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Whale watching in Watamu

Lynda Ouma @PeopleDailyKe

Luxury hotel operator Hemingways Collection has welcomed the launch of the Twin Migration Campaign by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

The campaign seeks to promote the double annual migration of wildebeests in the Masai Mara and that of humpback whales in Watamu beach, a unique wildlife phenomenon on both the savannah and the sea occurring between July and September annually.

Humpback whales, travel annually in their hundreds from the Southern Ocean along the East African coast to our tropical waters where it is safe to breed. 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.

“In 2012, we became the first hotel in Kenya to offer whale watching excursions in addition to our ongoing support for marine research and conservation with Watamu Marine Association who have been promoting whale watching as an emerging ecotourism activity on the coast since 2012,” said Hemingways Collection Operations Director, Ross Evans

“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 recognised and supported the uniqueness of Watamu beach and the variety of experiences on offer.”

“We also take pride in the work we do with the local community in Masai Mara to promote conservation in the world famous Greater Mara” Mr Evans said, in reference to a partnership between Hemingways Ol Seki Mara, a luxury tented camp and the Naboisho Conservancy, a ground-breaking project of tourism benefiting conservation and community.

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