WHALE MIGRATION OFF THE KENYA COAST MAKES IT INTO THE KTB TOP TO DO LIST
(Posted 14th September 2018)
Resort and tourism operators in Watamu have expressed their delight that the work done vis a vis whale and dolphin watching over the past seven years has finally been recognized by both tourism board and the tourism ministry.
This comes at a time when hotels and service providers in Watamu are reporting increased demand for whale watching excursions by tourists over the last three months. One particular hotel in Watamu – Hemingways Watamu – has been running up to 3 whale watching trips per day as have specialised marine tour operators.
Commenting on what the ongoing humpback whale migration means for tourism along Kenya’s coast, Kenya Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Radier has said the natural phenomenon has added diversity and an unforgettable experience to Kenya’s coastal tourism circuit.
Dr. Radier has said, “Kenya’s coastal region has largely been seen as a beach destination. The humpback whale migration has now created a great opportunity for tourists coming to Kenya to experience the humpback whale migration as part of their coastal experience.”
The KTB CEO then added, “From a tourism product perspective, the humpback whale migration is now a top experience that can be sold to tourists as a must-see attraction alongside the world famous wildebeest migration into the Maasai Mara National Reserve.”
One of the best places to see the humpback whales migration in Kenya is at the Watamu Marine National Reserve where in particular the Watamu Marine Association (WMA) has been studying dolphins and whales since 2011. WMA has been working with the Kenya Wildlife Service to help protect marine mammals, recycle plastic and marine litter and to engage the local community, including fishermen in eco-tourism activities.
Many tourists visit Watamu for sport fishing as well as dolphin and whale shark watching expeditions. Whale sharks are mostly seen during the months of February and March. The area is also popular for snorkeling, scuba diving and kite surfing owing to its clear blue waters.