Best Things To Do In Watamu, Kenya


For my 30th birthday, we went on a trip to Zanzibar and Kenya. After spending a week in Zanzibar we flew from Stone Town to Mombasa and transferred to Watamu. In this article, we will talk about our trip to Kenya and the best things to do in Watamu. Pretty much like Zanzibar, Kenya is a top tourist destination. It is a country that is highly dependent on tourism which is concentrated primarily on the coast.

Our African Safari

The main highlight of our visit to Kenya was certainly our safari tour in Tsavo East and Amboseli parks. These are among the most visited parks in Africa. The Tsavo East is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Kenya and it features red and dusty soil. The Amboseli National Park is made of five different habitats including the savannah, the woodlands, and the wetlands. Going on an African Safari was one of the best experiences ever.

best things to do in watamu
Amboseli National Park

Life in Watamu

Watamu is a tranquil small town lying 100 kilometres north of Mombasa. Strategically located along the coast with a 7km long white sandy beach and coconut palms, it is one of the most popular destinations in Kenya. The demand generated from tourism in Watamu has created several job opportunities for the local population, which is why many came to live here. In town just about everything happens on the main street, meeting point, and tourism hub of the village. Here you will find talented street artists selling their paintings and handcrafted souvenirs and several stalls serving the best local street food. On top of that, is the buzz of tuk-tuks going up and down the roads.

best things to do in watamu kenya
Ready for a Tuk Tuk ride

Despite being a small village, Watamu offers plenty of things to do. Apart from the day tours, you can enjoy lazy days at the free beaches and treat yourself to the many good seafood restaurants around. The hotels are for all budgets and most of them offer all the comforts you can desire. We stayed at the Mawimbi Lodge on the main street, and we enjoyed our stay. Mawimbi offers comfortable rooms and bungalows in well-decorated plantation settings. Their food is pretty popular and their restaurant is usually jam-packed, especially at night.

Find a place to stay in Watamu


Find Transfers to Watamu

The Best Things to Do in Watamu, Kenya

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 walk to Love Island. If the tide is high, you can ask one of the many fishermen around to give you a lift for a small fee.

Note: local 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. As we said, the island is close to the beach, and with low tides, you can simply enjoy a small walk by yourself.

Love Island

Mida Creek

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 typical Mida Creek Tour include a walk on the suspended boardwalk among the mangroves with views across the creek. The Mida Creek Conservation Community runs a crab farm and the local crab shack restaurant, and will be welcoming you. Take your time,  chill out surrounded by the stunning scenery and enjoy the sunset while tasting the popular crab samosas. We did this tour and we loved everything; the sunset at Mida Creek with that particular scenery was one of the best seen. Other tours allow you to experience Mida Creek by boat.

Mida Creek
Sunset at Mida Creek

Watamu Marine National Park

Among the best things to do in Watamu, the Marine National Park is certainly one not to be missed. The Marine Park is a protected biosphere reserve, bustling with several types of corals, countless types of fishes, and sea turtles.

There is a fee to enter the marine park (usually included with the tour package). We booked the Sea Safari to Watamu Marine Park and were happy with our choice. The tour started with a morning glass-bottom boat ride in the crystal-clear waters of Mayungu, an area full of corals. Thanks also to the low tides, we were able to see many fishes swimming along the white sand stretches.

We then headed to the marine park for snorkelling where we were able to see many colourful fishes. Finally, we arrived at Jacaranda Bay, our final stop. The locals call this stretch of sea “Sardegna 2” as the beautiful waters remind those of the Italian island Sardinia. The water level was very low, it reached just about our knees. Here we had our BBQ lunch of seafood; a mix of lobsters, shrimps, barracuda, and swordfish. After lunch, we took a break and spent the afternoon sunbathing and snorkelling. The water was unbelievably clear. Sea urchins, fishes, and star-fishes were just everywhere. We enjoyed the day and would recommend this tour.  

Sardegna 2
BBQ at Sardegna 2

Bio-Ken Snake Farm

Known as the largest snake farm in East Africa, the Bio-Ken is, as well as a snake zoo, a research centre, that deals with reptiles, especially snakes and snakebites. They also produce crucial anti-venom and educate the community on reptiles.

Arabuko Sokoke National Park

Arabuko Sokoke is a protected forest that stretches along the coast of Watamu and Malindi. The forest is an area of high endemism, containing endemic mammals, birds, and plants, some of which are at risk of extinction. The tours usually include a guided tour to both the national park and Mida Creek, as they are adjacent nature reserves. We did not have enough time to visit the park, unfortunately, but we think it is a unique place that deserves a visit.

Gede Ruins

The ruins of Gede are an archaeological site in the Khalifi district, just about a 10-minute drive from Watamu. Gede was a 12th century Swahili settlement, an important trading hub for this part of the African coast. The ruins are still well preserved, immersed in a forest of baobab and tamarind trees. We did not visit the ruins, but we have been told they are worth a visit. 

So this is it for our trip to Kenya and the best things to do in Watamu.

Want to read more about our trip? Check this out: 7 Days in Zanzibar:  Stone Town, Best Beaches, and Much More.

If you want to see more pictures of this trip, check out our Instagram page.

Don’t forget to read about the true highlight of our visit to Kenya: African Safari: Discovering Tsavo East and Amboseli.


Affiliate Disclaimer: Next Trip…Loading articles may contain Affiliate links.

This means that at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking the link.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *