Watamu is a small town located approximately 105 km north of Mombasa and about 15 km south of Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It lies on a small headland, between the Blue Lagoon and Watamu Bay. Its main economic activities are tourism and fishing. The town has a population of around 1,900 and it is part of the Kilifi County.
The shoreline in the area features white sand beaches and offshore coral formations arranged in different bays and beach: Garoda Beach, Turtle Bay, Blue Lagoon Bay, Watamu Bay, Ocean breeze, and Kanani reef and Jacaranda beach. They are protected as part of the Watamu Marine National Park. The Marine Park is considered one of the best snorkeling and diving areas on the coast of East Africa. It is also rated the third-best beach in Africa, for its crystal clear water and silver sand beaches. In order to assist the managing authorities namely Kenyan Wildlife Service, in protecting the Park, local community groups, the tourist sector and environmental groups have formed a unique organisation,Watamu Marine Association Members of this group are Turtle Bay, Hemingways, Ocean Sports, Arocha Kenya,Lonno Lodge Mida Community Conservation group, Watamu Boat Operator, Safari Sellers and women's group.
People of Watamu
Watamu is home to the Bajuni people; who trace their descendants to the intermarriages between the local Giriama People and the Arab traders. As of now, various tribes from inland Kenya such as the Luo, Kisii, Kikuyu, Kamba, Kalenjin, and Luhyas have all immigrated to the area to work in the hotel industry. This movement has led to an increase in the population of the Watamu as earlier stated.
Notable people include:
- Masha Mapenzi, gospel singer.
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