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Watamu is a small village located on the Kenyan coast, approximately 120 km north of Mombasa and 25 km south of Malindi. The area has developed an international reputation for its pristine white-sand beaches and reef-protected lagoons, which line the Watamu National Marine Park and Reserves, which are the oldest in East Africa and cover over 229 kmsq. The marine protected areas are also recognized internationally as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This means that the area is designated as a site of natural excellence, and should demonstrate how local people and the environment can co –exist through careful stewardship of our natural marine resources and human assets. The Marine Park and Reserve is renowned world wide for its natural beauty and boasts a rich marine life from the visiting Whale Sharks and Manta Rays to three species of Sea Turtle. The Park and its coral gardens are one of the main justifications for visiting Watamu. There is an exceptional shoreline with Watamu voted one of the top ten beaches in the world; steeped in natural fauna and flora and with three stunning bays, Watamu, Blue Lagoon and Turtle Bay. Watamu (means “home of the sweet people” in Swahili) enjoys a friendly community feeling; it is a small although rapidly growing area where most people know and recognize each other. Community development is also coming along apace with a large number of community groups all working together through an umbrella organization called Watamu Marine Association (WMA) to promote the area whilst protecting the environment and working towards sustainable development for the future. WMA is unique organization, probably the first of its kind on the Kenyan Coast. It consists of over 40 member groups and organisations, from the community, tourism and environmental sectors that are committed to resolving many of the multifaceted problems and conflicts that threaten a seemingly trouble-free paradise. We exist to ensure that Watamu in all its pristine beauty can be enjoyed by everyone, including the wildlife. Check out the work and details of the Watamu Marine Association for more information and find out what you can do to help. Watamu is perfect for an Indian Ocean tropical beach holiday and close to Tsavo National Park for wildlife safaris. Visit our pages on Where to Stay and What to Do for details on the perfect relaxing break. Also visit the Watamu Business page with our local community business members and see how you can support local enterprise and community development.