Hi peaches, welcome back to my blog. I hope you are all enjoying your holidays wherever you are. If you are in coast, you should treat yourself to the amazing Watamu island before the year ends. Watamu is one of the most beautiful coastal towns on the Northern coastline of Kenya; approximately 2 hours drive from Mombasa. It had been one of my go to destinations for a long while because of its highly praised beauty which lured me into exploring it. Just by the name Watamu meaning SWEET in Swahili Language, it can seduce you to want to have a taste of it. That, I strongly concur!
As usual, I make impromptu plans. It gives me pleasure to be spontaneous because at that moment I feel free like a bird emancipated from anyone’s dominance. It gives me joy living life on my own terms with no one to control me. That right there is pleasure and I would never wish anyone to take that freedom away from me. I pray that my soulmate is as spontaneous as me. Fair enough right?
Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are ~ John McLaughlin
Okay enough about me and more about Watamu now shall we? I was psyched for Watamu that morning, I met Azym who is a very good friend of mine for about 7 years now, oh wow! It has been long actually. He introduced me to the Coast Camping Tours & Safaris group members Kim and Hussein whom I met that day for the Watamu day excursion tour. Check out their pages with one click that’ll lead you directly to them as they are the right tour company to book with for the Watamu day excursion full package charging kshs. 4,500 per head. A day excursion trip at the sea with them starts early in the morning. First activity in the morning is dolphins viewing, followed by snorkeling, lunch and a boat ride back.
We drove to Watamu for 2 hours from Mombasa all the way down to Ocean sport resort which has a shop for all swimming gear that you could buy from, however, I’d advice you to carry your own swim suits to save costs since coast camping got you covered with the snorkeling equipment. I was fascinated by the sparkling white clean sandy beach and blue aquamarine water. Based on the empty shoreline, the tide was low making it easier for us to walk further into the sea boarding in one double decker pontoon speed boat which we had other tourists in too. It was such a tranquilizing experience chilling on the upper deck sunbathing in the beaming sun enjoying the smooth cruise with an Italian family. Their daughter was sweet and charming. Thankfully, I had my hat and sunscreen protecting me from the scorching sun.
We cruised towards the deep waters to have a clear view of the dolphins. It was my first time to see these magnificent aquatic mammals with my naked eyes jumping in and out of the sea water with their playfulness. That was exciting to watch. I wish I could swim with them like Azym but my phobia of deep waters wouldn’t allow me to. Blame it on the Hollywood Shark movies that I so love to watch (guilty pleasure).
They disappeared as we couldn’t see them anymore. I changed into my swimsuit as we dived into the water for snorkeling, drifting over the vast coral reef of Watamu. Initially, we were doing the casual snorkeling putting our heads on the water surface viewing the marine life and coral reef scenery while breathing through the h20 mask pipe. That did not seem fun so we opted swimming to slightly deeper waters and dived in. I find swimming therapeutic. We swam for a good one hour taking underwater snap shots swimming with the fish playing Finding Nemo. We found both Nemo and Dory, separately of course, they must’ve lost each other again. It was so beautiful under water with a whorl of zebra fish that kept dispersing when they sensed us which made the view so amazing. Among the beautiful marine life was star fish, royal blue tang fish (Dory) and clown fish (Nemo), darting through the swirling fingers of ornately colored sea anemones and all beautiful variety of fish that makes up the little coral reef city.
The vibrant and colorful corals though are beautiful to look at but very coarse. I had a few bruises knocking myself into them trying to walk on them in the shallow waters but I had to keep swimming till where the boat stopped not to hurt myself further and also not to destroy the corals. Swimming in shallow waters is harder also because everything underwater appears larger when wearing the snorkeling mask. Some may not be as stable as they look, some slimy like the anemones which can be stingy; it’s a very tricky situation to be in. To achieve buoyancy, I was using smaller kicks and trying to balance myself so as not to crash into a coral.
Sea anemone fan fact: Call me childish or whatever but I actually take animations quite seriously since they’re based on true life. You know while watching Finding Nemo, I realized that the clown fish were staying in the flamboyant anemones and since they’re deemed to be poisonous, I had to do a little research to find logic in that (yes, I like to make sense out of everything). An article by national geographic on Sea anemone states that they actually have a symbiotic relationship with the clown fish so they live in their tentacles (okay..), produce a mucus layer which makes them immune to their poison and protects them from predators – how special! Pretty interesting don’t you think?
After being gratified of all that underwater coral reef city eye candy, it felt like I just made new friends and was sorta sad saying goodbye to my new marine buddies. From ‘mermaid’ to now back on my feet, we walked to our boat as we embarked, speeding to the Sudi Island where lunch was supposed to be served. It was a long boat ride about an hour or more all I remember is that I was hella famished. Upon arrival on the equally beautiful island, we alighted and prodded straight to the mainland where everyone from different boats and travel tours groups gathered for lunch. We sat at the long wooden benches with a big sigh. The chefs were grilling fresh sea food: fish, shrimps, lobsters and prawns. As I watched the sea food grilling, I was ready to go all ‘fear factor‘ on it but my lady gracefulness came in the way welcoming my patience virtue to take control of my hunger pangs. Finally, food was ready for us to dig in with rice, delicious potato curry, calamari sauce, salad and seasonal fruits downing it with soft drinks and loads of water.
My body sorely needed a massage treat. We chilled for a while lingering for the food to digest and cruised back to Watamu island.
The ride back was relaxing and rejuvenating thanks to the soothing sea breeze. That was a fun and adventurous little day excursion that I’d recommend you all for your vacation. Needless to say, it was ineffably amazing seeing dolphins for the first time. Next on my bucket list is to swim with them! Let’s do it!
Enjoy Watamu Peaches! Happy holidays!