Mombasa is a coastal city on the Indian Ocean. It is the oldest (circa 900 AD) and the second largest city in the country, with a population of approximately 1.2 million.
Because it is so close to the ocean and has a pleasant climate, Mombasa is a great tourist destination unlike Nairobi which is more of a business center.
Although known as a tourist destination, Mombasa is home to the largest port in East Africa, which makes the city very important when it comes to imports and exports. For many landlocked neighboring countries, the port of Mombasa is one of the main entry points for imported goods.
Sights worths seeing
As mentioned earlier, Mombasa is a beautiful destination. With white sandy beaches and blue ocean, it is a good place to relax. In addition to relaxing, there are also some sights that are worth a visit.
Haller Park is a nice and small nature park where you can easily spend an afternoon just walking around. The park is part of the adjacent cement factory, ‘Bamburi Cement factory’. The area turned into a barren wasteland in the 50’s after the cement production increased dramatically. The company decided to transform the quarries into an ecological paradise. After a long and difficult process they succeeded to make it into a beautiful place. Besides the beautiful nature that has arisen, there is also a large variety of animals found in this park . So you can find apes, ancient turtles, crocodiles, hippos and giraffes. If you visit the park later in the afternoon you can feed the giraffes and on some days you can see how the crocodiles are fed.
Nguuni Nature Sanctuary
The Nguuni Nature Sanctuary is about 4 km from the cement factory, not far from Haller Park. It is a park where you can relax and enjoy animals. You have the opportunity to make a little safari through the park by car or to go on a bird walk. The park has several picnic areas and there is a possibility to barbecue at sundown.
Fort Jesus is a fort built in 1593 by the Portuguese. The fort quickly became a valuable asset. Anyone who had control over the fort had control over Mombasa and the surrounding trade areas. Nowadays the fort is turned into a museum and you can admire many of the historical areas of the fort. Visiting the museum takes about 2 hours. It is advisable to be combine a trip to the museum with a tour through ‘Old town’. If you decide to do this combination it will take you about half a day to see the museum and Old town.
The Mombasa tusks is also a must if you are visiting Mombasa The tusks symbolize the entrance to the heart of the city. They were built in 1952 to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Mombasa. Perfect picture opportunity.
Akamba carvings is mainly known for the beautiful souvenirs you can buy there. It is a big workshop where a lot of people make these beautiful handmade works of art. Before you enter the gift shop you can take a look in this huge open air workshop and see how they make these amazing souvenirs. Feel free to chat with one of the employees and ask if you can take pictures of their work, they will like it.
Wasini Island is located just south of Mombasa Island. You usually visit this island during a day trip. You will board a traditional sailing boat called a “dhow”. During the trip, you will sail across the ocean and have the opportunity to spot dolphins and other marine life. At lunchtime, you will head to the island and explore the tranquil island life.
You want to do something with a little bit of speed, go karting! Mombasa Go-Kart makes it possible that everybody, young and old, can go karting. Besides carting you can also go bowling, do a little ping-pong and trampolining. Highly recommended!
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