Kilifi County Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Kilifi County, located on the coast of Kenya, is a breathtaking destination known for its pristine beaches, rich cultural heritage, and diverse natural attractions. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway or an adventure-filled exploration, Kilifi has something for everyone. Here’s everything you need to know about this captivating destination.

Quick Facts About Kilifi County

  • County Number: 003
  • Number of Sub-Counties: 7 (Kilifi North, Ganze, Rabai, Malindi, Kaloleni, Magarini, and Kilifi South.)
  • County Headquarters: Kilifi town
  • Current Governor: Gideon Mung’aro
  • Current Senator: Stewart Madzayo
  • Woman Representative: Gertrude Mbeyu Mwanyanje

Geography and Climate

Kilifi County is situated in the southeastern part of Kenya and covers an area of approximately 12,610 square kilometers. It is bordered by Tana River County to the north, Taita-Taveta County to the west, and Mombasa County to the south. The county’s coastline stretches along the Indian Ocean, offering breathtaking views and pristine white sandy beaches.

The climate in Kilifi is typically tropical, with hot and humid conditions throughout the year. The rainy seasons occur between April to June and October to December, so planning your visit during the drier months is recommended for outdoor activities.

Attractions and Activities in Kilifi County

Embark on a journey through Kilifi County’s remarkable offerings with this comprehensive list of attractions and activities, showcasing the diverse and captivating experiences awaiting visitors in this coastal paradise.

1. Stunning Beaches

Kilifi County boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya. Kilifi Beach, Watamu Beach, and Bofa Beach are just a few examples of the exquisite stretches of white sand and turquoise waters that attract both locals and tourists alike. Relax on the beach, soak up the sun, or engage in exciting water sports like snorkeling, diving, and kiteboarding.

2. Historical and Cultural Significance

Kilifi County is steeped in history and culture. Kilifi is home to the iconic Kilifi Bridge, an architectural marvel connecting the town to the southern shore of Kilifi Creek. Discover the ruins of Mnarani, an ancient Swahili village, and visit the Gede Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing the remains of a 12th-century Swahili town.

3. Ecotourism and Wildlife in Kilifi County

Kilifi County is blessed with abundant natural beauty. Explore the enchanting Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, one of the largest remaining coastal forests in East Africa, home to rare bird species, butterflies, and diverse wildlife. Take a boat ride along Kilifi Creek, where you can spot crocodiles, hippos, and a variety of birdlife. The nearby Tsavo East National Park offers thrilling game drives and the opportunity to encounter elephants, lions, giraffes, and more.

4. Water Activities and Marine Life

The warm Indian Ocean waters surrounding Kilifi County are a paradise for water enthusiasts. Snorkel or dive at the Watamu Marine National Park, a marine reserve teeming with colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, dolphins, and turtles. Don’t miss the opportunity to go deep-sea fishing or embark on a sunset dhow cruise along the coast, immersing yourself in the coastal traditions and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

5. Festivals and Events in Kilifi County

Kilifi County is known for its vibrant festivals and events that celebrate the local culture and traditions. The Kilifi New Year Festival, held annually in January, is a popular music and arts festival attracting both local and international artists. The Distant Relatives EcoLodge and Backpackers also host regular events, including live music performances and cultural workshops.

6. Accommodation and Dining

Kilifi County offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. From luxury beach resorts and eco-friendly lodges to charming guesthouses and campsites, there is something for every traveler. Sample the delicious coastal cuisine at the local restaurants and beachside cafes, including fresh seafood, Swahili dishes, and tropical fruits.

7. Community Engagement

Kilifi County provides opportunities for visitors to engage with the local communities and contribute to sustainable development initiatives. Volunteer at local conservation projects, support community-based tourism initiatives or participate in cultural exchanges to better understand the region’s traditions and challenges.

Culture and Festivals

Kilifi County is home to a vibrant Swahili culture, and you can experience it through the local cuisine, music, and traditional dances. The annual Kilifi New Year Festival is a popular event that brings together artists, musicians, and revelers worldwide. The festival showcases live music, art installations, and cultural performances, creating an unforgettable experience.

Food and Cuisine

Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the local flavors of Kilifi County. Try delicious Swahili dishes such as biryani (spiced rice with meat or vegetables), mahamri (sweet fried bread), and pilau (flavored rice dish). Fresh seafood is abundant in the coastal areas, offering mouthwatering dishes like grilled prawns, lobster, and fish curries.

Where to Stay in Kilifi County

Kilifi County offers a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. You’ll find something to meet your needs, from luxury beach resorts and boutique hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and campsites. Popular areas to stay include Kilifi town, Malindi, and Watamu.

Getting There

The nearest major airport to Kilifi County is Moi International Airport in Mombasa, which serves domestic and international flights. You can hire a taxi from the airport or use public transport to reach Kilifi. You can also arrive in Kilifi by flying to Malindi Airport and driving south to the beach town.

Alternatively, you can also travel by road from Nairobi, which takes around eight hours. Buses like Modern Coast, Tahmeed Coach, and Dreamline operate along the route.

As you plan your visit to Kilifi County, be sure to check travel advisories and consult reliable sources for the most up-to-date information on health and safety.

Kilifi County Map

Embark on an exploration of Kilifi County with the aid of a comprehensive map that will lead you to the stunning beaches, historical sites, wildlife reserves, and cultural treasures that make this Kenyan coastal region a captivating destination. Navigate your way through the wonders of Kilifi and make the most of your visit with the help of this invaluable map.



Kilifi County in Kenya offers various attractions and experiences for all types of travelers. Whether you seek relaxation on pristine beaches, exploration of historical sites, encounters with wildlife, or immersion in local culture, Kilifi is a destination that will leave you awe-inspired and rejuvenated. Plan your visit to this coastal gem and embark on a memorable adventure.

  • Also, check out our comprehensive guide to all 47 counties in Kenya with their websites, numbers, governors, and headquarters. is the go-to platform for anyone looking for credible, informative, and entertaining content about Kenya and beyond.

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