Places to visit in Mombasa & things to do
Mombasa is a traveler’s paradise. Being only second to Nairobi, it is the second largest city in Kenya. It has a coastal climate and cosmopolitan amenities which make it an ideal hub for tourists looking to explore its magnificent attractions. Mombasa is home to beautiful white sand beaches, lined by palm trees and flourishing coral reefs. Mombasa is home to the world-popular Fort Jesus. Tourists from around the world flock the island to enjoy its fresh air and partake in water activities such as snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, riding motor-boats and basking on its sun-kissed shores.
This article highlights the most popular places to visit and activities for visitors to Mombasa.
- Fort Jesus
Fort Jesus makes one of the various World Heritage sites that have been recognized by the UNESCO. It is a pre-colonial establishment that was built in 1593 by the Portuguese military in their exploration of the East African coast. It is the best place for a cultural tour to appreciate the vast coastal cultures that interacted in pre-colonial Kenya at the coast, including the Portuguese, Omani Arabs, Bantu and the British. It has a museum within its compound that houses a display of pottery and ceramics used in the 18th century by the Swahili and Omani Arabs.
- The Mombasa Marine Park
The Mombasa Marine Park is world famed reserve that protects mangroves, white-sand beaches, sea grass beds and vast coral reefs. The Mombasa marine park is popular among tourists for snorkeling and diving. It is also a popular ground for watching the marine life especially, seahorses, eels, and stringrays. There are various beaches from which one can access the park including the Shanzu, Nyali and Bamburi beaches.
- Haller Park Bamburi
The Haller Park is Mombasa’s most popular animal institution that was created from reclaiming waste land. It hosts a fish farm, and a variety of wildlife from Cape buffalo, giraffes, Zebras, waterbucks, hippos, and zebras. The Haller animal park is also home to birds of an overwhelming count. In fact, there are over 160 species of birds in the park including pelicans, cranes, weaver birds, and storks. The Haller Park is absolutely a delight to visit for game-viewing and nature walks and cycling. It is home to the Nguuni Wildlife Sanctuary that harbors elands, ostriches, oryxes and giraffes. It is also home to a butterfly pavilion which is really lovely to watch!
- The Old Town
The southeast end of Mombasa hosts the “Old Town” which is a tour back to the pre-colonial era that was marked by barter trade among the locals and the visits of the Arab, European explorer. The old town is a true jewel of archaic architecture and cultures of the old times. The design of the old town boasts of antique souvenirs, narrow streets, and old buildings that depict what life was like back then.
- South Coast Beaches
The south of Mombasa is an interesting part of the Kenyan coastline. It is a haven of natural beauty which hosts abundant wildlife covered by dancing palm trees; flourishing coral reefs, and protected swimming areas. The Tiwi beach south of the Likoni Ferry is popular with snorkelers and sunbathers. It is also popular among tourists for water sports such as sailing, water-skiing, and windsurfing.