is the portion of the central Kenyan Coast
which is centred on a small town of the same name.
Unlike nearby Malindi
, Watamu itself is much more of a village than a town, with a scattering of small shops and a reasonably hassle free environment. The coast is largely lined by sweeping white sand beaches, whilst just to the south lies the scenic Mida Creek with its mysterious mangrove forests. Offshore lies an extensive system of reefs, which provide some of the best diving in the region.
Until relatively recently Watamu was considered to be a place to avoid the crowds, with a large number of private house rentals providing pleasantly low key accommodation. But in recent years there has been considerable development and the place now has its share of large beach resorts, almost all of which are offering very low rates in an attempt to attract visitors.
Overall the place feels slightly past its best, although there are some reasonably interesting accommodation options ...Lonno Lodge
... is a relatively upmarket small facility, sensitively and elegantly constructed, with access to a good range of activities.Watamu Treehouse
... is a really quirky and interesting little owner run place in a lovely quiet location.Mawe Resort
... is a very small and quite straight down the line option, offering decent value for money.Medina Palms
... is a much larger and more commercial resort of a relatively high standard.Ocean Sports Hotel
... is a large resort hotel which has been well known in the past for hosting the 'Kenya cowboys' safari crowd from up-country.Hemingways Watamu
... is a large beach resort in the middle of the action, one of the first to be established in the area, but now rather old-fashioned.
We tend to recommend Watamu for inclusion in trips relatively rarely. However there are occasions when it is the right option, most commonly for divers want to explore these specific waters or people who are returning to this coast for the first time in many years and want to revisit old haunts. It also combines very easily with overland safari through Tsavo East
However our guests tend to be looking for a rather more idyllic beach paradise, such as those found in the Msambweni
areas to the south, Lamu Island
, Manda Island
and Tana Delta
to the north, or further afield on the Tanzania Coast
or the Seychelles