Tribe’s Guide to Watamu
We are always asked advice on where to go, where to eat and other things to do in Watamu by our kiters. With so many places and so much to do we thought we’d give you the Tribe low down on all our favourite places along with some helpful contacts who can get you where you need to go. Check out the Tribe Guide to Watamu below.
Where to eat
The place: Amici Miei at Mwambi Lodge (Italian)
What’s not to be missed: Basically all the starters! (They are amazing). Other personal favourites include the mwambi calzone pizza, mushroom steak and the tagliatelle primavera.
Extra useful info: Really good cocktails & free appetizers/foccacia – these guys go the extra mile to make you happy.
The place: Pili Pan (Mixed menu)
What’s not to be missed: All the starters again! (Particularly Camembert samosas, crab bruschetta, chilli paneer and the bbq spare ribs). The Butter Chicken is our standout favourite mains dish. Pili Pan cocktails are legendary – the passion & ginger mojito and Raspili must be sampled.
Extra useful info: Great spot for sundowners overlooking the lake and Saturday night happy hours 5-7pm means discounted cocktails.
The place: Andrea’s ice cream/coffee shop
What’s not to be missed: All the ice cream! These guys will also put cheese, ham and tomato in whatever you want – foccacia, pancakes and a personal favourite – the brioche. Coffee, milkshakes, smoothies and other delights also on offer – Andrea’s is a very popular spot.
Extra useful info: They sell Haviana flip flops.
The place: Car Wash (Kenyan)
What’s not to be missed: Grilled chicken, chips, kachumbari and sukuma wiki makes for a great and super affordable dinner.
Extra useful info: Be prepared to wait a while for your food – it’s worth it though and means more time for a few cheeky tuskers!
The place: Ocean Sports
When’s good: You will find pretty much all of Watamu at Ocean Sports on a Friday evening (Happy Hours 5-7pm). Throughout the busy months (July, August, December & Jan) these guys keep the party going almost every night!
Extra useful info: Great menu that changes each day, field hockey games every Tues & Fri at 5pm which is open to all and basically the social hub of Watamu.
The place: Papa Remo
When’s good: In the busy season these guys run beach parties throughout the week. A standout night is usually Wednesday when you can party through to sunrise.
Extra useful info: 500 kes entry free which then equates to a free drink at the bar.
Places to visit
Why: Fantastic, professional snake park: Bio-Ken is a research centre, which deals with reptiles, especially snakes and snake-bites. Located less than 5 minutes drive from the hotels in Watamu – Kenya, it houses the largest collection of Snakes in East Africa and is open to the public. They have the most professional, educated snake handlers who will give you a tour of the centre.
Where: Local Ocean Trust: Watamu Turtle Watch
Why: These guys are doing an amazing job protecting our marine park. They also have a rehabilitation facility for sick and injured turtles as well as a number of community outreach programmes. Turtle nests are monitored and protected and their by-catch programme releases turtles back into the ocean on a daily basis. These guys are a non-profit organisation so make sure the visit them and if you can make a donation to help fund their efforts!
Where: Gede Ruins
Why: Gede Ruins is a 12th Century Swahili village that was abandoned around 600 years ago. It is now a National Museum, and the ruins are heavily overgrown with beautiful indigenous forest trees, baobabs and tamarind. Well worth a walk and a visit. Look out for Syke’s Monkeys, and the Golden Rumped Elephant Shrew can also be seen here. The guides are professional and very well informed and will take you on a tour of the ruins which are best experienced in the late afternoon light.
Where: Blue Marmalade Supermarket
About: After recently being taken over by new management these guys have a really great selection of food and drink. They have a new deli counter, fresh pastries, fresh fruit & veg and homemade goodies available throughout the week. It’s your one stop shop for all your foodie needs rather than traveling further afield to Malindi. During August and December it can be super busy so get there early or later in the afternoon.
Where: Non Solo Gelato (Ice cream, pastries and other tasties)
About: Anna stocks a seriously delicious range of ice creams that you can buy by the tub. A selection of breads and pastries is always available and cakes for any occasion can be made to order. Fresh pasta and cheese is also stocked at really reasonable prices. Anna supplies many of the restaurants in town with desserts and ice cream. She is usually open in the mornings and afternoons – closing over lunchtime hours. However throughout the busy seasons (August & December she is open 7am – 7pm).
Board shorts: There is a great second hand shop selling men’s and women’s denim and board shorts at the junction of the main road turning into Watamu village located next to KCB bank. You can pick up some incredible bargains as men’s shorts are 500 kes and women’s 300 kes per pair – some of which are almost new!
Sunglasses: If you are looking for a cheap pair of sunnies to wear when you are on the water then make a stop at the main junction coming into Watamu on the right hand side. A stool there sells sunglasses for 300 kes a pair so you don’t have to worry about losing them while you kite.
That something extra special
Where: Crab Shack
Why: Situated on Mida Creek, access to the restaurant is via a 200 metre boardwalk, which gives you a unique opportunity to absorb the beauty and magical atmosphere of the mangrove forest and Creek channels. The Crab Shack provides lunch and dinner and when arriving for dinner it is best to come before sunset and enjoy a drink as the sun dips spectacularly over the Creek. A selection of fresh fish is available as well as crab samosas and other bitings like fried coconut and calamari. Best idea is to also take a coolbox of your own drinks, but you can also purchase drinks there.
Contact: Kahindi on 0725315562
Where: Dhow Cruise on Mida Creek
Why: A dhow cruise on the creek is one of the most special things you can do in Watamu. Sailing down Mida Creek on a traditional Indian Ocean dhow you can enjoy a full meal or bitings along with drinks while you take in the sunset. You can also book the dhows and bring your own food and drink along.
Contact: Dave on 0713462999 or Turtle Bay on 0721830604
Contact: Fred on 0721446125
Very reliable and afforable, Fred will do airport pickup from Malindi and Mombasa as well as day trips. Guide prices are $20 for pickup/drop off to Malindi airport and $55 to Mombasa. You can also rent cars through him during your stay in Watamu.
Contact: Thomas on 0723665613
Thomas is the most reliable tuk tuk driver in town and will also not overcharge you. If he can’t make it to you he will send another of his drivers. Guide prices are around 150 – 200 kes for getting around Watamu.
Contact: Mwaro on 0715767727
Mwaro is an absolute legend. Getting around Watamu by motorbike is generally the quickest and cheapest means of travel and he also drives safely. He is really reliable and also runs errands & picks up shopping when you’ve forgotten things from the supermarket and will bring you takeout from restaurants.
If you are looking for places to stay during your time in Watamu then check out our accommodation page here. With so many diverse options there is something for everyone and every budget.