Things to do - general

Malindi is the second famous town in the coastal region after Mombassa. It is located on the Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Galana River, lying on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. Some decades ago the people in Malindi economically depended on fishing, hunting, agriculture, and collecting of salt. Today Malindi prides itself due to the boom in the tourism sector. The city is exceptionally popular among Italian tourists but this is changing with time due to the diversification that Malindi is receiving.

Malindi people are now investing all their strengths in tourism because it has become so major. This people’s friendliness and welcoming attitude is so immense that they make you as a tourist to enjoy more.

Some even offer to teach you their Swahili language as they are showing you around the great sceneries of Malindi. Among other things is the fascination that cannot be contended in any other tourist destination in the world over.

Malindi is well known for its gastronomic expertise with the restaurants, hotels, coffeehouses, and other eating places. Malindi offers a wide variety of gastronomy varying from local to international flavors. All visitors should make it a priority to visit the revived architectural industry and carpentry that specialize in local wood artifacts. Malindi has got various talented woodcarvers that can make you very unique furniture’s like the famous Lamu beds.

Given that Malindi is a seaside resort do remember to go swimming in the warm waters, go deep sea fishing or visit marine parks alongside sunbathing and other sports in this lovely God given paradise. Another splendid scene is the coral reefs of Malindi. On what’s called the Coral Coast provides a very nice introduction to the area, there are surfing snorkeling deep-sea fishing and other water sports.

Finally, you can not claim to have been in Malindi if you do not visit; the beautiful beaches, the Malindi and Watamu marine parks, the Gedi Ruins, the Vasco Da Gamma Pillar, the Portuguese Chapel, the Pillar tombs and the Arabuko Sokoke forest. Other attractions include the Kipepeo Project, the Falconry of Kenya, Snake and Crocodile farm, the Media Creek, Mambrui Ruins, Hell’s Kitchen and Malindi’s many night spots and shopping places.

Transport in Malindi is also adequate; it is served with a domestic airport and a highway between Mombasa and Lamu. Malindi is home to the Malindi Airport and Broglio Space Port. To move around in Malindi you can use taxis that have been approved and scrutinized by the hotels you are probably staying in. You can also rent bicycles that been established by the locals as part of their business.

In addition, you can request a mini bus for yourself, but you will have to pay more to make up for the money the driver is not getting from other riders. You can usually quibble and work out a price with the driver before you get in. Variables that will affect the price include how far you are going and how many people you are with. How many bags you have is also an issue from time to time. It definitely helps to know the language, but you should be able to get by if you don’t.

Country Kenya
Languages spokenEnglish, Kiswahili
Currency usedKenya Shillings
Area (km2)12,245.90 km2

Sports & nature

Malindi Museum
It’s in a historic building dubbed “ House of Columns” on the sea promenade near the jetty. The museum offers exhibitions on the history of Malindi and a prehistoric fish that has remained unchanged for 400 million years, caught in a net a few years ago by local fishermen. Combine the museum with a stroll through Malindi’ old town and visit Vasco da Gama’s pillar, the Portuguese chapel built before St. Francis Xavier visited Malindi in 1542; Tanzini’s art gallery, the new Coastal Cultural Museum which was once the District Officer’s office where the Mast Pond or Sail Monument of Portugal stands, a monument erected in honour of Prince Henry the Navigator as a memorial to mark 500 years since his death in 1460. The Vice Premier of Portugal unveiled it in October 1960. The memorial marks 500 years since the death of Prince Henry the Navigator and honours the Sultan of Malindi and Ahmed Ibn Majid, the Malindi pilot who navigated the flotilla of Vasco da Gama for the first time to India.

Gede Museum:
This is the most well-known Swahili site on the East African coast, located 16 kilometres south of Malindi. Founded in the 12th century AD, Gede was a large and prosperous town, which flourished until it was abandoned in the 17th century. Excavations unearthed the ruins of the big mosque, the royal house and the royal tombs. A walk through this ancient town reveals a fascinating time in history.

Vasco da Gama Pillar:
Situated on the seafront road near the jetty, the pillar is one of the oldest remaining monuments in Africa. It was built in 1498 by the great Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama as a sign of appreciation for the welcome he received from the Sultan of Malindi. The cross on the pillar was tested and found to be made of Lisbon limestone, proving that it is the original cross, placed at Malindi in 1498.

Pillar Tombs:
The pillar tombs are next to Juma Mosque, between the jetty and the town centre.The tombs are believed to have been built in the 15th century for the Portuguese stationed in Malindi.

Portuguese Chapel:
The 16th century chapel is located along the seafront road near the Malindi museum the town.It was built before St. Francis Xavier visited Malindi in 1542.St Francis Xavier buried one of his sailors who died on his ship. The Chapel’s southeast wall had a crucifix painted by the Portuguese. Outside the Chapel was a graveyard of Portuguese tombstones, but today there are many modern graves, among them of Malindi pioneer Commander Lawford of Lawford Hotel and J. Bell Smith, the first British administrator in Malindi.

Mida Creek:
Mida Creek is south of Malindi along the Mombasa-Malindi road. The 32-square-kilometre creek has extensive mudflats and mangrove forests that attract a wide variety of flora and fauna, including turtle hatchlings that use it as a nursery.

The Bioken Laboratory and Snake Farm:
The Bioken Laboratory and Snake Farm started by the legendary James Ashe, is located two kilometers north of Watamu and is internationally recognized for having the biggest collection of snakes in Africa. It has a live collection of around 200 snakes of 30 different species. Of the 127 recorded snake species in Kenya, only 18 have caused human fatalities and only another six could kill a person. Another 10 could cause a lot of pain and the remaining 93 or so, are neither non-venomous nor dangerous.

The Kipepeo Project:
The butterfly project is in Arabuko Sokoke Forest near the Gedi ruins on the way to Watamu. Started in 1994, it engages local farmers people who are licensed to rear butterflies sourced from the forest and export the pupae abroad. The farmers act as custodians of the forest for without it, there would be no butterflies.

The Falconry of Kenya:
Located off the Lamu road near the Moriema cottage, it has a large collection of birds in Kenya with falcons, goshawks and owls. One can see the falcons at close range and watch them perform exciting flight shows. The Falconry also operates an exclusive camp on the banks of the river Sabaki, about 15 kilometres from Malindi town. The camp offers spectacular views of the landscape and sunsets.

The African Curio market:
Located near the District Commissioner’s office along the seafront road, the market has a large collection of African curios, souvenirs, carvings, Kisii soapstone and artifacts.

Hell’s Kitchen:
Located off the Lamu road, after the Sabaki River in the Marafa Depression, this natural landscape of eroded gulleys and valleys has interesting features in it like the cathedral and towering columns.

Mambrui town:
This 5th century town is off the Lamu road in north Malindi after the Sabaki River. It has a centuries-old pillar tomb with porcelain bowls of the Ming dynasty.

Malindi Marine park:
Malindi Marine Park and Reserve is 118 km from Mombasa town. It is to the south of Malindi town. The marine park is endowed with magnificent reefs, coral gardens, lagoons, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats and a stunning array of fish, dolphins, turtles and various species of shorebirds.

Nightlife info

The fun in Malindi doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Some even argue that that’s when it starts. Bars, clubs, lounges and live music venues—it’s all reason for us to put our dancing shoes on and raise to toast to Malindi. Will you join in?

Pulsating with energy, glitz and glamour, the nightlife in Malindi is an expedition into the heartland of clubs and party hot spots. The Malindi boasts of a wide array of bars, pubs, clubs and discotheques. Feel like dancing the night away? Dance till dawn! The nightlife in Malindi is dominated by dance clubs and lounges.

Many of the clubs have live bands performing popular international numbers! But nightlife in Malindi is not all about partying; you can also go to a theater or enjoy a movie at a cinema hall. The options that the nightlife in Malindi present is numerous – enjoy them!

Alternative for places with little or no nightlife : There’s not much to do at night in Malindi. Nightlife in Malindi mainly consists of a few small bars. You can go for a drink or two at the bars and enjoy a good snack. After a good tiring day of activities, nightlife in Malindi mainly consists of sleeping comfortably in your bed! Malindi Nightlife - Know about nightlife in Malindi, discos, clubbing in Malindi.

Culture and history info

The Arabs founded Malindi in the early thirteenth century. In 1414, the King of Malindi initiated diplomatic relations with China during the voyages of the explorer Zheng He. In 1498, Malindi authorities welcomed the great Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama. The following year East Africa’s doors to Europe opened officially as the Portuguese established a trading post.  At this time, the town was a kingdom and wealthy.  The inhabitants were mixed with the Arabs being the ruling class and walls surrounded the town. The Arabs were living inside the walls in stone houses, while Africans mainly lived outside in mud-and-wattle huts with palm thatch roofs.  

The economy consisted of agriculture and trade with various ports in the Indian Ocean. There were large plantations with fruits (lemons, oranges), coconut palm trees, vegetables and cattle and around Malindi. Slaves and ivory were exported. The town was an important port in East Africa.  

In the beginning of the sixteenth century the Portuguese selected Malindi as a supply station for Portuguese ships hence building their own administration, supply station and customhouses. In 1518 Mozambique took over Malindi’s role as supply station for Portuguese ships as the Portuguese had problems to defend Malindi.

With the construction of the Portuguese Fort Jesus in the neighboring town of Mombasa (1593) Malindi declined. The Portuguese administration and the customs houses were transferred to Mombasa leaving no administration in Malindi. After 1666 the Portuguese lost complete control of Malindi.  

The Sultan of Zanzibar refounded Malindi in 1861and its wealth increased between 1861 and 1890. Arab governors appointed by the Sultan of Zanzibar and supported by a garrison of between thirty and one hundred and fifty Baluchi troops administered the town. After 1873 slave trade became illegal leading to a decline in agricultural economy, as Arabs were partly unwilling to hire local Africans on a wage basis. The Sultan of Zanzibar later leased his territories, which included Malindi region, to the British East Africa Association.

In 1906, a new group of Europeans began planting and exporting large quantities of rubber from their plantations but this ended in 1917 as rubber prices fell sharply because of overproduction in Malaya. From 1925 to 1938, there was drought followed by floods leading to a decline in agriculture production. However, there was a big increase in production of cotton until 1935, when the price of cotton decreased sharply.

During the World War II there was not much economic development in the Malindi area. By late 1944 the holidaymakers from upcountry were returning, and the army was slowly pulling out, so that Malindi once again returned to normal.

In 1960 mass tourism started by charters landing in Mombasa and put Malindi on the world map. Today Malindi is in the midst of a tourist boom primarily due to its spectacular beaches. 

The town is served with a domestic airport and a highway between Mombasa and Lamu. The nearly Watamu resort and Gedi Ruins (the remains of a Swahili town located in Gedi, a village near Malindi) are located south of Malindi.  In 1948, the remains of Gedi were declared a Kenyan national park. The mouth of the Sabaki River lies in northern Malindi. The Watamu and Malindi Marine National Parks form a continuous protected coastal area south of Malindi. The area shows classic examples of Swahili architecture.

Medina Palms

Medina Palms

Watamu, Kenya, Malindi
Medina Palms Resort is a Kenyan a resort in Malindi. The 5 Star Malindi Beach resort is on one of th More info

Unfortunately there are no tour offers at this location at the moment.

Unfortunately there are no car rental offers at this location at the moment.