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WATAMU MARINE NATIONAL PARK

One of the most recognized marine parks around the world is Watamu Marine Park. The fabulous park was established in 1968, and it has precious marine life and a fantastic beach. The main park activities at Watamu include sunbathing, diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, glass-bottom boat rides, and water skiing. Watamu Marine Park is located approximately 140km north of Mombasa, and it covers over 229 km2. Watamu is voted as one of the top ten beaches in the world with three stunning bays as well as natural flora and fauna. The main attractions that will leave you thrilled once you visit Watamu include the unique coral garden, abundant marine life, the green turtle, and the Gede ruins.

First and foremost, Watamu Marine Park is a haven for the green turtle. The park also other species of sea turtles such as the Olive Ridley turtles, leatherback, and hawksbill. The main reason why such creatures are found in the park is due to the efficient management of Watamu, which makes it a 99% viable site for sea turtles.

Watamu Marine Park is also an exciting spot for families and friends to relax and have fun. Tourists can enjoy the white sandy beaches as they swim, build beautiful sandcastles, and sunbathe. You can also engage in deep-sea sports like snorkeling as you enjoy the incredible natural beauty. It is impossible to snorkel without spotting a dozen fish, including large fish and lots of great, colorful coral. The best route for snorkeling exploration is swimming to the larder in Turtle bay.

The park has over 600 species of fish, such as angelfish, lionfish, parrotfish, snappers, gropers, and filefish. Moreover, you can see the larger species like the manta rays, octopus, whale sharks, and barracuda. Divers stand an excellent chance of viewing the spectacular Manta rays and whale sharks that are seasonal visitors. Other creatures include mollusks, invertebrates, crustaceans, and dugongs. Another justification for visiting Watamu Marine Park is its magnificent coral gardens. Watamu Marine Park has over 150 species of both soft and hard corals, such as fan corals, brain, and sponges. Other than being attractive to tourists, these corals provide profuse nutrients to fish.

At Watamu, you also get to see one of Kenya’s great mysteries, Gede ruins. They are the remnants of the Arab-African settlements found along the East-African coast. Gede ruins are an excellent place for tourists to observe wildlife, especially forest birds and primates. Some of the birds you’ll notice include paradise flycatchers, turacos, African harrier hawks, and malachite kingfishers.

There are numerous hotels near Watamu National Marine Park, where visitors can enjoy first-class accommodation. They include Hemingways Watamu, Lily Palm Resort, Jacaranda Beach Resort, Ocean Breeze Villa, The Charming Lonno Lodge, and Turtle Bay.

Directions

You can get to Watamu National Marine Park either by road or air. By air, your arrival point should be Malindi airport. Watamu Marine Park is situated nearly 140kms north of Mombasa and 28km south of Malindi. Take Mombasa Malindi road and at Gede turn towards the Indian Ocean. Watamu is 11kms from the main road.

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