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Visiting Watamu

Getting to Watamu:

  • Flight to Malindi Airport. Jambojet flies here and so do other airlines from Wilson. You'll then need a Cab to Watamu (KSh. 1,700 to KSh. 2,000 - many apps are inaccurate) or matatu just outside the airport (KSh. 100)

  • SGR to Mombasa, then shuttle to Watamu. There are about 2 regular shuttles and they charge KSh. 1,500 to KSh. 2,000 one way 

  • Bus to Watamu. Tahmeed and other buses operate regular schedules to Total Watamu 

  • Drive: It's faster branching through Mariakani to Kaloleni then to Kilifi. The route through Tsavo is not any faster and has park fees. Takes 9 hours 

Things to do 

  • Beach Sunbathing: Watamu has some of the world's best beaches, with white sand. The left side from Watamu Village has a bay with shallow water during low tide,  you can wade and swim in the ocean even if you don't know how to swim! Ocean is warm in July - August but very windy. Watamu beaches have lots of seaweed but this shouldn't deter you. The village beach has sunbeds that can be hired at KSh. 200 a day.

  • Restaurants: Watamu has a good number of restaurants serving local dishes and Italian inspired cuisine. Popular restaurants include:

    • Wasafi Restaurant - Swahili delicacies 

    • Hosteria Romania - pasta, pizza, handmade pizza

    • Papa Remo - Beach side Italian restaurant,  pasta 

    • Ocean Sports - Seaside English fish and chips and other fish 

    • Lots of other restaurants keep coming up 

    • A number of ice cream spots to explore around the village 

  • Sunset Spots

    • Litchaus - Most popular and packed from 5 PM. High end and charges from KSh. 1,500 per person. Located in Mida Creek. Kayaking available,  has waterside nets 

    • Prawns Lake - Community spot in Mida Creek. Serves crab samosa, whole fish, drinks. No cover cost 

    • Crabshack - Creekside restaurant along Mida Creek serving fish and crabs 

  • Clubbing: limited options 

    • Papa Remo Beach Party - Seasonal beach party on Saturdays or sometimes Thursdays. Has a cover charge. Monday and Thursdays beach party at Rosada in Malindi as well with cover charge. Note no public transport between Malindi and Watamu from 9 PM to 5 PM

    • Carwash - Popular local with DJs every evening. Offers roast nyama choma and chicken as well. Has local Bango Band once a week. The popular local might change based on local sentiment. No cover fee 

    • Club Come Back - Long running local club preferred by tourists. Seasonal based on tourist flow and busy from 10 PM to midnight during the high season. Serves pizza and other meals. Locals usually have a preferred alternative such as Carwash. No cover fee

  • Festivals 

  • Glass Boats/ Ocean Boats: Offer ocean tours including ride though Mida Creek with island lunch. Informal with many boats and middlemen. Some safety issues including a capsizing once - you may want to enquire on safety including life vests 

  • Gede Ruins - 12th Century Ruins at the junction of the Mombasa - Malindi Highway 

When to visit: Watamu is basically a favourite all year round. However, accomodation options vary based on season with high tourist season being between November and January. It may be hard getting good accomodation then.

Tourist season stretches from mid-October to March with also some activity in August - September. Watamu comes alive during this period. Accomodation options are great outside the November - January peak. 

Note that it's hot from December to March and especially January to March in the mid thirties with high humidity all year. It's coolest during Kenya's July - September cold season at a comfortable 25° C. It's however very windy then but quite warm weather especially for those in cold upcountry. Many hotels may be closed then but also has the best rates

Where to stay 


High end resorts:

  • Medina Palms 

  • Hemingways


  • Temple Point (German)

  • Turtle Bay

  • Ocean Sports (British)

  • Crystal Bay (Italian) - personal recommendation for Kenyans as well

  • Seven Islands (All/Kenyan)


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