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Malindi Marine Park and Reserve

Malindi Marine Park and Reserve was Kenya’s first marine protected area, established in 1968 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man & Biosphere Reserve program of UNESCO in 1979. The park is located south of Malindi town, extending to Mida creek, neighbouring Gede ruins, and Arabuko Sokoke forest, and is enveloped by a national reserve and a 100 ft strip of coastal land starting from Vasco-da-Gama pillar to Watamu.

The park covers a total area of 213 km2 and features a variety of unique resources, including fringing reefs, coral gardens, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats, and a diverse range of marine life.

Getting There

Malindi Marine National Park is located 110 km north of Mombasa. The park is easily accessible by road or air via Malindi’s airport.

Marine Life

  • Prolific marine life includes crabs, corals, sea urchins, jellyfish, sea stars, and sea cucumbers. Different varieties of coral species comprise Acropora), Turbinaria, and Porites

Activities to Enjoy in Malindi Marine National Reserve

  • Diving
  • sunbathing
  • snorkelling
  • windsurfing
  • water skiing

What to take with you

  • Footwear, e.g., sandals or flip-flops (to protect your feet from the reef)
  • T-shirts (to protect your body from sunburn)
  • Snorkel, mask, and fins, all of which are available for hire
  • Camera, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Friends
  • Plenty of drinking water

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Malindi Marine National Park would be from July to September when the waters are clear and calm, making it ideal for snorkelling, diving, and other water activities. Additionally

Visit Malindi Marine Park and Reserve Responsibly

  • It is recommended to verify the local weather and tide conditions before visiting the Mombasa Marine National Park or Reserve, as these factors can affect water activities.
  • Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything underwater.
  • Do not damage or remove the coral; it’s a living organism that takes many years to form and is host to many rare and endangered species.
  • Visitors should not remove shells, starfish, other sea flora, or fauna. Not only is it illegal, but it can also harm the ecosystem. Excessive shell collection outside the park and reserve threatens the areas and affects the hermit crabs and some fish that use empty shells as homes.
  • Do not buy shells and other marine animal products as souvenirs, as this encourages further plundering of reefs.
  • Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastic waste with jellyfish and die if they eat it.
  • Visitors should refrain from hand-feeding fish, as this disrupts their regular feeding pattern.
  • Support traditional coastal livelihoods and industries, and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people in their habitat without their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya, and always dress decently.

Admission fees to Malindi Marine Park and Reserve

Admission fees for the Malindi Marine Park and Reserve are as follows:

Citizens:

  • Adults: 130 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

Residents:

  • Adults: 130 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

Non-residents:

  • Adults: 17 USD
  • Children: 13 USD
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Kiunga Marine National Reserve is a chain of about 50 offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya. The islands consist of old eroded coral and are known for their unique vegetation, which includes mangrove forests, shrubs, and sandy beaches with dunes. It was gazetted in 1979 and became part of the Kiunga Biosphere Reserve in 1980, which covers 60,000 ha and includes the Dodori National Reserve.

QUICK FACTS

  • The reserve covers an area of 270 sq. km
  • The climate is humid, with mean annual temperatures ranging from 22-34°C and an average rainfall of 500mm per year.

Floral And Fauna

The islands are composed of coral reefs and organic debris. The Kiunga Marine National Reserve has unique vegetation, consisting mainly of shrubs and mangrove forests in some areas. The coastal strip has sandy beaches with sand dunes, which serve as the source of clean water in the area.

The reserve boasts a diverse population of seabirds, including over 5,000 pairs of Sterna dougallii and several other species such as Larus hemprichii, Sterna repressa, S. anaethetus, and Anous stolidus. The seabirds nest from June to September, when rough seas and strong winds make it difficult for humans to access the islands.

The reserve conserves valuable coral reefs, sea-grass meadows, and extensive mangrove forests, contributing to its biodiversity. The reserve is also home to three globally threatened species of turtles, Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, and Lepidochelys olivacea, which nest on the beaches. There are also recent records of the globally endangered mammal, the Dugong.

Best time to visit 

The best time to visit the Kiunga Marine National Reserve will vary based on your interests and the activities you hope to enjoy.

For birdwatching, the best time to visit is from June to September

The ideal time for observing turtle nesting is from November to March, as during this time Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, and Lepidochelys olivacea come to the beaches to lay their eggs.

For snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, the best time to visit Kiunga Marine National Reserve is during the months of June to September. During this period, the waters are serene and the clarity is ideal for viewing the stunning coral reefs in their full splendour.

How To Get There

Kiunga Marine National Reserve is located in the remote and unspoiled village of Kiunga, about 150 km east of Lamu. There are several ways to get to the reserve:

  • By air: There is an airstrip at Dodori National Reserve, which is part of the Kiunga Biosphere Reserve.
  • By sea: Travel to Kiwayu Island from Lamu by either dhow or speedboat,

Accommodation Near to Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Video Source Mike’s Camp

Mike’s Camp on Kiwayu Island is a serene and rustic retreat surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The camp offers a unique blend of sophistication and simplicity, with chic rooms (or “bandas”) that are open to the stars and the ocean breeze. The atmosphere at Mike’s Camp is remote, wild, and peaceful. The camp focuses on sustainability and an appreciation for the surrounding natural beauty.

Admission fees to Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Admission fees for the Kiunga Marine National Reserve are as follows:

Citizens:

  • Adults: 130 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

Residents:

  • Adults: 130 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

Non-residents:

  • Adults: 17 USD
  • Children: 13 USD

Visit Kiunga Marine National Reserve Responsibly

  • It is recommended to verify the local weather and tide conditions before visiting the Mombasa Marine National Park or Reserve, as these factors can affect water activities.
  • Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything under water.
  • Do not damage or remove the coral, it’s a living organism which takes many years to form, and is host to many rare and endangered species.
  • Visitors should not remove shells, starfish, or any other sea flora or fauna. Not only is it illegal, but it can also harm the ecosystem. Excessive shell collection outside of the park and reserve threatens the areas and affects the hermit crabs and some fish that use empty shells as homes.
  • Do not buy shells and other marine animals products as souvenirs as this encourage further plundering of reefs
  • Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastics waste with jelly fish and they die if they eat it.
  • Visitors should not hand-feed fish, as this disrupts their normal feeding pattern.
  • Support traditional coastal livelihoods and industries, and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people in their habitat without asking for their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress decently.
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A Guide for Navigating the City’s Rich History and Culture

Mombasa, Kenya is a city rich in history and culture, and a visit to its Old Town and Fort Jesus is a must for anyone looking to explore the area’s hidden gems. Nestled on the picturesque island of Mombasa, the Old Town and Fort Jesus offer visitors a glimpse into the past, including the thriving Swahili civilization of the 13th to 15th centuries, as well as the town’s history as an important Islamic trading port and under various rulers such as the Portuguese, Arab, and British.
This guide map is your ultimate companion for exploring the historic Old Town of Mombasa and it aims to help visitors navigate the winding streets and uncover the hidden gems of the town’s rich history and culture.

The Old Town and Fort Jesus
  1. Fort Jesus: A 16th-century Portuguese fort that is now a national museum. Open daily. One of the first hotels in Mombasa, it originally had a fine sea view from the balcony. In 1904, it was owned by Goans, Junior, and Diaz, who ran a grocery and tailoring business on the ground floor and acted as the Portuguese Consul.
  2. Mombasa Club: Built in 1897, it is the oldest club in Kenya and was at one time exclusively for Europeans.
  3. African Hotel: One of the first hotels in Mombasa, it originally had a fine sea view from the balcony. In 1904, it was owned by Goans, Junior, and Diaz, who ran a grocery and tailoring business on the ground floor and acted as the Portuguese Consul.
  4. Mandhry Mosque: One of the oldest mosques in use in Mombasa, founded in 1570. The present building probably dates from 1830. The apse-like qibla in the north wall indicates the direction of Mecca. The well for the Mandhry mosque is just across the road and the elaborate frontage to the well is dated 1901.
  5. The Old Post Office: This used to be the main post office, which was opened in 1899, initially to enable the Indians who built the railway to send money home to their families.
  6. Old Port/Government Square: For over a thousand years, one of the major ports of the triangular dhow trade of the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf, Mombasa nowadays is lucky to see a dozen of these craft during the season.
  7. Sanaa Gallery: Once the office of Allidina Visram, a successful Ismaili merchant who came to Mombasa in 1898 and did much to build up the commercial life of Kenya. He was also a generous philanthropist and the Allidina Visram school was built further up the harbour by his son Abdul Rasul as a monument to him.
  8. Bohra Mosque: The Bohras are another prominent Muslim community in Old Town Mombasa, originating from the Indian subcontinent. The original mosque, constructed by A.M. Jeevanjee in 1901, was replaced by the present mosque built in 1982.
  9. Leven House and Steps: named after HMS Leven, a British naval survey ship that visited Mombasa in 1824. Officers from this ship came ashore and were permitted to conduct their anti-slaving operations from there. Later occupants included Dr. Krapf, the missionary, the first British Vice-Consul, and a German shipping company, Oswald & Co.
  10. Reitz House: formerly a warehouse of the Portuguese. It is known for its association with Lieutenant Reitz, a British naval officer who was involved in the anti-slavery efforts and lived in the house until his death in 1824. The house is rumored to be haunted by the spirits of its former Portuguese and British inhabitants.
  11. Probable site of Old Portuguese Church: Thought to be the site of the Portuguese Church of the Misericordia, which was seen by Richard Burton in 1857 when it was being used as a cattle shed.
  12. Mombasa House: Built by a former customs master to the Sultan of Zanzibar around 1880, this is a good example of an old townhouse.
  13. The White House: Built in the late 19th century, this building was rented to the Church Missionary Society as a “Ladies House” for unmarried lady missionaries. Later, it became the first American Consulate in Mombasa.
  14. Lookmanji Curio Shop: “This house has a particularly fine balcony and door. The balcony brackets are carved with birds, and the balcony is screened for privacy following the strict Muslim custom of shielding women from the eyes of strangers.”
  15. Ali’s Curio Market: This was built in 1898 as the first police station in Mombasa.
  16. Jubilee Hall: Built in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Until the 1950s, it was used as a baraza for town meetings. The original building was open-sided.
  17. Mazrul Graveyard: This graveyard belongs to the Mazrui family, which ruled Mombasa in the 18th century.
  18. Old Law Courts: Opened in 1902 by the British Governor, Sir Charles Eliot, the new law courts were built in 1983. This building now houses offices, a library, and archaeological collections of the National Museums of Kenya. There is an exhibition gallery on the ground floor.
  19. Datoo’s Sale Rooms: Built in 1920, furniture and household equipment are still auctioned here every week.
  20. Pigott Place: Formerly a busy marketplace, named after an acting administrator of the Imperial British East Africa Company.
  21. Basheikh Mosque: An ancient Swahili mosque. 
  22. Treasury Square: Opened in 1901, originally a statue of Sir William Mackinnon (l823-l893) stood here. The square is surrounded by several fine colonial-style buildings, all dating to around 1900. 
  23. Swahili Cultural Centre: Housed in two restored colonial buildings, this is a craft training canter, which specializes in reviving Swahili traditional handicrafts. Visitors are welcome.
  24. Alien Registration Building: A fine example of early colonial architecture, it is thought to have housed the chief administrators of the Imperial British East Africa Company, who ruled Mombasa from 1888-95.
The Old Town and Fort Jesus

Admission Fee

Fort Jesus has an admission fee, whereas the Old Town is free for visitors.

Price: Entry fee USD$ 10.00 for non-residents and residents KSH 200 for adults KSH 100 for children.

Where to eat around The Old Town and Fort Jesus

When it comes to food and drinks, the Old Town offers a variety of options for visitors. You can find traditional restaurants where you can try local dishes such as biryani, samosas, and mandazi. Street food vendors are also a great option for a quick and delicious meal on the go. For those looking for a refreshing drink, there are several cafes and juice bars available in the area. Some popular places to stop for food and drinks include the Jahazi Cafe, the Forodhani Restaurant, and the Camel’s Joint. Each of these places has its unique charm and offers a different type of experience, be sure to try them all.

When visiting the Old Town and Fort Jesus, it is important to keep the following things in mind:

  • Dress modestly, as the area is predominantly Muslim.
  • Consider hiring a guide to help you understand the area and its history.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and do not flaunt expensive items.
  • Show respect to the local community and always ask for permission before taking photos of people.
  • Be environmentally conscious and carry your trash with you and dispose of it properly.
  • Look out for the white plates with more information about the area of interest on the walls.
  • Most importantly, enjoy your visit and take in all the rich history and culture that the Old Town has to offer.
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giraffee

Haller Park

by admin

Haller Park: A Conservation Success Story in Mombasa, Kenya

Haller Park is a nature reserve and sanctuary that is a true testament to the power of conservation and the dedication of one person, Dr. Rene Haller, to turn a barren wasteland into a beautiful haven for all. The park has grown to become one of the most popular attractions in Mombasa for both domestic and international nature lovers.

History of Haller Park Mombasa

Haller Park

In 1952, Clementia Holding began producing limestone in Mombasa, East Africa, quickly transforming the area into a bustling industrial hub. However, as cement production skyrocketed, the surrounding land was left barren and lifeless. In 1970, Dr. Rene Haller, who was in charge of food production, began research on the rehabilitation of the disused limestone quarries. After tireless experimentation, he discovered that three plants; the Damas, Coconut Palm, and Casuarina could thrive in harsh conditions. These plants transformed the quarries into a verdant oasis, which opened to the public in 1984.

Attractions at Haller Park Mombasa

  • Haller park’s wildlife sanctuary is home to Hippos-Sally and Potty, a buffalo, velvet monkeys, giraffes, Elands, Oryx, and a group of water birds like Eagles, Herons, Egrets, Cormorants, and Kingfishers.
  • Owls Banda that hosts a Verreaux Eagle Owl.
  • Animal orphanage is a quarantine and home to rescued animals, either found sick, injured, orphaned, or stranded in the wild.
  • Giraffe Feeding platform for feeding giraffes in the park
  • Crocodile Pens – home to over 90 crocodiles.
  • Reptile Park – hosts rescued reptiles in the region including, snakes, lizards, tortoises, and terrapins.
  • Warthog boma, which hosts warthogs.
  • Aquaculture & Fish farm, several interconnected small lakes, ponds, and swamps excavated on the quarry floor that is home to various birds, fish, and reptiles. 
  • Butterfly garden, which is home to a variety of butterfly species.
  • Haller Park is home to a diverse range of flora, with over 180 species of indigenous trees and bushes having been planted over the years. The park’s botanical gardens, including a bamboo garden, a cactus garden, and a palm garden, provide a habitat for a wide variety of plants, many of which are native to the area.

Activities

Haller Park
  • Guided tours:
  • Animal feedings: Visitors can witness and participate in the animal feedings at the park, starting with giraffe feeding at 3:00 PM, followed by hippo feeding at 4:00 PM, and crocodile feeding at 4:30 PM. Visitors can purchase feeding snacks for the giraffes at the entrance for 50 KSH per bag.
  • Nature walks: Visitors can explore Haller Park’s habitats and ecosystems on foot, taking in the sights and sounds of the natural environment.
  • Educational programs: Haller Park offers educational programs for visitors of all ages, including nature walks, animal presentations, and lectures.

Best Time to Visit to Visit Haller Park

The best time to visit Haller Park is during the afternoons as visitors can partake in giraffe feeding and observe the guides feeding the hippos, and crocodiles. The park opens daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Admission Fee at Haller Park

Citizen/Resident – East Africa Charges
Adult Ksh 500
Child Ksh 200
Non-Residents Charges
Adult Ksh 1,400
Child Ksh 600

Haller Park

What to Remember

The park banned the use of single use plastics and visitors are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles and bags.

Other useful information

Phone: 07 21 381 949

Email: info@hallerpark.com

Location: Haller Park, Bamburi Mombasa, Kenya opposite Nyali City Mall.

Website: https://haller.org.uk/

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Friends go karting in Kenya

Mombasa Go-Kart

by admin

Located just 15 km from Mombasa’s city center, Go-Kart Mombasa is a popular family-friendly attraction and a must-visit destination for speed kings and queens. First opened in 2004 under the management of its Swiss owner, this facility has been providing a thrilling grand-Prix experience for all its visitors. Whether you’re a family looking for a fun-filled bonding time, or a group of friends looking for an exciting day out, Go-Kart Mombasa is the place to be.

Kart racing at Mombasa Go-Kart

Go kart in mombasa
Go- kart Mombasa

The 500m track at Go-Kart Mombasa is designed for speed lovers, with several rights or left sweeping curves and straights for the speeding petrol heads to test their skills. The 200cc karts can reach a maximum speed of 75km per hour, and there are three categories to choose from, with varying levels of difficulty. The karts are well-built and maintained to international standards, and safety helmets are available for each competitor. All lap times are recorded, and regular updates are announced, creating an authentic racing environment. There are two main viewing decks, one from the restaurant and a lower level one beneath the restaurant under the trees where the spectators can cheer their favorite drivers or get a photo of their loved ones in action. The Go-karting Mombasa prices vary according to the number of tracks, with all drivers getting a total of 10 laps on all levels. Minimum age and height restrictions apply, with the speed for younger or shorter kids lowered to 10km per hour.

Paintballing at Mombasa Go-Kart

Go-Kart Mombasa offers various paintballing games to keep the opponents involved and enhance competitiveness. The most popular one is ‘the capture flag’, which involves two teams trying to capture a flag provided by the facility and trying to elect it in the opponent’s base without being shot. The paintballing experience is a great way to bond with friends and family while having a thrilling experience.

Dining at Mombasa Go-kart

The Plane Lounge Café

Experience dining in a piece of history at the Plane Lounge: the newest addition to Go-Kart Mombasa’s list of facilities. Built from a DC3;ZK-BBJ airplane, that was once used in World War II. The plane lounge cafe was renovated and repurposed it into a unique restaurant. Not only can you dine in style, but you can also spend the night in one of our six guest rooms. Prices start at just 500 per person to enjoy the ambiance or host your party for 20,000.

The main restaurant

There’s also a full restaurant and a bar that offers a variety of Kenyan dishes and a few hand-picked Swiss specialties including cheese fondue and raclette.

Other activities to be enjoyed at Mombasa Go-Kart

Other activities to be enjoyed at the facility include Archery Tag, Rodeo Bull Ride, Hi-Strike, VR-Rollercoaster, 9-Pin Bowling.

Animals at Mombasa Go-Kart

Go-Kart Mombasa is also home to several animals, including a llama, 2 donkeys, fish, and goats among others, making it a perfect destination for animal lovers as well.

Other Info

Opening Hours: 10:00-01:00
Location: behind the Shanzu Petrocity Petro Station.
How to get there: Take the Mtwapa matatus from the Mombasa CBD, the fare is normally 70sh during the day. The fare might hike during the rush hours.

Website: Mombasa Go-Kart (mombasa-gokart.com)
Contacts: 0721485247


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hiking at mt kasigau

Mt Kasigau together with two other massifs (the Dawida massif and the Sagalla massif) are known as Taita hills. A mountain range located in the Taita-Taveta County in south-eastern Kenya. Taita Hills, are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains and one of the Biodiversity Hot Spot areas of the world.

The Formation Of Taita Hills

Just like the other Eastern Arc mountains, Taita hills were formed one hundred million years ago. These hills were once an extensive lush rainforest but during the cooler and drier period, some ten million years ago the lowland forests converted to savanna leaving the mountain ranges as “islands” where the tropical forests continued to flourish to date.

Hiking Mt Kasigau

Steeply rising to an elevation of 1,640 meters above the Taru desert, mount Kasigau makes for a fulfilling moderate hike that can be conquered in about 6-8 hours, depending on the hiker’s fitness level.
The mountain has two peaks – the lower peak and the upper peak. Both peaks offer stunning views of the surrounding areas, including Mt Kilimanjaro at a distance and Tsavo west

The Ecology of Kasigau

As the paths slope up, you’ll pass through scrambling hills with large gneiss stones scattered all over. You’ll also notice the environmental and vegetation changes with the rise of altitude. At the bottom, the vegetation is of dry woodland with several trees scattered around and gets scarcer up to about 1000 meters. From there, the vegetation gets greener and denser while the trees get smaller in size. After 1300 meters the trees start getting taller as you go up. You’ll also notice the abundance of ferns, moss, and thick tall trees. Towards the peak, the trees get smaller and quickly change to conifers.

Floral & Fauna of Taita Hills

The Taita Hills are home to various floral and fauna species some of which are endemic to Taita hills.
Endemic species include birds:(the Taita Thrush, Taita Apalis, Taita falcon, The Taita White-eye and Taita fiscal) amphibians:(Sagala caecilian)
Non-bird biodiversity: The tree Memecylon greenwayi is endemic to Mt Kasigau.

The Roads to Mt Kasigau

Though not tarmacked the roads to the Kasigau are very accessible. It’s advisable to use a well-raised 4WD vehicle.

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Vuria hill of Taita Taveta rises above the plains of Tsavo West National Park, it's the highest peak of the Taita hills.

Vuria Hill

by admin

Discovering Vuria Hill: A Guide to Taita Taveta’s Highest Peak

Vuria Hill is an inselberg in Mwanda Mgange ward, Wundanyi constituency in Taita Taveta county, Kenya. With an elevation of 2,228 meters above sea level, it rises above the semi-arid plains of Tsavo West National Park, making it the highest peak of the Taita hills. The Taita Hills are tropical montane cloud forests forming the northernmost outlier of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and southeast Kenya.

The Formation and Biodiversity of Vuria Hill  

The Taita hills, including Vuria Hill, were formed from repeated uplifts and faults millions of years ago, causing the rising of the central plateau, also known as Kenya/Tanzania highlands. Having been in isolation for millions of years, the plants and animals in Taita hills have gradually evolved and produced a unique and complex biodiversity.

Attractions at Vuria Hill

The caves

One of the main attractions at Vuria Hill is the caves. Nestled in the belly of the majestic Vuria hill is a series of gapping caves that were once used by Mwangeka Wa Malowa, a Senior Chief and a heroic Taita warrior who led the community’s resistance against British rule. Some caves served as armories, whereas others served as living quarters.
Today the caves are an important cultural and spiritual site for the Taita community. A place where the remains of their elders are preserved and the living can visit to offer sacrifices, ward off bad omens and invite blessings to the community.

Floral and fauna

Forests in Vuria hills are conserved and managed by Kenya Forest Service and are home to a variety of endemic and threatened flora and fauna including; birds, snakes, frogs, butterflies, and at least nine plant species.
Forests in Vuria hills are conserved and managed by Kenya Forest Service and are home to a variety of endemic and threatened flora and fauna including, birds, snakes, frogs, butterflies, and at least nine plant species.

Activities

Hiking & sightseeing

The roads are good, and the drive there is an attraction by itself with sharp corners that wind up the hill offering beautiful views of the lowlands.
The trail to the summit is well-maintained and marked, making it easy to follow. However, be prepared for a bit of a workout as the trail can be steep and rocky in some places, so hikers should be in good physical condition. The hike takes around 3-4 hours round trip, but it’s worth it for the breathtaking panoramic views of the Taita Hills, Tsavo West National Park, and the surrounding landscapes that the hike offers.
As you reach the summit, you’ll find a peaceful and serene spot to rest, take in the views, and enjoy a picnic before descending. The trail is suitable for hikers of all levels, but hikers should be prepared for the change in temperature and altitude as the climb gets steeper.

Birding

Owing to its rich biodiversity Taita hills forests are home to various species of birds including, Taita Apalis, Taita White-eye, and Taita Thrush, which are endemic to Taita hills.
Other notable birds include Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Taita Falcon, Grasshopper Buzzard, Madagascar Bee-eater, Lemon Dove, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Orange Ground Thrush, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Yellowbill, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Brown-breasted Barbet, and Black-cheeked Waxbill.

Items to bring

Here are some items that you should consider bringing:
1. Hiking boots or sturdy shoes: Good footwear is essential for a safe and comfortable hike. Hiking boots or sturdy shoes provide support for your feet and ankles and help to prevent slips and falls.
2. Bring enough water to last for the duration of your hike.
3. Snacks and a packed lunch
5. Sun protection
7. Rain gear or a poncho
8. First aid kit
9. Map and compass
10. Warm clothing
11. Camera

Always check the weather forecast before your hike and plan accordingly. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or family member, and let someone know where you are going.

Have you visited Vuria hill lately? we’d love to hear about it, share your articles with our readers here or pictures on social media at @visitnyali on Instagram or Facebook

Useful links

Guides: https://naturekenya.org/2022/09/27/local-bird-guides/

Taita Hills: Taita Hills – Wikipedia

A Guide to Taita Hills: A Guide to Taita Hills: Unique Natural History – Lawrence Wagura – Google Books

All about Taita Hills: Taita – Animals of Taita, Kenya (animalstaita.com)

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Blue skies, Red Rocks & An Endless fascinating Vista

Marafa’s Hell’s Kitchen is one of Pwani’s (coastal region) most visually striking terrain and arguably the most underrated. This picturesque canyon is made up of multi-coloured fringed ridges that shine brilliantly under sunny blue skies, and exquisitely glow under the soft light of the rising or setting sun.
Hell’s Kitchen is a well-organized community-based project under the Marafa Youth Group. The income generated is directly used in financing village programs and other initiatives.

The Formation of Marafa’s Hell’s Kitchen

Marafa’s Hell’s Kitchen
The Marafa depression is characterized by cliffs, clay slopes, Craggy gullies

The Myth

The patterns and clusters of the ridges are aesthetically appealing, and the story of how they came to be is equally as intriguing.
According to the locals, it’s believed that a long time ago the area was occupied by a very wealthy family that had a big heard of cattle. They were too lazy to go and get water from the river as it was far from the village. Instead, they cooked, washed, and bathed in then valuable milk from their cows while other families around struggled to have enough milk. God became angry with this excess and sank the family’s home and the areas around at night. The next morning, the locals awoke to a big valley that was left behind. The white and red walls of the depression mark the milk and blood of the family painted over the gorge walls.

The Facts

The Marafa depression is characterized by cliffs, clay slopes, Craggy gullies, and hoodies made of limestone covered by a thin layer of hardened rocks caused by the continuous weathering and erosion by rainwater and wind. The slightly acidic rainwater lets the weak carbonic acid slowly dissolve limestone grain by grain, a process that rounds the edges of hoodoos and ridges.

This erosion leaves exposed, large colourful pinnacles and ridges that are 30- 50m high. The shapes, sizes, and appearance of the individual ridges and hoodies are ever-changing as erosion is still taking place.

How To Get to Marafa’s Hell’s Kitchen

This magnificent natural wonder is located in Marafa, a small village about 45km west of Malindi off Malindi-Lamu Road and can be easily accessed by road. The road to Marafa village is well tarmacked and marked and, a ride there is an attraction by its self. Keep an eye on the vast fields of maize, giant baobab trees that tower above the Makuti (beautiful Traditional Swahili roofing made off palm leaves) thatched muddy houses. The locals are quite friendly and always happy to say hello and offer help with direction, in case it’s your first time.

Suggestion

The whole tour takes about 90 mins from the bottom of the canyon to the top of the rim.
The best time to visit Marafa’s Hell’s Kitchen, is during the dry months of the year as it can get slippery during the rainy months. Also, the ridges and hoodoos look best when illuminated by the sun.
The best time of the day is during sunrise and sunset. Avoid the midday as the temperatures down at the valley can soar to 40 degrees Celsius at mid-day
Wear comfortable hiking shoes and comfortable clothing

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Fort Jesus Mombasa – The Enchanting Sound & Light Multimedia Experience with Fireworks hosts an incredible array of events throughout the year. From public performances to seasonal happenings, there’s always something going on. The Enchanting Sound & Light Multimedia Show with Fireworks brings to life the 400-year history to life through 3D projection mapping, lasers, and holograms. It’s a one-of-a-kind sound & light multimedia show in Africa, termed by National Geographic as a world-class production.

Shows are every week throughout the year, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday from from 6PM

Contracts

Facebook, Instagram

Phone: +254 726 532 299

E-mail: zameer@jayspyrotechnics.com

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The Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park, established in 1978, encompasses the Mpunguti and Kisite Islands. The Mpunguti Reserve spans 28 square kilometers, and the Kisite Island covers 11 square kilometers. Located 100 kilometers from Mombasa, visitors can access the park by boat from Shimoni, a small fishing village in the Kwale County near the Tanzania border. The park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park

From Shimoni to the reefs in Kisite-Mpunguti, it’s a 4-8 km boat ride, and on the way, you pass beautiful and unspoiled Wasini Island. Due to visibility, depth, wind, and waves, arriving at the reef for snorkelling around low tide is preferable. The exact time of the high and low tides varies daily, so it’s a good idea to check the tide timetables at the hotel before booking a dhow trip to Kiste-Mpunguti.
The dhows anchor at the edge of the reefs at depths between 4 and 8m. From here, you will have to swim forth and back to the reef, but the dhows should carry safety jackets and other floating devices to support the less experienced swimmers. If the wind and tide permit, the dhows usually return to Shimoni by sail in the afternoon. After a couple of hours of snorkelling, an excellent seafood lunch can be had – either on the boat or on Wasini island, depending on which company you book with. In Shimoni, there is an opportunity to visit the old slave caves where thousands of enslaved people from the inland were being held captive.

Marine Life in Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

Currently, around 250 varieties of marine fishes and over 40 varieties of coral species have been documented in Kisite-Mpunguti marine park. The area offers excellent opportunities for diving and snorkelling, and some of the marine species include parrotfish, triggerfish, moray eels, butterfly fish, angelfish, groupers, wrasses, scorpionfish, pufferfish, damselfish, rays, and snappers. You can see green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, and dolphins.
Dolphins visit the marine park almost daily, and it’s possible to jump in from an engine-powered engine-powered boat and swim with the dolphins for a limited amount of time.

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

Sizeable marine life is always seen at Shimoni caves and Nyuli reefs, and sharks and stingrays are familiar sights. Also, there are chances to spot humpback whales and whale sharks in Kisite-Mpunguti between August and October.
Corals like staghorn, brain, mushroom, lilac-blue, and lavender coral present great photo-taking opportunities. The coral’s colourful beauty is complemented by many yellow and red tuna and snappers, which are virtually unmatched.
Fishing is not allowed in the marine park, but deep-sea fishing lovers can travel further to the Pemba channel to catch large barracuda, marlin, sailfish, and kingfish.

Suppose you are not much into diving or snorkelling. In that case, we still recommend visiting Kisite-Mpunguti because the surroundings are so beautiful. Despite being costly, it is lovely to spend a day on the sea and maybe see some dolphins playing in the Indian Oceans’ deep blue waters.

Practical guidance

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
Photo © Mikkel Alexander Grabowski
  • Booking a trip to Kisite-Mpunguti marine park can be done at some of the larger hotels along the (south) coast, and they will provide transportation to Shimoni by bus, and from there, you will board on the dhow to reach the marine park. You can save a bit of money by booking with someone on the beach, but chances are they need to be authorized.
  • If you book with one of the dhow tours, the crew will provide you with a mask and snorkel of reasonably good quality (fins are discouraged as they might harm the corals), but if you want to be sure to have equipment that fits you well, you might consider bringing your own.
  • A camera and maybe binoculars would be great to bring with you on the boat and when you snorkel or dive.
  • If you haven’t yet become acclimatized to the scorching African sun, the ultraviolet exposure from a whole day on the sea in the tropics can give you severe sunburns that can ruin the rest of your holiday. Therefore you should bring a hat, sunglasses, some sunscreen with a high UV protection factor, and light clothes to shield exposed body parts from the sun. Also, some medicine to prevent sea sickness can come in handy while on the boat, as the sea can sometimes get rough.

Activities to be enjoyed at Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park

Diving, sunbathing, snorkelling, Bird watching, camping.

What to take with you

Footwear, e.g., sandals or flip flops (to protect your feet from the reef) and T-shirts (to protect your body from sunburn)
Snorkel, mask, fins, all of which are available for hire Camera, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent Friends Plenty of drinking water

Best time to visit.

The best time to visit the Kisite-Mpunguti marine park depends on each tourist’s activities, budget, and interests. For anglers’ enthusiasts, the period from August to October is excellent. June to December is perfect for observing Humpback whales as they migrate. For scuba divers and snorkelers, October to March is the best time to enjoy marine life. Low seasons will be preferable for those traveling on a budget or seeking quiet time.

PLEASE RESPECT THE MARINE WILDLIFE CODE

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski
  • Check local weather and sea conditions before entering the reserve.
  • Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything underwater.
  • Do not damage or remove the coral; it’s a living organism that takes many years to form and is host to many rare and endangered species.
  • Do not remove shells, starfish, or any other sea Flora or Fauna. Not only is it illegal, but also it can seriously disrupt the ecosystem, and some marine life is dangerous. The areas outside the park and reserves are threatened by excessive shell collection. Empty shell provides a home for hermit crabs and some fish.
  • Do not buy shells and other marine animal products as souvenirs, as this encourages further plundering of reefs.
  • Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastic waste with jellyfish and die if they eat it.
  • Hand-feeding fish is discouraged. It disrupts standard feeding patterns.
  • Hook and line fishing is allowed in marine reserves but prohibited.
  • Support traditional coastal livelihoods and industries, and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people in their habitat without asking for their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya, and always dress decently.

Admission fees

Admission fees for the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park are as follows:

For Citizens:

  • Adults: 215 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

For residents:

  • Adults: 215 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

For non-residents:

  • Adults: 17 USD
  • Children: 13 USD
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Wild Waters

by admin

Located on Links Road, Nyali, wild waters park features a full day of fun for the entire family – whether you take a thrilling plunge down the water slides, or just relax and float around the lazy river… there is something for everyone.
With over 15 adult and kids slides, wild waters also has  a water play station, a Raindance Arena, a variety of amusement and air rides, and bumper cars. In addition, we have a scrumptious food court selling cuisines from around the world, and an excellent bar.

Contact: info@wildwaterskenya.com / 0726 337000

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Mamba Village Centre

by admin

Located in Nyali Mamba Village Centre is a very popular tourist attraction among resident and tourists. It combines wildlife farming, conservation and environment friendly quarry.

Features

Crocodile Farm: 

The Centre is the largest crocodile farm in Africa and is home to over 10,000 Crocodiles. It is also home to the BIG DADDY, the oldest crocodile in the farm who is over 100 years old. The farm also has a Snake park, Horse Riding, Botanical Garden, Museum, Fish farm & Aquarium.

Croco Villa Restaurant: 

The restaurant offers a magnificent view of the crocodile farm while enjoy a crocodile Steak which is a delicacy among the many visitors that visit the Restaurant.

Apartments & Accommodation: 

The farm has Exclusive Apartments that have all the amenities ensure that your stay feels like ”home away from home”

Snake Park: 

Mamba Village Centre has a snake park witch houses varies snake species  including the  Eastern-stripe bellied sand snake ,the Central African rock python among others. Visitors are allowed to  take photos with some of the non – venomous snakes.

Botanical Garden: 

The Botanical garden is home to a variety of plant species, mostly tropical plant species. We have provided tags with all relevant information regarding each plant species.

Camping and picnic grounds: 

There’s is a picnic and  a camping site for more private time.

Contacts: 0726 747529

Send message: info@mambavillagecentre.com

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