Watamu, Kenya


Watamu is a small coastal town in Kenya, around 100 km north of Mombasa or 90 mins drive. Wildlife lovers come here for the Watamu Coastal Marine Park which is home to bottlenose dolphins, green sea turtles, and a huge variety of fish and bird species. Thanks to its crystal clear waters, the Marine Park is considered some of the best snorkelling and diving on the east coast of Africa. Once out of the water, visitors can relax on the beautiful white-sand beaches, looking at the blue sea on one side and mangroves on the other!

Average rating: 3.0 (good)

Average spend per person: entrance to the Marine Park is around $5 for nationals and $20 for foreigners. The cost of boat trips can be negotiated but is typically around $30 per person.

Number of reports: 1

Best time to visit: Watamu is warm year-round although there are rainy seasons from November to December and April to June. Scuba diving is best between October and March when the visibility is greatest and the seas are calmest.

Typical activities: boat trip, scuba diving, snorkelling


According to reports submitted to WildSide, the species visitors most want to see here are as follows:

Bottlenose Dolphin – 100% OF VISITORS (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS

dolphin sightings watamu wildside world wild webWatamu Marine Association has been studying the dolphin population off Watamu since 2010. A total of 100 individuals have been identified over this period. There are three species you can see in Watam – the Indo Pacific bottlenose dolphin, the Indo Pacific humpback dolphin, and the acrobatic spinner dolphin. While they are there year-round, the best time to see dolphins is between October to April when the seas are calmest. Sightings are pretty much guaranteed on dolphin watching tours. Although user reports suggest that combined dolphin and snorkelling day trips that include lunch and a trip around the islands don’t give you much time with either the dolphins or the snorkelling.

Green sea turtle – 100% OF VISITORS (1/1) REPORTED SIGHTINGS

turtle sightings watamu wildside world wild webWatamu is also home to green sea turtles, as well as a smaller population of hawksbill turtles. You have a great chance of seeing turtles in the marine park when snorkelling or diving. Local Ocean Conservation has been monitoring and protecting turtle populations off Watamu for a number of years. To date they have protected over 1,000 nests on Watamu, helping an incredible 73,000 baby turtles to reach the ocean! You can find out more about their work here or you can visit their centre on Watamu beach.

Photo credit: andrewngugi under a Creative Commons license from Pixabay

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