More than 10,000 domestic tourists are expected to visit the Malindi Marine National Park during the December holiday.
Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve is located in Kenya. Established in 1968, it was one of Kenya’s first marine parks. It is located about 90 miles (140 km) north of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city. Its coral gardens are merely 300 metres (980 ft) from the shore and are home to approximately 600 species of fish, 110 species of stony coral and countless invertebrates, crustaceans and molluscs.
Water temperature varies from 20 degrees Celsius (June to November) to 30 degrees Celsius (December to May). The park was designated as a Biosphere in 1979.
Many people from upcountry will visit the resort city to enjoy the cool breeze at the Indian Ocean and tour sceneries in the marine park.The park’s officials said they have received many bookings and they expect more people to flock the town.
Felix Mwangangi, the senior warden, said preparations for the festive season are ongoing.Speaking in his office, he said they have cleaned up the town and plan to conduct another clean up exercise tomorrow. “We are prepared to receive thousands of guests at the park this December. All is set for the visitors,” he said.
Mwangangi said they have beefed up security in the sea and on the land to guarantee visitors’ safety.“We had a meeting with all security agents in the resort town,” he said. The park is one of Africa’s oldest marine Park comprised of Magic Islands and unique fish species that are within the protected area.
The marine park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral gardens in the lagoons, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats, and high fish diversity, marine mammals like dolphins, turtles and diverse species of shorebirds.
For the past few years, the domestic market has recorded a booming business in Malindi and Watamu during the festive holiday. Middle level and high class hoteliers have said they have received bookings for Christmas and New year. Tourism players are now targeting domestic tourists after the foreign tourism went down due to the world economic crisis.