WATAMU MARINE NATIONAL PARK

Watamu Marine national Park

Details

Name: Watamu Marine national Park
Country: Kenya

Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve is located in Kenya. Established in 1968, it was one of Kenya’s First marine parks. Its coral gardens are merely 300 metres (980 ft.) from the shore and are home to approximately 600 species of fish, 110 species of stony coral and countless invertebrates, crustaceans and molluscs.

Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve was established in 1968 with Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve. They were established by the Kenyan government. Watamu Marine Park is now part of a UN recognised World Biosphere Reserve.

The park’s coral reefs form the physical and biological backbone of the area. With over 150 species of hard and soft corals, such as brain corals, fan corals and sponges, it provides for abundant nutrients for fish. There are also whale sharks, manta rays, octopus and barracuda as some of the larger species in the park.

Watamu also has a different species of turtles and a turtle watch program which has managed to secure the main park’s beach as 99% viable sea turtle nesting site for endangered sea turtles. The turtles nesting in Watamu include the Green Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles. Leatherback turtles do not nest in Watamu or Malindi but they pass by through the nearby waters during their migration.

Malindi Marine Park and Reserve was the first marine protected area in Kenya, established in 1968 and designated as a biosphere Reserve under the Man & Biosphere Reserve programme of UNESCO in 1979. The park is located south west of Malindi town extending to Mida creek. It neighbours the Gede ruins and Arabuko Sokoke forest. The park is enveloped by a national reserve and a 100 ft strip coastal land starting from Vasco-da-Gama pillar to watamu. The reserve extends 3.5 nautical miles to seaward.

The Park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral, sea grass, mangroves, mudflats, high fish diversity, marine mammals, turtles and shore birds. The fringing reef is close to shore and exposed during low tide, but drops gradually to a sea grass bed that descends precipitously to the deep Barracuda channel. North reef has developed offshore and is the main focus of tourism activity.

Major Attractions

 

Glass-bottomed boat tours, coral gardens, boat rides, diving, snorkeling, ocean sports, under-water adventures, educational tours, picnic and island barbeques.

Wildlife

 

Turtles: Green, hawksbill, olive ridley, loggerhead. Fishes: over 300 species of fish including: angelfish, barracuda, butterfly fish, goatfish,fusiliers,emperors,groupers,grunt/sweetlips,jacks,parrotfish.

Climatic Conditions

 

The Coast is humid with mean temperatures from 22-34 c. Rainfall is about 500 mm per annum.

There are no Facilities available from Watamu Marine national Park at this time.

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