TRADERS EXPECTANT

Balala to launch the humpback whale migration watch in Watamu

Event is a major tourist attraction that brings together guests from all over the world

In Summary

• Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife and the Kenya Tourism Board termed the event a perfect opportunity to showcase the diversity the country offers from the wild to the ocean.

• Both local and foreign tourists are expected to witness the migration that happens between July and September.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala will launch the humpback whale migration watch in Watamu Thursday and tourist players are hopeful it will begin a revival of the industry. 

The migration dubbed twin migration happens simultaneously with the annual wildebeest migration in Masai Mara.

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife and the Kenya Tourism Board termed the event a perfect opportunity to showcase the diversity the country offers from the wild to the ocean.

Both local and foreign tourists are expected to witness the migration that happens between July and September. Local businesses are hopeful that the visitors will help reboot trade, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The humpback whale migration is a spectacular event organised by Watamu Marine Association, a conservation NGO, and Kenya Wildlife Services.

Michael Mwang'ombe, WMA marine mammal conservation project coordinator, said this year’s sighting is better than those of previous years. They have recorded 10 sightings of 16 whales each, compared to last year's three sightings with six whales each.

"The data is based on reports and sightings by scientists and researchers of marine mammals who are working with WMA across the coastal region," he said.

Mwang'ombe said most of the whales were sighted in Watamu in Kilifi county and Shimoni in Kwale county. He said there were also few sightings in Lamu, Mombasa, Kilifi and Malindi along the Indian Ocean.

Mwang'ombe said they have laid down plans to ensure Covid-19 protocols are observed during whale migration watch to prevent the spread of the virus. Sitting arrangement inside boats will observe the one-metre rule to avoid crowding.

(edited by o. owino)