Mombasa, Kenya Ultimate Guide : Mombasa is a coastal city and second largest city in Kenya located in southeastern region of the country along the Indian Ocean, Mombasa is also the oldest city in Kenya and one of the major tourism centers.
Mombasa is a must – visit destination in Kenya as it is an exotic paradise in the African tropics with many beautiful white sand beaches, Mombasa is a modern diverse city and very welcoming to every individual from every corner of the world. The city is filled with exciting activities you can do during your visit and here is the guide to what to expect in Mombasa.
Things to Do in Mombasa Kenya
Mombasa City also known as a coastal city is famous known for its exotic beaches and luxurious hotels, however this beautiful beach is not limited to beach activities and here are the other things to do during your travels to Mombasa.
- Visiting Mombasa Beaches
While on a visit to Kenya, the tropical beaches are so unmissable. Mombasa has several beautiful beaches including Diani Beach, Bamburi Beach, and Nyali beach among others. These beaches are popular sites for sunbathing, swimming, beach walks and relaxing. Most of the beaches in Mombasa have great hotels and resorts along the shore which offer several beach activities and delicious meals served at the restaurants.
- Fort Jesus
Fort Jesus is one of the strikingly magnificent historical structures in Mombasa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the shape of a man and constructed by the Portuguese in 1593 – 1596, the fort was designed by the Italian architect Cairti.
Fort Jesus is a must visit site during your travels to Mombasa, the fort reflects the Portuguese Military architecture and during the visit one can enjoy a collection of ceramics and pottery that reflect the various cultures. The compound of the Fort has amazing battlements and derelict buildings including Omani house, a building with Omani jewelry and displays of the Swahili life.
- Take a walk around Mombasa Old Town
Taking a stroll into the Old Town of Mombasa is a great way to interact and meet with people from different cultures, most of the people living in Mombasa are Asians, Arabs, Indians, Europeans and Swahili people. Walking around Mombasa is the best way to discover the narrow streets bordered by old buildings, you can go shopping at one of the many shops selling antiques, souvenirs, fragrances, oils and spices and also visit one of the cafes for a taste of the local cuisines.
- Scuba diving and snorkeling
Mombasa is a perfect destination for water sports, Mombasa has some of the most clear waters in world and huge marine world making it a perfect site for snorkeling and diving safaris. There are several sites where one can do snorkeling and diving experience and have a delightful encounter with several marine life such as stingrays, lionfish, seahorses, eels among others.
Travelers can also visit the Mombasa Marine National park to see mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs.
- Mamba Village Center
Mamba Village Center is a great site to visit if you are a reptile lover, the center is the largest crocodile farm in East Africa situated in the Mamba Village Center. The site features garden exhibiting orchids, aquatic plants along with carnivorous species. During a visit to Mamba Village Center you will get an opportunity to learn about these fascinating reptiles including crocodiles and watch them fighting for food, additionally you can take a horseback ride and enjoy the amazing botanical garden and its aquarium.
- Haller Parker
Haller Parker is a great site to visit in Mombasa for bird enthusiasts and animal lovers, this nature park is located in Bamburi on the Kenyan Coast. Haller Parker is a rewarding site to visit as a family and friends, during the experience you will be able to enjoy seeing several wildlife such as giraffe, cape buffaloes, zebras, waterbucks and hippos among others. The park also inhabits over 160 species of birds including egrets, owls, pied kingfishers, yellow billed stork, marabou stork, sacred ibis plover, white faced tree ducks Taveta golden weaver, black headed weaver, golden palm weaver, Egyptian geese, gray heron among others.
7- Trip By Dhow to Wasini Island
Wasini Island is a beautiful island to visit on a dhow trip, the island is situated south of Mombasa and is only an area of 5 square kilometers. Wasini island is a popular destination for dhow trip and during this excursion, tourists get an opportunity to see dolphins as you cruise . The island is also an ideal destination for snorkeling near the reefs and cultural experience in the Swahili villages which lie around, discover the Shimoni caves which said to have held slaves before being shipped to Arabia. You can also enjoy the pleasure of sea food on the island.
8- Shimba Hills National Reserve
For tourists looking for an escape adventure from the city of Mombasa, Shimba Hills national park is the best site to visit. The reserve is a home an abundance of wildlife, plant species and birds and during your visit you will be amazed by beauty of nature and waterfalls, woodlands, savannah plains and rich rainforests. Some of the animals you will enjoy seeing in Shimba Hills national reserve include elephants, leopards and sable antelopes among s.
9- Mombasa Tusks
They also known as Mapemba ya Ndovu or Pemba Za Ndovu are a monument in Mombasa over Moi Avenue, these tusks were built in 150s to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth and the royal family. This monument originally comprised of two wooden structures resembling tusks, nowdays there are 4 aluminium tusks in an M shape.
The tusks are recognized under the jurisdiction of the National Museums of Kenya in addition to the city’s municipal government, while on a Kenya safari to Mombasa, these tusk are unmissable as many tourists get to take beautiful and monumental pictures.
10- Mombasa Go-Kart
Mombasa Go-kart is a thrilling experience suitable to tourists of all ages and more favorable to family and group visitors. During this experience, visitors get to enjoy a smooth concrete track in go-karts and bounce around on the off-board buggies. After the mind-blowing go kart experience, visitors can enjoy a snack at a family friendly on-site restaurant and also participate in activities like computer games, football in the play ground and watching sports on the big screen.
Best Time to Visit to Mombasa
The water temperature in Mombasa is quite comfortable throughout the year even during the months which facilitate the aquatic activities, additionally, the sunshine hours in Mombasa vary a little throughout the year ranging from 7 to 9 hours. For anglers, the best time to visit Mombasa is the end of August to October as it is a perfect time to catch a yellowfin tuna. For Scuba divers and snorkelers, October to March is the best time to discover the marine life of Kenya. For travelers looking for reduced prices on accommodation, beach hotels in Mombasa offer reduced prices during the long and short rain period that is from April to June and November with the 3 weeks of December. Peak season in Mombasa starts from January, February and from July through October.
Note: in the peak season, a lot of travelers come to Mombasa, so if you are intending to visit Mombasa in the peak season it is important to book your accommodations earlier.
Where to stay in Mombasa
In Mombasa there are several accommodations offering guests rooms and other necessary services to travelers, these accommodations are categorized as luxury hotels, mid-range hotels and budget hotels.
- Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury beach resort situated on the beautiful Bamburi Beach, this beach resort features 4 swimming pools, tennis courts and a PADI dive center.
- Serena Beach Resort & Spa
Serena Beach Resort & Spa is a beautiful situated on the peaceful beachfront escape, this hotel is one of the most affordable hotels in Mombasa. This beach resort offers family rooms with free breakfast.
- Voyager Beach Resort & Spa
Voyager Beach Resort & Spa is a luxury beach resort featuring multiple swimming pools, a kids club and several water sports you can do.
- Severin Sea Lodge
Severin Sea Lodge lies on Bamburu Beach featuring thatched bungalows and 2 lovely swimming pools.
- Travelers Beach Hotel & Club
Travellers Beach Hotel & Club is a beautiful and affordable hotel in Mombasa loved for its warm and friendly service.
- Bahari Beach Hotel
Bahari Beach Hotel is a great accommodation boasting great views of the coral cliffs along Nyali Beach
- Best western plus Creekside Hotel
Best Western Plus Creekside Hotel is situated near Nyali Beach and Fort Jesus which are great tourist attractions in Mombasa and it overlooks Tudor Creek. This hotel is perfect for travelers intending to visit the Nyali Beach and Fort Jesus.
- Kenya Bay Beach Hotel
Kenya Bay Beach Hotel features a sweeping Bamburu beachfront
- Kahama Hotel
Kahama Hotel is a beautiful accommodation with bright spacious rooms overlooking the white-sand shores.