For the town in Mangochi District, on the shores of Lake Malawi, see Malindi, Malawi
Pillar of Vasco da Gama
Pillar of Vasco da Gama
Malindi is located in Kenya
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 3°13′25″S 40°7′48″E / 3.22361°S 40.13000°ECoordinates: 3°13′25″S 40°7′48″E / 3.22361°S 40.13000°E
Country Kenya
CountyKilifi County
Founded13th – 14th Century
 • Total207,253[1]
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Malindi (known as Melinde in antiquity) is a town on Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Galana River, lying on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is 120 kilometres northeast of Mombasa. The population of Malindi was 207,253 as of the 2009 census.[1] It is the largest urban centre in Kilifi County.


Tourism is the major industry in Malindi. The city is popular among Italian tourists. Malindi is served with a domestic airport and a highway between Mombasa and Lamu. The nearby Watamu resort and Gedi Ruins (also known as Gede) are south of Malindi. The mouth of the Sabaki River lies in northern Malindi. The Watamu and Malindi Marine National Parks form a continuous protected coastal area south of Malindi. The area shows classic examples of Swahili architecture. The majority of Malindi's population is Muslim.[2]

Malindi is home to the Malindi Airport and Broglio Space Centre (the previous San Marco Equatorial Range).


The first written reference to the present day Malindi likely comes from Abu al-Fida (1273–1331), a Kurdish geographer and historian. He wrote that Malindi is situated to the south of the mouth of the river, which begins in the Mountain of Comr hundreds of kilometres away. This mountain may be Mount Kenya, where Galana River originates. Therefore, Malindi has existed as a Swahili settlement since at least the 13th century.[3]

Vasco da Gama e o Rei de Melinde (Centro Cultural Português de Santos)
The Sheik of Malindi greets Vasco da Gama in 1498

Once rivalled only by Mombasa for dominance in this part of East Africa, Malindi has traditionally been a port city. In 1414, the town was visited by the fleet of the Chinese explorer Zheng He. Malindi's ruler sent a personal envoy with a giraffe as a present to China on that fleet.[3]

The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama met Malindi authorities in 1498 to sign a trade agreement and hire a guide for the voyage to India, when he erected a coral pillar. Vasco da Gama was given a warm reception from the Shiek of Malindi, which contrasted with the hostile reception he encountered in Mombasa.[3] The pillar stands to this day, though there have been calls by conservationists to take care of it, since soil erosion might make the pillar fall into the ocean. It is a fairly popular tourist attraction for both local and international tourists.

In 1498 Malindi was a prosperous town with a population of about 6,000. The African Arabs were the ruling class with many Swahili Africans as well as Indian traders living in the town. The main source of prosperity was the export of ivory and rhino horns as well as exporting agricultural products such as coconuts, oranges, millet and rice.[3] In 1499 the Portuguese established a trading post in Malindi that served as a rest stop on the way to and from India. In 1509 the Portuguese established a factory (custom house) in Malindi, which they abandoned in 1512. Malindi remained the centre of Portuguese activity in eastern Africa until 1593 when the Portuguese moved their main base to Mombasa. After that the town gradually declined until it almost disappeared by the end of 17th century. In 1845 Ludwig Krapf visited the town and found it overgrown by vegetation and uninhabited.[3]

A Portuguese chapel with a graveyard was built before 1542 when Francis Xavier visited the town.[3] Many buildings of Swahili architecture survive, including the Juma Mosque and palace on the beach.

Malindi was conquered by Sultan Majid of Zanzibar in 1861 and until the end of 19th century served as a center of the slave trade. In 1890 Malindi came under British administration. The British abolished both the slave trade and slavery. This act led to a significant decline in agricultural production. Outside agriculture there were few industries in Malindi at the beginning of the 20th century; among them were making mats and bags, crushing sesame seeds for oil and producing a Swahili drink called tembo. Malindi was officially made a town in 1903. Ten years later its population stood at around 1148 and included eight Europeans, 67 Asians, 230 Arabs and 843 Africans.[3]

Malindi town view
A view of the old town of Malindi

Malindi experienced a trade boom between the end of the World War I and 1925, when a famine occurred. Exports to foreign ports grew to £26,000 by 1924. Europeans started to return to Malindi in the 1930s, buying land from Arabs. Some of them like Commander Lawford opened the first hotels, which became the foundation of the future tourist industry. During World War II Malindi was one of only two towns in East Africa bombed by the Italians. This happened on 24 October 1940, and after this event allied troops were stationed in the town until the end of the war. After the World War II Malindi began developing into a resort.[3]


Malindi has a tropical dry savanna climate (Köppen climate classification As).

Local governance

Malindi now falls under Kilifi County as per the administrative changes in the new constitution passed in August 2010. Malindi forms a municipal council with the following thirteen wards: Barani, Ganda/Mkaumoto, Gede, Gede North, Gede South, Kijiwetanga, Madunguni, Malimo, Malindi Central, Malindi North, Maweni, Shella, Watamu Town. All of them are located within Malindi Constituency.[6]


Robinson Island Kenya

Close to Robinson Island Kenya north of Malindi

Sun rise Malindi

Sunrise over the Indian Ocean at Malindi

Colours of the sea

Beach close to Malindi


Sunset with boats in Malindi

In popular culture

Novel “MALI D’AFRICA” (by Sara Cardelli) describes the impossible love in Malindi.[7]

Most of the events in the novel “Our Wild Sex in Malindi” (by Andrei Gusev) takes place in Malindi and Lamu. The novel describes a few years living in the suburb of Malindi russian writer Andy and his wife, Jennifer, who was born in Kenya.[8][9]

Song “Yasoi Malindi” by Yasoy Kala Kana.[10]


  1. ^ a b "2009 Census Vol 1 Table 3 Rural and Urban Population – Open Data Portal". Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  2. ^ Oded, Arye (2000). Islam and Politics in Kenya. Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 11
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Martin, Esmond Bradley (2009) [originally published in 1970]. Malindi. Past and Present (New ed.). The National Museum of Kenya.
  4. ^ "World Weather Information Service – Malindi". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Station Malindi" (in French). Meteo Climat. Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  6. ^ Polling Centres in Kenya Archived 28 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Electoral Commission of Kenya.
  7. ^ The impossible love in the italian Malindi about Sara Cardelli’ novel, 2017.
  8. ^ “Our Wild Sex in Malindi” by Andrei Gusev, 2018.
  9. ^ «Наш жёсткий секс в Малинди» by Andrei Gusev in Lady’s Club (in Russian).
  10. ^ Ndukanoe – Yasoi Malindi by Yasoy Kala Kana, 2015.

External links


1995 CAF Cup

The 1995 CAF Cup was the fourth football club tournament season that took place for the runners-up of each African country's domestic league. It was won by ES Sahel in two-legged final victory against AS Kaloum Star.

Anglican dioceses of Mombasa

Diocese of Mombasa, of Nairobi, of Machakos, of Kitui, and of Malindi redirect here. For the Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses, see: Mombasa, Nairobi, Machakos, Kitui, and Malindi.The Anglican dioceses of Mombasa are the Anglican presence in and around Mombasa and south-east Kenya; they are part of the Anglican Church of Kenya. The remaining dioceses of the Church are in the areas of Maseno, of Mount Kenya, and of Nakuru.

Broglio Space Center

The Luigi Broglio Space Center (BSC) is an Italian-owned spaceport near Malindi, Kenya, named after its founder and Italian space pioneer Luigi Broglio. Developed in the 1960s through a partnership between the Sapienza University of Rome's Aerospace Research Centre and NASA, the BSC served as a spaceport for the launch of both Italian and international satellites (1967–1988). The center comprises a main offshore launch site, known as the San Marco platform, as well as two secondary control platforms and a communications ground station on the mainland.

In 2003 a legislative decree handed the Italian Space Agency management of the center, beginning in 2004, and the name changed from the previous San Marco Equatorial Range. While the ground station is still in use for satellite communications, the BSC is not currently used as a launch site.

Enco Malindi

Enco Malindi (born 15 January 1987) is an Albanian professional footballer who plays for Albanian First Division side Kastrioti Krujë as a Striker.

Gideon Mung'aro

Maitha Gideon Mung'aro is a Kenyan politician and CAS in the Ministry Of Lands Kenya under the jubilee

government since 2018. He belonged to the CORD coalition under the Orange Democratic Movement and was elected to represent the Kilifi North Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya in the Kenyan parliamentary election, 2013 He was the Chairman of the African Union Parliamentary Group. He was also the current Chief-Whip succeeding from Hon. Jakoyo Midiwo. He was a member in the Parliamentary House Business Committee(House keeping), Committee on Selection (House keeping), and the Lands Committee (Departmental). He is also a former Mayor of Malindi Town and represented Malindi in the last parliament before it was split.

Kilifi County

Kilifi County is a county of Kenya. It was formed in 2010 as a result of a merger of Kilifi District and Malindi District. Its capital is Kilifi and its largest town is Malindi. The county has a population of 1,109,735. It covers an area of 12,245.90 km2 (4,728.17 sq mi). Kilifi county forms a constituency when electing a senator and a woman representatives of Kenyan Parliament and Senate. It also elects its own governor who is the county leader.

The county is represented in parliament by seven legislators, one woman representative and a Senator in senate. The county also has 35 ward representatives.

The county is located north and northeast of Mombasa. Kilifi has fewer tourists than Mombasa County, but there are some tourists beaches in Kikambala, Watamu, Malindi and Kilifi.

Magarini Constituency

Magarini Constituency is an electoral constituency in Kilifi County, Kenya. It is one of seven constituencies in the county and was formerly one of two constituencies in the now defunct Malindi District. The constituency has eight wards, all electing councillors for the Malindi County Council.

Malindi Airport

Malindi Airport (IATA: MYD, ICAO: HKML) is an airport in Kenya.

Malindi Constituency

Malindi Constituency is an electoral constituency in Kilifi County, Kenya. It was one of seven constituencies in the county and one of two constituencies in the now defunct Malindi District.

Malindi Elmore

Malindi Elmore (born March 13, 1980 in Kelowna, British Columbia) is a Canadian track and field athlete specialising in the middle-distance events.She was a five-time All-American at Stanford University and holds the school record in the 800m and 1500m distances.

She represented her country at the 2004 Summer Olympics failing to qualify for the semifinals.

More recently, she won the Vancouver Sun Run in 2010 with a time of 33:06 over the 10K distance.

Malindi F.C.

Malindi Sport Club is a Zanzibar football club based in Unguja.Established 1942 and most decorated club in Zanzibar.

For many years they dominatedTanzania and East Africa, as champions of Zanzibar and Tanzania regional tournament. And from 1989 to 1992 Malindi Sports Club ranked number 3 in Africa.

After achieving many national and regional titles, the team started playing for the Zanzibar Premier League in 2004 when the Zanzibar became an independent member of CAF, so they represent Zanzibar in the continental club championship.....

Malindi Marine National Park

Malindi Marine National Park is located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Kenya. It is claimed to be oldest marine park in Africa. The park lies at Malindi, about 118 km north of Mombasa and is protected and administered by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Along with Watamu Marine National Park, Malindi Marine Park is enclosed by the Malindi Marine National Reserve.

Malindi pipit

The Malindi pipit (Anthus melindae) is a species of bird in the family Motacillidae.

It is found in Kenya and Somalia.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland and subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland.

It is threatened by habitat loss.

Malindi–Bagamoyo Highway

The Malindi–Bagamoyo Highway is a road in Kenya and Tanzania, connecting the cities of Malindi and Mombasa in Kenya to Tanga and Bagamoyo in Tanzania.

Manda Airport

Manda Airport (IATA: LAU, ICAO: HKLU), also called Lamu Airport, is an airport in Kenya.

Mombasa–Garissa Road

The Mombasa–Garissa Road, also B8 Road (Kenya) is a major highway in Kenya, the largest economy in the East African Community. The road connects the port city of Mombasa to the inland city of Garissa. This road is composed of the Mombasa–Malindi Road and the Malindi–Garissa Road.

Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts (1586–1589)

The Ottoman–Portuguese Conflicts (1580–1589) were armed military conflicts between the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire and in the Indian Ocean, specifically in the east-African coast.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Malindi

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Malindi (Latin: Malindien(sis)) is a diocese located in the city of Malindi in the Ecclesiastical province of Mombasa in Kenya.

Zanzibar Premier League

Zanzibar Premier League is the top division of the Zanzibar Football Association. It was created in 1981.

Climate data for Malindi (extremes 1892–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34.0
Average high °C (°F) 30.8
Average low °C (°F) 23.3
Record low °C (°F) 20.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 11
Average precipitation days 2 2 3 11 17 12 12 9 7 6 6 3 90
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization[4]
Source #2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)[5]
Kenya First- and second-level administrative divisions of Kenya
47 counties
(since March 2013)
Principal cities
and towns

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