The Marine Park and Reserve is renowned worldwide for natural beauty; boasting a rich marine life from the visiting Whale Sharks and Manta Rays to three species of Sea Turtles.
229km2 of pristine white-sand beaches, reef-protected lagoons, and wide open sea comprise the Watamu National Marine Park and Reserves. Only the Great Barrier Reef has a larger species list comparatively, but this is one of Watamu’s best kept secrets!
The marine protected area in Watamu is recognized internationally as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In other words, the area is designated as a site of natural excellence. This compliments the careful stewardship local people share with the surrounding environment.
The Marine Park and Reserve is well known worldwide for its natural beauty and boasts a diverse marine life. To snorkel without seeing at least a few dozen species inside the main reef is nearly impossible; divers outside the fringe reef stand an excellent chance of viewing the magnificent whale shark and Manta Rays that are seasonal visitors.
A visit to Watamu is easily justified after delving deep into the coral reef gardens inside the Park. Walking into sky-blue clear sea, spot the parrotfish, whose digestion of the coral reefs over the millennia has produced the white sand beach itself. Other common species of fish comprising the brightly colored underwater matrix include angelfish, groupers, filefish, lionfish and snappers.
One of the best routes for a snorkel exploration is a gentle swim to the Larder in Turtle Bay. Swim in between the two rocky islands directly south of the Kenya Wildlife Service Blue Bay HQ. As you glide over the eroded coral ledges there are numerous damselfish, young butterfly and angelfish, morays, groupers and octopus. Through the seagrass pass you'll find blue spotted rays, mullet and snappers. Once you get to the edge of the grass area, around 100metres out, turn right to follow the grass edge along its contour line. After about 100m you'll find the Larder to your left; a series of approximately six large coral heads, and the home of hundreds of sweetlips, snappers and drummer fish. You'll also note the novel lionfish and crocodile fish if you look closely. Occasionally, large barracuda hang around near the seabed in great groups.
Watamu, voted one of the top ten beaches in the world, is a lifetime experience steeped in natural fauna and flora. Visit now!