Things to do, see in Malindi on a budget

The Vasco Da Gama pillar of Malindi, 517 years old.

The Kenyan coast is a magical place. It’s the destination everyone wants to go to, but if your trip isn’t well planned, it can get pretty expensive. There is a lot to offer along this stretch of the Indian Ocean.

And while many are familiar with Mombasa and the surrounding areas of Kilifi and Kwale, about 100 km north of Mombasa is an even more exclusive destination. This is Malindi and its surroundings.

However, despite the hype around Malindi and the seemingly tempting prices associated with it, there are ways to work on a modest budget. For starters, for accommodation, there are plenty of budget hotels and dining options on this stretch. Not on the beach itself, but you will be within walking distance of the beach.

Once you’ve found accommodation within your means, it’s time to research the sites of activities and attractions to visit, and this is where you’ll be spoiled for choice.

White Elephant Sea and Art Lodge

Sitting on the last branch of Arabuko Forest and facing Malindi National Marine Park, White Elephant was founded in 1984 by artist Armando Tanzini who had the vision of creating a marriage between nature and art.

Entrance to the lodge is free, but you have to buy a meal or a drink. There is an excellent art exhibition in various small galleries from the auditorium at the entrance to the other galleries inside the lodge.

A rocky outcrop at Hell’s Kitchen in Marafa, in the constituency of Magarini Malindi-Pic Peter Muiruri.

Visit the Vasco Da Gama pillar

The Vasco Da Gama Pillar is one of the most popular stories in Kenyan history. A quick trip to the pier in Malindi will leave you more enlightened and with more information than what is offered in the history books.

The pillar, edited by the National Museums of Kenya, gives you a glimpse into the life and work of the first European to reach India by sea. Access to the pillar will cost you Sh 100 for Kenyans. You have to show your national identity card.

Malindi National Museum

The little-known museum provides insight into different coastal tribes and cultures. The museum has different objects that were collected from the tribes of the coastal region and also presents the different trade routes used at the time.

Falcons and owls are among the birds that can be found at the Kenyan Falconry in Malindi.

During your stay, you can visit the House of Columns, home to the very first coelacanth fished in Kenya. It gives you a glimpse of this rare fish and also allows you to see its eggs, which have been stored in the House of Columns.

Mambrui sand dunes

Besides the archaeological and historical importance that Mambrui holds, it is one of the few places with beautiful intact sand dunes. Mambrui is also home to Kola Beach, also called the region’s “golden beach” due to the presence of sand dunes near the beach. A visit to Mambrui is free.

Visit Marafa Depression – Hell’s Kitchen

Popularly known as Hell’s Kitchen, Marafa is a sandstone canyon outside the town of Malindi. The place is known locally as “Nyari” which means “the place broken by itself”. Legend has it that there was once a village where the depression is located. One day, the inhabitants saw a vision that a miracle was happening in their village and that they had to move. Everyone moved except an old woman. The village has disappeared with the old woman inside.

The different colors of the sandstone are particularly striking at sunset.

Kenyan falconry

The Kenya Falconry acts not only as a zoo, but also as a rehabilitation center for birds of prey that have been injured. Most of the birds are brought there for medicine after being rescued from the wild. They are taken care of by a team of veterinarians and released into the wild. The registration fee is 200 sh per person.

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