Watamu — Hotel operator Hemingways Collection has welcomed the launch of the Twin Migration Campaign by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife that seeks to boost tourist numbers during the annual migration of wildebeests in the Masai Mara and that of humpback whales in Watamu beach.
Aside from watching the humpback whales and stand up paddle-boarding with dolphins, other activities in Watamu include big game fishing, exploring the ancient ruins of Gede, sighting the rare elephant shrew at the Arabuko Sokoke Forest, exploring the mangroves of Mida Creek on a traditional dhow and visiting the Watamu Marine Park.
This event has been monitored since 2011 with numbers of whales passing through Kenya varying. In the boom years of 2013 and 2017 whale numbers reported stood at 550 and 390 respectively.
The whale migration has this year received a boost from the government with the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife launching a promotional drive through the Kenya Tourism Board which is marketing the twin migration to attract visitors to the Mara and Watamu during peak tourism season.
Hemingways Collection Operations Director, Ross Evans, said they support the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Watamu Marine Association which have been studying dolphins and whales since 2011.
"This year we have launched the Watamu Bucket List campaign to promote Watamu as a tourist destination that offers unique and diverse activities and experiences. The humpback whale migration is a star attraction in this campaign and we are extremely pleased that the government, through the tourism ministry, has recognized and supported the uniqueness of Watamu beach and the variety of experiences on offer."