One of the most underrated sites on the Kenyan coast, an excursion out to Marafa depression is well worth the hour drive from Malindi. Named by the natives Nyari, ‘the place broken by itself’, the geological formation was caused by erosion of the sandstone escarpment, revealing a unique set of vibrantly colored rock layers, from whites to pinks, oranges and deep crimsons.
Local legends tell a very different story from the one of natural erosion. Legend has it that the expanse of Hell’s Kitchen was once occupied by a rich family of the Wakiza clan. The family indulged in bathing in valuable milk from their cows. God, furious at their excessive behaviour, punished them by opening the ground beneath their home. The symbolically milky white and blood red sandstone of Hell’s Kitchen serves as a reminder against wastefulness and exorbitance.
Ape families can either be seen basking or swinging from one branch to another with infants cuddled on their bosoms.