Sensational beaches meet small-town charm in exotic Malindi. Backed by dense jungle, you might hear the distant call of elephants as you relax on the fine, white sand. Venture inside the Arabuko Sokoke Forest to search for the haunting deserted town of Gedi. Dive beneath the water to explore colourful coral gardens. Or simply unwind in your luxury beach resort, cocktail in hand.
Gorges, ghost towns and glistening white sands along Kenya’s picture-perfect coast.
Things to do
Tread the waters at Malindi Marine Park and you’ll encounter colourful coral reefs, sea grasses and mangroves. Book a glass-bottomed boat tour to peer into the underwater world as you drift on the ocean. Or don a snorkel and flippers and head for the waves on a private snorkelling adventure. If you’re lucky you’ll meet Green and Hawksbill turtles, angelfish and lobsters. There are over 300 species of fish to discover.
The moon-like landscape of the Marafa Depression is a staggering sight. Known locally as Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari – ‘the place broken by itself’ – it’s an ochre-hued sandstone stretch of gorges and gullies 30km from Malindi. At different times of day the rocks can appear pink, white and then orange as the sun dips below the horizon. A little closer to the coast is the Gedi National Monument – the crumbling remains of an old Swahili town. Abandoned in the 17th or 18th century, the forest now snakes around these eerie ruins.
If you can bear to leave the white sands, visit Malindi’s old town and its bustling market. You’ll find a vast array of stalls and local craftsmen selling carvings and curios, from African drums to sandals made from old tyres.
Look out for the Vasco de Gama pillar that towers above Malindi’s coastline. This stark landmark dates back to 1498.
Top tip from SLH