The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Watamu Among World's Best Places for a Home

Kenya's coastal town of Watamu has been named one of the six "world's best places to buy a home" by global property services firm Knight Frank.

In an article first published in Forbes India magazine on November 23, Watamu was ranked sixth after Muscat in Oman, London in UK, Cyprus - an island country, Singapore - a southeast Asian city-state, and Dubai in the UAE.

Knight Frank cites Medina Palms, one of the properties for which it is the selling agent, as "a bit of beachside decadence at a bargain price."

The luxurious development comprises two luxury ocean villas, eight beach villas, two ocean view lodges, 16 penthouses and 22 apartments. All the 50 units have private access to the protected waters of Watamu Marine National Park.

"You'd be forgiven for thinking Watamu was a Windows desktop wallpaper," said Knight Frank in the article.

A 5,000 square foot villa costs from about Sh74.5 million in Watamu. The town in Kenya's north-coast has evolved into a "beach-side paradise" for high net-worth individuals and expatriates buying luxury homes.

It is an attraction for the super-rich, with Knight Frank citing rental yields of eight per cent for the prime residential properties.

Watamu's shoreline features white sand beaches and offshore coral formations arranged on Watamu Bay, Blue Lagoon and Turtle Bay. The marine national park has some of the best sites for snorkelling and diving on the coast.

CNN Travel has also named Watamu alongside Diani, as second and third consecutively, among the top 25 beach destinations in Africa. Sharm el-Sheikh beach in Egypt was ranked top.

Watamu has emerged as a top destination for water sport such as deep sea fishing, boat racing, kite surfing and scuba diving.

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