Kilifi county is one of the 47 Kenyan counties found along the coastline in the former coast province. The 2010 Kenyan constitution listed Kilifi county as County 003 thus commonly referred to as county 003.

Formation

The  2010 Kenyan constitution that established Kilifi County by merging former Malindi and Kilifi districts.

Capital

Kilifi town is the capital of Kilifi county. Thus, Kilifi town is the headquarter of the executive and the county assembly offices. As well, most county administrative functions are found here since all county ministries have their headquarters in Kilifi town.

Towns

Major towns in Kilifi county include Kilifi, Kaloleni, Mariakani, Malindi, Mnarani, and Ganze. It is worth noting Malindi is the largest town.

However, its location could be the main reason it is not the capital. Kilifi town is more central than Malindi that is located in the county periphery.

Location

Kilifi county borders Mombasa County (south), Indian Ocean (east), Lamu County (northeast), Tana River County (north), Makueni County (north-west), Taita Taveta County (west).

Geographical size

Kilifi county spans approximately 12,245 square kilometers. Unlike Mombasa and Kwale county, Kilifi county does not have an island despite having a coastline.

Administrative Boundaries

Kilifi is divided into constituencies (sub-counties) and wards as highlighted below.

Kilifi County Constituencies

Kilifi county is divided into 7 constituencies that include Ganze, Kaloleni, Kilifi North, Kilifi South,  Magarini, Malindi, and Rabai.

Kilifi County Wards

Kilifi county is divided into 35 wards spread across  the 7 constituencies as follows:

  1. Ganze constituency: Divided into 4 wards that include Bamba ward, Ganze ward, Jaribuni ward, and Sokoke ward.
  2. Kaloleni Constituency: Divided into 4 wards that include Kaloleni ward, Kayafungo ward, Mariakani ward, and Mwana Mwinga ward.
  3. Kilifi North constituency: Divided into 7 wards that include Dabaso, Kibarani, Matsangori, Mnararni, Sokoni, and Tezo.
  4. Kilifi South Constituency: Divided into 5 wards that include Chasimba, Junju, Mtepeni, Mwarakaya, and Shimo La Tewa.
  5. Magarini Constituency: Divided into 6 wards that include Adu, Garashi, Gongoni, Maarafa, Magarini, and Sabaki.
  6. Malindi Constituency: Divided into 5 wards that include Ganda ward, Jilore ward, Kakuyuni ward, Malindi Town ward, and Shella ward.
  7. Rabai Constituency: Divided into 4 wards that include Mwawesa ward, Kambe-Ribe ward, and Rabai/Kisurutuni ward.

Economic Activities

  • Tourism

Kilifi county has one of the most popular destinations in Kenyan coastal stretch. The county has a variety of tourist attractions as follows. Watamu sandy beaches where you can’t miss an Italian tourist any day of the year.

Another popular tourist attraction is the Gedi ruins that are of great significance historical importance in Kenya. Watamu marine park is found in Watamu just next to the Watamu beaches.

  1. Fishing

Having a coastline, it goes without saying that Kilifi residents practice fishing. However, fishing here is small-scale just like in Mombasa, Kwale, and Lamu counties. Sea fish is, therefore, a common delicacy across the county.

  1. Farming

Though Kilifi county is generally hot and dry in most parts of the year. This does not deter farming either. Kilifi residents various types of farming as explained below.

Sisal farming in Vifingo. As you travel along Malindi road, you will come across vast sisal plantations in the Vipingo area.

Residents practice Cashew nuts farming as well. The presence of Cashew nuts millers factory is enough proof.

Coconut farming is obvious. Traveling along the Kilifi – Malindi road, you will identify numerous coconut trees all over.

  1. Industries 

Kilifi county host manufacturing industries as well. The most prominent are the Mabati Rolling Mills (MRM) in Mariakani and Athi River Mining company. Both provide jobs to locals and beyond.

  1. Businesses

Retail business is a livelihood for many people who reside in the towns. Such includes small scale shops, hawking, open-door shops and established stores like supermarkets.

  1. Hotel & Hospitality

The hotel industry is also a significant economic earner courtesy to tourism. Kilifi county host numerous 2 to 5-star hotels mainly targeting tourists and institutions. The hotels offer direct and indirect jobs to locals as suppliers and workers.