Marafa is a sleeping village 80 km northwest of Malindi. Barely ten minutes’ walk from the shopping centre lays a depression that refreshingly astounds as much as it excites. The locals call it The Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari due to the many fascinating myths associated with its existence.
Surrounded by a thicket, Hell’s Kitchen is all about nature. Endless sounds of crickets, chirping of birds and screaming of monkeys welcome visitors as they approach the forest surrounding the depression. Nature is at peace with itself.
The Depression is a geological irregularity which over time, wind and rain has eroded the ridge of sandstone into a set of very beautiful gorges, putting this remote village in the world map as thousands of visitors make it their destination to witness the wonders of nature.
The colour of the exposed sandstone range from off-white to pale pinks and from oranges to deep crimson making the gorges magically beautiful especially at sunset; the way the light hits the rocks and changes colour as the sun travels down the horizon.
Hell’s Kitchen is under the management of Marafa Youth Group. At a small fee, a guide, fluent in a number of foreign languages, will conduct you in and around the Hell’s Kitchen. It opens its gate at eight in the morning and closes after sunset giving visitors a rare chance to witness the sun setting which is so magnificent that it is a love for many.
There are marked footpath that lead down to the bed of the gorges (at times one uses both four) where you get to explore the breath-taking depth of the galleys and get to catch a close feel of the Hell’s Kitchen. You will realize that other than being unique, the gorges are magically exotic, with the colours tending to change naturally.
According to one of the many myths, a very rich village once stood there. Due to water problem, the villagers used milk from their cows to bath. God was so furious that he opened the grounds and the whole village went under leaving the depression. The locals view the depression as a reminder that calamity and bad lack will come knocking should you go against God.
Others believe that if you happen to lose any item to thieves, all you need is go down the gorges and put your case and the item will be returned else the thief will face dire consequences.
Located on higher grounds, Marafa is well positioned to offers a panoramic view of the expansive Dakatcha Woodlands on the west.
From the comfort of sundowner-wooden seats overlooking the depression, visitors catch the most spectacular views of the gorges and have the pristine advantage of watching the sun disappear in the horizon beyond the Dhakacha Woodlands leaving outstanding scenery.
Contrary to its name, Hell’s Kitchen, (which scares) here you are invited to an experience where, to many, time will cease to matter as they tour the gorges and then have a chance to witness the sun setting.