Take a trip to Kenya’s Little Italy with a captivating Malindi safari.
Since Vasco da Gama’s fleet arrived in 1498, Malindi has been welcoming guests to this enchanting coast.
Vasco da Gama had suffered hostility in Mombasa and was stunned at the warm welcome he received from the sultan of Malindi who even gave him a guide to help him navigate the seas to India!
The sultan had a habit of opening his doors to Chinese sailors and other visitors from all corners of the world.
In appreciation to the sultan’s hospitality, he built the Vasco da Gama Pillar and the little Portuguese Chapel.
The Portuguese could see the pillar from afar and turn their vessels to the east if they were going to India or to the west if they were coming to Malindi.
Now, the pillar is a great spot for photography, fishing, and relaxation.
Back then, there were plantations of oranges, lemons, coconut palm trees and vegetables in Malindi and slaves and ivory were exported. This attracted the Swahili from Pemba and Zanzibar Islands and they continue to live in Malindi to this day.
Many Italians from Sicily have settled in Malindi since the 1970s and Italian culture, language, and cuisine are not uncommon. Expect to have the best Italian pizza, pasta and ice cream during your Malindi safari.
As expected, Malindi has become a busy town, lacking the architecture of Lamu and the charm of Watamu. However, it has many historical sites, a marine national park and long stretches of white sandy beach which make for an exciting Malindi safari.
Malindi fish are known to be so familiar with humans that they swarm in front of you when you’re underwater.
One of the historical sites you can visit is Gede. This town founded in the 12th century was prosperous until the 17th century when it was abandoned and now lies in ruins.
This site makes for an informative history session before a tour of the Kipepeo Project and Arabuko Sokoke Forest.
- Ruins of Gedi
- Vasco da Gama Pillar
- Portuguese Chapel of St Francis Xavier
- Over 200 species of snakes at Watamu Snake Park
- Marafa Hell’s Kitchen
- Arabuko Sokoke Forest
- Kipepeo Butterfly Project
- Swahili architecture on the House of Columns
- The Malindi Pier
- Deep sea fishing
- Take a Malindi town tour
- Snorkel at Malindi Marine Park
- Glass bottom boat rides
- Scuba diving
- Paddle boating
- Golf at Malindi Golf Course
- Take a dhow cruise
- Explore colonial history at Malindi Museum
- Bird watching at Mida Creek
Places to stay while at Malindi
- Driftwood Beach Club
- Ocean Beach Resort & Spa
- Lion in the Sun Resort
- Scorpio Villas
- Sandies Tropical Village
- Sandies Coconut Village
- Kilili Baharini Resort & Spa
- Diamonds Dream of Africa
- Coral Key Beach Resort
- White Elephant Sea Lodge
- Ripasso Apartments
- Casuarina Villas Resort
- Villa Fortuna
- Leopard Point Luxury Beach Resort & Spa
- Tamani Jua Tao Resort
- Malaika Beach Villas
- Oasis Village
- Kibali Villas
- Kola Beach Resort
- African House Resort
When to schedule a Malindi safari
Malindi lies to the south of the equator so it experiences hot and humid sunny weather all year round.
Long rains fall from April to July and short rains come from November to December. Rains do not fall all day; you will have breaks of sunshine.
December to March are the warmest months with average temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit while July and August being cooler, register average temperatures of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Malindi’s shoreline gets windy in September and seaweed covers the beach in June, July, and November.
How to get to Malindi
- By air: Malindi is served by the Malindi Airport which is 2.5 kilometers out of town. There are scheduled flights daily between Mombasa and Malindi as well as Lamu and Nairobi. Malindi airport also serves private charters and you can get a taxi from the airport to your hotel.
- By road: You can drive your own car or hired vehicle all the way to Malindi. You could also take a matatu (bus-taxi), cab or request a vehicle transfer from your hotel. The palm-fringed Mombasa Malindi road is approximately 120km.
What to pack for a Malindi safari
- Beach dresses
- Smart casual clothing for evenings
If Malindi is on your mind, check out the Malindi safari packages available or call an agent to customize your trip.
|Languages spoken||Swahili, English, Italian|