he Coast is arguably one of the most sought after holiday destinations owing to its tropical beaches, sea breezes, scenic islands and a plethora of water sporting activities. And while Diani and Mombasa are popular family destinations, less is being said about Kilifi, which, in my opinion, has a lot to offer with its charming heritage and scenic coastal views that promise to blow you away.
Kilifi lies between Malindi and Mombasa town – a distance of 50km from Mombasa and approximately 25km from Malindi and can be accessed either by road or air. It is believed that the town got its name from the massive cliffs that come into view immediately you start crossing the Kilifi Bridge, which, by the way, is the longest bridge in Kenya at 420m long. It connects Mnarani and Kilifi town across the Kilifi Creek.
The locals’ failure to correctly pronounce the English word ‘cliff’ resulted in the coinage of the term ‘Kilifi’ and the name has since stuck.
I loved Kilifi’s soft, untouched white sandy beaches, which are not crowded like Mombasa or Diani beaches. As such, it is a great place for families who desire to have a private vacation. You can also take a trip to the Watamu Marine National Park and watch green turtles swim among coral reefs. If you are a lover of history and would like your children to learn and play, you can visit Mnarani Ruins – archaeological remains of a centuries-old Swahili settlement, which comprise of two mosques and several tombs.
Just next to the Mnarani Ruins is the Cobra Village – an attractive park where one can see different reptiles from the most poisonous vipers to the very friendly ones.
I loved visiting the Takaungu village, an untouched place that is thought of by many as one of the most spectacular parts of the Kenyan Coast. The village is situated along a beautiful and pristine creek amongst cliffs and baobabs. If you walk further down, you’ll see the remarkable Vuma Cliffs where you will get to see huge waves crashing against wild, rough cliffs. You will also get a feel of the rich Mijikenda culture.
I would recommend this place for photographers, travellers or anyone who loves adventure.
Wondering where to stay? Wonder no more as Kilifi has good hotels and restaurants that offer pocket friendly prices. I spent the night at Distant Relatives Eco lodge, a fun place, which has spacious, comfortable bandas perfect for families and friends. One of the most delightful ways to have a view of the amazing Kilifi Creek is to take an evening walk with your family.