Malindi's ancient history, authentic cultural and epic architectural, location puts it in a limelight of sundry interests. However, it is the diversity of holiday making choices that gives Malindi its definitive identity â€“ the tropical paradise'. Following the sign posts, drive through the beautifully hedged, villas, resorts and mansion tangled finely amidst indigenous flora and the last left turn takes you straight to Malindi Marine Park.
Enveloped by a national reserve and a 100ft strip of coastal land starting from Vasco-da-Gama pillar, Malindi Marine Park is located 4km south of Malindi town extending to Mida creek, neighboring Gede ruins and Arabuko sokoke forest, then down to Watamu. It was the first marine protected area in Kenya established in 1968 and designated as a Biosphere reserve under the Man and Biosphere Reserve program of UNESCO in 1979.
Malindi Marine Park is endowed with a variety of unique resources such as fringing reefs, coral gardens in the lagoons, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats and a high diversity of fish and marine mammals including turtles and shorebirds. Among the species of fish found in the park include coral reef fish, sweetlips, surgeon fish, butterfly fish, damsel and parrotfish.
The untold phenomena of tidal islands that appear magically during the low tides are such an incredible scenario. Imagine walking almost a kilometer in the sea on soft white sand overlooking crystal blue fast flowing waters in the adjacent fringing reef. Then with a glass bottom boat, cross the reef and you are rewarded with a seemingly endless lagoon intercepted by white magical islands.
Â And the experience repeats itself over and over as you sail inner to the coral garden and far stretch to Mayungu â€¦ and that is just a glimpse of Malindi Marine Park!Whether you are snorkeling or scuba diving, you are sure to marvel at the under water beauty, or may just bump into other regular visitors to the Malindi marine park â€“ this may include turtles feeding on the thallasia beds and dolphins feeding on shimmering schools of sardine.
On the leeward side of north reef, there has a low coral cover with large schools of Barracuda and occasional reef sharks that are commonly encountered, as well as large rays that feed on the bottom.
Swimming in the warm ocean water, snorkeling, boat rides, diving, and dhow rides, sun bathing and educational tours are among the diverse activities at Malindi Marine Park. All this is without mentioning implausible picnics and barbeque on island, wind surfing (in the reserve), and occasional beach clean up and research.
There is no charge to use the beach for swimming, sunbathing or exploring the many tidal pools. However, a park fee is charged for visitors using boats to go snorkeling, scuba diving or observing the coral reefs.
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