Any snorkelling in the Marine Park requires a marine park ticket. The following is the position at Turtle Bay with regard to snorkelling.
Snorkelling in the Marine Park
Direct snorkelling from the beach
If a guest wishes to snorkel in front of the hotel, snorkels and goggles are available for use at the Funbase shop located near the swimming pool.
The National Marine Park is managed and patrolled by Kenya Wildlife Service who ensure that all marine life within it’s boundaries is protected. This does come with a price to pay for this heritage for people who are going snorkelling and goggling.
It does not apply to those who are just swimming in the ocean nor those who are using the water sports equipment with the exception of scuba divers. You can purchase marine park entry tickets from our hotel, which can be charged, to your individual room account. The coral is quite sharp and it is easy to injure yourself. We recommend when windsurfing, sailing or walking in the sea that you protect yourself by wearing closed toe and closed heel shoes.
Unguided snorkelling in the Coral Gardens
If a guest wishes to visit the Coral Gardens in a boat where the highest density of fish can be found but without a professional guide, the Hotel hires a glass-bottomed boat from the local Watamu Association of Boat Owners twice a week. The excursion fee paid to the Hotel by the guest covers all boat and ticket costs.
Guided ‘Snorkel Safari’ trip
Turtle Bay Beach Club operates its own glass-bottomed boat on an excursion to the Coral Gardens every day except Mondays. Guests are given an introductory lecture about the Marine Park and what they are likely to see before being taken to the Gardens in the hotel boat.
The guide, an Oxford zoologist who has been in Watamu for many years, will point out fish and coral of interest and will answer any questions on what is being seen. The cost of the excursion includes Park entry ticket and guide fees; all equipment is supplied.
Seasonal trade winds and seaweed
Snorkelling is generally not so good during the period May to September due to strong winds and seaweeds on the beach and inside the reef.
Equipment and use — remains free of charge.