31 July, 2013: Sweltering County
Temperatures are dropping steadily as we head into to our annual ‘winter’ period, even though it’s still raining in some parts of the country, including the coast – our weather is as peculiar as our people (or is it vice versa)?! But guess what, it’s also low season so you could opt to head South Westward to enjoy some warmer days at much (much) cheaper rates, they say as much as 60% lower! Malindi has even been advertised on the news, the local service providers even pleading for ‘wateja’ to visit the place and give them some business. So if you are inclined to respond, there’s an important ‘must see’ update that could interest you to spend your time doing something else other than lazing on the lovely beach (for once)! Lets… Escape!
Marafa’s Hell’s Kitchen, Kilifi County
Just outside Malindi town on your way out towards Tana River, after the Sabaki Bridge to the left is a murram road leading you to one of the most amazing geographical features in the region. It appears to be a little known secret yet it has been around for hundreds of years! Set in Marafa, it is can only be described as a rock formation of stalactites and stalagmites curved naturally in a valley of sand and red rock. At Sunset and Sunrise it forms the most amazing, gorgeous and beautiful kaleidoscope of color, splayed across the shadows and sculptured hills down in the Valley. However, you must be warned that it is as ‘hot as hell’ from whence it derives its name. If you love photography then power up your favorite gadget, clear out the memory and expect to load up on some spectacular shots! They say you could even find ancient drawings possibly from inhabitants – way back when, and rock formations resembling wild animals such as lions, hippos, etc.
To explore this impressive rock feature, you could either drive up for about an hour on the murram road, or apparently take a bus that is available in town at scheduled times. Where comfortable light clothing and shoes as well, and enjoy a miniscule taste of what it must be like in the real Hell down under (maybe you might behave better forever thereafter, or better still it might work on your kids and their errant ways)!! J
Perhaps this is the best season in the year to go now that it’s nice and cool, and especially at the Coast where temperature normalize to ‘warm’ instead of unbearably hot.
Location: About one hour away from Malindi town
Booking: The site is managed by the local community and operates throughout the day; you simply ask around about transport or simply drive up (if you know where Marafa is or the locals can help)
Ideal for: Families, friends, Companies seeking team building activities, adventurers looking to try some different challenge – descending into ‘hot’ rather climbing up to the cold
Timing: Can be visited all year round
Price: Reasonable depending on your interests. From around 500/- per person for entry depending on if you are local or a foreigner