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Travel

Whale watching holiday in Watamu worth all the hassle

  Humpback whales leaping onto the surface of the water in Watamu
Humpback whales leaping onto the surface of the water in Watamu. PHOTO | COURTESY 

The Humpback whales travel annually in hundreds from the Southern Ocean along the East African coast reaching Kenya's tropical waters where it is safe to breed.

This annual spectacle, just like the great wildebeest migration, must be watched in this lifetime.

In Kenya, the whales migration has been monitored since 2011 with the whales spotted in 2013 and 2017 being 550 and 390 respectively.

This year, the government is pushing the attraction through the Twin Migration Campaign by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. The campaign will promote the double annual migration of wildebeests in the Maasai Mara and that of humpback whales in Watamu beach, a unique wildlife phenomenon on both the savannah and the sea occurring between July and September annually.

Hotels such as Hemingways Watamu have launched a bucket list of things to do in Watamu, one being the watching the migration.

“This year we have launched the Watamu Bucket List campaign to promote Watamu as a tourist destination that offers unique and diverse activities and experiences. The humpback whale migration is a star attraction and we are pleased that the government, through the tourism ministry, has recognised and supported the uniqueness of Watamu beach and the variety of experiences on offer,” said Ross Evans, Hemingways Collection operations director, Ross Evans.

This annual spectacle, just like the great wildebeest migration, must be watched in this lifetime.

This annual spectacle, just like the great wildebeest migration, must be watched in this lifetime. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Watamu Bucket List campaign has listed 10 must-do activities for visitors to Watamu. In addition to watching the humpback whales and stand up paddle-boarding with dolphins, other activities include big game fishing, exploring the ancient ruins of Gede, sighting the rare elephant shrew at the Arabuko Sokoke Forest, exploring the mangroves of Mida Creek on a traditional dhow, visiting the Watamu Marine Park, among others.

and learning how the local community manages conservation efforts.

The double migration ties in perfectly with Kenya’s City, Bush and Beach appeal for tourists with the dates perfectly set during the international summer holidays.

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