All about Malindi

Malindi is coastal town located on Malindi Bay stretching into the Indian Ocean at the mouth of River Galana measuring approximately 120 kilometers northeast of Mombasa with a population of 202,253 people believed to have lived in Malindi by the time the 2009 population census was carried out. It is considered to be the largest urban centre in Kilifi County.

Brief history of Malindi

 Malindi was oncea traditional port city visited by several foreigners across the world but most especially the Chinese explorers like Zheng He, the Portuguese explorers like Vasco Da Gama and the Arab traders. History has it that Malindi’s ruler sent his personal envoy to China with a giraffe as a gift in the Chinese fleet that came with the explorer Zheng He and the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama met the Malindi Authorities then signed a trade Agreement and hired a guide for his voyage to India in 1498 before he constructed the Vasco Da Gama pillar, a great tourist attraction in Malindi.

Politically, Malindi was conquered by Sultan Majid of Zanzibar in 1861 and turned into a slave trade centre till the end of the 19th century before the British Colonial Government forcefully took over its Administration in 1890 hence abolishing slave trade and introduced Agriculture as a replacement and some industries were started growing in the first half of the 20th century.

Tourism industry in Malindi has immensely improved gaining popularity among the Italian tourists though its population is mostly made up of Muslims who occupy the coast of Kenya.

Tourist attractions in Malindi

  • Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve

Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve is located in the southern part of Malindi town mainly made up of fringing reefs, coral, sea grass, mangroves, mudflats, high fish diversity, marine mammals, turtles, and shorebirds are easily spotted in the park rich in a wide range of sport activities like swimming with zebra fish, windsurfing, glass bottom boat rides, camping, and beach walks in the beautiful coral garden.

  • Vasco Da Gama pillar

This pillar is one of the oldest remaining monuments in Africa named after the Portuguese explorer who stopped in Malindi to meet the Malindi Authorities for the signing of a trade Agreement and he is said to have hired a guide for his voyage to India in 1498.

  • Arabuko Sokoke forest

This forest covers 420 square kilometer piece of land between Kilifi and Malindi towns with a variety of butterfly species and has several snakes, all these attractions contribute greatly to the massive influx of tourists in Malindi.

  • Bio Ken snake park

This park harbors the largest collection of Snakes in East Africa located a few kilometers out of Malindi town and it doubles as a research centre full of reptiles like snakes and snake-bite.

  • Gedi (Gede) ruins

The Gedi ruins stand just next to Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve protecting and preserving the historical and archeological findings in museum south of Malindi town.

  • The falconry

This place is home to several species of birds including the Eagles, Owls, Falcons and Pecker birds, among many others not forgetting a large tortoise of 200 years old snakes such as the Green Mamba, Python and Cobra.

  • Kipepeo (butterfly) Project

This place protects butterflies hatched from the pupae and they are exported and displayed in insect parks worldwide.

  • Takwa ruins

Takwa ruins are the existing remains of the 15th and 16th-century Swahili trading centre before it was abandoned in the 17th century.

How to get there

By plane

Malindi Airport is a small airport that can be reached from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wilson Airport in Nairobi, or Lamu Airport then Moi International Airport in Mombasa, about 110 km (70 miles) away and it is Kenya’s largest airport with flights throughout Africa, Europe and recently a direct flight to America’s John F Kennedy was launched. There are several domestic flights which include;

  • Fly540 Air  flying between Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi and Lamu
  • Airkenya flies to Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Lamu vice versa
  • Silverstone Air which flies to Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Lamu vice versa
  • Jambojet flying to Jomo Kenyatta in Nairobi to Lamu vice versa
  • Mombasa Air Safari flies between Mombasa and Lamu

By bus

Malindi town is connected by city coaches to Mombasa and Nairobi on a daily basis and they include.

  • Modern Coast
  • Dreamliner
  • Buscar EA buses
  • Pwani Tawakal buses
  • Mash Poa buses
  • Tahmeed buses

If you are considering visiting Malindi as part of your coastal Kenya tour,reach us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on +254713985762 and book a trip to one of Kenya’s top tourist destinations.