08-08-2020 di redazione
The beauty of nature around Watamu is the first calling card of this wonderful Kenyan resort.
Twenty kilometers before Malindi, arriving from Mombasa and Kilifi, after the villages of Chumani and Matsangoni, you meet the inlet of Midas, characterized by mangrove forests, plants whose roots are in salt water.
In Midas you can observe very rare and fascinating species of birds, such as the African osprey, the yellow-billed stork and two particular varieties of Martin Pescatore, one of which is malachite green.
There are organized "bird watching" walks and several restaurants where you can enjoy specialties often based on fresh crabs.
On the other side of the main road is the entrance to the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, the largest endemic forest scrub in East Africa.
You can visit it by car (off-road, of course) with or without a ranger escort.
Birds (over two hundred specimens) and butterflies are the law, but in the Sokoke Forest there are still rare species of snakes, in addition to the most common in Kenya such as the pathfinder and black mamba, baboons, the elephant shrew and sometimes some animal of the savannah that is lost, because in the north the vast forest borders the Tsavo savannah.
After Midas and the forest, you come to Gede, known for the ruins of one of the oldest fortified Arab citadels on the coast, dating back to the 13th century. Today you can see the remains of luxurious palaces and mosques, a real Swahili stronghold in the middle of the forest. Ancient splendor of a civilization swept away by the fierce Somali tribes, the mysteries of trade and splendor of Gede remain an attraction for tourists, not so much for the ruins but to imagine life in an evolved and flourishing village just a few kilometers from the sea.
From the crossroads of Gede you can reach Watamu, the renowned tourist destination with its white beaches, stacks and the sea reminiscent of the Seychelles.
Watamu (from the Swahili "watu tamu", sweet people) was known since the times of the first English settlers, who loved to stop and do deep-sea fishing in the village, where also lived excellent sailors and manufacturers of dhow, the typical Swahili boats.
The writer Ernest Hemingway also stopped there in the 1930s and an English resort bears his name.
Sights to see are the beautiful bays including the Blue Lagoon, which is truly enchanting with its islets and varieties of starfish, shells and other marine amenities.
Today there are many hotels in Watamu, but the extension of its area and its structure means that many are half-hidden between sea and vegetation.
There are also many villas, to the British ones have been added in more recent times the dream residences of the Italians.
Watamu National Marine Park is famous for its variety of fish and sea turtles, off the bay of the same name.
It is also possible to organize, starting from Hemingways beach, excursions for deep sea fishing or windsurfing.
Of course, you can also reach the cove of Midas by boat, snorkelling among huge fish towards the Tewa caves (grouper, in Swahili).
Tourism in Watamu is by now a phenomenon in its own right from every possible vicissitude of Kenya.
This is a fact by now well established and the good news is that
By now the title that has long been conferred on him, that of "Indian Ocean Pearl" does not take him any more.
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With all the problems caused by the lack of tourism in Kenya over the past year, due to the well-known causes of force majeure, there is some small relief that concerns Nature and the animal world.