North of Mombasa on the Kenyan coast, Malindi has a split personality. This popular beach town is part historic old town, part modern tourist hub. Thanks to its rich trading history, it is also a melting pot of cultures and cuisines.
Travelers, many from Europe, come here to sun on the white sands of Watamu Beach and dive the coral reefs of the Malindi and Watamu Marine National Parks. If you’re looking for free things to do in Kenya, you can do worse than bask on a beautiful Malindi Beach.
You can also soak up a dose of Swahili history in the historic town, which dates from the 12th century. Here, you can visit the Jami Mosque; two pillar tombs from the 14th century; and the Church of St. Francis Xavier, one of East Africa’s oldest churches.
On the promontory, the Vasco De Gama Cross is one of the oldest standing monuments in Africa.
Another popular tourist attraction is the Falconry of Kenya, a rehabilitation center for sick and injured birds.
Also worth visiting, about 30 kilometers northeast of Malindi is the Marafa Depression. Also called Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari this set of sandstone gorges sculpted by the wind and rain is like a mini Grand Canyon.