Located in the Indian Ocean, along the coast of Kenya. It lies in Malindi, south east of Kenya, 118km North of Mombasa town. It covers 213sqkm.It is one of the oldest Marine Parks in Africa. It neighbors Gede ruins and Arabuko Sosoke Forest. The park is endowed with breathtaking resources that have attracted many tourists such as sea turtles, coral, fringing reefs, fish species, marine mammals, shore birds, mangroves, and clean beaches with clear waters.
How to Access the Park
The park can be accessed with air and road transport.
Air transport, you can organize a flight either up to Mombasa or to Malindi airports.
Road transport, it will depend where you are but whether you’re in Nairobi, or Mombasa you can use public means (Taxis) to Malindi. If you’re driving your own car it’s even better. Take Mombasa- Malindi Highway 118km to the park. Sometimes coordination’s can be done by places of accommodation and transport can be arranged.
What to go with
What one packs depends on the activities they plan in engage in. According to the most interesting activities of the park, you should have t. shirts, short and long sleeved, preferably white, foot wear, sandals, hat, sunglasses, a camera, binoculars, snorkel, guide books, bottled water, snacks, fins, masks. No worries of you don’t have some of these. They can be hired.
Things to do
There amazing activities that can be done at the park. Some might be first time experiences, but no need to panic, it will be more fun. The most interesting activities that we think you shouldn’t miss out are as follows:
This is an enjoyable activity, you can feel like the world is under your feet. It needs quite practice and patience and balance, not forgetting confidence. This will not only entice you but also will be another drop of fun on your tour.
This could seem normal, but when you are surrounded with marine life it seizes to be normal. As you enjoy your ride, you will have amazing views of the marine life and also the beauty of the see, clear waters, it will fell so nice.
This could seem new to you but as long as you can swim, no need to worry. First timers are trained and guided. You will enjoy the beauty of the see and its creatures. You will swim with the rarest species of fish. Equipment for the activity can be hired at an affordable fee.
This is the most enjoyed activity, although normally practiced by experts. Taking a dive can risky but to an expert with equipment, its normal swimming. If you can risk, you will have to watch the divers in the sea. Divers enjoy views of the sea world at the fullest.
Tourists will have an opportunity of touring the whole park on foot. Guided walks through the nearby forests, along the ocean, you will enjoy the coral gardens, plants, vegetation in the area and also you will see birds.
Viewing marine life
One of the highlight of the place. You will have an opportunity seeing creatures in the sea. The different species of turtles, fish of all shapes and color, and above all have a look at the different coral reefs in the see. These can be seen on your boat ride, while taking a dive, or snorkeling.
Watching the flying creatures is also an enjoyable activity. These are amazing when they are joined by the migratory birds of different species in the wet season.. If you’re and bird lover, you will have some time to watch these creatures during day. With binoculars you will have clear views of many of them. The likes of curlew sandpipers, black kites, yellow canaries, great sand and Mongolian, lizard buzzards, speckled mousebirds, among others
Visit Gede Ruins
Located in Watamu, lie close to the park and can be visited by tourists during day. It’s an archeological place that displays a lot of Kenyan coastal history. It composed of houses, hospitals, schools, building of the 15th century. You will see how the country looked in those years.
When to visit
The park has the dry and wet seasons and it’s enjoyable throughout the year although the dry season has been the most preferred season compared to the wet. A detailed description of the status of the park in both seasons will enable you to do proper planning when visiting the park.
Dry Season (June-October and January -February)
The period is characterized of mostly sunny weather, and close to no cases of rain. During this period, the waters have warm temperatures favoring most of the activities practiced in water. Such as diving, snorkeling among others.
During the dry season, the waters are so clear giving tourists an opportunity to view the marine life clearly.
It’s in August- October that someone can get chance to see the whale sharks in the sea.
Activities in water are better enjoyed under the sun. It never gets too hot in the park so tourists get an opportunity of enjoying all corners of the place.
Wet Season (From November –December and March-May)
The season is characterized of short rains at the beginning and a few cases of sunny weather, and the last wet season is composed of heavy rains. The first wet season is very okay. Short rains do little or no harm to tourist activities.
It’s in the first season that registers the peak of bird watching. More migratory birds come to the park and during this period they can be viewed.
During the wet season, it’s a low season, the park and beaches are less crowded, and the rates are lower compared to the dry season.
The season however, especially towards the end might disorganize tourist activities like canoeing, diving, snorkeling, and marine life viewing. When it rains water becomes cooler than normal and the winds, can disorganize activities hence this period should be avoided.
There many attractions in and outside the park. You may not have time to visit all of them but take time to visit what we consider as the best attractions in and out of the park, so that your trip can be worthwhile.
This is the highlight of the park. It protect the unique creatures of the sea. The likes of sea turtles, a variety of fish species like Sailfish, black marlin, blue marlin, dolphins, whale sharks though they are rare, among others. You will have an opportunity to see these creatures feed, nurse, and have a wonderful time in the sea.
The park is surrounded by mangrove forests and once you decide to visit, you will have an opportunity of hiking in these forests. If you are a lover of adventure, this is a chance that shouldn’t be missed. You will be able to see most of the world’s rare tree species and vegetation. Watch out for sights of birds on your way.
Close to the park lies a number of white sand beaches. These are relaxing areas of most of tourists after long hours of touring and other activities. On these you will enjoy an extended fun of activities like sunbathing, swimming and surfing among others. You will also enjoy wonderful views of the sea. Mind carrying a camera and catch some good memories.
Coral reefs gardens
The beauty of these coral reefs in the place will amaze you. They are so many species that can found the fan and brains are so common. These can be found along the shores of the ocean, and they offer shelter to a number of fish in the sea. Take a dive and enjoy their beauty.
This is located in Watamu, close to Malindi Marine National Park. The ruins of Gede were first explored in 1884 by Sir John Kirk. They became tourist attractions for they existed during the 15th century. It’s made of houses, hospitals, mosques, churches during that time and carry a lot of Kenyan coastal history and have been protected since then it’s an archeological place.
The park not only has creatures in the sea, it also has other wildlife. You will have an opportunity to see primate mammals. The likes of monkeys of different species. Invertebrates will also be viewed.
The ark is a home for birds and most especially sea birds. These are amazing to watch in the first wet season where they are joined by migratory birds from other continents. You will be able to see these along the shores of the ocean clearly. This is where you will need binoculars.
There’s no accommodation in the park, only in the closer towns. Although many of them are luxury, they are wonderful relaxing grounds. Such as: Villa Fortuna, Malindi, Marine holiday, Leopard Point Luxury beach resort & Spa
Eden House Cottages, African House Resort, Ripasso Apartments.
In conclusion, for an experience of a lifetime, book your ticket early.