Malindi Kenya Guide

Malindi town is the second largest coastal town of Kenya, with two townships of  Malindi and Watamu. Malindi Kenya is situated about 120 km north of Mombasa just a little south of the equator. Malindi  Kenya has a coastline of 155 kilometres.

A Guide to Magical Malindi

Malindi doesn’t just have a blissful climate, beautiful beaches and a brilliantly bustling vibe; it’s also got style, chic and a hot, hot, HOT nightlife. No wonder, it’s
had over six centuries to perfect its exclusive take on sun, sand and scintillation.

Mentioned in one of the world’s first ever travel guides, written by traveller and historian Abu al Fida (1273-1331), Malindi has been attracting the world’s glitterati since the 13th century, when it had already established itself as the ‘go to’ resort of the East African coast.

In 1414, the Chinese explorer, Zheng He, anchored his fleet off the town and such was his rapport with the locals that they gave him a giraffe as a gift. Next came Vasco da Gama in 1498. It was the first place he visited in Africa – and he liked it so much that not only did he rush back there on his return from India, but he was also very keen to sign an exclusive trading agreement with its ruling sheikh.

By 1498, Malindi was booming. It had a wealthy ruling Arabic class, a heady mix of Indian, Chinese and African merchants and markets full of hedonistic treasures. By 1499 the Portuguese had joined Malindi’s fan club, establishing a trading hub there, and by 1861 the Sultan of Zanzibar had made Malindi his slave-trading capital. By 1890, the British had taken over and abolished slavery. But everyone still wanted a piece of the magical Malindi action.

In the 1930s Malindi was in the news again, this time as the preferred haunt of writer and celebrity Ernest Hemingway, who famously drank gin at the Blue Marlin hotel and fished for marlin in the blue waters of the bay.

In the 1950s Malindi boasted a number of fashionable hotels, many of them built by Europeans returning from the war, and was the preferred holiday resort of the British colonials.

And then, in 1964, a small group of Italian scientists arrived in Malindi to establish the San Marco Space Research Centre. And so enchanted were they by the intoxicating mix of sun, sea and Swahili style that most of them never left. Soon word of this enchanting Swahili town had drifted back to Italy and, throughout the 1970s, the Italians flocked to the place (swiftly followed by the rest of the fashionistas of Europe).

The Italians, however, liked Malindi so much that they christened it ‘Little
Italy in Africa’ and today 30,000 Italian tourists visit the town per annum, 1,500 Italians live there permanently, there are over 50 Italian owned hotels and resorts in the place, and it is regularly visited by Italian billionaires, beauties, celebrities and politicians alike.

It even has its own Italian Consulate.

So no wonder then, that the pizzas in Malindi are the finest you can get outside of Italy, that the streets are studded with superb Italian restaurants, that the prosecco starts popping late morning, that the gelati are as good as you’ll get outside Rome; and that the style on the street is Malindi meets Milan.


Malindi Town Climate and Geography

The weather in Malindi Kenya is generally hot and humid throughout the year. The long rains come from April to July and the short rains from October to November. The mean daily temperature is around 22o Celsius minimum and 30,5o Celsius maximum.

Malindi Town History 

Malindi Kenya has been a Swahili settlement since the 14th century. Once rivaled only by Mombasa for dominance in this part of East Africa, Malindi has traditionally been a port city for foreign powers. In 1414, the town was visited by the fleet of the Chinese explorer Zheng He. Malindi’s ruler sent a personal envoy together with a giraffe as a present to China on that fleet.

The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama met Malindi authorities in 1498 to sign a trade agreement and hire a guide for the voyage to India, when he erected a still existent coral pillar. In 1499 the Portuguese established a trading post in Malindi which served as a resting stop on the way to and from India. A church dates from this era. The pillar stands to this day, though there have been calls by conservationists to take care of the pillar, since soil erosion might make the pillar fall into the ocean.

Many traditional buildings survive, including the Juma Mosque and palace on the beach, a stretch popular with tourists.

Economic Activities in Malindi Kenya

Economically, the tourist sector is by far the most important industry in Malindi Municipality. The most significant economy outside Malindi Township is agricultural based. Beside these there are some fisheries activities, manufacturing and commerce and trade.


So what’s to see and do in Malindi? Plenty…

Swahili style

Bright, bustling and intensely Swahili in character, Malindi has restaurants, bars, boutiques, craft markets, carving centres and more. It also features a number of 13th century Portuguese monuments, the distinctive Juma mosque and pillar tombs, a number of fascinating curio shops and a working fish market.

There is also a reptile park, falconry centre, horse-riding centre and the Malindi Golf and Country Club.

Hot nightlife

Thanks to its cosmopolitan air and young and fashionable clientele, Malindi has a reputation for the vibrancy of its nightlife, which centres on a superb selection of live music venues, clubs, discos, casinos and bars – each of which is defined by its own very distinctive character. The action starts early and finishes late – very late; and the cocktails are legendary.

Mecca of the big game fishermen

Malindi is the venue for the most prestigious of Kenya’s big game fishing tournaments. Typically taking place between October and February, they attract anglers from all over the world, all of whom come to do battle with such giants of the deep as; marlin, reef shark, barracuda, manta ray, tuna and sailfish.

Beach life

Malindi’s beaches are exquisite, attracting sun worshippers from all over the world. Standing on a panoramic sweep of bay where surfing is possible all year-round, Malindi boasts numerous water-sporting schools and 13 superb dive sites.

Coral gardens and whale sharks

The famous Watamu Marine Park and Reserve shelters a wide variety of tropical coral and marine life (leaf fish, frog fish, octopus, crocodile fish, angel and butterfly fish, groupers, barracuda, white-tip reef sharks, manta rays, whale sharks and dolphins).

Places to Visit in Malindi Kenya

In the unlikely event that you run out of things to do in Malindi – there are plenty of places to visit within easy reach. Such as:

Hell’s Kitchen

A vast cauldron of streaked ochre and gold, simmering-hot in the heat of the day and glowing a magnificent dull gold as dusk falls, Hell’s Kitchen, or to give its official name, the Marafu Depression, lies a half-hour drive out of Malindi town.

Known by the locals as the place that broke itself, this very perceptive title reveals an ancient race memory. Once upon a time, it seems, this area was an unusually soft sandstone escarpment but over the centuries it was eroded by wind, rain and crashing torrents of water until it came to resemble a miniature Grand Canyon.

Now its towering rock chimneys and its deeply gouged sides give it the appearance of a soot-streaked giant’s cooking pot. Owned by the local community, Hell’s Kitchen makes a fascinating sidetrip from Malindi and there are guides on hand to show you around. But be warned: if you go during the heat of the day, you’ll find out exactly why it’s known as Hell’s Kitchen.

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

The largest tract of indigenous coastal forest remaining in East Africa, this cool green shaded realm is famous for its 240 species of birdlife, its butterflies and its
nature trails. It is also world-renowned as the home of the rare golden-rumped elephant shrew.

The mystique of Mida Creek

A place of mysterious mangrove forests, startling bird life, stunning sunsets and secret creeks, Mida Creek offers canoe trips, bird spotting and a trail-blazing eco project in support of the local Giriama people.

The ghostly glamour of Gedi

Easily the most fascinating Swahili settlement in East Africa, a visit to the haunted city of Gedi is not to be missed.

How To Get Malindi Town

Malindi is easily accessible by road from the city of Mombasa which located 120 kilometers away. The Mombasa-Malindi highway is well maintained and a very busy road with traffic comprising personal cars, public transport “matatus” and commuter buses. Tour vans are also common feature on the road, transporting tourists to and from Mombasa hotels and other locations.
Located some 10.5 km west of Malindi town is Malindi Airport, a domestic airport that receives both scheduled and chartered flights from Mombasa International Airport in the city of Mombasa, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the capital Nairobi and domestic Wilson Airport also in Nairobi.

Like most towns in Kenya, Malindi has a good number of taxis and motorcycles locally referred to as “Boda Boda” that are good for short distances. The motorcycle taxis are very useful for short trips like venturing deep into areas of interest not easily accessible by vehicles. 14-Seater public transport vehicles locally known as “Matatu” are also available. These operate on specific roads that link Malindi town.

Being a major tourist destination, the town is not short of cars for hire. Major car hire companies in Kenya have their offices in the town. The majority of tourists who visit Malindi mainly get around via pre-arranged travel packages offered by tour companies.

Night Clubs and Nightlife in Malindi Town

Malindi, Kenya, has some great nightlife and entertainment to chose from. tripwolf helps you find the best nightlife and entertainment in Malindi. Below are the best party nightlife

  1. Casino Malindi
  2. Stars and Garters
  3. Stardust Club
  4. Palm Garden
  5. Club 28
  6. Fermento Disco Bar

Accommodations and Hotels in Malindi Kenya

1. Kivulini Beach Resort

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

Kivulini Beach Resort is situated in a 4 hectare garden on the beachfront of Mayungu, not far from Malindi. The resort has panoramic views of this private beach, which is accessed by steps leading down from the resorts gardens. The camp is operated by the Italian-based Ora Hotel Group

There are 36 en-suite rooms .All rooms have aircon, fan, telephone, minibar and satellite TV with international and Italian channels. The restaurant, with views across the bay, serves buffet breakfast, iunch and dinner.

For further information please visit:

2. Scorpio Villas

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

ln 3 acres of tropical gardens, Scorpio Villas offer accommodation in a collection of villas that blend Lamu style with African decor. The villas are located 2 km from Malindi town centre making them convenient for visitors who want to experience the shops, restaurants, bars and casino of Malindi.

3.African Pearl Hotel

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

Afrika Pearl and Spa is a beautiful Diani Beach Hotel in South Coast of Kenya with a fantastic large sand beach and a well maintened gardens next to lush forest and breath taking view of the ocean.
Our ocean facing rooms have stunning ocean view, just 15 meters from the beach, fully equiped with a private terrace designed to provide maximum well-being and relaxation. They offer comfort et refinement in order to cultivate a relaxed and intoxicating atmosphere. It’s also perfect place for families. Your kids feel like home in our well equipped kids club, under care of our knowledge personne. The atmosphere is amazing, an invitation for idleness and well being.

4. Kilili Baharini Resort & Spa

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

In beachfront gardens on Malindi Beach, Kilili Baharini Resort and Spa is an exclusive resort, offering luxurious relaxation.
There are 29 en-suite rooms, 4 suites and 2 junior suites. Ali rooms have aircon, fan, minibar, safe, telephone and mosquito net. They are tastefully furnished in Swahili style, and adorned with African artefacts and exquisite fabrics‘ There are 5 swimming pools; ali rooms open onto 1 of the pools and have their own private veranda on which breakfast is served.

5. Sai Eden Roc Hotel

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

Standing in a 38 acre tropical garden with direct access to the miles along Malindi beach is Sai Eden Rock Hotel.The location is unique, combine a beach vacation with all the amenities of the historical coastal town of Malindi and easy access to Tsavo East National Park.
On Saturday night, there is a Kenyan barbecue, with nyama choma grilled meats. The Dhow Grill Restaurant has an a la carte menu. There is also a lounge bar, pool bar, beach bar, open air disco and nightclub.

6. Lion in the Sun Resort

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

The sun, considered the life giver, and the lion, considered a force of nature, were chosen to give their names to this luxury resort. The res0rt’s concept is open spaces, freedom, unique environment, complete relaxation and self discovery. Arab and Indian influences fuse in the architecture.

There are 7 suites, 7 superior rooms and 2 singles in the main building and 4 annex structures. Each room is uniquely designed; each artifact and decoration has been individually chosen. The spacious suites are intended for privacy and relaxation. The superior rooms have views of the gardens and private pool. For the utmost privacy the resort can be taken exclusively.

7. Diamonds Dream of Africa Resort

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

Diamonds Dream of Africa, where the enchanting force of nature melds with the exotic Indo-Arabic architecture to create a hypnotic charm, which, in Swahili, is known as bembeleza.

Thanks to our all inclusive formula you will be able to enjoy every second of your holiday without any thought, pampered by our professional staff that is ready to satisfy all your desires. Sit yourself down on the Balinese armchairs on your room’s terrace and listen to the sound of the wind and the rustling of the palm trees, enjoy the music of the waves and let your heart dance in silence: your dream of total relaxation is finally a reality.

8. Lawford’s Hotel

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

Lawford’s is one of the oldest and loveliest hotels in Malindi. It was renovated in 2006, and combines old English style, African atmosphere and Italian hospitality. The resort is in a large tropical garden that extends along Malindi’s beachfront.

There are 60 suites, made up of 50junior suites and 10 executive suites. All suites have aircon, mosquito net, hairdryer, TV, DVD, minibar, dining table and large private veranda.

9. Twiga Hotel

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

Twiga Hotel, on the beachfront, faces Sardinia Two coral atolls, which appear and disappear with the movement of the tides. The hotel is operated by the ltalian—based Ora Hotel Group.

There are 64 en—suite rooms, made up of 38 standard, 24 superior and 2 ocean view. The rooms, built in Arabic style, are all within sight of the Indian ocean. Each room has a desk, cupboard and balcony, and is equipped with aircon, luggage holder, TV, safe, fridge, kettle and hairdryer,interconnecting rooms, suitable for families, are available.

10. Seaview Resort

Category: Hotels in Malindi Kenya

Set in mature tropical gardens and natural indigenous forest, Seaview Resort is on the beachfront of Malindi. The resort offers sel-catering accommodation as well as a restaurant. The Bahari Stables are home to highly trained horses that are available for rides both in the forest and on the beach.

Education Institutions in Malindi Town

  1. Malindi Institute of Business Studies
  2. Nusra Technical Training Institute
  3. Malindi Education and Development Association MEDA
  4. Malindi College of Accountancy
  5. Mombasa Aviation Training Institute Malindi Campus
  6. Royal Beauty College
  7. Jusnet Business Institute
  8. Bluewaters Institute of Professional Studies – BIPS
  9. DALC Education Malindi Campus
  10. Hospitality & Hotel Management Institute
  11. Barani Secondary School
  12. Malindi High School
  13. Malindi Progressive Academy Secondary School
  14. Malindi Premier School
  15. jilore malindi
  16. Malindi Little Angels Junior School
  17. Malindi Kings Academy
  18. Little Angels
  19. Kingsway Junior Academy
  20. Tarasaa Secondary School
  21. Marafa Secondary School
  22. Jilore Secondary School
  23. Galana Secondary School
  24. Twheed Girls Muslim Academy
  25. The Silversands Academy
  26. Malindi Academy

Malindi Kenya Photos

Malindi Town - Malindi Kenya

Malindi Kenya Videos