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Stunning coral gardens

Fringed with white sand and scalloped by three spectacular reef-protected lagoons, it is no wonder Watamu is consistently voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world. We love Watamu for its stunning coral gardens which are home to fluorescent fish darting beneath the rippling surface. This `Home of the Sweet People' as it is known in Swahili, is perfect for renting snorkel or scuba diving gear and diving beneath the Indian Ocean to see whale sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles.

Highlights of Watamu

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest

Walk through the largest remaining dry coastal forest in eastern and southern Africa. Arabuko-Sokoke Forest has 260 species of birds to encounter, including Sokoke pipit, Sokoko scops owl, and amani sunbird. Head out on the trails with a guide to learn more about the rare animals and plants you see along the way. Other attractions include the whistling duck pools, the kararacha pools, and the viewpoint at the Nyari Cliff, which overlooks the forest, Mida Creek, and the Indian Ocean.

Gede Ruins

This 12th century abandoned Swahili village is now home to syke's monkeys and golden rumped elephant shrews. The Arab-African ruins were built by the Swahili people and then mysteriously deserted some 600 years ago. It has remained undisturbed since then and now offers a good insight into the history of the area. See excavated mosques, a palace, residential houses, and elaborate pillar tombs.

Mida Creek

This tidal inlet is home to a variety of habitats influenced by the tide and comprises mud and sand flats, open shallow waters, and mangrove forests. Sail a dhow (boat) into the open waters or kayak through the mud and sand flats to see snappers, emperors, and barracuda. Walk through the mangrove forests to see sandplovers, wimbrels, and lesser-crested terns flaying amid the trees.

Bio-Ken Snake Park

If you are interested in all manner of things that slither, head to the cool realm of reptiles at Bio-Ken Snake Park on your holiday in Watamu. This research centre has the largest collection of reptiles in Kenya (127 to be precise). You can learn about milking snakes and see how anti-venom is produced; the anti-venom made here is distributed to hospitals throughout Kenya.

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