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.
The park boasts a rich variety of marine life, including 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: With crystal-clear waters, Malindi Marine Park and Reserve is the perfect destination for diving enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse marine ecosystem and observe a range of unique marine life.
Sunbathing: If you’re looking to relax and soak up the sun, the park’s pristine beaches offer the perfect setting. With white sands and clear waters, you can unwind and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Snorkelling: One of the best ways to explore the park’s marine ecosystem is through snorkelling. Rent equipment and dive into the crystal-clear waters to observe a range of marine life up close.
Windsurfing: For those seeking an adrenaline rush, windsurfing is a popular activity at Malindi Marine Park and Reserve. With strong winds and calm waters, visitors can enjoy an exhilarating ride across the park’s expansive waters.
Water skiing: Visitors looking for a fun and challenging activity can try their hand at water skiing. With professional instructors available, even beginners can enjoy a thrilling ride across the park’s calm waters.
Malindi Marine National Park is located 110 km north of Mombasa. The park is easily accessible by road or air via Malindi’s airport.
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
- 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:
- Adults: 130 KSH
- Children: 125 KSH
- Adults: 130 KSH
- Children: 125 KSH
- Adults: 17 USD
- Children: 13 USD