Here Are The Top Activities In Malindi

No. Travellers

International Adults
12+ years

International Children
Under 12 years

Resident Adults
12+ years

Resident Children
Under 12 years

Infants Under 2
International or Resident

No. Travellers

International Adults
12+ years

International Children
Under 12 years

Resident Adults
12+ years

Resident Children
Under 12 years

Infants Under 2
International or Resident

No. Travellers

International Adults
12+ years

International Children
Under 12 years

Resident Adults
12+ years

Resident Children
Under 12 years

Infants Under 2
International or Resident

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How to best spend your time in Malindi

  02 September 2017       Tripindigo       5 min read

For those of you who have yet to hear the name Malindi, it is a popular tourist destination located 120 Km to the North-east of Mombasa.  The area of Malindi is accessible by road, air and sea.  Many international visitors prefer to fly in directly by charter flights since it is the most convenient way to get there.  A flight from Nairobi will take 45 minutes while bus travel from Nairobi will take about 10 Hours.  

There are a number of exciting things to do in Malindi. From historical sites to cultural attractions, explore the exhaustive list of all other local attractions in Malindi. Discover new places to see and unique things to do nearby Malindi. Check out the list of attractions and activities to do in Malindi and nearby areas. It will help you to plan a perfect trip to Malindi. 

Malindi the friendly city

From its humble beginnings in the 14th century, Malindi was noted for its friendly people.  After rebuttal in Mombasa, Malindi offered sanctuary to Vasco da Gama and even offered him a guide to take him across the seas to India.  The Vasco da Gama’s pillar and the little Portuguese Church are a testimony to this friendship.  Earlier, the sultan of Malindi had welcomed Chinese sailors and offered a giraffe as a present to their King.   The giraffe was presented to Yong Le Emperor of China in 1415 during the Ming Dynasty. To this day, the giraffe is the symbol of the diplomatic relationship between China and African countries.  Due to its peaceful nature, Malindi continues to attract visitors from different corners of the world.  Notable is the large population of Italians which has earned the town the tag new Milano.

Now that we've had the introductions enough about the history, let's get into the fun part, what can you do in Malindi? Lets dive in


Tourist are attracted to Malindi by what they see and what they do (activities).  Two Marine Parks- Malindi Marine Park(In Malindi) and Watamu Marine Park( In Watamu) have colourful coral gardens with a splendid display of marine life.  Visitors in glass bottomed boats flock into the parks for snorkelling and diving expeditions but if you want more than just beach time and an even tan then check out these suggestions. 

For the explorer in Malindi

1. Gedi Ruins

The Gedi ruins are one of Kenya’s great mysteries. Set in an idyllic location on the Indian Ocean, and buried deep in a lush forest, the town was thought to have been founded in the early 13th-century, although hard evidence eludes most scientists. But what has really baffled researchers is the well-established town’s mysterious abandonment and incredible development.

2. Kipepeo (butterfly) Project

Kipepeo markets butterfly and moth pupae and other live insects as well as honey and silk cloth produced by the community. The live insects hatched from our pupae are exported and displayed in insect parks globally. As the market place for nature based products from the Arabuko Sokoke forest, Kipepeo coordinates production, sales and ensures through training and monitoring that the insects are bred and raised on-farm in a sustainable manner from the wild parent stock. You can check out more about the project or just pop in to purchase some naturally made goodies. 

3. Bio Ken snake park

The Bio-Ken is a research centre, which deals with reptiles, especially snakes and snake-bite. Located less than 5 minutes drive from the hotels in Watamu - Kenya, it houses the largest collection of Snakes in East Africa and is open to the public. Located just 35 minutes drive outside Malindi it's worth taking a trip down to the centre if you're keen on seeing some slithery creatures. 

4. The falconry

This beautiful destination is home to a large collection of birds. Tourists will be thrilled to see at close range a wide variety of bird species stationed out in the open within the park. These bird varieties include Eagles, Owls, Falcons and Pecker birds, among others. Adventurous tourists can opt to carry any of the eagle birds with the help of a guide. It’s indeed an amazing experience. Another fascinating animal in the falconry is a large tortoise which is 200 years old. This huge and slowly moving creature can be fed with bananas by tourists, guided by the falconry staff. Next is the snake chamber. The falconry parades an amazing variety of snakes such as the Green Mamba, Python, Cobra and others.

5. Takwa ruins

Takwa ruins are the remains of a thriving 15th and 16th-century Swahili trading town before it was abandoned in the seventeenth century. It is not only important because of its period of occupation but also because of its dense settlement and its relatively well-preserved remains. The unique Friday Mosque with a large pillar a top the qibla wall is among the most notable features. This pillar is believed to symbolize the burial of a Sheikh below the wall.

6. Vasco da gama’s pilar

More impressive for what it represents (the genesis of the Age of Exploration) than the edifice itself. Erected by da Gama as a navigational aid in 1498, the coral column is topped by a cross made of Lisbon stone, which almost certainly dates from the explorer’s time. There are good views from here down the coast and out over the ocean.

7. The Portuguese church

This church gets its name because Vasco da Gama is reputed to have erected it, and two of his crew is supposedly buried here. It’s certainly true that St Francis Xavier visited on his way to India.

8. Sawa Sawa dhow excursions

This is a full day of sailing and snorkelling on a traditional Swahilli show called Sawa Sawa. This trip is condiereed one of the top 10 attractions when visiting Malindi and offers a fantactic day of exploration, sea food and secluded beaches.

9. Tsavo East/ West National Parks

Tsavo is made up of two separate parks, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Located in Coast Province of Kenya in between Nairobi City and Mombasa. Tsavo is nearly 22,000km2, being the largest national park in Kenya and one of the largest in the world. The park was split into two due to the railway going from Mombasa to the interior of Kenya.

For Shopaholics In Maldini 

10. Nafisa Store

Look no further for pieces of Africana, vintage furnishings, antiques and – let's be honest – plain old junk. This is definitely one of the most eccentric and interesting stores in Malindi.

11. Mizizi Ya Afrika

This boutique take on a souvenir shop sells some bigger, more artistic (and pricier) carvings and beads than other places

12. Karen Blixen Vintage Shop

There's everything from silk purses to sows' ears inside this vintage treasure trove. We spied an orginal sax, old Kenyan irons (actually made from iron), hipster trousers and sundresses.

13. Kipepeo

Imported Italian bikinis, kaftans, sandals and lingerie: everything you need to pretend you're lovestruck in Napoli.

For Foodies In Maldini 

14. Baby Marrow

This standout restaurant is not only one of the best on the coast, but in the entire country. The gorgeous, leafy setting is absolutely charming, as are the staff who will bring you house specialities such as smoked sailfish, pizza bianca, vodka sorbet or Sicilian ice cream. The jungle bar is a good spot for a digestif.

15. I Love Pizza

We do too, and the pizza is done really well here – way better than you might expect this far from Naples. No matter how good the pizza, many people come instead for the seafood and pasta. The hip, renovated colonial building has a lovely terrace that is gorgeously lit at night and perfect for a romantic meal.

16. Jahizi

Another breeze-kissed Mama Ngina Rd hangout, this time with a hip slant on a fishing theme. Think big oysters, fish, juices, a long wine list and plenty of pizza. You could be in Sicily. Popular with everyone from waistcoated elderly gentlemen to stylish Malindians.

17. Osteria

Vintage celebrities deck the wall at this, one of the best Italian places in Malindi. There's a formal dining room, which is great for an evening meal, and a breezy terrace where you can eat lunch and watch the world go by. The menu is vast, taking in everything from panini to pizza, salad and risotto.

18. Karen Blixen Restaurant & coffee shop

Everyone in Kenya, it seems, wants to be Karen Blixen these days. This place isn't sure if it's a shabby-chic Karen Blixen or a blinging Karen Blixen, so it's gone for both looks, with scruffy leather seats and blinding gold lampshades. The pizza is as good as the coffee, and the place acts as Malindi's expat epicentre.

19. Old Man & The Sea

This Old Man’s been serving excellent seafood, using a combination of local ingredients and fresh recipes, for years. However, don't come to eat here in a hurry – each dish is made fresh and there is nothing fast about the food.

20. Dreamland Cafe

The outer walls look a bit like the children's ward of a hospital, but there's nothing sterile about this circular roadside lunch spot. Expect friendly service, local banter and a blaring TV. The fresh juice is good.

21. Kako

Chicken, chips and chapatis from this shiny hole-in-the-wall joint and it doesn't get more authenticily local than this, simply a must experience when it comes to being a foodie in Malindi.

For the party starters in Malindi

22. Rosanda

Right on the sand, Rosada is a chilled beach bar with some wonderful views out over the marine park. Monday night is a popular beach party, which sees dancing on the beach once the sun has gone down. There's also a recommended restaurant here.

23. Fermento Piano Bar

Fermento is the upmarket place of choice for a night out in Malindi, with a smart and young crowd who start off with cocktails before moving onto the packed dance floor.

24. Cheers

This tiny roadside bar deserves a mention for its lovely garden and fresh carrot juice. Who needs alcohol to clink glasses?

25. Putipo

Posh bar Putipo sits opposite the Karen Blixen Restaurant and Coffee Shop. Happy hour is every evening from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

26. Stars & Garters

You can count on seeing both – stars and garters – during a night out here. Enough said.

May you land in Malindi

If you are lucky enough to land up in Malindi you officially have no excuse not to make the absolute most of your time there. We've given you the lay of the land now it's up to you to pick the experience that suits you and enjoy your time there to the utmost. If you feel we've missed an activity that should be added to the list please feel free to let us know on our social media accounts. 


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