KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - Watamu, Kenya
Constant trade winds, a choice of sandbars, seven kilometres of powder white sand beaches and large summer swells make Watamu a wonderful playground for kiters of all levels. A world heritage site, Watamu is also a protected area of outstanding natural beauty with game reserves as well as a stack of other activities and sights close by.
Watamu is located south of Malindi, one of Kenya's oldest fishing settlements. The main seven kilometre long beach is known as Turtle Bay. A natural reef protects the beach, ranging from 0.5 to two kilometres off the beach. Waist to over head waves at the reef during the summer season, while on the inside an abundance of sand bars create lovely flat water riding spots, great for freestyle and an ideal beginner training ground. Knee to waist deep water allows for quick progression. The beaches themselves are nice and wide allowing for safe launching and landing and there's little danger of landing your kite in a palm tree! A large inland creek known as Mida lies just off the main bay and additional riding locations like these mean Watamu has something new to offer you on a daily basis. Tribe Watersports offer excursions to Mida to explore these idyllic riding spots and additional benefits of the Watamu Kite club will get you discounts and free entry in to clubs, bars and restaurants in the local area.
WIND, WEATHER & WATER
Two trade wind seasons in Watamu: The Kaskazi blows December - April from the northeast, averaging around 20 - 25 knots. Generally picking up from about 11am, it gives you time to get a paddle board session in beforehand. During the Kaskazi season you'll use your nine a lot and your 12 well into the evening. The Kuzi blows June - September from the southeast and this is the windiest time of year with winds averaging 25 knots, occasionally increasing to 30+ knots, so pop your seven metre in your bag if coming out at this time. Tribe have a range of rental gear, so there is always something to use regardless of the wind strength. Being equatorial winds, both these systems are extremely constant and both blow cross and cross-onshore, providing safe riding conditions. The best swells come during the Kuzi season. Watamu has its fair share of great breaks to enjoy as the large Indian Ocean swells meet with the reef and the sand bars. Be sure to pop into the Tribe Watersports HQ at Medina Palms for a brief on where the best spots are and what areas to avoid.
The air temperature can reach 36°C / 97°F during the Kaskazi season. Kuzi time it gets a little chillier in the evening, so bring your hoody. Water temperatures range from 25-30°C / 77-86°F throughout the year, so it's boardies or a bikinis 365 baby, yeah!
Malindi airport (MYD) is 20 mins away. Mombassa (MBA) is 2.5 hrs away. Transfers can be organised by Tribe Watersports.
No need to hire a car as there are loads of tuk-tuks that will take you to the different kitesurfing spots along the bay, for around 300KSH from anywhere in town. Bodabodas are motor bike taxis and they charge just around 50KSH. But be cautious of these ? they have been known to be a bit reckless with their driving and no helmets are provided.
FOOD AND DRINK
Watamu itself is a quirky fishing village with everything you need on your door step. There are two main supermarkets for your groceries and, as a fishing village, it's especially easy to get hold of fresh fish, lobster and crab at very little cost. Lots of options for eating out and, with a large Italian influence in the area, the pizza restaurants are excellent!
World famous day or weekend safari trips leave Watamu daily. The Araboke Sakoke forest has a watering hole within a 15 minute drive from the centre of town where elephants regularly drink. Also find incredible diving and deep sea fishing or visit local historical ruins. Additional trips to the local snake park or sundowner dhow cruses on Mida creek. Tribe Watersports also provide SUP lessons and rental so there is always something to keep you busy on a windless day.