Lonely Planet once described the Marafa Depression as ‘the most underrated site on the coast (if not Kenya)’. Those who visit this amazing anomaly depicting nature at work, quickly agree with this statement.
Also known as the Devil’s Kitchen or Nyari, The Place Broken by Itself, Marafa Depression is an outstanding site of stalactites and stalagmites formed through the process of wearing away the limestone rock.
This unique ridge of amazing gorges and gullies provides a beautiful landscape to behold. The Marafa depression has been compared to Bison and Arizona’s grand canyon in the United States.
The Devil’s Kitchen was originally a place full of sandstone which, through erosion over millennia by heavy rainfall, has left behind a spectacular canyon where massive structures over 30 M high rise to the sky forming a spectacle that can only be seen to be believed.
Local legend and folklore tell of a rich family who lived among a community of poverty-stricken people in the 17th century. The family-owned such a large herd of cattle that it is said they used to bathe with cow’s milk and hot water.
This annoyed the gods who punished them and their extended family with a curse of heavy torrential rain that washed the entire family away in the night. It is believed that the white and red stone represents the milk and blood which were splashed all over this magnificent landscape to serve as a warning to those who live an excessive life.
As you walk through the canyon, the colours of the spires vary depending on the intensity of the sunlight upon them. Indeed as the day grows old and you have the patience to linger around long enough, you can capture some of the most beautiful pictures imaginable.
In different seasons during flowering, the area’s vegetation emits various scents which mix to give an impression of cooking food – hence the name the devil’s kitchen.
If you are in the Malindi area, you will not be too far from this spectacle. It is located about 30 KM northeast of the town near Marafa. Budget for an hour of driving from Malindi.