Malindi National Marine Park and reserve : This is one of the beautiful slice of Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline which provides the perfect getaway for a combined family and safari tour destination in Kenya. This park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral gardens in the lagoons, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats, marine mammals, turtles and various species of shorebirds .The distance of Malindi national park and reserve from Nairobi is 571 kilometres by road via Mombasa Roads. This journey by van or tour land cruiser cars takes you about 9 hours and 16 minutes travel. It is also about 120 kilometres from the Coastal town of Mombasa. Visitors can also enjoy glass bottom boat rides, snorkelling, camping and beach walks in this veritable paradise.
The park size is 213kilomtres square by size and is a protected area under Kenya wildlife service as a marine national park since 1968 making it one of the oldest protected Marine national parks and reserve in Africa.Malindi is known all over the world to be a Kenyan coastal town with the most beautiful white sand beaches and hosting some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Malindi is the second biggest town in the coastal region of Kenya after Malindi.This beautiful town has hosted a number of high-class celebrities, tycoons and worlds prominent leaders such as British actress and model Naomi Campbell, racing driver and formula one world champion 2005 and 2006 for Renault Fernando Alonzo ,prominent media personalities and award winning journalist Jeff koinange and former Italian prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi who in 2009 was ranked 12th in the list of the world’s most powerful people due his long time dominance in Italian politics among others.
Attractions of Malindi National park and Game Reserve
A visit to Malindi National park and reserve is made worthwhile by the sighting of large number of dolphins deep into the Indian Ocean. Dolphins are considered to be one of the most intelligent animals in the world. The dolphins are highly social mammals and can always be spotted in Family pods. The most common dolphins species in the regions is the Indo Pacific bottlenose dolphins which are considered to be among the endangered species due to over-fishing and increased human activities in the coast.
The other dolphin species, the Indian Ocean humpback dolphins can also be spotted. Dolphins are best sighted between the months of November to April although they stay in the Indian Ocean waters throughout the year , this is because these months experience the calmest waters.
The park has amazing marine life ranging from different fish species including ;reedfish ,parrotfish, jellyfish, sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers, crabs, Corals and different variety of coral species comprising of Acropora ,Turbinaria and Porites. This makes the parks both a more rewarding safari tour and a tourist destination anyone is eager to experience.
With the park stretching deep into the Indian Ocean, snorkelling is the best activity to exploit the rich marine life. Snorkelling is an activity suitable for all ages and a perfect family Kenya safari activity to do in the Kenyan coast. This activity involves swimming through a body of water with a diving mask, a breathing tube called snorkel and swim fins .This gives tourists a perfect opportunity to observe underwater life in their natural undisturbed habitat. Some of the animals you are likely to see during snorkelling are fish , dolphins, turtles, the corals and a good collection of invertebrates among others.
The best time for snorkelling is between the months with little or completely no rainfall. The main factor that affects snorkelling is rainfall which affects the visibility.
There are other snorkelling places in kenya such as Kisite mpunguti marine Park, Mombasa National Marine Park, Watamu marine national park and reserve and Diani Chale marine national park and reserve south of Mombasa.
Glass Bottom Boat Rides
This exciting activity provides relaxation and provides a perfect opportunity to explore the marine life of Indian Ocean without getting your feet wet. It is a perfect for a family safari tour as this activity is done by a group of people on board the boat,which present a discussion of the marine life below their feet.
Glass Bottom Boat Rides offers spectacular views of reefs , fish , corals are what makes the ride beautiful and amazing especially when accompanied by experienced guides.
How to get to Malindi National Marine Park and reserve
Malindi national marine park and reserve can be accessed by road throughout the year from Mombasa about 120 kilometres. There are well maintained tarmac road from Mombasa to the park that makes it easy and comfortable to visitors any time of the year.
The park can also be accessed by air. The international visitors can land at Moi international airport in Mombasa then connect a local flight to Malindi airstrip before driving by van or a taxi to connect to the park entrance.
The Temperatures within the park range from 20-300 c and the region receives rainfall between 200mm to 700 mm. The park has two rain seasons ,the long rains and the short rains. Long rains are usually experienced during the months of March and April .The short rains occur between the months of November and December.
Park Entry fee
Citizen KSH 130 KSH 125
Resident KSH 130 KSH 125
Non resident 17USD 13USD
The Best time to visit
The park is open and accessible throughout the year. It is only not ideal during the rainy seasons because it interferes with the visibility Depending on which activity you wish to undertake, the best time to visit the park is between October to February.
Accommodations at Malindi National Marine Park and Reserve
There is only one campsite at the shores of the ocean and inside the park called Casuarina. The campsite has cool and indigenous trees which provide scenic and serene environment. The park being in the regions well known for Kenya’s tourism, offers a wide range of accommodation facilities depending on your budget from lodges, cottages, resorts to high class hotels. Some of them are ; Ocean Beach Resort and spa , Sandies Tropical village, African House Resort, La Malindina , Pole Pole Beach House , Travellers Inn Resort Malindi, Kenyan House Malindi, Silver Rock Hotel Beachfront offering some of the world-class services.
What to take with you
- For Footwear it is recommended to wear sandals or flip flops to protect your feet from the reef.
- T-shirts because the coast region of Kenya is generally a hot area ,to protect your body from sunburns.
- There are Snorkel, mask, fins, all of which are available for hire.
- Camera, hat, sunscreen to protect the skin from direct harmful sunlight.
- Plenty of drinking of water to hydrate your body.