Watamu Beach; White sands, low tides

Watamu Beach; White sands, low tides

Thought I would take a bit of a break from the Marsabit County series and blog about my favorite coastal destination, Watamu.  My last post on Watamu was about the marine park (http://www.safari254.com/watamu-marine-park/).

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.

Sunrises are magical and the ones at Watamu are no different. This time I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking. Hopefully you’ll see why I love Watamu.

Watamu beach_first sunrise

I took this picture last year, it was such a cloudy morning but the sunrise was breathtaking. The sun is hiding some place behind those clouds.


Watamu beach_hemmingways site

Image courtesy of Hemingways.

Watamu beach_hemmingways main

My hotel.


Watamu beach_chairs hemingway

It was a windy morning


Watamu beach_emerald sea

Image courtesy of Hemingways.


Watamu beach

The landscape of Watamu beaches is amazing: characterized by long sugar white sandy beaches and emerald sea.


Watamu beach_hemingways


Watamu beach_sunise at hemingways balcony


Watamu beach_hemmingways dawn

Just as the sun was beginning to rise…

I was seated all alone outside the room. It was one of the most tranquil moments ever. The only person who passed by was a security guard who was curious as to why I was up so early.

Watamu beach_sunrise view balcony seats


Watamu beach_sunrise

This is probably my favorite picture of the sunrise that morning. It does look surreal, doesn’t it?

After visiting the turtle rescue centre (a post for a another day) I spent most of the day just lazing around

Watamu beach_pool at hemingways


Watamu beach_hemingways poolside


Watamu beach_hemingways poolside2

As inviting as the pool looks, all I did was take pictures. Hopefully next time I’ll take a dip.

The next morning I left Timboni (where I had spent the night) for Watamu village. I had borrowed a bike the previous day and the plan was to ride along the beach with my friend so as to view the sunrise. My friend was a bit late, so I left without her. I ended up on the wrong side of the beach but eventually made it to the right side just in time.

Watamu beach_sun between rocks

How unique each sunrise is…this is the same beach I was on when I took the first picture.


Watamu beach_cows

Yes, those are cows. I didn’t expect to see a herd of cows on a beach.


Watamu beach_rocky island sunrise


Watamu beach_rocky island

Coral reef Island isolation s which are a few meters from the beaches and you can walk through the ocean to them when tides are low. The beach has extreme low tides at different times during the day.


Watamu beach_fishing boats

I had decided to wait for my friend when I saw the children playing on the beach next to some fishing boats.


Watamu beach_morning


Watamu beach_dog strolling on seaweed

It was during the low season so some sections of the beach were covered in seaweed and rather messy. During the high season it gets cleaned up and is pristine.


Watamu beach_guy with dog

Eventually my friend showed up and the man posing with the dog would not stop following us. We kept giving him one word answers but he would not take the hint. This is not at all uncommon at the coast. If you are a lone female it is guaranteed that a man will approach you and try to chat you up.


Watamu beach_bike and dog


Watamu beach_dog

We also met these 2 very friendly dogs; they were much better company than the stalker. I think their owner lives close to the beach. I love the bead-work on their collars.


Watamu beach_dog stroll


Watamu beach_dog stroll2

I imagine the dogs lead blissful lives. I know I would if I lived on such a beach.


Watamu beach_sun glare

We stayed on the beach way past the sunrise.  It is always so calming just to sit on the sand and listen to the waves breaking on the shore.


Watamu beach_sand stairway

Interesting use of driftwood.


Watamu beach_me on bike

My mode of transport.

I highly recommend a bike tour of Watamu. I had borrowed the bike from a friend but there is a shop in the village that rents out bikes.

Getting there;

The Coastal highway runs north of Mombasa all the way to Kenya’s northern frontier. Driving your own car or hired car as far as Malindi is very easy. There are regular buses and matatus along the North coast. Many hotels and resorts in this area have Mombasa shuttles or can arrange vehicle transfers. Private taxis from Mombasa will also take you to the North Coast beaches for an agreed fare. Malindi airport has daily scheduled flights to Mombasa, Nairobi and Lamu. The airport also serves Private Charters. There are scheduled flights to Malindi.

Post by Rachael

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About the Author

RachaelRachael constantly suffers from wanderlust and is passionate about conservation and travel, when she is not working, she spends her time travelling and writing about her adventures and hopes to one day travel full-time.

View all posts by Rachael


  1. Hakquim

    Visited December 2012

    I was staying in Mtwapa but had to come all the way to Watamu for it’s beautiful white-sand beaches.
    I can attest, it is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

    • Rachael M.
      Rachael M.11-29-2013

      Definitely well worth the trip.

  2. Erica / Baker Stories
    Erica / Baker Stories11-25-2013

    WOW. Those sunsets! I have always wanted to go to the Kenyan coast. I’d never heard of Watamu, but after this I might just have to add it to my list. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Muza-chan

    So beautiful…
    Muza-chan recently posted…A Japanese Song per Day: Ozaki Yutaka – I love YouMy Profile

  4. samantha

    I am in awe of how beautiful Watamu is! Honestly, I’ve never heard about it too much (almost never yikes) but this is now on my bucket list of places to visit. Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Rachael M.
      Rachael M.11-29-2013

      And so peaceful too. Honestly one of the most relaxing places I have ever been to.

  5. Becky Padmore
    Becky Padmore11-25-2013

    Oh wow seriously gorgeous photos, would love to see those sunsets first hand one day!

  6. 2wisemonkeys

    Wow – looks so gorgeous!!!
    2wisemonkeys recently posted…48 hours in dubai: this is what we did (part 2)My Profile

  7. noel morata
    noel morata11-25-2013

    Gorgeous beaches and islands and resort, when can I go visit?
    noel morata recently posted…Takayama, Japan, Travel Photo Mondays #22My Profile

    • Rachael M.
      Rachael M.11-29-2013

      You are welcome to visit any time of the year

  8. budget jan
    budget jan11-26-2013

    I love this post. Great Photos, and I love beaches. Love the use of the driftwood. Gates are another love of mine. We have seen cattle on the beach in Essaouira in Morocco and Otres Beach in Cambodia. Great.
    budget jan recently posted…The Best View in IstanbulMy Profile

  9. Agness

    I’m speechless. Like I was reading a National Geographic magazine. You’re a star!
    Agness recently posted…Why We, Travel Bloggers, Are Such Hungry Peeps!?My Profile

  10. ladyfi

    Wow wow wow – your shots are gorgeous!
    ladyfi recently posted…Of beached submarines, forts and mistMy Profile

  11. Ron | Active Planet Travels
    Ron | Active Planet Travels11-26-2013

    What a gorgeous place, the colors here are just fantabulous! lol Never really crossed my mind to travel in Kenya but I guess Watamu is on the list now. :-)
    Ron | Active Planet Travels recently posted…Exploring the Potala Palace in TibetMy Profile

  12. Charli | Wanderlusters
    Charli | Wanderlusters11-26-2013

    Great photographs Rachel, I love the first image of sunset. Watamu looks like a little piece of paradise!
    Charli | Wanderlusters recently posted…Discovering The Real Night SkyMy Profile

  13. Manesha

    I love love love Watamu…sitting by the beach was one of the most relaxing things to do. Those sunsets….breath taking

  14. Boom & Gary
    Boom & Gary11-26-2013

    Beautiful series!! Boom & gary of the Vermilon River.
    Boom & Gary recently posted…Some Views, and Wildlife Of the Vermilon River.My Profile

  15. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans11-26-2013

    Rachel – you are the queen of sunrise and sunset photography. Your photos are always so stunning. I especially like the very first one and the pic of the cows on the beach – wow! Also, I love that driftwood gate. I want to go to Kenya right now!!! But for now, your pictures will have to satisfy my wanderlust.
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted…Thanks for the Travel Memories, Mom & DadMy Profile

  16. The Guy
    The Guy11-27-2013

    Fabulous pictures Rachael, I love them all especially the ones of the sunrise.

    As for the guy on the beach, if you told him that you didn’t like Blackburn Rovers do you think that would have got rid of him?
    The Guy recently posted…Review Of TAP Portugal – A Story Of Two FlightsMy Profile

  17. Jeff

    Beautiful shots Rachel. I will definitely visit Watamu
    Jeff recently posted…Are Credit Card Companies Out to Get You?My Profile

  18. Molly

    Oh my what a truly beautiful part of the world. Thank you for sharing

    Molly recently posted…Day 330 – LifeMy Profile

  19. Freya Renders
    Freya Renders11-27-2013

    You’ve got some really lovely photos here, Rachel. I would love to visit this someday.
    Freya Renders recently posted…10 best Christmas Markets in EuropeMy Profile

  20. Andy

    Absolutely beautiful pictures! I love the sunset one.
    Andy recently posted…Pictures from Snorkeling in Costa BravaMy Profile

  21. Leigh

    What a gorgeous set of photos of a part of the world that always seems so exotic to those of us living in North America. Too bad about the stalker – the only unpleasant distraction by the sound of things.
    Leigh recently posted…A Visit to Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Costa RicaMy Profile

  22. Mary {The World Is A Book}
    Mary {The World Is A Book}11-29-2013

    What a gorgeous place and such beautiful pictures, Rachel. Watamu just looks so lovely to visit and not the first thing that would pop in my head when I think of Kenya. I agree with Dana, you are the queen of sunrise and sunset photos. Truly worth waking up early for these views.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted…Swimming with the Fishes: Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay OahuMy Profile

    • Rachael M.
      Rachael M.11-29-2013

      I feel so flattered. Thank you Mary.

  23. November: Wanderlust Weekend - Time Travel Plans
    November: Wanderlust Weekend - Time Travel Plans11-30-2013

    []images from the hybrid solar eclipse she recently witnessed at the Sibiloi National Park, or these captivating pictures from Watamu, Rachel’s favorite coastal destination in Kenya[].
    November: Wanderlust Weekend – Time Travel Plans recently posted…November: Wanderlust WeekendMy Profile

  24. Johanna

    What some awesome photos, and the sunsets – wow, ours are good in Western Australia, but I’d forgotten the density of the African ones. What a beautiful spot, and I just love those beaches.
    Johanna recently posted…The Bridgetown Blues FestivalMy Profile

  25. TammyOnTheMove

    Your photos are amazing! Those sunsets look so stunning. I have never heard of this place before, but now I would definitely like to visit.
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted…My packing list for Everest Base CampMy Profile

  26. Marisol@TravelingSolemates

    Hi Rache,
    Wow, Watamu is such a gorgeous place. When I think of Kenya I think of wildlife safari and not of paradise beach such as this. Your sunrise, sunset and beach photos are amazing. It should inspire everyone to explore Kenya beyond the safari line.
    Marisol@TravelingSolemates recently posted…The Tsechu Festival in WangdueMy Profile

  27. Jess

    That sunrise is unbelievable! I would love to visit here.
    Jess recently posted…Johnny Cake Festival – Kenyon’s Grist Mill, Rhode IslandMy Profile

  28. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders}12-03-2013

    That first photo is an absolute stunner. I love the incredible colors. That one of the sun over the house is one of my other favorites.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…An American Thanksgiving in PenangMy Profile

  29. Frank

    Fantastic photos Rachael! Looks gorgeous. Sorry about the stalker 😉
    Frank (bbqboy)
    Frank recently posted…Top highlights in and around Cape Town, South AfricaMy Profile

  30. Watamu A Touch of Gold | Safari254
    Watamu A Touch of Gold | Safari25406-17-2014

    […] December 2013, I am in Watamu (again), I spend the days lazing around the beach with my camera marveling and snapping at the […]

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