Malindi Marine Park and Reserve was the first marine protected area in Kenya, established in 1968 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man & Biosphere Reserve programme of UNESCO in 1979. The park is located south of Malindi town extending to Mida creek. It neighbours the Gede ruins and Arabuko Sokoke forest.
The park is enveloped by a national reserve and a 100 ft strip of coastal land starting from Vasco-da-Gama pillar to Watamu. The reserve extends 3.5 nautical miles to seaward. The park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral, sea grass, mangroves, mudflats, high fish diversity, marine mammals, turtles and shorebirds.
The fringing reef is close to shore and exposed during low tide, but drops gradually to a sea grass bed that descends precipitously to the deep Barracuda Channel. North Reef has developed offshore and is the main focus of tourism activity.
Climatic conditions - The coast is humid with mean temperatures from 22-34°C. Rainfall is about 500 mm per annum
Major attractions - Glass-bottomed boat tours, coral gardens, boat rides, diving, snorkelling, diving, ocean sports, under-water adventures, educational tours, picnic and island barbeques.
Wildlife - Turtles: Green, hawksbill, olive ridley, loggerhead. Green and hawksbill turtle breed in the Park; Over 300 species of fish including: angelfish, barracuda, butterfly fish, goatfish, fusiliers, emperors, groupers, grunt/sweetlips, jacks, parrotfish, rabbit fish, sharks, snappers, surgeon fish, triggerfish and wrasses;
Invertebrates: At least 135 species of gastropods and 12 species of echinoids including: clams, crown of thorns, lobsters, octopus, sea anemone, sea cucumber, sea stars, sea urchins, crabs and shells;
Benthic cover: 200 species of algae. A total of 55 genera and 145 species of hard coral have been recorded on the north reef;
Corals: Boulder coral, organ pipe coral, sea grass, stag horn coral; Birds: Variety of migrant shore and terrestrial birds; Mammals: dolphins.
Access - Roads: 118 km tarmac road from Mombasa to Malindi. Airstrip: Malindi Airport
Accommodation -There are no lodges in the park. Visitors can stay in KWS self-catering accommodation or Malindi.
Best time to visit - All year round
Activities - Wind surfing, snorkelling, water skiing, sunbathing, diving, swimming