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Watamu Marine National Park

Watamu Marine National Park                                           
Marine parks and reserves, the white sandy beaches, historical monuments, contemporary culture and the warm climate give the Kenya Coast a unique tourist product. Almost 47% of Kenya's tourism occurs here. Nationally about 52% of the total hotel beds are at the coast, and 95% of the visitors to Kenya use the coast as a base for inland safaris.
The marine and coastal environments include Indian Ocean territorial waters and the immediate hinterland areas that border the ocean. Another feature of the coastline is the fringing coral reef which runs between 0.5 km and 2 km off-shore with occasional gaps at the mouths of rivers and the isolated areas facing the creeks. The shoreline is dominated in most areas by beaches, cliffs or mangrove forests. The coral-reef system and mangrove swamps serve the most important ecological role and the former is a major tourist attraction next to the sun, sea and sand.


More Information

Watamu Marine National Park                                                
"A Natural Paradise"
Watamu National Park is part of a complex of marine and tidal habitats on Kenyas North coast stretching from Malindi town to beyond the entrance to Mida creek. It is enclosed by the Malindi Marine National Reserve which also encloses Malindi Marine National Park. Habitats include intertidal rock, sand and mud; fringing reefs and coral gardens; beds of sea grass; coral cliffs, platforms and islets; sandy beaches and Mida Creek mangrove forest. The park was designated as a Biosphere reserve in 1979. Mida creek is a large, almost land locked expanse of saline water, mangrove and intertidal mud. Its extensive forests are gazetted as forest reserves and the extreme western tip of Mida Creek is part of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve.

Access
Access is via tarmac road from Mombasa or Malindi.
-  By Road: Watamu is 120 kms north of Mombasa and 28 km south of Malindi. At Gede, which is on the main Mombasa Malindi Road, you turn towards the Indian Ocean. 11 kms from the main road is Watamu itself.
-  By Air : Malindi airport is your arrival point. Mombasa or Malindi Airports.

Size and Location
-  10 km 2.
-  North Coast, Malindi – Kenya.

Climate
The Coast is humid with mean annual temperatures ranging from 22-34 C. rainfall is about 500 mm pa.

Safari Card Required
At present the park does not operate on smart card system. Entry is by cash only (KSH or US$).

Attractions
-  Haven of green turtle.
-  Unique coral garden.
-  Mida creek.
-  Kipepeo project.
-  Gede ruins.

Animals and Fish
-  Reptiles/fish: Fish, Turtles.
-  Insects/arthropods: Crabs.

Vegetation
Mida creek has important mangrove forests with a high diversity of species including Ceriops tagal, Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Avicennia marina and Sonneratia alba.

Abundant birdlife
Over 100 species of bird are found in the cultivated gardens, shambas and bush. Commonly seen overhead is the Black Kite, whilst the Common Bulbul, White-Browed Coucal and Speckled Mousebird can be seen scuffling in the undergrowth. Bright Yellow Canaries and Golden Palm Weavers flash in the bush, whilst the Lizard Buzzard and the Lilac Breasted Roller are often seen perched on poles and wires.

Activities
-  Wind surfing.
-  Snorkeling
-  Water skiing.
- Sunbathing
-  Diving
-  Glass bottom boat rides.

What to take with you
-  Footwear, e.g. sandals or flip flops (to protect your feet from the reef).
-  T-shirts (to protect your body from sunburn).
-  Snorkel, mask, fins, all of which are available for hire.
-  Camera, hat, sunscreen, insect repellant.
-  Guide books.
-  Plenty of drinking water.
-  A friend(s).

Park Contacts
Phone:       +254-42-31554  or  +254-42-208450
Postal Address: Watamu Marine National Reserve, The Warden,P.O.Box 109, Malindi, Kenya.