Kenya is a remarkably beautiful place and the more you travel, the more you appreciate the beauty of our country. A highlight of our tourism circuit is the coastal area famed for its beautiful sandy beaches.
One of the most picturesque places in Kenya’s coastline is the Kilifi creek. The creek is the remnant of the once massive Goshi/ Voi river, an ancient river which discharged greater amounts of water in days gone by, when average coastal rainfall was much higher. What is left now is a seasonal river that forms an estuary by the coastline which has an amazing view of the channel opening up into the ocean.
While there are many creeks along Kenya’s coastline including Mtwapa, Mida and the creeks around Mombasa Island, Kilifi stands out by the proximity of the highway to the ocean, offering unique, beautiful views. The area around Tudor Creek and Mtwapa creek for example have no direct views of the ocean when driving along the Mombasa-Malindi highway.
The contrast between the azure waters and the green vegetation on the banks of the creek is a sight to behold.
Access to either side of Kilifi town over the creek is via the imposing Kilifi Bridge. The bridge is reportedly the longest in Kenya at a length of over 400m. Crossing the bridge offers a magnificent view of both sides of the creek.
There are rumors that the bridge is structurally unsafe but that’s a story for another day.
The bridge was completed in 1991 to ease movement of goods and people which was hitherto done via a ferry.
My visit was in transit mode and we made a stopover for lunch at Mnarani Hotel. The hotel is strategically located on the southern banks of Kilifi creek offering great backdrops for guests.
Kilifi is a historically rich town with sites like the ruins of Mnarani, caves and mosques dating back to as far as the 14th Century. The Arabuko Sokoke Forest, the only remnant of the coastal tropical forest and the second largest area of birdlife conservation in Africa is also situated outside Kilifi town. These are all areas worthy of visiting when in Kilifi that my itinerary did not allow for.
For adventure lovers, Kilifi Creek has several clubs that offer a range of water sports including kayaking, sailing, wake boarding and water skiing. Exploring the creek can be done via a kayak, dhow, yacht or speedboat. I can only imagine how awesome that would be during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset.
Kilifi creek was also the setting for this witty and haunting New Yorker short story that won the BBC national short story award in 2014.
That Kilifi is 56kms from Mombasa and roughly halfway between Mombasa and Malindi on the highway makes it easily accessible by road. A drive up the B8 on your next coastal visit would be a great way to experience the sights and sounds of this historically rich and aesthetically pleasing region.