Turtle Bay, Watamu, Kenya

We recently had the opportunity to travel to the Kenyan coast. We flew from Nairobi. Peeking through the clouds we saw the peak of Mount Kilamanjaro in Tansania.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-945-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3367832-nu0mrj - Copy

As soon as we landed we were hit with the coastal heat and humidity. You could feel the salt in the air and our excitement began to build.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv338-3-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3376732-nu0mrj - Copy

The beach was beautiful. How’s that for drift wood?

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv39-66-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3378632-nu0mrj - Copy

Boogie boarding was tried as the tide came in. We were in an area called Turtle Bay. The bay has a coral reef at it’s boundary with the Indian Ocean. The waves are never too high.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv356;9-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-2-;-;32-nu0mrj - Copy - Copy


Lots of fun was had playing in the sand.




Fun times were had pool side too.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv35248-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3447632-nu0mrj 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3434;-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3377732-nu0mrj 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv378-3-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3377-32-nu0mrj 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv36-94-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3377232-nu0mrj - Copy

The most spectacular times were at low tide when the water recedes several hundred feet. During low tide a miraculous tidal basin is exposed where moray eels and dozens of varieties of fish are trapped in shallow pools of water.




I placed my foot in the following photo to give you an idea of just how close we were to the sea creatures swimming around us. That is a moray eel sticking his head out from under the rock I am standing on. There were at least a dozen moray eels who lived under this large rock and we went to see them every morning at low tide.


Out he comes. The moray eels averaged about two feet in length.


There were so many colors and different fish. My photographs do no justice to the miracle of all that we saw.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv33348-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3327432-nu0mrj 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv38298-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3369332-nu0mrj 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv36566-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3326-32-nu0mrj

The hotel property is laden with plumeria trees. We walked around the property collecting fallen flowers.


Then we borrowed from the Hawaiian tradition of lei making and set to work.


We hung our results in our hotel room and almost instantly the room smelled as sweet as the corridors of the Honolulu International Airport where the lei stands are located.


The leis were waiting for the birthday boys return from a day in Nairobi.




One morning at low tide some of us kayaked out towards the coral reef.


Our first stop was at a rock outcropping that from a certain angle looks a tiny bit like a sea turtle, giving the Bay its name.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv363-;-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3445832-nu0mrj - Copy - Copy


The rock was crawling with sea crabs.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv338-;-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3445-32-nu0mrj - Copy - Copy 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv37;75-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3446332-nu0mrj - Copy

Other creatures could be found if you looked carefully.


We found many of this type of small star fish.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-873-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-2-;-632-nu0mrj - Copy

Sea urchins were fun to see and hold but not fun to step on (as I later found out.)

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-;47-nu=3-96-383-536-2;8738362723;ot1lsi - Copy - Copy

The water was pristine and we had the entire sand bar to ourselves. Paradise.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv392-2-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-2-;;532-nu0mrj 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3;692-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-2-;;432-nu0mrj - Copy - Copy 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv36437-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3446832-nu0mrj

Paddling back to the beach was just as beautiful.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv38-;6-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-2-;;932-nu0mrj - Copy - Copy

Our final day we went snorkeling. We paid to (legally) enter the Watamu Marine National Park.


Our boat had a small area of plexiglass on the bottom to try and spot fish through.


Despite being a good swimmer, we had a reluctant snorkeler who spent most of her time on the boat with the captain.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv35496-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3494232-nu0mrj 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-9-4-nu=3286-484-385-WSNRCG=3-95-3449832-nu0mrj

It took some time but we finally got her to jump in for a swim.




Those who go down to the sea in ships. Who do business on great waters. They have seen the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.  

– Psalms 104: 6 – 9



2 thoughts on “Turtle Bay, Watamu, Kenya

  1. What an incredible experience! And very well documented with photographs 🙂 Your kids will enjoy looking back on those for years to come!

  2. After earlier seeing a “sneak preview” of the trip, this was a real treat, viewing so many more photos & narratives! What a beautiful vacation (and a beautiful family!!)!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s