Kilifi Travel Guide

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kilifi bridge

kilifi bridge

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Kilifi is the first town north of Mombasa about half-way to Malindi. There is a nice beach in Kilifi, although it’s a bit hard to get to. While you’re there, check out the well preserved Mnarani ruins overlooking Kilifi Creek.

SET amidst a backdrop of a most stunning white sandy beach, a startlingly beautiful blue and emerald creek and a magnificent coral reef, Kilifi is an ancient coastal Swahili town, midway between Mombasa and Malindi on the North Side of the creek,about 58 kms from Mombasa International Airport. It is steeped in history and African Culture, famous for the ancient Mnarani ruins dating back to 14th century and the elegant friendly Giriama people.

Kilifi District covers an area of over 12,464 sq. km including 109 of water surface in the Indian Ocean. The area around Kilifi township contains some of the best farming land in the district, where livestock rearing and tropical fruit farming are the dominant activities. Kilifi is also the major centre of clinical and epidemiological research into Malaria, conducted by the Wellcome Trust and KEMRI the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

The soft white sandy beach at Kilifi is a haven for sun worshipers and stretches for miles. Known as 'Bofa Beach',it is said to be the finest beach along the Kenya Coast and one of the most idyllic in all the world. It is protected by a magnificient coral reef, unspoilt and practically deserted; being well away from the crowded beaches of the tourist hotels near Mombasa and along the South Coast.

Shopping Facilities at Kilifi include a Supermarket, Banks, Post Office, General Stores, Chemist, Local Craft Shops, Rugmaking, a Daily Fruit and Vegetable Market and a few excellent Restaurants in and around the area.
A local Farm Shop stocks fresh supplies of milk, meat and day to day produce. 

World Class Big Game Fishing, Snorkelling and Scuba Diving along the vast coral reef as well as Water-skiing in Kilifi Creek, are some of the major activities that Kilifi is well known for. The Tsavo Safari Game Park, where you can see some beautiful sunsets is the nearest reserve for Big Game Photographic Safaris.

 One of the most delightful ways to see the beauty of Kilifi Creek is to take a dhow trip. The small Swahili kijahazi dhows criss cross the creek visiting the tiny bays and inlets and provide a wonderful vantage for photographing the mass of birdlife and scenic surroundings. Regular 'sundowner' trips are a great favourite with the local residents and visitors to Kilifi.

Overlooking Kilifi Creek from the Southern side, some 200 metres from the Mombasa Road, you will find the old ruins of Mnarani, an ancient coastal settlement dating back to the early 14th Century.

The site consists of two mosques and a group of tombs. The first mosque was not built until about 1425 although the area was first settled in the early 14th Century. The smaller second mosque that remains was built in about 1500, however, there was another mosque that was built before it on the same site around 1475. Mnarani was destroyed by the warring Galla people in the early 17th century. Also at the site of the ruins you will see the largest baobab tree on the Kenya coast. A large hole has been made in the side of the tree where local people leave offerings. Many people visit this peaceful site to meditate and to picnic. 


April 03, 2006 change by giorgio

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