CNN Travel has named Watamu and Diani among the best 25 Top Beach destinations in Africa. Kenya’s pristine Watamu and Diani beaches in Kenya’s coastal region scooped the second and third places respectively as Best Beach attraction in Africa. Sharm el-Sheikh beach of Egypt took the first slot.
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) Managing Director, Mr. Muriithi Ndegwa attributed the recognition to the sustained and combined efforts among the players and stakeholders in the industry in ensuring that the beaches are clean, safe, and carefully managed.
"This is good news to destination Kenya coming hot on the heels of KTB being voted as Africa’s leading Tourism Board 2012 during a hotly contested event in UK by travel agents across the globe. The two beaches have further positioned Kenya as a prized destination due to their appeal to a wide range of travelers," said Muriithi.
Watamu’s white beaches which forms part of the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, a marine protected area, the snorkeling and diving around the offshore coral formations is said to be the best in East Africa. Watamu is also an important breeding ground for green and hawksbill turtles.
Diani, the idyllic 20-kilometer stretch of palm-fringed beach is kept pristine and clear of seaweed by the coral reef just offshore. This coastal paradise has become one of Kenya’s most popular beaches.
The ranking comes as a new beach management programme has been instituted by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Under the programme, frequent patrols have been initiated; daily beach clean-up exercise and reorganization of beach vendors making the beach friendly to tourists. Hoteliers along the beach have also put up sun beds along the beach adjacent to their properties, and introduced full waiter services on the sands.