7 Fun Things To Do When You Visit Hemingways Watamu!

Reviews, Travel
Hemingways Watamu

Hello there! 😀 How are you coping with our Kenyan Winter? Well, I invite you to come along on a warm, thrilling coastal escape to Hemingways Watamu! Shall we…?

A couple of years ago, I went to Hemingways Watamu for the first time. It was a short stop-over, before we went Humpback whale chasing! I remember thinking to myself: one day I will come back and stay here… 🙂

Fast-forward to a few years later, when I got a call from Janet Kay with an invite: Are you interested in going to Hemingways Watamu?

I doubt that I let her finish her sentence because I’d already said: YES! 😀 

Shortly after, the plans were set for us to travel… For this trip, I got to travel with a fantastic group of Travel Content Creators and friends:  Abu Mburu, Grace Njeri, Magunga, Teti Sulu, Dr. Diana Justus and her sister Shaelen Justus. We were also in the company of Diana Mwango of the Daily Nation, as well as Janet Kay and Charity from Hemingways.

Enter Hemingways Watamu: A coastal paradise….

We arrived on a perfect, sunny Monday morning, with the ocean water glistening to the tune of the sun’s rays…

I took a moment to let all my senses absorb the captivating views at Hemingways Watamu. The deep blue hues of the ocean were especially tantalising… It looked better than I even remembered! 🙂

When we were shown to our rooms, I instantly fell in love with mine… With its white and turquoise-blue chic décor, and the floor-to-ceiling windows opening up to wide ocean views, giving an air of space and relaxation… Could a girl even ask for more?  

The rooms are tastefully furnished with a queen-size bed, a flatscreen TV, working desk and lounge chairs on the balcony. You will love the lavish bathrooms… They are even more inviting with their waterfall shower heads and elegant bathtub.

If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have left my room just then… But breakfast was ready. And as it happened, breakfast quickly became my favourite meal at Hemingways Watamu. 🙂

Their buffet has a wide selection, with great options for both meat lovers and vegetarians… I indulged in freshly made pancakes, waffles and fried potatoes, accompanied by mixed black tea. Because you know ‘warus’ are a staple on my plate!

It was all nothing short of a delicious affair! 😀

Fun Facts about Hemingways Watamu:
  • They have 2 swimming pools strategically placed, for easy access from their rooms. 
  • You can also book yourself in for a relaxing spa treatment of your choice at their spa
  • They currently have a 30% discount on all drinks at their bar, and it’s open to walk-in clients
  • They have an assortment of lavish apartments would be perfect for a family holiday. 

Fun Things to Do in Watamu and Malindi When You Go! 

The beauty of staying at Hemingways Watamu is that you are centrally located to explore fun activities in both Watamu and Malindi. Moreover, the hotel can organize any of these fun excursions for you, depending on your interest… 

Experience Malindi as a Historical Site

Being a coastal town, Malindi is deeply entrenched in the history of Kenya, particularly pre-colonial times. A visit to some parts of Malindi feels like you are taking a step back in time, hundreds of years. 

When you go, you’ll want to visit these Historical sites for a feel of it all: –

  • Gedi Ruins
  • Vasco Da Gama Pillar
  • Portuguese Chapel
  • Malindi National Museum  
  • Marafa Hell’s Kitchen

The Gedi Ruins are especially beautiful and interesting! You can check out this Blog Post to learn more about each of these Historical sites. 

Marafa Hell’s Kitchen

Go on a Sunset Dhow Cruise

One of the best ways to appreciate Watamu is through a sunset cruise… When Watamu deems fit to show off with a sunset, it is honestly the most beautiful thing you will ever behold! 

We got to go on a sunset dhow cruise on the first evening of our trip… The weather was looking a little shifty, but that did nothing to dim our fun. 🙂

Once you are floating on the ocean, everything else fades into oblivion… It is peaceful and calming in a way that makes you contemplate leaving everything behind and moving to a coastal town.

Hemingways Watamu

Our hosts had prepared some tasty bitings, while drinks were flowing freely for the guests. I particularly enjoyed their beef samosas.

  • Hemingways_Watamu
  • Hemingways_Watamu

And the company was even better! Tracey Gachie and her fiancé Muriuki Kagiri (The Dapper Brother) also joined us for the cruise; we all had ourselves a grand ol’ time that evening! 😀

I would 10/10 recommend this experience when you go!

  • Hemingways Watamu organises sunset dhow rides daily from 4pm and it’s open to both guests of the hotel and walk-in clients who make prior bookings. 
  • The sunset cruise costs Kshs. 6,000/- per person. This cost also covers the bitings and drinks at their open bar, served during the cruise.

The Malindi Falconry Tour

The Malindi Falconry is a sanctuary for birds and reptiles, including crocodiles and snakes. They work in collaboration with the community to take in rescued birds and animals.

The idea that someone would rescue a snake is quite surprising to me… But I guess to each his own, ay? 😀

Here, we met a 100-year-old tortoise who is still going strong and steady! He pops out his head at the mere sight of food, and will happily make his way, albeit slowly, to you for a bite of a banana or leaves. 

  • Malindi_Falconry
  • Malindi_Falconry
  • Malindi_Falconry

Janet and I stayed back as the rest went to ‘meet’ the snakes. You can bet that I wasn’t brave enough for that particular encounter! 😀

Contrastingly, I really enjoyed meeting the falcons and eagles while getting to learn their backstories from our guide. That part of it made for an intriguing tour.

This place is definitely worth a visit for a guided tour whenever you come to Malindi! 


>> Entrance fee: Kshs. 200/-

Go to the Mambrui Sand Dunes

What comes to mind when you think of sand dunes? For me, I think of places with deserts like Dubai or Namibia… Turns out you can experience sand dunes right here in Kenya! 😀

Located about 50 minutes away from Malindi town, the Mambrui sand dunes on Kola Beach present a different kind of sand dune experience… On a sunny day, the sand dunes that stretch for about 10Km, are said to glitter with a golden touch while the vast ocean plays as its magnificent backdrop!

Sadly, the sun was playing hide and seek during our visit. In its stead, we were treated to a sand storm and rain… I genuinely still enjoyed our experience and would love to return for the sunny side of things! 🙂

Quick Tips:
  • I would recommend taking a day out, carrying a picnic basket and an umbrella to best enjoy this place.
  • There is no entrance fee as Kola Beach is open to the public… You do however need to be wary of the beach boys/guides who will expect a fee for taking you around. Be sure to discuss the amount beforehand.

Catch Stunning Sunsets at Arabuko Sokoke Forest

The Arabuko Sokoke Forest is located about 20km south of Malindi, and it’s said to be the largest coastal forest in all of Eastern Africa. 

It presents a beautiful contrast to the beaches of Malindi and Watamu, offering an immersion into a rich forest and green escape, where you can experience undisturbed nature at its best! 

Reportedly, the park hosts a significant percentage of Kenya’s bird species, butterfly species as well as her indigenous birds, mammal species and reptiles.

Whether you are an early bird or sunset lover, Hemingways Watamu has got you covered… They organize special sunrise excursions and sundowner tours to the Arabuko Sokoke Forest for their guests on request. If you are lucky, you can catch elephants drinking at the watering hole with a stunning sunset to boot! 🙂

We happened to go during the rainy season, hence the elephants were a no-show. The sunset however, showed up in all its glory! And it was a stunner! 


>> You can make your bookings with Hemingways Watamu for this excursion.

Enjoy Pizza at the Gede Pizzeria

Hemingways Watamu has created a lovely replica of the Gedi City and they turned it into a Pizzeria… Here, you get to enjoy their tasty home-made pizzas. It is such an authentic experience, and you will feel like one of the residents of Gede City. 


It is a lovely way to spend the afternoon while sampling their pizzas. Their cheesy and bacon pizza was hands down my favourite one! The rich flavors all melted in my mouth with each bite! Simply delectable!

>> The pizzeria is open to both residential guests and walk-in clients; hence you can always drop by for lunch! 

  • Hemingways_Watamu
  • Hemingways_Watamu
  • Hemingways_Watamu
  • Hemingways_Watamu

Sunrise and Breakfast Dhow Cruise

Whenever there is a dhow cruise involved, you can always count me in! No questions asked! After all, one can never ever have too many cruises, right? 😀

Hemingways Watamu also organises sunrise breakfast cruises for their clients. With the early morning breeze and the sun just waking up to masterfully paint the sky, it makes for a tranquil way to start your day.

During our visit, we went for a breakfast cruise, because the weather was still a bit tricky in the early morning hours. Hemingways Watamu had prepared a sumptuous breakfast spread for us… I can now confidently confirm that food tastes even better with a great view! 🙂

  • Hemingways_Watamu
  • Hemingways_Watamu
  • Hemingways Watamu

My final tip and recommendation would be: stay flexible and go with the flow. This trip taught us that though certain elements like the weather are out of your control, you can always make the most of each experience and have a ball!

P.S. Moment of silence for our friend Abu Mburu’s drone that went down into the ocean on this trip, never to come up. We’ve had some amazing pictures featured here on this blog thanks to Abu’s drone… Of this we can be certain, it lived a great travel life and in the end, it went out in style.


Many thanks to Hemingways Watamu for their warm and impeccable hospitality! This trip was one for the books! 😀

Thank you for reading my friends! I hope you have enjoyed this blog post! I would love to hear back from you! Which of these activities is on your bucket-list?

Leave a comment down below, and I’ll be certain to respond! Until the next one…

<< Stay. Inspired. Always. >>

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  • Reply
    Myles Lincoln
    November 13, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    The beauty of this place yani…

  • Reply
    July 21, 2023 at 5:33 pm


    I love the tranquility of Watamu and Hemingways! Thanks for sharing…. planning a trip!

  • Reply
    Ken Allan
    July 19, 2023 at 12:11 pm

    The 100 years old tortoise is clearly going strong and STEADY!
    I am particularly excited about the sand dunes.
    When I grow up, I want to be fleeing from my City’s winter seasons to enjoy such heavenly places.
    Thanks for a job well done Marion

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