Having hosted Vasco da Gama’s fleet in 1498, Malindi has been welcoming strangers ever since. It’s a bustling town that doesn’t quite have the architecture of Lamu or the easy-going charm of Watamu, but it makes up for it with several worthwhile historical sights, its own marine national park and some fantastic stretches of beach.
It remains a melting pot of local cultures with a rich and fascinating history. Wander through the alleys of the atmospheric old town, dine on terrific Italian food beside the Indian Ocean or take a plunge into the crystal-clear waters of the national park, and you’ll discover for yourself that Malindi is quite the charmer.
Visit Vasco Da Gama Pillar
More impressive for what it represents (the genesis of the Age of Exploration) than the edifice itself. Erected by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama as a navigational aid in 1498, the coral column is topped by a cross-made of Lisbon stone, which almost certainly dates from the explorer’s time. There are good views from here down the coast and out over the ocean.
Visit Gede Ruins
The remains of a Swahili town whose origin dates back to the 12th century, Gede historical monument is one of the most popular attractions on Kenya’s coast. The town became wealthy and reached its peak in the 15th century. Visible today are the remains of a magnificent palace, mosques and large houses made from stone and coral reef.
Visit Marafa Depression
Also known as Hell’s Kitchen, is an odd sandstone canyon outside of Malindi, Kenya. Known locally as Nyari – “the place broken by itself” – it was once a great sandstone ridge worn by wind, rain, and floods into a series of jagged gorges. The layer-cake colors of the sandstone reveal whites, pinks, oranges, and deep crimsons, making the gorge particularly striking at sundown, when tones of the ribbed sandstone gullies are highlighted and mirrored by those of the setting sun.
Visit Malindi Marine National Park
The oldest marine park in Kenya covers 213 sq km of powder-blue fish, organ-pipe coral, green sea turtles and beds of Thalassia seagrass. 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.
Visit Portuguese Chapel/Church
It is known that the chapel was built at the end of the 15th century. It is rather surprising that the authorities of an ancient Islamic city authorized the construction of a Christian church. It is thatched with makuti and has a cross on top. It was built by Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama in 1498 while passing here on his way to India before St Francis Xavier visited Malindi in 1542. It is said that St Francis Xavier passed through there with his two sailors who died and were buried at the chapel in 1542.
Visit the Malindi Pier
The Malindi Pier is an iconic landmark in not only Malindi Town, but the whole of the East African Coast. It is one of the longest piers in the region. Many people coming to Malindi have to visit the place at least once. The Malindi pier stands in the middle of the Northern Beach (Golden Beach), popularly known as Buntwani. This is a pristine golden beach owing to influence coming from the nearby Sabaki River.
Visit the Mida Creek Mida Creek
is a broadwater tidal creek surrounded by extensive mangroves and lined with palms. It’s better to explore Mida by boat, on a cruise through the creek while the sun goes down. In fact Mida Creek is one of the most productive mangrove ecosystems in the world. For good reason, Mida Creek is a recognized International Bird Area and together with Arabuko-Sokoke Forest forms a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Visit the Falconry Of Kenya
Get close to the magnificent creatures at Falconry of Kenya, a private zoo featuring a large collection of birds of prey and other animals. You’ll see eagles, falcons, goshawks, owls, and peckers, and have the chance to carry some of them on your gloved hand. In addition to the collection of birds, the site has crocodiles, tortoises, monkeys, monitor lizards, and snakes such as green mambas, pythons, and cobras. Bird flight shows happen regularly, and visitors can also feed tortoises with bananas.
Visit Bio-Ken Snake Farm Bio-Ken
is a research centre, which deals with reptiles, especially snakes and snake-bite. Located less than 5 minutes drive from the hotels in Watamu – Kenya, it houses the largest collection of Snakes in East Africa and is open to the public. You’ll get to see these infamous creatures up close but there are also many other non-lethal snake varieties, 127 species in all. The farm also houses an immense collection of other reptiles and amphibians. On the guided tour, you’ll find leatherback, soft-shelled, and Africa side-necked turtles and terrapins. Look for all types of lizards, geckoes, chameleons, frogs, toads, and even crocodiles!
Visit the Watamu Turtle Sanctuary –
Local Ocean Conservation(LOC) It was started by local residents in 1997 to protect nesting sea turtles. Now it sits under ocean conservation along with Diani Turtle Watch, Bycatch release, beach profiling and specialist Rehabilitation Centre for sick and injured sea turtles. The combination of ocean conservation, education and outreach programmes enables them to make a real difference in ensuring the future of the marine environment.
Enjoy Big Game Fishing
Watamu is world renowned for big game sport fishing. The waters off Watamu offer hugely diverse fishing opportunities and it is one of very few places where three types of Marlin, Sailfish, Broadbill Swordfish and Short bill Spearfish are all available. With a series of underwater mountains easily accessible offshore, bait and the predators are concentrated unlike the situation in the open Ocean.
The Watamu Marine Reserve is home to some of East Africa’s best reefs for snorkeling or diving. It is ideal for beginners, with exquisite shallow coral gardens. The more experienced divers can explore the turtle reef, with its greater depths (10 to 35 meters). High spiking coral heads attract large shoals of parrotfish. If you are lucky, you may catch sight of our harmless white-tip reef sharks.
Humpback Whale Watching
Visitors to Kenya when hearing about the great migration, automatically imagine herds of wildebeest thundering over the plains from Tanzania to Kenya. However, few travelers in Kenya and from overseas have heard of “The Other Migration”. Humpback whales, the marine mammal giants of the ocean, 15 metres in length and 30 tonnes in weight, travel annually in their thousands from the Antarctic to Kenya to breed and have their calves in our safe tropical waters. Both migrations peak between July and September, which means that Kenya hosts the “Twin Migration”, a unique wildlife phenomenon, incorporating both savannah and sea safaris.
Surfing 03 hours introductory course for beginners
Stand up paddle boarding
Sunset dhow cruises
Malindi Museum visit/ House of columns
Robison island visit
African Village tour – Giriama community