If the number of number of events and tourists coming to Malindi and Watamu over the December Holidays is anything to go by, then it is evident that Malindi, Kenya is now the new Mombasa and Zanzibar for domestic and International Tourists respectively.
Although Malindi had faced a relatively poor year when it comes to the general mwananchi, the last few days of December saw Malindi revived with a large number of visitors coming to small coastal town. Most of these visitors were in the town from the eve of Christmas all the way past the start of the year.
Malindi has always been that party town and many if not all come to have a good time. Malindi infrastructure and lifestyle has been made to suit tourists. This starts from the hotels and villas, privates houses and lodges. The clubs and restaurants operates best when things are peak. This said, there is no other town that will treat a tourist or visitor as they should be, because it is only in Malindi town that people are born “programmed” treating tourists as something precious – it is their source of livelihood. This reminds me of a popular saying in Swahili “Usichezee kazi, chezea mshahara“.
Got what it takes!
Have you ever wondered what it takes for a town to be a popular tourists destination? Malindi has it all, white and golden beaches, Marine Parks, Terrestrial Parks, Museums, Airports, Geological formations and even amazingly set “billionaire” five star resorts.
Malindi town has a decently built infrastructure. Most travellers coming from far do not have to fear long distance road travel. One can catch a flight to the town. Malindi International Airport (MYD) handles all local flights and international flights to two destinations, Italy and Uganda. The longest flight is usually an hour long. From the airport, most roads are either tarmacked or have cabro class filling. They are the connection to all sections of the town.
Malindi is home to the famous Vasco Da gama pillar, a monument put in place by the Portuguese explorer. There are many other sites include The Portuguese chapel, The Museum Complex, The explorer Monument .
The town is also rich is both Arab and Giriama cultures. This is evident in the architecture of the houses especially in Shella part of the town. This is a place that is heavily inhabited by swahili, descendants of the Arab settlers. Giriama culture is also seen in dances that takes places in different cultural centres within the town.
I would stop here on this first part of the article. It is a tradition of the Malindi people to head off and relax by the beach every Sunday evening, either Silversands or Marine Park. So on the next part of this article, i will be talking about the beaches, hotels and restaurants.