Malindi town sits calmly on the beaches as the high tide soothes Indian Ocean’s coastline.
Its serene environment and unique cultures show the beauty of one of Kenya’s oldest towns.
The expansive beaches and scenic shoreline once attracted 15th century Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama to Malindi.
The legendary explorer left a landmark in Malindi, the Vasco da Gama’s Pillar, which attracts thousands of local and international tourists.
Arab occupation of the area also left several landmarks such as the Gede National Monument and other ruins in Malindi and Mambrui.
Their interaction with other groups gave birth to the Swahili culture, which dominates the area.
It is also believed that Chinese and Iraqi monarchies had their representatives in the area before the 14th centuries as evidenced by ruins near the Malindi Gold Club (Iraqi) and Mambrui village (Chinese).
In recent history, Malindi’s unique and scenic beaches have attracted a large number of visitors, mainly Italians, Britons and Germans.
Many have settled in the town.
Some Italians have made homes along the silver beaches of Malindi.
These include about 1,500 makuti thatched luxury villas, which are both homes and cottage hotels, surround Malindi town. It is estimated over 70 per cent are owned by Italians.
Their arrival is traced to the 1970’s when the Italian government established a space centre to launch probe rockets, the San Marco Space Centre. The presence of the rocket launch station is said to have attracted hundreds of Italians who came as tourists and stayed.
The population of resident Italians in Malindi town and its environs, estimated at slightly over 3000, is the largest of any resident European population anywhere in the country.
The Italian Embassy is the only foreign mission with a consulate in the small town.
According to Italian Consul Roberto Macri, there are over 8,000 estates, which include hotels, villas, cottages, pizzerias and restaurants owned by Italians.
Mr Macri says Italians control at least 90 per cent of Malindi’s economy, offering thousands of employment opportunities to locals.
Malindi, with at about 25 tourist beach hotels, has some of the most exclusive five-star resorts in Kenya.
World starts like super model Naomi Campbell and Formula One personality Flavio Biatorre are frequent visitors to some of Malindi’s top luxury spots.
Some of the town’s luxury gems, like Hemingways hotel are mentioned in international travel books and features.
Malindi town, which is situated in the North Coast barely 120 kilometers North, has been growing at a tremendous speed.
The town mainly depends on Tourism and salt manufacturing industries. However, it has great potential for farming and fishing, which are yet to be fully exploited.
A resident Joshua Kazungu says the town’s name was adopted from a Giriama phrase Mali I Ndi (Plenty of hidden wealth), which the tourists could not pronounce.
According to 1999 census, Malindi had a population of 300,000 but the numbers have grown to more than 500,000.
About 50 kilometres North of Malindi lie six salt manufacturing companies which also play pivotal role in the area’s economy. They include Kensalt, Mombasa Salt, Krystaline, Kemu Salt, Malindi Salt and Kurawa salt manufacturing firms.
The manager of Malindi Salt Works Mohammed Awadh says the firm employs at least 600 workers, supporting hundreds of families in Fundisa and Gongoni locations.
"This means at least 3,600 people in Magarini are employed by salt firms and this is their sole source of income," said Mr Awadh.
The residents also engage in fishing but lack sophisticated fishing gear to venture into the deep sea.
Chairman of Malindi Marine Association Athman Seif says fishing has not been productive due to lack of right equipment.
Mr Seif blames the Government for failing to give artisanal fishermen modern gear to promote commercial fishing.
Malindi Town clerk Geoffrey Katsole says the council is working hard to improve services to local people and investors by erecting streetlights from the Malindi Airport to Casaurina and Mambrui.
He says the council wants to make Malindi a 24-hour economic hub. The council has bought three garbage collection trucks and expects to acquire another next month in a bid to boost sanitation.
The council derives 80 per cent of its revenue from tourism. Through partnership, the council is in the process of starting an aqua-culture project at Sabaki at a cost of Sh1 billion.
The project is expected to create employment for over 3000 residents.
Mr Katsole says the importance of improving infrastructure to attract more investment and vistirs to the tourist metropolis cannot be overemphasized.
"The Mombasa-Malindi Highway has been under repair for more than two years and there is need to speed up the project so that tourists can travel with ease from the Moi International Airport in Mombasa to Malindi," says Katsole.
But the expansion of Malindi Airport has not been forthcoming. While tourism stakeholders want the airport expanded to international status, there has not been a clear response from the Government.
Kenya Airports Authority deputy Managing Director William Wamalwa recently said the corporation had no money for the expansion.
Article at: http://www.eastandard.net/specialreports/InsidePage.php?id=1143999646&cid=259&]]>
Southern is one of the districts of Botswana.
In the south, Southen borders the North West Province of South Africa. Domestically, it borders the following districts:
* South-East - east
* Kweneng - north
* Kgalagadi - west
South-East is one of the districts of Botswana.
In the southeast, South-East borders the North West Province of South Africa. Domestically, it borders the following districts:
* Kgatleng - northeast
* Kweneng - northwest
* Southern - southwest
North-West is one of the districts of Botswana. It was formed in 2001 by combining the districts of Chobe with Ngamiland.
North-West's location in the country causes it to share borders with the following foreign areas:
* Omaheke Region, Namibia - southwest
* Otjozondjupa Region, Namibia - west
* Okavango Region, Namibia - northwest
* Caprivi Region, Namibia - north
* Western Province, Zambia - a tiny border in the north
* Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe - east
Domestically, it borders the following districts:
* Central - southeast
* Ghanzi - southwest
North-East is one of the districts of Botswana. Its capital is Francistown. In 2001, North-East had a population of 132,422 people.
In the north and east, North-East borders the Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe. In the south and west, North-East borders Central District.]]>
Kweneng is one of the districts of Botswana and is the recent historical homeland of the Bakwena people, the first group in Botswana converted to Christianity by famed missionary David Livingstone. Various landmarks, including Livingstone's Cave, allude to this history. The seat of the district's government is Molepolole, Botswana's most populous village (only trailing Botswana's two cities: Gaborone and Francistown).
List of towns by population (2006)
* Molepolole (65,570)
* Mogoditshane (46,493)
* Thamaga (21,141)
* Gabane (13,581)
* Kopong (7,272)
Kweneng is the only district without a foreign border. It borders the following districts:
* Central - northeast
* Kgatleng - east
* South-East - southeast
* Southern - south
* Kgalagadi - west
* Ghanzi - north
Kweneng borders more districts than any other district.]]>
Kgatleng is one of the districts of Botswana, coterminous with the homeland of the Bakgatla people. Its capital is Mochudi, the hometown of protagonist Precious Ramotswe in Alexander McCall Smith's popular The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. According to the 2001 Census, Kgatleng had a population of 73,507 people.
In the south, Kgatleng borders the North West Province of South Africa, and to the east it borders South Africa's Limpopo Province. Domestically, it borders the following districts:
* South-East - southwest
* Kweneng - west
* Central - north
Kgalagadi is a district in southwest Botswana, lying along that country's border with Namibia and South Africa. The administrative center is Tshabong. Kgalagadi covers a vast area of the Kalahari Desert. It has a total area of 105,200 km², and has a population of only 42,000 (2001). More than one-third of the district is covered by the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which extends into South Africa.
Kgalagadi's location causes it to border the following regions and provinces:
* Omaheke Region, Namibia - northwest
* Hardap Region, Namibia - southwest
* Northern Cape Province, South Africa - south
* North West Province, South Africa - southeast
Domestically, it borders the following districts:
* Ghanzi - north
* Kweneng - northeast
* Southern - east
Ghanzi (sometimes Ghantsi) is a district in western Botswana, bordering Namibia in the west and extending east into much of the interior of the country. The district's administrative centre is the town of Ghanzi. Most of the eastern half of Ghanzi makes up the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The population at the 2001 census was 33,170, smaller than that of any other district. Ghanzi's area is 117,910km².
In the west, Ghanzi borders the Omaheke Region of Namibia. Domestically, it borders the following districts:
* North-West - north
* Central - east
* Kweneng - southeast
* Kgalagadi - south
Central is the largest of Botswana's districts in terms of area and population. It encompasses the traditional homeland of the Bamangwato people. Some of the most politically connected Batswana have come from the Central District, including former President Sir Seretse Khama, current President Festus Mogae, and current Vice President Lt. Gen. Seretse Ian Khama.
Main population centers in Central include Palapye and Serowe, two of Africa's largest traditional villages. The district also contains tributaries of the Limpopo River, which are prone to flash floods when sudden rainstorms drain eastward into the Limpopo.
In the northeast, Central borders Zimbabwe's Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South Provinces, and in the southeast Central borders South Africa's Limpopo Province. Domestically, it borders the following districts:
* North-East - northeast
* Kgatleng - south
* Kweneng - southwest
* Ghanzi - west
* North-West - northwest