The Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve is hands down one of the best tourist destinations in the the coastal region. With lots of fun things to see and do, it is a perfect destination for lone and group travelers.
Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve is the oldest marine park in Africa. It’s 118 km away from Mombasa town and lies in the North. The park is endowed with spectacular coral reefs, grass beds, coral lagoons, and mangroves. Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve is the perfect getaway for the weekend or vacation holiday. The Park is home to over 600 species of fish and 135 types of gastro ponds.
You will also find over 200 species of benthic algae and 12 kinds of ethnicoids. Other attractions include the beach, water sports, and fishing activities. The famous marine national park was started in the year 1968 and from then changed into a UNESCO world heritage location by 1979.
What to do at Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve
Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve is blessed with numerous marine species. Exploring the reserve, you’ll get a to watch the full view of magical marine life like crabs, sea urchins, jellyfish, sea stars, sea cucumbers, and coral.
Bird lovers have a lot to explore at Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve. The perfect bird watching is the water lagoon known as Mida Greek. It is 20 km from Malindi. Arabuko forest also provides the same adventure and a memorable experience. There is a variety of migrant shorebirds found in this park.
For wanderers who love water activities. Sunbathing along the beach is breathtaking as you enjoy the breeze of the Indian Ocean breeze.
Scuba diving is one of the major attractions in this reserve. Most diving sites are closer to the reserve which takes 15-25 minutes by boat. The diving spots are beginner-friendly and equipment available at the park for hire.
Visitors can indulge in incredible marine exploration by getting a boat to the off-shore coral formation. The ideal time for snorkeling is two hours on the low tide.
With about 600 varieties of fish, fishing is a great outdoor adventure. Though the Island has fishing restrictions, in the reserve it’s possible. Fishing equipment is usually available for hire in the reserve.
You’ll enjoy water activities such as water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, and surfing. Lessons are available if you want to learn any water sport.
Guided nature walks
Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve is a scenic view and enjoyable to stroll around. With the mangrove vegetation and the ocean view, there’s no doubt that a nature walk is worth it. In the park, you will also find the famous Gedi ruins, a Swahili city dating back to the 13th century.
There’s available accommodation in the park called Casuarina. The campsite has a cool shade of indigenous trees which provide a full view of the white sandy beaches. Your stay will help make memories you want to hold on to forever.
Other places to find accommodation include Driftwood beach club, Sandies Coconut village, Ocean Beach Resort, and many more.
How to get there
The marine reserve is accessible by road(Malindi – Mombasa highway ) or by air. You can take a cab from Mombasa or public vehicles. If you choose to get there by air, Malindi airport will make your journey easier.
It depends on the activities on your to-do list. For example, if you plan to swim, carry swimming costumes or binoculars for nature walks. Since Malindi is hot, carry sandals, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Bring friends, it’s fun to surf with them
Park Entry fee
Kenyan citizens pay a KES 100 for adults while children pay KES 50 .Residents with an alien ID are charged KES 300 for adults and KES 150 for kids.Foreign nationals pay $10 for adults and $5 for children .
The best time to visit
From the swaying palm trees, the coastal air, and the splendid beaches of Malindi, you can hop in anytime. You can enjoy all that the outdoors the reserve has to offer all year. However, the weather can play a significant role in the quality of your Malindi journey.
So you should be concerned about the two rainy seasons in Malindi .Long rains begin in March and April while short rains happen in November. So it’s open to tourists most of the year .