Sights in and around Mombasa
Mombasa is a beautiful coastal town where you can see and do plenty things. The city has many historical attractions, restaurants, local markets and shops to visit. It is a city where many cultures come together, you can find Indian, Arabic, British and African influences all over Mombasa. It is would be a good idea to go out and see a few of the sights in Mombasa to get a better impression of the city.
A few suggestions are:
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.
Old town is, as the name suggests, the old part of Mombasa. In this part of town you can find beautiful colonial buildings. During a tour you can visit the old harbor, visit a Hindu temple and find quaint little shops. Eventually you’ll end up at the local market where vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices are sold. If want to go and see Old town a guide is a must, they can tell a lot of the rich history of Mombasa.
Bombolulu Workshops is a project of the ‘Association for Physically Disabled of Kenya’ ( APDK ). At Bombolulu Workshops you can admire the traditional houses of eight Kenyan tribes and dancers will perform traditional dances in the restaurant several times a day. This project is as specially known for the fact that they help physically disabled people to work in the workshop on the compound. You will find them making jewelry, clothing and carvings. The products that are made are sold in the showroom and exported to foreign countries.
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.
Mamba Village is a crocodile farm where you can admire hundreds of crocodiles in different age groups. You can take a tour of the farm accompanied by a guide, who will tell you all about the farm. During your tour you can also go horseback riding and have a little bite or drink in the restaurant. On several days during the week, late in the afternoon, there will be a chance for you to see how they feed the crocodiles. It is a spectacular show!
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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