Away from the white paradise beaches is a rich cultural history that surrounds today’s Malindi. Located in Kilifi country, it’s one of Kenya, coastal towns that date back to the 10th century.
This is one of the tours that will have you understand about the coastal people’s way of life while appreciating their history too!
At a cost of one hundred Kenya shillings, (Kshs. 100) this is what I experienced!
Vasco Da Gama Pillar
It is believed to be one of the oldest European monument in Africa. Located at the seafront, the pillar that’s today a monument was built in 1498 by the Portuguese; Vasco Da Gama a great explorer who had sailed across the Indian Ocean to India.
The House of Columns
Believed to have gotten its name from the building’s architecture, the house of columns was the first hospital in the town of Malindi. It later became the fisheries department office. Today, at the ground floor of the building, is the exhibition of the Coelacanth a fish that was thought to be extinct only to be caught in Malindi. The upper floor holds a library.
The Portuguese Chapel
This was the first Catholic Church in East and Central Africa and was built by the Portuguese. It was built in the 15th century within a thick forest as the town was habituated by the Arabs who were Muslims.
Within the Church compound, there is a small cemetery where a few foreigners were buried that included St. Francis Xavier’s two sailors and the first Malindi District Commissioner.
This two-storey building is home to the Miji Kenda’s history and traditions. It was built by the British and was used as the office of the district commissioner during the colonial era and later transformed into today’s museum. A tour will have you learn more of the coastal culture and beliefs as well as the various influences from the Arabs that are present today.
On the top floor veranda is a display of the world heritage sites across Kenya.
Prince Henry the Navigator Monument
Outside the Malindi Museum is the monument that was erected in honour of Prince Henry the Navigator as a memorial to mark 500 years since his death in 1460.
Mekatilili wa Menza Monument
A few meters past the Malindi Museum is the Mekatilili wa Meza monument. She is the fiery heroine who led the Giriama community in a rebellion against British colonial rule in 1913-1918.
A historical tour is a cheap way to explore the city of Malindi. It’s quite informative and makes one appreciate and understand the people’s culture, their way of life, as well as the history of the town.
Have you been to Malindi town? Have you explored the town rich historic heritage? If not plan to next time you visit this magical coastal town.