The coastal town of Malindi is one of the most charming towns in Kenya. Established in the 13th Century, Malindi is one of the oldest settlements on the Kenyan Coast. Malindi has journeyed through several eras from the time of the early Chinese and Arab traders to the Portuguese sailors and now foreign investors who, alongside the local population, have given the town a unique charm and transformed it to reputable tourist destination.
The town is still relatively small, but boasts an extensive array of tourist attractions that make it the perfect setting for a holiday getaway. Here are five reasons why Malindi should be on your bucket list, courtesy of Bountiful Safaris.
Malindi is home to some of the most friendly and amazing people you will ever come across. Even though the locals speak a smattering of English, their hospitality is so palpable that you have no choice but to feel at home among your hosts. Most of the people speak Swahili which is the national language, so you will likely encounter greetings like ‘Jambo’ (Hello) or ‘Karibu sana’ (you are very welcome).
Italian is another common language thanks to the thousands of Italians who live and own many of the town’s hotels, restaurants and resorts. The eclectic mix of Italians, tourists and locals going about their business makes for a rich, diverse fusion of culture.
The hotels, restaurants and resorts
Malindi boasts some of the most stunning and luxurious resorts and hotels the country has to offer. They feature all-out indulgence, including relaxing spas, chic bars, swimming pools, fine dining restaurants and so much more. Whether you are planning a family vacation, romantic weekend getaway, thrilling adventure or sightseeing tour, visitors can take their pick from a wide range of hotels and resorts.
Malindi is also known for its culinary prowess with its restaurants, hotels, coffee houses offering a wide range of cuisines.
A few kilometers to the south of Malindi is the sleepy village of Watamu, which is fronted by endless deserted sugar white sandy beaches. Nearby is the Watamu Marine National Park with an extensive coral cover and host to a startling number and variety of marine life, making for an ideal day trip for divers and snorkelers alike.
In close proximity is the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve one of the last remnants of Africa’s once huge coastal forests. The thick jungles hosts some of Africa’s rare endemic birds and mammals. The forest holds another secret, the lost town of Gede, a deserted trading Swahili town hidden deep in the forests, whose winding passages and crumbling walls tell of a long and mysterious past.
Northwest of Malindi is the spectacular Marafa Depression, locally known as Nyari, and popularly known as Hell’s Kitchen. An extensive series of sandstone gorges and sheer gullies, this unique and evocative landscape is best visited at sunset where the colours of the limestone cliffs change with the dipping of the sun.
Malindi has something to offer everyone. Aside from the beach, the ocean in Malindi offers a variety of fun things to do. Rent a boat or a jet-ski, learn to windsurf, kitesurf, go snorkelling or scuba diving, enjoy the magic of a dhow excursion, and so much more.
Malindi is also the venue for the most prestigious of Kenya’s big game fishing tournaments. Typically taking place between October and February, they attract anglers from all over the world, all of whom come to do battle with such giants of the deep as marlin, reef shark, barracuda, manta ray, tuna and sail fish.
Despite its laid back nature Malindi is famed for its exuberant night life. If you are a party animal, there’s a never-ending list of clubs and restaurants filled with locals and tourists that are open and very alive until the wee hours of the morning. There’s constantly something to do, no matter what time of the day or night.
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