Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama stopped at Malindi on his way to India in 1498 and erected a pillar that remains overlooking the harbor, however precariously, to this day. Still popular with Europeans, Malindi is famed for coral reefs that lie just 1,000 feet off its shore, best seen at Malindi National Marine Park or nearby Watamu. Game fishing, surfing and simply relaxing on the beach are popular local pastimes. The narrow streets and market of Malindi's old town are worth a visit.
The Coast Province (Swahili: Mkoa wa Pwani) of Kenya, along the Indian Ocean, was one of Kenya's eight provinces. It comprises the Indian Ocean coastal strip with the capital city at Mombasa and was inhabited by the Mijikenda and Swahili, among others. The province covered an area of 79,686.1 km² and would have had a population of 3,325,307 in 2009.
The delightful village of Watamu is an eco-tourist’s dream, lined with sandy white beaches and hotels dedicated to sustainable tourism. Watamu is a quick snorkel away from the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, and Turtle Beach is the ideal spot for a swim and a tanning session. The village proper features quaint Kenyan shopping stalls called dukas, where you can stock up with supplies. Make sure to visit the Gede Ruins, a mysterious and heavily overgrown 12th century Swahili village, and the beautifully fluttery Kipepeo Butterfly Project.
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