Malindians.com is a Tourism and information site of the town of Malindi for tourists and citizens. It is the best site for all the information you may need to know to discover and enjoy your stay in the town of Malindi Kenya. The site offers a tourist guide for both local and international tourists as well as news of what is happening within Malindi. With a dedicated team, we provide information and news of what is happening in each and every industry; education, tourism, politics, development, entertainment, sports and lifestyle among others.
WELCOME TO THE TOURISM AND INFORMATION SITE OF THE TOWN OF MALINDI KENYA
Geography & Location of Malindi
How to get to Malindi
Malindi is 120Km North of Mombasa on Mombasa – Lamu Highway (B8). It is just about 60kms from Kilifi town, Kilifi County headquarter. The most popular form of transport is a matatu when travelling from Mombasa and Kilifi. However, when travelling from Nairobi or Lamu, there are buses that ply that route.
Budget buses have fares ranging from $10 – $15 from Nairobi to Malindi and $8 – $12 from Lamu to Malindi. These take about 10 and 6 hours respectively. For a little more comfort, you will need to part with about $20 for a bus ride from the Capital. Train travel on the Madaraka Express on the Standard gauge Railway(SGR) from the capital, Nairobi ends at Mombasa. Economy prices are at $7 while First class prices are a little over $30.
3 Reasons Why You should Visit Malindi
Malindi is a town that is rich in different cultural experiences. This can be attributed to elements of Portuguese history, Italian, Arab and other local African Cultures
It is a friendly city with a cosmopolitan population, welcoming to all visitors and families with children, and open to minorities and alternative lifestyles
It is a compact and intimate town, ideal for a short city break or a longer romantic stay, with a lively cafe culture and a nightlife that is one of the most vibrant in the coast of Kenya.
Culture & Traditions
Malindi is an amazing place among other destinations in East Africa. The town has had a long history that was greatly influenced by Portuguese, Zanzibar Arabs & British rule that has shaped its architectural styles. The Swahili culture has a big influence on the dressing of the natives. Women wearing buibui and men putting on kanzu is an indicator of the presence of Islam within the town. Traditionally, women adorn Khangas as wrappers while men made shirts and trousers from them. Leather sandals for both men and women are a norm. They compliment well kanzu, buibui or khanga attires.
Urbanism & Architecture
Taking a stroll in the streets of Malindi Kenya is one of the amazing things one can do. A few glances on the houses built in different parts of town and you can immediately tell of the Swahili influence on the architecture. A few years back, most of the houses were thatched with palm tree leaves, commonly known as makuti. Like other communities, with the change of times, makuti thatching has been replaced with iron sheets. However, there are some parts that still value this kind of culture. Most beach hotels, villas, and resorts have this kind of roofing. In most neighbourhoods, if not all traditional houses are now being replaced with modern European style houses. These houses are usually made of a variety of materials. Some of them are made of coral stone bricks or earth with either thatch or iron sheet roofing.
Food traditions at Ceremonial Occasions
Without any exception, major ceremonial occasions in Malindi demand preparation of big sinia (platters) of food, such as pilau – a local recipe of spiced rice and meat dishes that are cooked to cater to local tastes and Swahili or Giriama culinary traditions. According to traditions, It is shameful for hosts to let guests leave hungry from a party, funeral or wedding ceremonies. Except among the Muslims and strict Christians that forbid it, serving alcohol is also an important—and sometimes symbolic—part of local ceremonies. The local brew, mnazi are sometimes served alone or alongside some manufactured alcoholic beverages.
FOOD & DRINKS
People of Malindi
Malindi is a metropolitan town with Kenyans of different tribes. Moreover, there are Europeans, Asians and Arabs that inhabit the town. However, the Giryama are the oldest inhabitants of Malindi Town. According to their traditional history, the Giryama originated in Shungwaya, probably in southern Somalia near Bur Gao. When the war-like Galla moved into Shungwaya area in the early sixteenth century, the Giryama were forced to leave. They went south along the coast and eventually settled in the Rabai Hills northwest of Mombasa. Here they remained until about 1875 when the land was no longer sufficient for the needs of their growing population. They consequently moved north, and by 1890 reached the Sabaki river.
The Tourism Industry of Malindi Kenya
Tourism is relatively the newest, fast growing and the most valuable single industry of Malindi. Back in 1968, tourism alone was worth at GBP 240,000 from hotel expenditure alone compared agriculture, fishing, and any other single retail business of Malindi. Tourism is also responsible for employing the largest number of people in the town and is the greatest earner of foreign exchange of any industry in Malindi.
There are two different kinds of tourists who come to the town of Malindi; the East African residents, especially from Kenya, who either drives his own car, boards a bus or flies from Nairobi to Malindi, and the overseas visitor mostly from Western Europe who flies directly to Malindi (with a change of aircraft in Nairobi) and spends almost his entire holiday in Malindi an occasional trip to Mombasa or a game park. Although both come to Malindi for the main purpose of sun and sea bathing, there are other amenities in the Malindi area which are geared more especially to the wants of one or the other type of tourist.
Tourist Attractions in Malindi
Malindi town is a quite an old town owing much of its current attractions to Portuguese explorers who were travelling around the world to India. The Vasco Da Gama Pillar is one of the most prominent landmarks with Malindi Town.
Not very far from the pillar, there stands an Old Portuguese Chapel that was used in the early days’ European explorers. As an effort to conserve National Heritage and Artifacts, The National Museums of Kenya built a museum, also known as the House of Columns just close to the Malindi Pier.
Not far from the pier, stands the Old District Commissioner office, now turned into a Museum. Outside is the least known landmark of a sail – Prince Henry the Navigator monument, built as a sense of direction by sailors to India.
Much of the buildings around the old District commissioner’s office are very old and are preserved by the The National Museums of Kenya as national heritage.
Just opposite the office is Uhuru gardens (Umoja Taxi), serves as a small picnic garden and also a part of Malindi’s tourist attractions.
History of Malindi
The age of the town of Malindi is still not known. However, by examining traditional oral histories, contemporary written accounts, and archaeological data an estimate can be made for the beginning of settlement in the town. The use of oral histories in Africa is now very much in vogue among scholars for the purpose of dating migrations and the founding of towns. But with some of the old settlements on the east coast oral histories have tended to be grossly inaccurate.
The earliest historical reference to an East African “Malindi” is found in Chinese geography called the Yu-yang-tsa-tsu published in 1060 but actually written by the Scholar Tuan Ch’eng-shih who died in AD 863. The archaeological evidence found in Malindi, although rather incomplete, supports the contention that Malindi as a town was founded in the thirteenth century.
James Kirkman, who spent ten years excavating the Arab town of Gedi, sixteen kilometres south of Malindi, has found in Malindi yellow green-glazed ware called sgraffiato which was made in Persia or Iraq in the thirteen century or possibly at the end of the twelfth century. This thirteenth -century date corresponds not only with the probable founding of Malindi but also with that of Lamu, Mombasa, and Gedi. Thus according to this historical and the most recent archaeological reports, Malindi was probably founded by Arabs in the early thirteenth century.
Accommodations and Hotels in Malindi Kenya
Malindi has some of the best and cool accommodation options in the coastal regions with several amazing hotels that feature modern design right in the heart of the town. Some of which can even be ranked world’s best. Many people tend not to indulge in the of a hotel and choose to stay in some of our best apartments or villas. Malindi town has numerous self-catering accommodation that offers infinite flexibility, and most often large groups or families prefer the ambiance and convenience that comes out of an apartment setup where the food can be prepared at a moment’s notice and the prices are actually very reasonable if not cheap.