North of Mombasa on the Kenyan coast, Malindi is a beach resort popular with European visitors. Thanks to its rich trading history, it too is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and also sports a split personality. Part historic old town, part modern tourist hub, Malindi is where travelers come to sun on the white sands of Watamu Beach, dive the coral reefs of the Malindi and Watamu Marine National Parks, and soak up a dose of Swahili history in the historic town, dating from the 12th century. Here tourists can visit the Jami Mosque, two pillar tombs from the 14th century, and the Church of St Francis Xavier, one of East Africa's oldest churches. On the promontory, the Vasco De Gama Cross is one of the oldest standing monuments in Africa. In the former home of an Indian trader, the Malindi Museum has displays on Vasco de Gama and also doubles as an information center.
Another popular tourist attraction is the Falconry of Kenya, a rehabilitation center for sick and injured birds. About 30 km northeast of Malindi, the Marafa Depression, also called Hell's Kitchen or Nyari, is a set of sandstone gorges sculpted by the wind and rain.
Location: 120 km northeast of Mombasa.
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