. There is no need to pay for an organized tour because the island is just 1 km offshore, and with low tides, you can simply enjoy a small walk by yourself.

10. Explore Arabuko Sokoke Forest

What better way to wind down than to listen to chirping birds and take on the crisp fresh air, a far cry from the polluted one in the city? The largest and most intact coastal forest in East Africa, Arabuko-Sokoke stretches 420 km along the East coast. With 20% of Kenya’s bird species, 30% of butterfly species, and at least 24 rare and endemic birds, mammals, and butterfly species, the forest is a glorious natural space. Take an early morning or late evening trip for a walk in the forest. Different animals can be spotted along the way such as monkeys, mongooses, and duikers. Bird watching is also a top activity in the forest since it is home to hundreds of bird species.

Nature trails are plenty within the forest, so if you fancy some alone time or wish to simply soak in the beauty of nature, this should be on your bucket list. Enjoy hiking activities as well, so be sure to wear a comfortable pair of shoes. You can have one of the wardens help you navigate the forest or do it on your own, which is part of the thrill. The forest is also home to different plant species, some of which have been particularly useful to man for medicinal value and other domestic uses. If walking wears you out, you can try cycling which is allowed in the forest and will help you cover a large area in a shorter period. The green scenery would form the perfect background for photos so make sure to carry a good camera while at it.

11. Watch the sunset at the Crab Shack

Watamu is renowned for its culinary experience, especially the rich seafood. Watamu is dotted with eateries that attract hungry souls like moths to the fire. Among our most memorable visits was to Crab Shack Dabaso, the rusty, enchanting hideout built on stilts and run by Mida Creek Conservation Community. Watching the sunset while sipping a cold drink with the one you love will leave irreplaceable memories (Book a water-edge table). Remember, the proceeds from Crab Shack go a long way in helping the local community conserve the endangered mangroves.

12. Visit a local Watamu village

Around Watamu, shimmering sand is lined with private beachfront homes, jagged islands, and rock pools that invite exploration at low tide, and people come and go in brightly painted tuk-tuks.

You can stroll through the village, which blends Kenyan, Arab, and Italian influences, to browse its shops and relax in its cafes, or admire some of the handicrafts sold from bright and cheerful stalls. The village’s population is of Italian ex-pats who have left their mark on the cuisine, and you’ll find authentic pizza and gelato alongside freshly caught fish.

13. Go to the Watamu Turtle Watch

This excellent organization protects the approximately 50 hawksbill and green turtles that lay their eggs on Watamu Beach. The center provides much-needed education in the local community about the fragility of sea turtles and actively patrols for people selling turtle shells. At the trust’s rehabilitation center you can normally see turtles being treated for injury or illness and learn about these magnificent creatures. It’s a very worthwhile visit.

14. Kite Surfing and Windsurfing

Watamu’s consistent winds make it an ideal destination for kite surfing and windsurfing. If you’re into these thrilling water sports, you can find schools and rental shops along the beach.

15. Enjoy lunch at Rock and Sea

At Rock and Sea, there is an Amazing panoramic restaurant built on Coral Rock at over 40 meters above Sea Level. In the restaurant, you can enjoy fresh and tasty food with dishes from Italian, national, Asian, and fusion cuisine. You can find also vegetarian, vegan, and kids menus.

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