Malindi Marine Park and Reserve lie between Lat. 3o and 4o south, about 118 km from Mombassa town. It is located to the south of Malindi town, and it is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral gardens in the lagoons, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats, and high fish diversity, marine mammals (e.g. dolphins), turtles and various species of shorebirds.
Malindi is one of the oldest towns in Eastern Africa, mentioned in the 12th century by an Arab trader. Chinese porcelain was found already in the 9th century, brought in ships from the Persian Gulf, Arabia and India, returning with ivory, mangrove poles, leopard skins and slaves.
In 1417 Malindi was visited by a Chinese fleet and they took a Giraffe to the Chinese Emperor. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, visited Malindi in 1498 and was welcomed by the friendly King, who supplied his ships with fresh fruits, water and most important a pilot/navigator.
Malindi was at that time a wealthy town, with multi-storied buildings, surrounded by walls. In the 16th Century Malindi’s prosperity declined due to the fact that Mombasa had better harbor and facilities. The English farmers rediscovered Malindi for its relaxed ambiance, beautiful beaches and opportunity for water sports like deep-sea fishing and snorkeling. Tourism in Kenya started in Malindi, as Europeans were looking for safari and beach holidays, in 1960 mass tourism started by charters landing in Mombasa and put Malindi on the world map. In 1980 the Italians found Malindi to be the perfect place for building their private homes, followed by hotels and restaurants.
Malindi town has not changed much since the last hundred years, with old houses, small shops, beautiful beach and friendly people. The local residents Arabs, Giriama’s and Swahilis are used to visitors and love to mix with them in their own unhurried pace.
Malindi is the place for kite surfing, diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and many other water sports. It is also a perfect start for your Safari to Tsavo National Park.