Watamu is located in the Eastern region of Kenya, and North of Mombasa. It’s known for its amazing sightings and is home to beach excursions and luxury stays. Among the best activities guests are engaged with include the spotting of Humpback whales in the Indian Ocean as they migrate to the southern part of Africa.
Every August, Watamu Protected Area on the Kenyan Coast is a spectacle as it treats visitors to the sight of the “Marine Big Five” which includes 10 different species of dolphins and whales. Besides, you catch a glimpse of the beautiful coral reefs, thousands of fish, and amazing sea turtles.
For the visitor, watching whales in their natural environment leaping out of the water, sometimes in pairs, or in larger family groups, is an amazing and unforgettable sight.
Humpback whales are among the most acrobatic of whales and spend time leaping or ‘breaching’ to communicate, play, or give themselves a mini spa to remove unwanted skin parasites.
A recent guest to Watamu claimed that the experience is “more exciting than great white shark watching in South Africa” and “observing these magnificent animals with young calves erupting like missiles out of the water is a natural beauty to behold.”
Or the most magical moment – relaxing on the Ocean Sports or Hemingways’ terraces sipping a cold beer, watching the whales leap in the Marine Park. Truly an experience not to be missed.
Why do Humpback whales Migrate?
The whales and dolphins, Watamu’s biggest spectacle every year in August, makes their first swim towards Watamu at the coast of East Africa in early June before embarking on the annual migration north from Antarctica.
Humpback whales migrate across the Indian Ocean and so close to the shores of Watamu beaches, to mate and calve due to the warm waters.
The tropical inner reefs are warm but safe which allows them to breed and give birth to calves which remain under the care of their mothers for a period of two years until weaning is fully done.
Once this is done, they make a 4,000 km journey back to the cold waters of Antarctica which have a lot of food all year round. A whale’s main source of food is small fish like sardines and shrimp. They enjoy swimming in groups and will occasionally leap out of the water during the swim.
How Much Does a Humpback Whale Excursion Cost?
A trip to spot these amazing creatures will cost between 150$ to 600$ depending on the number of people and exclusivity usage of the boat.
One of the best places to see whales is the Malindi-Watamu Marine National Reserve, where Watamu Marine Association (WMA) has studied dolphins and whales since 2011.
WMA works with the Kenya Wildlife Service to help protect marine mammals, recycle plastic and marine litter, and engage the local community, including fishermen in eco-tourism activities.
When is the Best Time to Visit Watamu for Humpback Whale Sightings?
The best time to visit Watamu for a humpback whales sighting holiday is between July and Sept. But mostly seen in huge numbers in mid-August. It’s not guaranteed to sight the migration but mostly spotted around this month of Mid August.
Watamu Marine Association has since developed comprehensive guidelines for dolphin and whale watching for two reasons; protecting the numbers of marine mammals and keeping whale enthusiasts safe as they enjoy these moments. Claves excitedly jump out of the water as their mother swims swiftly in circles.
What Other Excursions are there in Watamu Apart from whale watching Watamu?
When in Watamu, you can engage yourself in numerous beach and water sports activities. Some include the following:-
Visits to Sudi Island For some seafood
Whale watching is a tourist attraction in Canada, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. The number of whales sighted off New York City has also risen over the years.
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