If you are looking for things to do in Mombasa, look no further. We have careful compiled a list of things to do when you are in this vibrant Kenyan city.
Mombasa is one of the cities in Kenya. It is the second largest after Nairobi. It is an island that is joined by bridges and ferries to the coastal region of Kenya in the Indian Ocean. The climate in Mombasa ranges from hot summer which is mostly cloudy. The winters are warm, dry, windy, and mainly clear. It is commonly referred to as “Mombasa Raha” in Swahili meaning there is a lot of fun. Swahili is Kenya’s national language.
Mombasa provides tourists a fascinating taste of the African tropics engrossed in centuries of maritime history. Mombasa is a multiracial holidaymaker hub. It has many beaches both private and public. There are many monumental buildings that date back to the colonial era. The Fort Jesus and the Mombasa Old Town are very beneficial tourist attractions on the Kenya coast.
Many tourists from across the globe flock to Mombasa to enjoy the many things to do in Mombasa. Some of the activities you can get up to Mombasa are dolphin spotting trips on accustomed dhows and deep-sea fishing to plunging and snorkeling. Busk on the sun in the shores. In the city on the lively island, a cosmos of history and heritage holds on.
The port of Mombasa is the largest in East Africa. It is an artistic rendering pot. British, Asian, Arabic, Omanis, Indian, and Chinese aliens have augmented the city’s structure and dishes. There are several mosques and temples that dignify the city’s streets. Exploring the Old Town where you will find the oldest buildings is fascinating.
Our List of Things To Do in Mombasa
Visiting Fort Jesus
Fort Jesus was constructed by the Portuguese. Thereafter it was used by the Arabs as torture chambers, and cells where slaves were jailed before being shipped away. Fort Jesus is constructed in the shape of a man and across. It was named Jesus for a religious reference. The fort was never built per se but it was curved. This is the only building in Kenya that was fully curved from a stone. The fort is now a museum where many things are displayed. The Omani house is within the compound and the Omani jewelry exhibits Swahili culture. The passage of arches was cut through the structure to give entry to the sea.
There is a lot to explore in the fort. The cannons that were used to attach the enemies, especially those approaching the port through the sea are still intact as well as the cannonballs.
Currently, the fort is open as a national heritage. Travelers can explore the fort and see some of the historical structures that are still there. The Oman House where the Sultan who governed the East Africa coast stayed. There is an open water cistern that was used by the Portuguese to harvest water together with the well that was sunk by the Arabs. The visitors can also view several artifacts, pottery, and ceramics that we used for the slave trade. Displays also include the Portuguese frigate, Santo Antonio de Tanna’ which sank off Fort Jesus in 1698 during the siege.
Haller Park Mombasa is a triumph for lovers of animals. It is situated along Mombasa Malindi Road. Previously known as Bamburi Nature Trail, this invigorating project was launched in 1971. This is when Dr. Rene Haller renovated the left-out limestone quarries in the park into a rising nature reserve.
Dr. Haller added the mineral constituents of the soil, cultivated trees, incorporated a fish farm, and designed a wildlife park where every animal has a purpose within the thriving ecosystem. Some of the wildlife presents here are giraffes, Cape buffalo, zebras, waterbucks, and hippos.
This park was also the residence place for the popular interspecies couple that went viral after the 130-year-old-tortoise, Mzee, adopted Owen, an orphaned hippo. There are also birds in many numbers at the park. The species available are more than 160 such as the weaver birds, cranes, pelicans, and storks. Within the park, experience the reptile park, palm garden, butterfly pavilion, and crocodile pens while walking and cycling through the groves of casuarina. The park is good for cycling, jogging, and nature trails. Breathe nature at its best. The charges are only 200 Kenya shillings.
Mombasa Marine National Park
Mombasa Marine National Park is situated in the city of Mombasa. There is a beehive of activities in this Kenya’s offshore reserves that takes care of mangroves, seagrass beds, sandy beaches, and coral reefs. There are many activities to enjoy here. The charges range from 300 Kenya shillings.
Watch and experience the marine creatures that inhabit the reserve such as the Seahorses, stingrays, and eel. Adventure the MV Dania is among the popular wreck dive in the park. If you just want to stay dry without getting into the water, you can watch the marine life from a glass-bottom boat. The famous beaches of Nyali, Bamburi, and Shanzu provide entry to the park.
Some of the activities to enjoy at Mombasa Marine National Park are;
Marine Life Viewing
There are several marine life species to view and appreciate. The marine life includes seagrasses, starfish, crabs, turtles, stonefish, sea urchins, sea cucumber, octopus, shark, dolphin, angelfish, butterflyfish, bottlenose dolphin, green sea turtle, parrotfish, hawksbill, humpback dolphin, leather black turtle, zebrafish, damselfish, spinner dolphin and loggerhead fish.
This is an amusing adventure for visitors where they can view the wealth of the sea in this very vivid water. You can hire snorkeling attire in the park.
Diving is a wonderful adventure at the park which is among the perfect diving areas around. You can also do diving at night. Diving gears can be hired at the nearby hotels and companies
Enjoy fishing and the introduction to various ocean lives.
Boat rides are so fascinating. They have a packed lunch where you can watch several aquatic birds while you enjoy your meal.
An example of the birds in the water is the crab plover.
Sunbath at the sandy beaches along the shores of the Indian Ocean and enjoy the warm sun and cool breeze of the ocean.
Mombasa Old Town
Mombasa Old Town is dwelled by many different groups of communities. There are the natives, Arabs, Asians, Portuguese, and the British. All these communities have co-existed for many years. Old Town has a distinct collection of old structures that dates back to the 18th century which combines Africa, Arabic, and European influences. These structures have existed for years in stunning carved doors together with well-styled balconies. There are many shopping antiques, fragrant oils, spices, and souvenirs. There are many hotels and cafes to eat in Old Town. The harbor overlooks Fort Jesus
At the entrance of the Old Town are a pot of coffee and a cup. This is present to Mombasa which was constructed by Mr. Burhan Ali Taher in 1988. Adjacent the coffee pot, there is a remnant of the original track laid in 1890
Old Town currently has been converted into a shopping harbor for souvenir shops and artisan stores. Visitors can buy silver jewelry, perfumes, beaded sandals, small furniture, and stunning little trinkets that make fascinating gifts and souvenir items.
South Coast Beaches
The South Coast of Mombasa can only be accessed by air or through a Ferry. The southern side of the Mombasa coastline is a natural beauty in itself. Visitors stroll the beaches to have an experience of the turquoise seas. Rainforests that are full of wildlife and birds skirt this fascinating stretch of the south coast. The coral reefs shield the beach’s swimming sections from the high tides. South Coast Beaches are among the famous places to visit in Mombasa. The three most popular areas on the south coast are Diani Beach, Shimba Hills National Reserve, and Kisite-mpunguti Marine Park.
Diani Beach is one of the commonest and most popular beaches in Mombasa. It is the most advanced section south of Mombasa and provides fascinating beachscapes. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popolar things to do in Mombasa. Visitors will get flawless personalized services in some of the fascinating boutique resting places that are impeccable for someone who wants to retreat into this coastal paradise.
Tourists from Europe package throngs here to enjoy the engrossed lineup of water sports. The activities here range from windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, kitesurfing, and diving to water skiing and parasailing. Enjoy the vibrant nightlife here in Diani Beach.
Tiwi Beach is another beach on the south coast. It is more peaceful and tranquil. It is situated 17 kilometers south of the Likoni Ferry. It is adjacent to the end of Diani in Shimoni close to the Tanzania border. Sunbathers and snorkelers will definitely enjoy it here. Tiwi Beach is one of the most romantic places to visit in Mombasa.
North Coast Beaches
The North coast is connected to the mainland by the Nyali Bridge. Beaches on the northern side of Mombasa are not very lively in comparison with those on the south coast. Even though, there is a lot to enjoy on the northern side of Mombasa. There are Palm-lined shores, crystal-clear waters, coral reefs, and a profusion of water sports, resorts, and entertainment venues that gives a variety of tourist attraction in Mombasa. The resorts on the north coast are close to the airports and Mombasa Town.
Some of the beaches in the northern part of Mombasa are
When traveling farther north, Nyali Beach is the first halt. There are several shops and hotels in the area. Enjoy the soft white sand that makes it a fascinating beach for strolling. Nyali is where the Tamarind Restaurant and Dhow are located together with the cement warehouse of English Point. The Mombasa showground of the Agricultural Society of Kenya and Mamba Village is also situated in Nyali. The historic Nyali Golf Club provides squash, tennis and an 18-hole golf course are also in Nyali.
At the far end of the north is Bamburi Beach. Bamburi Beach is a tourist hub with many different accommodations from luxury resorts to beach bungalows. Just like other beaches in Mombasa, one of the most common things to adventure in Mombasa is the camel ride along the shore.
Shanzu Beach is another top place to visit on the north coast in Mtwapa which is about 15 kilometers. Enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, and glass-bottom boat trips. The beach is covered by sand and the algae band stretches for 1.5-2 meters. On these beaches, there is no slippery stone that is found on other beaches. Enjoy the shadow of the palm trees that grow along the beach.
Mamba Village Center
The Mamba Village Center is located in Nyali, Mombasa. It is the biggest crocodile farm in East Africa. Here the visitors will enjoy viewing one of the world’s most spectacular predators at close range in this crocodile farm. Visitors are also taught about the life cycle and the behavior of these very attractive reptiles. Kids will have an opportunity to hold the baby croc.
Mamba Village Centre still provides horseback riding and there is also a botanical garden with an aquarium. Orchids and aquatic plants are also present in Mamba Village Center and an exhibit of carnivorous species. The most popular crocodile in Mamba Village Center is the Big Daddy who is the oldest in the whole center and is 100 years. Experience the best watch of the crocodiles during the feeding time which is between 3-5 pm. This is the best time to visit.
The farm also houses a Snake Park, Museum, Fish Farm, and Aquarium. The farm is a perfect place to embrace and experience nature like never before. Tickets to the entry are bought from the ticket counter. You can also book in advance to avoid queuing. The guided tour is also available to enhance the whole adventure of the farm. The fees are different. For non-residents adults, you pay Kenya shillings 650, and a child is Ksh. 350. Resident’s adults’ part with Ksh. 280 and a child Ksh. 140
Enjoy the delicacies in the various restaurants for carnivores that specialize in game meat like crocodile, ostrich, and zebra. Some of the restaurants on the site are the Sanana Restaurant, Croco Soul City, Pirates Bar, and Bora Club.
Mombasa tusks are located on Moi Avenue. Mombasa Tusks are the popular landmark of the city. The Tusks were constructed to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Mombasa in 1952. These tusks are built of aluminum. They are at the heart of the entrance of the town where there are a lot of banks, shops, and markets. The four elephant tusks which are white in color similar to ivory, are placed to cut across and make as many arches in the two lanes of Moi Avenue formally Kilindini Road.
Renovations of the tasks which were originally constructed of wood have been maintained over time. They were temporally constructed since it was known that the British Sovereign was to pass through the road to go through Mombasa airport to his home by the sea. They were marked to be removed after the Queen’s return but in their vicinity to Uhuru Park one of the resident’s recreation places, the tusks almost became an attraction.
Ever since this tusk has become the selfie place for many tourists from across the globe. It reminds us that Kenya is a country of wildlife and savannah. To capture both sides of the tusks, you will be required to negotiate the heavy traffic on the busiest roads of Mombasa. You will also see the intersecting tusks that form the letter “M” for Mombasa. Just at the opposite side of the tusks, there is a park where one can take a stroll through munching the baobab seeds commonly known as Mabuyu in the Swahili language.
Ferry services in Kenya started in 1937. The Mombasa Ferry service is located at Likoni that serves as a link when traveling to the south coast. It is a boat service that serves at the Likoni area on both sides of the island and the south coast. The ferry ride is very livery. People are seen running to grab the ride before the entry time lapses after the announcement by the ferry service crew. The water on this part is said to be very deep. It is near the dock. The services are located on the gateway to the Mombasa Port. If you are lucky during the ride, you will see a ship approaching the docks or leaving the docks. The place is spectacular. There are also funny characters who make the ride very stunning and enjoyable.
The ferry ride takes an average of about 5 minutes. The ferry operates 24/7 with the average time between one ferry ride to the other about 15 minutes. The ferry charges are $1 or Kenya shillings 120. Those using the ferry on foot don’t pay except those crossing by car.
There are two lanes that are left for the cars and pedestrians to board the ferry. If you are crossing by a car, once you are on the vehicle’s lane, one of the ferries crew will come to sell a ticket for you. The ticket will be verified by another official before you board.
The ferries are the Pwani, Mvita, St. Michael, Pombo, and Mtongwe 1. Currently, the operating ferries are five. This are the MV Nyayo, MV Harambee and MV kilindini, MV Likoni and MV Kwale.
Mama Ngina Drive
Mama Ngina Drive is named after Kenya’s former first lady and the wife of the founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. It is a 1.2 mile or 2,500 step routes. It is situated adjacent to the Likoni Ferry on the Island side of Mombasa. This is where you will find one of the best walking trails in Mombasa. It is the best place to feel the cool breeze of the Indian Ocean.
If you are lucky enough, you will enjoy the site seeing of the ships coming and leaving the country. This scenic drive is at the southern end of the island near Kilindini Harbor. If you are early enough in the area, you will get the capture the fascinating sunrises.
Mama Ngina Drive has a new face. There is a Waterfront that has been a place for many family outings. Enjoy the coastal snacks they are hawked by small-scale traders operating here all year long. Enjoy fried cassava that is served with a dash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chili powder. They also sell freshly fried cassava crisps locally referred to as Kachiri.
At the park, the Florida Nightclub & Casino, and Galaxy Chinese Restaurant exist. These hotels have been linked to the new look of the park. The park also has an Amphitheatre with an attractive design.
Mombasa Go-Kart is situated along Malindi road, just a few kilometers away from Haller Park. It has a state-of-the-art timing system. This is when you are driving beneath the palm trees with camels, donkeys, and turtles off the track. It is a nice place to visit with your friends and kids it does not matter if you are a potential snob or a newbie driver, Mombasa Go-Karting has the ordeal and technical skill to place you on the correct track.
Order your food on the viewing veranda situated in the bar. Enjoy your meal while viewing the action on the track. There is also an off-the-road track. This is where you can rent and drive beach buggies on the beach. The young ones can enjoy and adventure the excavator park just inside the Go-Kart.
This is a historical ancient Arab town. It is thought to have been constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Currently, there is a Great Mosque, the Palace, coral-stone houses, and pillar tombs. Gedi exhibits a traditional Swahili style and some old drawings on their plaster walls. At the museum, there are Ming Chinese porcelain and glass.
The Gede National monument is open to the members of the public seven days a week including public holidays from 7:30 am in the morning to 6.00 in the evening.
And there you have it for our list of things to do in Mombasa. There are plenty more activities, but with this list, there will be plenty to keep you occupied.