Vasco da Gama Pillar


More impressive for what it represents (the genesis of the Age of Exploration) than the edifice itself. Erected by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama as a navigational aid in 1498, the coral column is topped by a cross made of Lisbon stone, which almost certainly dates from the explorer’s time. There are good views from here down the coast and out over the ocean.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Malindi attractions

1. Portuguese Church

0.33 MILES

This thatched-roofed church gets its name because Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama is reputed to have erected it in the 15th century, and two of his crew…

2. House of Columns

0.54 MILES

This building is a good example of traditional Swahili architecture and contains a peculiar exhibit on marine ecology – on the first and only coelacanth…

3. Malindi Pier

0.61 MILES

This long tongue flicks out into the Indian Ocean. It's a low-key highlight of a stroll along Mama Ngina Rd. On weekends, families wander arm-in-arm and…

4. Malindi Museum

0.78 MILES

Part of the Malindi Historic Circuit, this moderately interesting museum has some displays on underwater arachaeology along the Kenyan coast. Upstairs,…

5. Malindi Marine National Park


The oldest marine park in Kenya covers 213 sq km of powder-blue fish, organ-pipe coral, green sea turtles and beds of Thalassia seagrass. If you’re…

6. Kipepeo Butterfly Farm

9.58 MILES

Visit this butterfly centre on a Friday morning, and you might spot exotic pupae being packed for export to the UK and USA. The farm pays locals to…

7. Gede Ruins

9.74 MILES

This extensive collection of 13th- to 17th-century coral palaces, mosques and town houses – some of Kenya's most important Swahili ruins – lies quietly in…

8. Bio-Ken Snake Farm & Laboratory

10.7 MILES

This humble-looking place is one of the world's most renowned snake research centres. Bio-Ken specialises in antivenin research and acts as an emergency…