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Malindi coastal Kenya

So we have an unexpected opportunity to visit Malindi on the Indian Ocean in Kenya, a couple of hours north of Mombasa.
I have zero experience in this part of the world but, from what I can see of pictures, it looks absolutely beautiful. It also looks like quite a popular vacation/resort spot from what I can see online. And the beaches!! Just wow.
Has anyone on this forum been there? If so, do you recommend it?
We will stay in a private home...is is easy to shop, buy groceries, etc.? Are taxis readily available for getting around?
Is it close enough to areas where you can take safari-like tours on day trips? I don't think we can afford to go on actual safari but maybe day trips would be more accessible?
Is it fairly straighforward to get there or is it one of those planes-trains-automobile scenarios with 6 legs of exhaustion?
We are used to traveling in less developed areas of the world like remote southeast Asia. Is this a harder area in which to travel? Easier? Language barrier? We speak French but honestly I don't know if this will help there at all. Again, I know very little at this point.
I will, of course, do my own homework if we decide to go but I thought I would do some preliminary reconnaissance here first. This group is so well-traveled!
Thanks in advance on the off-chance that someone here has been!

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2811 posts

I have only spent time in Tanzania, but I would want to be sure I understood the workings of the kitchen. Is power reliable? If not, what cooking back up? Propane stove? Convert to a European sjopping concept of smaller amounts more frequently. I mention it, only because of the power challenges we experienced near Arusha and how glad I was to have someone else coping with the kitchen.
It looks like there are safari operators in Malindi, but Tsavo is the closest park and they seem to be 2 or more day safaris. Driving time is about double whatever google directions might say.
What is the current political situation there? There were violent issues during elections on the coast, so are things better now?
I would suggest asking on that destination's TripAdvisor forum. I love Africa, but respect that it changes fast and frequently. I would want direct local feedback or at least current knowledge of where I want to go.