Kilifi is a town on the Kenyan coast, home to many resorts. It sits on the Goshi estuary of the Goshi River in Kenya. The beach itself is known as Bofa Beach and is said to be one of the best beaches in Kenya. The town lies on the Kilifi Creek between Malindi and Mombasa. Kilifi is capital of the Kilifi County. The town has an urban population of 48,826 (2009 census ).
The towns sits on both sides of the estuary and are linked by the Kilifi Bridge. The south side has the Mnarani ruins and Shauri Moyo beach while the north side is the main part of Kilifi Town and Bofa Beach. Kilifi bridge gives you access to the splendid view of the estuary.
The weather is generally warm throughout the year (above 25 degrees) with two seasons of moderate rainfall (about 800-1000mm). The long rains start around March and last into July, while the short rains that start around October last until December.
The terrain is generally flat with sandy-loamy soils. Common trees include Cocos lucifera, Anacadium occidentale, Azadirachta indica, and Mangifera indica.
Common birds are the crow, kites and hawks.
Kilifi is a cosmopolitan town with mixed ethnic groups. The predominant inhabitants are from the Mijikenda groups (mainly Giriama and Chonyi). Other groups include the Swahili-Arab descendants, Barawas, Bajunis, Somalis as well as other groups from inland. There is a handful of Indians, Europeans mainly British, German and Italian.
Like every coastal town, fishing is one of the historical economic activities. With time, the town has slowly been transforming from a fishing village to basic industrial and service.
The growth of the town was mainly fuelled by the cashew nut milling factory between 1976 and 1990. The town almost became a ghost town when the factory was closed due to decline in nuts supply, mismanagement of the factory and increased global competition. Other industrial activities include milk processing at Kilifi Plantations.
Since 2008 with the transformation of the Kilifi institute of Agriculture into a University(Pwani University). There has been substantial expansion of the service sector as a result of this. Banking activity has been growing with about 7 banks (KCB, Barclays, Postbank, Imperial, Equity, Co operative and most recent Diamond Trust Bank) as well as microfinance institutions. Retail business and hotels have historically been significant economic activities. 3 to 4 star hotels you will find here are like Sea Horse Hotel, Mnarani Club, Kilifi Bay Hotel and Baobab Lodge. Others are privately owned beach villas such as Kilifi Maghreb. There is finally a new budget accommodation place called Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers which recently opened its doors in December 2012.
There are several restaurants in Kilifi: Nautilus Restaurant for a fancy meal, the Boatyard for seafood, Swahili Dishes also known as Village Dishes for local food, Kilifi Club for the views on the mouth of the creek, and also the rencently opened Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers.
The Kilifi County Hospital, which is also a referral hospital, serves all of Kilifi County, and also supports the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, a large medical research center collaborative between Kenya's KEMRI and the British Wellcome Trust, known for its work on malaria and bacterial and viral childhood infections. Several other private clinics can be found here. The Khairat Medical Centre which was recently opened is equipped with modern laboratory, x-ray and scan machines with qualified personnel is situated in the Mtaani area of Sokoni Sb-Location opposite Masjid Hudaa
The town also includes a number of notable non-profit organizations serving the surrounding rural communities, including World Vision, Plan International, and KOMAZA. K.E.D.A (Kilifi Education and Development Association) has been active in mobilising children to go to school. Its offices are situated in Biashara Street at Al Guweira House.
- Weiss, Robert and Bahlburg, Heinrich (2006). "The Coast of Kenya Field Survey after the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami". Earthquake Spectra 22 (S3): S235–S240, page=S238. doi:10.1193/1.2201970.
- KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme
- Home of Mtwapa Creek Kilifi District
- Information Guide Mtwapa City Kilifi District
- more about Kilifi