Watamu Marine National Park
Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve is one of the oldest Kenyan Marine Parks that acts as a tourist destination for unique water species mostly green turtle. However, the park features coral reefs that form the physical and the biological backbone of its unique area, with more than 150 species of hard and soft corals like brain corals, sponges, and fan corals that provide for abundant nutrients for fish. Watamu is a gorgeous safari destination that sounds with over 600 species of fish and the reserve has over 1000 species which can be explored by a tourist on a visit to the park, it is also a fabulous place to encounter a unique whale shark, octopus, manta rays and barracuda which are the largest species within the park. Moreover, the park inhabits with different species of turtles, which has contributed a lot to secure the main park’s beach as a 99% viable for endangered sea turtle, which can be viewed on nesting site in Watamu such turtle species are the green, olive ridley turtles and hawksbill. The olive ridley species are rarely seen on nesting site while the leatherback turtles for them they do not nest in watamu or Malindi but they just pass by the nearby water during their migration.
The park is a paradise of the green turtle with attractive Gede Ruins and coral gardens that measures 300 meters from the shore and is home of marine life to over 600 fish species,110 species of stony coral, crustaceans, countless invertebrates as well as Mollusca all these unique species has built Kenya’s marine parks to be among the most visited world safaris.
Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve is one of the most visited Kenya Marine park to inhabit various unique water species and wonderful place to experience a remarkable float facing down in the ocean as you pass through clear in right gear while observing attractive coral and marine life below. Note that, this is a right place to meander into a clear water and enjoy the marine life and if you are lucky you can see dolphins even whales ‘’famous shark’ ’Watamu is a place worth a visit on your next safari in the heart of Africa ‘’Kenya’’.
Furthermore, the park features with coral reefs and its inhabitants making it to rank the finest tourist destination for someone who is interested in diving and snorkeling, other activities to engage in here include windsurfing, white sandy beaches, water skiing, sunbathing, glass-bottomed boat tours with excellent guides to help you in such exciting water experience.
Watamu Marine National Park was established in 1968 and is among the first marine parks to be officially opened up in Kenya, located about 90 miles north of Mombasa a second largest city after Nairobi Kenya. The park is governed by ‘’KWS’’ Kenya Wildlife Service and become UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve since 1979.
The park’s landscape contains plain grass with water temperature that varies from 20 degrees Celsius from the month of June to November and to 30 degrees Celsius from December to May making it a perfect relaxing hideaway for visitors.
Attractions in Watamu
Mida creek forest a hoven for diversity of mangrove species such as Ceriops Tagal, Bruguier Gymnorrhira, Rhizophora Mucronata, Avicennia Marina as well as Sonneratia Alba. They provide shelter to numerous bird species both Resident and Migrant.
Marine life such as Dugongs, crabs, Turtles, Octopus, dolphins among others.
Birdlife: The park features with over 100 bird species which can be spotted in the cultivated gardens, bush, and shambas. Common species to see include the Black kite, common Bulbul, White-browed coucal and Speckled Mousebird can be seen scuffling in the undergrowth. Other species to be spotted are Bright Yellow canaries, Lilac Breasted Roller, Golden palm weavers are often seen perched on wires and poles.
- Haven of Green Turtle
- Attractive Coral Garden
- Kipepeo Project
- Gede Ruins.
What to take with you?
Travelers who wish to visit Watamu Marine national park are advised to always carry right essentials in order to enjoy remarkable experience done in here as follow;
Essentials like snorkel, Fins, sunscreen are available for hire. Other thing includes Insect Repellant, Camera, Hat, Guide books, plenty of drinking water. Footwear such as Sandals or Flip Flops in order to protect your feet from the reef. T-shirts, prevents your body from sunburn. Guide books.
Activities are done in the Park
This is a fabulous safari destination to go to and be able to engage in quite different colorful activities in Marine parks such as, Glass bottom Boat rides, Sun Bathing, Snorkeling, waterskiing, Wind surfing, Diving among others
Watamu Marine national park contains several diving sites that can be easily accessed from the shore. To those who do not want to get contacted with water can participate in a glass bottom boat which is quite awesome experience on Marine parks.
Snorkeling is one of most attractive activities done here as the tourists can be able to get close to unique marine life in very visible water.
Marine Life Experience
Watamu marine national park hosts number of marine life ranging from small fish to bigger species some of the examples are whale shark, green sea turtle, angle fish, spearfish, sailfish, batfish, porcupine, crocodile fish, damsel fish, Octopus, drummer fish many more. The turtles are categorized of green endangered turtle, leather, hawksbills, leather back and olive ridley turtle.
Visit Gedi town ruins
This is a historical site where you can visit and get to learn about the archeology of the area which has been existing for years.
This is one of the most enjoyed experiences here though it can be limited to some season due to weather conditions in the area.
The park is a birding safari destination with notable numerous bird species which can be spotted on a visit to Watamu Marine national park, some species to be sighted include white brown coucal, lizard buzzard, Ostreygolden palm weaver’s, kingfishers, speckled mouse bird, Common bulbul among the rest. These are the best places to do bird watching in Watamu, Arabuko sokoke Forest and Mida Creek.
- By road: To reach Watamu takes 120 kilometers north of Mombasa and 28 km south of Malindi.
- By Air: Watamu Marine national park can be accessed by flight through booking a domestic charter or schedule flight from Wilson Airport a nearby Airport to Nairobi city to fly you to Malindi Airport. In this case you can be helped by the trust worthy tour operator to organize your flight booking and tour package reservation.
Watamu Marine National Park is a beautiful place to visit after bush safaris and get experienced in African snorkeling and scuba divers, above all is considered to be one of top beaches in the world that’s why every year sun –worshipping travelers flock here to enjoy cool relaxation along soft sandy beaches and soak up with its natural peace in interesting environment in the heart of Africa ‘’Kenya Safari Experience’’.