Malindi is a top affordable place to visit in Kenya. Malindi is a town on Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Sabaki River, lying on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is 120 Kilometres northeast of Mombasa. The population of Malindi was 119,859 as of the 2019 census. It is the largest urban center in Kilifi County.
Tourism is the major industry in Malindi. The city is popular among Italian tourists. Malindi is served by a domestic airport and a highway between Mombasa and Lamu. The nearby Watamu resort and Gedi Ruins (also known as Gede) are south of Malindi. The mouth of the Sabaki River lies in northern Malindi. The Watamu and Malindi Marine National Parks form a continuously protected coastal area south of Malindi. The area shows classic examples of Swahili architecture. The majority of Malindi’s population is Muslim.
Malindi developed as part of the emerging Swahili Civilization in the 5th–10th centuries. Bantu-speaking farmers moved into the area, where they smelted iron, built timber and wattle houses thatched with palm leaves, spoke a local dialect of Kiswahili, and engaged in regional and sometimes long-distance trade. The resurgence of the Indian Ocean trade networks at the end of the first millennium led to larger settlements, increased long-distance trade, and greater social complexity.
Beginning in the 11th century, the Swahili along the coast were acting as middlemen for Somali, Egyptian, Nubian, Arab, Persian, and Indian traders. They began building walled towns, coral houses, and elites converted to Islam, often speaking Arabic.
Attractions in Malindi, Kenya
Watamu is a beautiful and peaceful village on the Kenya Coast, nestled between pristine beaches and lush tropical forest. Since it was first settled as a remote Swahili outpost at Gedi, this area has remained a haven of peace and tranquility and is still one of the coast’s most undeveloped and natural areas. Known for its unique, relaxed, and laid back way of life, Watamu welcomes visitors seeking to chill out, explore and enjoy the wonders that it has to offer.
Whether it’s a family holiday, a romantic getaway or a wild coastal adventure, you’ll never forget the Wonders of Watamu.
The Gedi ruins remain a mystery to archaeologists. Proving that ancient African society was intricate and advanced, the Gedi ruins have all the markings of an ancient cosmopolitan settlement. Thought to have been founded in the early 13th century, it was a city complete with streets, running water, and a sewage system. Archaeologists have also found Ming Chinese vases at the site, along with Venetian glass and other artifacts from all over the world.
Coral-brick houses, a palace, and even an impressive mosque remain as clear evidence that the Muslim inhabitants of the coastal Kenyan town were worldly merchant traders who developed an incredible society; all of which has now been left in a ruinous state by time and climate.
Malindi Marine National Park
Malindi Marine National Park is located right next to the Malindi Beach and is filled with many exquisite marine resources. In the National Park you can witness some prolific marine life including crabs, sea urchins, sea stars jellyfish and sea cucumbers etc. It also includes many fringing reefs, coral gardens inside the lagoons as well as mangroves, seagrass beds and mudflats. Marine mammals like turtles and shorebirds also dwell in this park. If you are looking for fun things to do in Malindi, you can also go for adventure activities like snorkeling and glass bottom boat rides here in the park. There are also opportunities for camping in Malindi Beach adjacent to the park.
From swimming with zebra fish to windsurfing, this beautiful slice of Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline is provides the perfect getaway. The park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral gardens in the lagoons, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats, marine mammals, turtles and various species of shorebirds. Visitors can also enjoy glass bottom boat rides, snorkelling, camping and beach walks in this veritable paradise.
Sawa Sawa dhow excursions
Experience a full day trip on a Sawa Sawa – an authentic, hand-built East African dhow, made in Mozambique. The day trips take a minimum of two and a maximum of 10 people per trip and make for an exceptional beach escapade. Prepare for a fantastic day of sailing, exploring secluded beach sports, snorkeling, a seafood lunch, and even a sundowner drink should you desire.
Vasco Da gama pillar
This is a very interesting tourist attraction site in Malindi. The Vasco da Gama’s Pillar is visited by a lot of people and it is quite famous among the tourists not only because of the edifice erected but rather of what it symbolizes. The structure was erected by Vasco da Gama himself in 1498 and the column is made of coral stone and topped with a star made of Lisbon stone. The column was built to serve the purpose of a navigational aid and in the location of the pillar, you will get some of the nicest views of the Ocean.
The Falconry of Kenya
The Falconry of Kenya is a private zoo that offers visitors a chance to get close to a large collection of birds of prey and other animals. Discover creatures in their enclosures, including a 200-year-old tortoise, eagles, falcons, goshawks, owls, and peckers. The more adventurous visitor can take the chance to hold, pet, and even feed the birds. The Falconry of Kenya also has a snake enclosure that houses pythons, green mambas, and cobras. In addition, the site has crocodiles, monkeys, and monitor lizards.
Watamu National Marine Park
Watamu National Marine Park is Kenya’s first aqua park. Featuring over 600 species of colourful fish and other sea creatures in addition to coral reefs and gardens, the marine park delivers an aquatic explosion of colour for the snorkelling enthusiast. Your experience can extend above the water too; over 100 species of birds can be spotted along the shore in addition to turtles and dugongs. You also have the option of sunbathing on the untouched sandy beaches or go water skiing or windsurfing.
Hells Kitchen Marafa
The Marafa Depression is locally referred to as Nyari, ‘the place was broken by itself”. Temperatures can get too scorching levels during the day, hence the alias ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. The naturally shaped stone columns and shifting colors of this unusual sandstone mini-canyon were once the locations for many ancient sacred rituals. Local legend has it that there was once a town located in the depression. Now, worn away by wind, rain, and floods, the sandstone shows layer-cake-like colors of white, orange, deep crimson, and pink. A visit to the gorge is particularly memorable at sunset when the hues are highlighted against the ribbed gullies of the sandstone.
These ruins are actually the remains of the 15th – 16th-century Swahili town, which also used to be a trading center until it was deserted in the 17th century. The remains are relatively well preserved and serve as a site of great archeological importance. Among other notable features of the ruin, the Friday Mosque church is quite prominent you will see the large pillar of the church remains atop a qibla wall. The locals believe that the pillars are a symbol of the burial of Sheikh under the walls.
Bio-Ken snake park
Bio-Ken Snake park is a nature park and a research center. This research center deals with reptiles specifically snakes and snake bites as well. The park is located only about a 5 minutes drive from Watamu. The Bio-Ken Snake Park is believed to hold the largest collection of snakes in entire East Africa. The park is open to the public and you can take a trip down to this place if you would like to see some slithering reptiles.
Mida creek board walk and Canoe ride
The Mida Creek is an impressive 20 mile (32 KM) inlet with wide beds of seagrass and coral. It hosts an expansive range of fish species and feeding sea turtles, and in the mangroves smaller streams and inlets provide a refuge for crabs and birdlife. Mida is best explored by boat as you may even chance upon feeding flamingos. The creek is also an incredible kayaking destination due to the endless small channels and passages through the mangroves. The central broad water is also ideal for water skiing and wakeboarding.
Along the shore, the Mida Creek Conservation Community runs a local crab farm and crab shack restaurant serving very popular dishes, including their famed crab samosas which can be enjoyed on the boardwalk and deck built over the mangroves with views across the creek. This is the perfect place for sun-downers.
In conclusion, Malindi is a North coast haven for Local and foreign tourists looking for affordable holiday destinations on Kenya’s coast. The local community is friendly with hotels, lodges, restaurants, and nightclubs at your disposal.
To visit Malindi from Nairobi, you can enjoy the trip via road, air, or rail depending on your preference and convenience. Wakenya watalii tours travel, is your ideal tours and travel company in Nairobi, Kenya offering competitive tour packages across East Africa. To talk with a consultant, email firstname.lastname@example.org or simply dial +254 773 57 87 37
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