Howdy! 😀 Are you ready to shut down and call it a holiday? Super! In this blog post, I’ll share 7 fun things to do in Malindi, and why this place should be on your holiday bucket-list…
How To Get To Malindi:
There are 3 ways to get to Malindi, from Nairobi: by air, road & rail.
If traveling by rail, you’d have to connect through Mombasa. You’ll spend 4 hours on the SGR, then another 2h 15 minutes to Malindi by road. If you choose to go by bus, it takes about 8h 15minutes, on a good day.
The fastest, and most convenient route to get to Malindi is flying, which takes only 1h 15 minutes. This allows you more time in your schedule to explore the many fun things to do in Malindi without stress or fatigue to contend with.
The Jambojet In-flight Experience!
I still remember my very first visit to Malindi with my family, for our first ever, out-of-town holiday, a few years ago. It was on board a Jambojet flight, and that still remains one of my best travel memories to date!! 😀
So, when Jambojet called about visiting Malindi as part of the #NowTravelReady campaign, mine was an ecstatic Yes!
On D-day, the flight attendant- impeccably clad in her Jambojet uniform- welcomed us aboard with a masked face and smiling eyes. After sanitising our hands, she directed us towards the back of the plane.
I kept my eyes on the cabin heads, looking out for my seat… I was surprised to learn that our seats were at the back of the plane. You know, the very last seat. It was a new, and welcome ordeal!
As we got ready for take-off, my seat-mate Karen commented: “I love how they always keep time. We’ve left at the exact indicated departure time.”
I smiled beneath my mask, and nodded my head in agreement… It really is commendable! And in my experience, whenever there’s likely to be a delay or change in flight times, Jambojet communicates this in advance.
Our flight from Nairobi to Malindi went smoothly, with hardly any turbulence to reckon with. It felt like we’d jumped through a time loop, when the Captain soon announced his intention to land the plane in Malindi.
Like second nature, I whispered a prayer of thanks to God for a safe flight… After all, arriving at your destination is indeed an answered prayer. 🙂
Quick Facts about Flying to Malindi with Jambojet
- Malindi is one of Jambojet’s 6 local destinations in Kenya.
- Jambojet flies to Malindi 16 times weekly, making it easily accessible to fly in and out for business or on holiday.
- It takes 1hour 15 minutes, to fly from Nairobi to Malindi.
- Check out the Jambojet website Here to make your booking.
- You are required to keep your mask on during the duration of the flight.
7 Fun & Affordable Things To Do Malindi!
In this post we’ll explore the things to do in Malindi and its environs: Watamu and the Tsavo East.
Hence, this blog post will have something for you whether you enjoy a beach getaway or if you prefer a bush escape…
A is always for Accommodation!
I bet we can all agree that a good trip is made better by lovely accommodations, ay?
One of the first things to do in Malindi, (well, before your trip) is to book yourself for a stay at the Malindi Dream Garden…
It is part of the PlanHotels, a conglomerate of three hotels: Sandies Malindi Dream Garden, Sandies Tropical Village and Diamond Dream of Africa. With 3 hotels in one, PlanHotel has an option for each kind of traveler- from budget to luxury.
During our visit, we stayed at the Malindi Dream Garden. And though it is in the mid-range, it feels quite luxurious with its boutique-feel quality! They have 44 deluxe rooms and 4 suites.
Bonita and I lucked out and ended up with a Suite… Overlooking a glorious garden pool, our suite was simply delightful! Furnished with tasteful décor & pieces, it has a spacious lounge area, a comfortable queen-size bed and plenty of closet space.
The rest of the property is huge with a plethora of things to do: they have a spa, about 4 swimming pools, two restaurants, a beach & pool bar.
We enjoyed getting together over meals, where they serve buffet with an array of foods to choose from.
I particularly enjoyed breakfast, thanks to their live cooking station where the Chef effortlessly whips up tasty pancakes or preps your eggs just the way you like it! 😀
Furthermore, being a beachfront hotel, you can go swimming in the ocean or start your day by spying on a sunrise. 🙂
- Reach out to Malindi Dream Garden Here for their rates.
Visit Marafa Hell’s Kitchen
Located about a 1hours’ drive away from Malindi, Marafa Hell’s Kitchen is a work & wonder of Mother Nature!
After years of soil, wind, and water erosion, great depressions have formed in the land, causing the most scenic canyons to behold! Locally, the place is known as ‘Nyari‘ which apparently means: the place broken by itself.
And from its name, you can tell that the place is usually scorching hot! So the best time to go is in the late afternoons, as the weather is cooling off.
Marafa Hell’s Kitchen is maintained by the community. You can opt to go on a guided tour through the Canyon. It’s about an hours’ walk. The tour ends at the highest point which offers panoramic views of the sunset. 😀
- Wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Carry sunscreen and water.
- The entrance fee is: Kshs. 200 per person (for Citizens) + Kshs. 500 (guide fee) per group.
Try Scuba Diving At The Malindi Marine Park
Have you ever wanted to try Scuba Diving? The Malindi Marine Park is one of the best spots for scuba diving in Kenya. You’ll get to experience rich coral gardens while swimming with sea turtles and all kinds of fish..
And for beginners, the guys at Blue Fin Diving will take you through a short training & practice session to get you acquainted with the equipment, plus what to expect.
My travel mates: Bonita, Foi, Kai, Mr & Mrs. Rage, and had the best time going in for a dive! 🙂
- Reach out to the guys at Blue Fin Diving Here for more details on the rates.
Swim in the Ocean or Go Snorkelling
If you aren’t ready for hardcore diving just yet, you can try snorkelling. It’s less involving and you can wear a life-jacket, to be safe. The guides are especially attentive to non-swimmers, making sure everyone feels comfortable.
I have tried it in the past, and swimming with the fishes is such a beautiful experience!
- Check out this post on the Wild Wild Waters of Watamu for more things to do in Malindi.
- Request your hotel to pack lunch for you, as a visit to the Marine Park is usually a day’s trip.
- If you are prone to getting seasick, buy anti-nausea medication in advance…
- With local boat operators, snorkeling costs about Kshs.1,200 per adult, and Kshs. 800 for children.
Enjoy Watamu With A Sundowner Cruise
I honestly believe Watamu is one of Kenya’s best gems, with its kind, friendly people, the laidback holiday vibes and most importantly, the sunsets!
After a day of fraternizing with the marine world, our friends from Kilian Travels ushered us to Watamu. The trip from Malindi to Watamu, typically takes about 30-40 minutes.
Our hosts for the cruise, Turtle Bay Watamu, had everything ready when we arrived… The dhow is comfortable, with cushions laid out on the floor.
And soon as the trip commenced, they started serving the most delicious bitings: samosas, chicken skewers and prawns, with bottomless drinks! The food is cooked on the dhow, so each dish comes out piping hot & yummy!
Towards the end of the cruise, the crew kept us entertained with local tunes… It’s really a must-have-experience! 🙂
- It costs Kshs. 4,800 per person…
- The sunset dhow cruise is best enjoyed with a group of friends. (Max: 22 people & 6 people minimum).
- Get there by 4:30 pm to better enjoy the cruise and to catch the sunset.
Roadtrip to Tsavo For a Bush Experience
If you prefer the bush experience, or a little bit of both, then perk up! 😀
The Tsavo National Park is the largest Park in Kenya at about 22 000km². It takes about 4hours from Malindi to Tsavo East, through the Sala Gate.
The ride to the Tsavo is unforgiving thanks to the heat, thick red dust and a lengthy rough road section. However, you will be treated to a gorgeous scenery with wildlife colouring the landscape. 🙂
Right on time for a game drive, we happened upon a pack of about 8-10 lions enjoying a siesta, giraffes and the red elephants of Tsavo, grazing in a chill manner.
We arrived at the Voi Safari Lodge at dusk. Fatigued from the trip, we freshened up, had dinner and called it a night.
The views that accosted us the next morning, made the drive from Malindi all the more worth it! 🙂
Set on a hill, Voi Safari Lodge overlooks the Tsavo National Park, in all its glory. And with a strategically positioned watering hole, you get to see all kinds of wild animals coming over for a drink.
That morning I got to do Yoga outside, accompanied by the soundtrack of birds singing and flying above me. It felt so calming & surreal. 🙂
It’s the kind of place where you can unplug from the world & retreat in nature…
- A stay at the Voi Safari Lodge costs Kshs. 9,500/- and Kshs. 14,500/- for a single & double room respectively.
- More things to do at the Tsavo: You can go for a morning game drive, visit Mudanda Rock or go to the Lugard Falls.
- If you chose to do both, go from bush to beach. It’s more relaxing that way. 🙂
Let Your Hair Down: Gala Dinner & Beach Party!
On our last night in Malindi, PlanHotels had put up a Gala Night by the beach. Imagine warm ambient lights, a live band, over a buffet with all kinds of finger-licking foods…
Then towards the end of the night, there’s a beach party with a DJ, where you get to let your hair down & lean into the holiday feels.
Sounds like a plan, right? 🙂
- The gala dinner happens each Saturday night for their guests.
My sincere thanks to Jambojet and its partners for making this amazing trip possible. Malindi is #NowTravelReady
Thank you for reading!! 😀 I hope you enjoyed this post! What’s on your bucket-list of things to do in Malindi? Is there something you’d like to add? Leave a comment down below with your inputs and feedback! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
P.S. Thank YOU for rocking with Scrapbook Journeys in 2021. I appreciate you! Cheers to better days & more trips!
And to you and yours, Happy Holidays & a Blessed New Year!! 🙂
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