An picturesque sea town with an extensively colorful history that dates back to 1498 when Vasco de Gama first visited. With the winding streets to the centuries-old houses, the story of Malindi unfolds. 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. One of the most prominent landmarks on the tour of Malindi is the Church of St. Francis Xavier, one of the oldest in East Africa that is situated near the Vasco de Gama Pillar. You also visit the Juma Mosque and learn about the unfortunate use of the structure for slave trading until the late nineteenth century.
Walk 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. A visit to the ruins of Gedi near Watamu takes you to the site of an abandoned coastal town that is surrounded by an intriguing mystery that lies within the remains of mosques, houses and other archaeological finds. Your touring time at Gedi includes tombs, the king’s palace, artifacts and a sunken court. With such a beautiful Malindi setting to explore, your African Mecca excursion also includes a glass bottom boat ride in the Malindi Marine Park where you look into the depths of the Indian Ocean to observe marine life in a natural setting and snorkeling can also be arranged. 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 otherworldly landscape has become part of local folklore. The thick jungles of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest reserve hide a world of wonders. In the cool of the forest winding paths will take you in search of rare endemic birds and mammals, and visiting herds of Elephant.