Sign Up
Cruisetrend helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
  • Port Detail
  • Photo & Video
  • Ports Review

Kenya is situated on Africa's East Coast and it is outlined by the Indian Ocean. It's split into seven regions namely northern Kenya, east Kenya, western Kenya, Rift Valley, the central Highlands, southern Kenya, and also the coast. Mombasa is situated within the southeast corner of Kenya's coast.
Vacationers are frequently surprised at the stark contrasts which exist between the tribes in this region around the globe and Western cultures. Polygamy is recognized here, and so is out of the box nudity. Tribal chiefs and elders possess the final say on all matters, as well as their choices are the ultimate.
Tourism is the main industry in Kenya with valid reason. Its friendly people, combined with its breathtaking land, allow for a marvelous vacation experience. Kenyans revel in their country's slow paced life, and put enormous focus on pleasure and mingling.Mombasa is known as Kenya's capital since it is a tourist hub and also the location of great importance and trade and industry. Mombasa may be the second biggest city, second simply to Nairobi. Ptolemy recorded Mombasa's location as soon as 150 AD, and authored it had become an active host to trade and wealth. Exactly the same port that Ptolemy authored about still is available today, and is equally as active as always.
Although Mombasa doesn't have beaches, its vacation atmosphere is unshakable. Culture and history are certain to overwhelm your senses. Vacationers are asked to sit down back, relax, and eat the experience a person can have by exploring Mombasa's land and individuals, food and traditions
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships coming in Mombasa pier in the Port of Mombasa, which divides the shoreline in to the North Coast and South Coast. In the port you have to mix Mombasa Harbor to visit north and Kilindini Harbor to visit south. You'll mix either in direction if you take a ferry, which runs regularly.
Taxis would be the primary type of transportation round the island. Costs aren't metered, therefore the smart traveler will arrange a cost prior to the ride starts. The taxi driver should accept yourself on an acceptable cost, and when they don't, simply watch for another cab to consider you to definitely your destination.
Buses really are a typical method for local people to obtain around. They're cheap, but they're not air-conditioned and they are quite crowded. Public transit routes do cover the town nicely, however, and is going to do their job of having you around, although unglamorously.
Things to do
Must-sees in Mombasa range from the Fort Jesus National Park. Dating back the 17th century, this natural monument was once a Portuguese fort. Today it's the city's primary attraction. Guides speak British and tell tales from the good reputation for greater Kenya and Mombasa. There's also an historic museum on-site, in addition to a small shopping area where souvenirs could be bought.
 The Old Town Mombasa is really a favorite section of local people and vacationers alike. It's a busy assortment of narrow streets and winding roads where consumers can bargain with suppliers selling in your area crafted works of art. Old Town is another good way to discover Mombasa, because it was previously the position of the city's old government offices and structures, which have since been moved.
What remains bakes an interesting contrast between new and old. Present day cars that whip with the small roads drive right alongside herds of sheep that roam the region still. And also the colonial-style structures and architecture of yesteryear sit near the present day Indian and Swahili types of Mombasa's contemporary designers. Remember to take advantage of a fantastic photo chance at Mamba Crocodile Village.
Vacationers regularly enjoy taking camel rides round the cobblestoned city streets. Many natives use camels to obtain in one section of town to a different, and site visitors like to get familiar with the enjoyment too. Prices should be discussed having a camel's owner, plus they usually charge in an hourly rate. Remarkably, many local people enjoy volunteering their animal to have an hour approximately to vacationers who'd otherwise not have the ability to notice a camel ride.
Fort Jesus
Built in 1593-1596 by the Portuguese, Fort Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Mombasa's top tourist attractions. Italian architect, Cairati, designed the structure, which is one of the world's finest examples of 16th century Portuguese military architecture. Built in the shape of a man, the fort was given the name of Jesus as a clear religious reference. The fort changed hands nine times between 1631 and 1875 before finally resting with the British. Although partially ruined, Fort Jesus houses a museum built over the former barracks for the garrison. Exhibits include a vast collection of ceramics and pottery reflecting the various cultures that traded along the coast. Fort Jesus has many battlements and ruined buildings within the compound, including Omani house, built in the late 18th century, which houses Omani jewelry and displays on Swahili life. The Passage of Arches was cut through the coral to give access to the sea. Hours: Open daily 8am-6pm Address: Ndia Kuu, Mombasa -- Official site: http://www.museums.or.ke/content/blogcategory/48/76/
Tortoise at Haller Park
Haller Park is a hit with animal lovers. Formerly called Bamburi Nature Trail, this inspirational project began in 1971 when Dr René Haller transformed the abandoned limestone quarries here into a thriving nature reserve. Dr Haller increased the mineral content of the soil, planted trees, added a fish farm, and created a wildlife park where each animal has a function within the flourishing ecosystem. Wildlife found here includes giraffes, Cape buffalo, zebras, waterbucks, and hippos. The park was also home to a famous interspecies couple that became an Internet sensation after the 130-year-old tortoise, Mzee, adopted Owen, an orphaned hippo.
Birds are also abundant in the park. More than 160 species have been introduced to the area including weaver birds, cranes, pelicans, and storks. Walking and cycling paths wind through the groves of casuarina, and a reptile park, palm garden, and crocodile pens are other attractions. A highlight is the giraffe feeding; but be sure to check the times before visiting. Nature trails lead to a butterfly pavilion and the Nguuni Wildlife Sanctuary where herds of ostrich, eland, and oryx are farmed.
Location: Mombasa Malindi Road, Mombasa Official site: http://www.lafarge.co.ke/wps/portal/ke/4_A_3-Haller_Park
Mombasa Marine National Park
 One of the busiest of Kenya's offshore reserves, Mombasa Marine National Park protects mangroves, seagrass beds, sandy beaches, and coral reef. Diving and snorkeling are popular activities - especially north of Mombasa, from Mtwapa Creek south to the entrance of Likoni. Seahorses, stingrays, and eels are among the marine creatures inhabiting the reserve, and the MV Dania is a popular wreck dive here. Those wishing to remain dry can view the diverse marine life from a glass-bottom boat. The popular beaches of Nyali, Bamburi, and Shanzu all provide access to the marine park.Official site: http://www.kws.org/parks/parks_reserves/MMNP.html
North Coast Beaches
The coastline north of Mombasa is a little livelier than the south coast and the resorts are closer to the airport and Mombasa City. Palm-lined beaches, crystal clear waters, coral reefs, and a profusion of water sports, resorts, and entertainment venues provide plenty of tourist action. Mombasa Marine National Park fringes the coast here with multi-hued coral gardens, drop offs, and Kenya's best wreck diving on the MV Dania. Traveling north from Mombasa, Nyali Beach is the first stop. Shops and hotels line the beach here, including Mombasa's first mainland beach resort - Nyali Beach Hotel. Further north, Bamburi Beach and Shanzu Beach are also tourist hubs with a wide range of accommodation from luxury resorts to beach bungalows.

Old Town 
On the southeast side of Mombasa Island, the "Old Town" is reminiscent of the days when the Portuguese ruled this important port. The town's inhabitants are mostly of Arab, Asian, and European origin, and the architecture reflects their cultures. Ornately carved doors and balconies adorn the old buildings that jostle cheek to jowl along the narrow streets. History buffs can easily spend a couple of hours here strolling along the atmospheric alleys; snacking at one of the many cafés; and shopping for antiques, fragrant oils, spices, and souvenirs. The Portuguese-built Fort Jesus, one of Mombasa's top tourist attractions, overlooks the harbor here.
South Coast Beaches
The coastline south of Mombasa is a world of natural beauty. Turquoise seas lap the sun-bleached beaches where tourists sprawl under rustling palms. Rainforests with abundant wildlife and birds skirt this idyllic stretch of coast, and coral reefs protect the swimming areas from offshore swells. Shelly Beach, just south of the Likoni Ferry, is the closest beach to Mombasa along the south coast. Tiwi Beach, 17 km south of the Likoni Ferry, is a popular spot for sunbathers and snorkelers. Diani Beach is the most developed area along this stretch, but still offers beautiful beachscapes. European package tourists flock here to enjoy the busy lineup of water sports - from windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, and diving to water-skiing and parasailing.
Mombasa Tusks
A famous landmark in the city, the Mombasa Tusks were built to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's visit to Mombasa in 1952. Constructed of aluminum, the tusks mark the entrance to the heart of town where visitors will find most of the banks, shops, and markets. The intersecting tusks also form the letter "M" for Mombasa. Location: Moi Avenue, Mombasa 8 Mamba Village Centre
Crocodiles at Mamba Village
Mamba Village Centre in Nyali is East Africa's largest crocodile farm. Visitors can learn about the life cycle and behavior of these fascinating amphibians, and the center also offers horseback riding and a botanical garden with an aquarium. Orchids and aquatic plants are the specialty, but the gardens also display carnivorous species. A highlight for many visitors is watching the crocodiles fight for tasty morsels during feeding time. Carnivores will love the restaurant, which specializes in game meat such as crocodile, ostrich, and zebra.
Location: Links Road, Nyali
Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Centre
Bombolulu Workshops is a project of the Association for the Physically Disabled in Kenya with four sheltered workshops, a cultural center, and restaurant. At the cultural center, visitors can enjoy tribal dance performances and explore traditional homesteads found throughout Kenya. Guests can also visit the workshops and purchase the handcrafted souvenirs, which include jewelry, textiles, wood carving, and leather crafts. Proceeds help sustain the center's work. After touring the grounds, guests can stop by the restaurant to sample Kenyan-inspired cuisine.
Location: Workshop Road, Bombolulu, Kenya
Official site: http://www.apdkbombolulu.org/
Mombasa Go-Kart is a hit with speedsters and kids of all ages. Zoom around the smooth concrete track in go-karts, bounce around on the off-road buggies, or learn to dig in a Bobcat excavator. After all the excitement, visitors can enjoy a snack at the family-friendly restaurant with computer games, a large playground, and a big screen showing sporting events. The Go-Kart track is floodlit at night.
Hours: Open daily 4-10pm, closed Mondays
Address: Bamburi Beach, Mombasa Official site: http://www.mombasa-gokart.com/
Day Trips
Wasini Island
Generally reached by dhow, Wasini Island is a popular day trip from Mombasa. Dolphins regularly cruise these waters and passengers can stop to snorkel and dive the coral reefs along the way. The island itself is tiny - only 5 sq km. Sightseeing opportunities include visiting Wasini Village, strolling around the coastal scrub where ancient Swahili ruins lie, exploring the exposed coral gardens, and dining on fresh seafood at the small restaurant. The village of Shimoni is the launching point for Wasini Island tours and was once the headquarters of the Imperial British East Africa Company. Here, visitors can explore the Shimoni Caves, thought to hold slaves before their shipment to Arabia.
Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
South of Wasini Island, Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park is a popular spot for snorkeling, diving, and dolphin spotting - usually from the decks of a traditional dhow. The park encompasses four small islands surrounded by fish-rich coral reef. Dolphins frolic in the Shimoni Channel, and humpback whales swim these waters between August and October. Other marine life includes moray eels, angelfish, grouper, snappers, and green sea turtles. Deep-sea fishing is fantastic south to the Pemba channel.
Shimba Hills National Reserve
Shimba Hills National Reserve, about 33 km south of Mombasa, offers a peaceful getaway from the hubbub of the busy beach resorts. Woodlands, waterfalls, lily-topped ponds, savanna, and rainforest provide a home for a rich diversity of plants and animals. Among the rare plants are endangered species of cycads and orchids. The park also protects one of the highest concentrations of elephants in Kenya, along with leopards, sable antelope, and abundant birdlife.
Guided forest walks are available, and visitors can cool off in the swimming hole and picnic area at the scenic Sheldrick Falls on the Machenmwana River. Shimba Rainforest Lodge in the reserve is a popular treetop-style lodge with a walkway through the rainforest, viewing platform, and a water hole that lures plenty of wildlife. Official site: http://www.kws.org/parks/parks_reserves/SHNR.html
Gede Ruins
Nestled in lush rainforest, Gedi was one of the ancient Arab towns along the East African Coast, which was probably rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. Today, visitors can tour the ruins where the Great Mosque, the Palace, coral-stone houses, and pillar tombs have been unearthed. The houses in Gedi display a traditional Swahili style, and some have ancient drawings on their plaster walls. Ming Chinese porcelain and glass as well as glazed earthenware from Persia indicate trade links and a taste for luxury by those who prospered here. These items as well as Spanish scissors and Swahili cultural artifacts are on display in the on-site museum. Official site: http://www.museums.or.ke/content/blogcategory/22/28/
Golden-rumped elephant shrew
The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is East Africa's largest remaining indigenous coastal forest. The forest plays host to plenty of rare species including birds, butterflies, amphibians, and plants. More than 260 species of birds are found here, including several threatened species such as the spotted ground thrush and Clarke's weaver. Rare mammals that call the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest home are the golden-rumped elephant shrew, bushy-tailed mongoose, and Ader's duiker. The forest is a favorite picnic spot for residents and visitors. Official site: http://www.kws.org/parks/parks_reserves/ASNP.html
About 112 km from Mombasa, Watamu is a Swahili fishing village that has blossomed into a small beach resort and offers superb snorkeling and diving. The coast is broken into three coves divided by rocky headlands. Offshore from Watamu is the southern part of the Malindi Marine National Reserve. The forests of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve and the Swahili ruins of Gede are also close by. More than 600 species of fish are found within the marine reserve, and whale sharks and manta rays are seasonal visitors to the reef.
Watamu is also a vital turtle breeding area with green and hawksbill turtles as the primary species. Glass-bottomed boats transport visitors to the reefs and provide a window to the kaleidoscopic world of coral and fish. For travelers looking for something other than snorkeling and diving, Watamu offers windsurfing, relaxing on the beach, dolphin-watching trips, and thriving rock pools. Official site: http://www.kws.org/parks/parks_reserves/WMPR.html
Kilifi is a small beach resort on the banks of Kilifi Creek where yachts bob about in the breeze. One of the top tourist attractions here are the Mnarani Ruins, an ancient Swahili coastal settlement dating back to the early 14th century. A huge baobab tree amongst the ruins is rumored to be the largest on the Kenyan coast. Kalifi is also home to a top notch golf club. At one time, Kilifi could only be reached by ferry but in recent years a bridge was constructed to make it more accessible.
Beaches of the North Coast
English point: Tiny sandy beach at Mkomani with view over the old town. Its a nice place to go but less for swimming than to enjoy the view.
Nyali Beaches: nice sandy beaches but due to the close distance to the town the water quality is poor and polluted. Its nice to walk along the shore when when you get tired of the hotel pools.
Bamburi Beach: Very nice beach with white sand and palm trees. Water quality is much better than at Nyali beach. Restaurants along the beach invite to sit under palm trees drinking a cold beer while watching people pass by. Du to the closeness to the town the beach is overcrowded on weekends or holidays.
Bamburi Beach
Shanzu Beach: Very nice beach with white sand and palm trees. Less crowded than Bamburi beach.
Beaches of the South Coast
Tiwi Beach is a place to visit on Mombasa's South Coast. Quiet beach not spoiled by mass tourism. At low tide, you can swim in a tidal pool where tropical fish are trapped until the next tide comes in. Be careful to avoid the many sea urchins. Though there are relatively few people, there is a small cafe serving food and drinks. To get to Tiwi from Mombasa, take the Likona ferry to the south by taxi (ca $ 50,00) from Mombasa city center. Alternatively, take public transportation from the city center by catching a matatu on Digo Road across from the post office. The matatu route is aptly named "Ferry" and the matatu touts will be happy to point out the correct vehicle. The matatu drops passengers just outside the ferry, which is free for pedestrians. Take a another matatu going to Diani, but alight early at "Tiwi Spot". Hire one of the many motorbikes plying the main road to carry you the relatively short distance to the beach, since muggings have previously occurred on this stretch of road.
Diani Beach is the place to go. A fantastic long white beach with loads of water sports and primates to see. A night at '40 Thieves' beach bar is a great place to hang out with a few tuskers (beers). If you want to see one of the six primate species in South Coast Kenya visit the Colobus Trust, dedicated to primate rescue, research and conservation, for an informative walk and you may spot one of the many wild primates.
Fishing isn't just an income for Mombasa it's also a popular activity among local people that do it for sport. Site visitors can deep-ocean seafood within the waters of Shimoni. Rent a fishing rod from the nearby vendor and relish the large game seafood that you could catch.
The seaside reef area close to the Mombasa Harbor is a fairly swimming area. Water might be chilly, but when you remain inside the limitations from the barrier ridge you'll be protected from potentially harmful animals hiding farther out within the water.
Golf is sort of common as well. The Nyali Club is really a lovely course that vacationers prefer to visit, and is among Kenya's best. The Leisure Club is yet another spot to try, particularly if Nyali is reserved throughout the tee time you request.
Dining and Night life
Certainly one of Mombasa's most widely used places to dine is Capri Restaurant. Capri serves Mombasa's finest and most high-priced sea food and has a wide variety of South African wines. For an infinitely more relaxed dinner vibe, visit Recoda Restaurant for any sampling of local meals. Try the grilled seafood and preparing salads together with some coconut sauce for any real treat. Their dish during the day is definitely an excellent wager for any scrumptious meal.
Aiming to revive the coffee house tradition, Jahazi, Ndia Kuu, Old Town (tel. 072/383-5492; www.jahazicoffeehouse.com), is a cozy space in Old Town. Stylishly furnished, with low seating and elegant decor that celebrates the local history, it's a great place to stop off for delicious homemade Swahili snacks or to try a cup of invigorating ginger-infused Swahili coffee. Also served are set lunch and dinner menus (Ksh800-Ksh1,500) with typical Swahili dishes and snacks, freshly squeezed juices, coconut milk, samosas, kebabs, Swahili-style prawns, biriyani, tandoori-baked bread, chapatis, and traditional puddings. Less intimate and without Jahazi's good looks is Swahililand, Ndia Kuu Road (tel. 072/344-0666; swahililandheritage@gmail.com; daily 8am-5:30pm), a restaurant that opened on the ground floor of Leven House, one of the most important historic buildings in Old Town. Although I don't think it's quite matured into the full-fledged restaurant it wants to be, it does benefit from a pleasant location next to the water. Like Jahazi, it's open for all-day dining and snacking, but if you want dinner, you need to order in advance. Swahili cuisine is also the specialty at Island Dishes, Kibikoni Street (tel. 072/088-7311 or 041/231-7019; daily 7am-midnight), an Old Town institution that is especially good for just sitting and watching as the neighborhood breezes by. Sip your way through a large mug of tamarind juice while local people stop off to say their "salaams" to the proprietors. For views, besides the obvious (and expensive) choice -- Tamarind (reviewed below) -- you might want to head over to the sociable after-work mainland drinks venue, jd's (also known as Just Drinks; tel. 072/137-2456), which also has a reasonably priced restaurant that's much loved by residents. Located at The Creek Marina, it's owned by a pleasant guy named Sonny, opens at 5pm, and stays open till very late.
Avocado with a Straw -- Swaleh Abdallah Altamimi's sweet and simple Equatorial Fruit Parlour (tel. 073/655-5568) is my favorite stop in the city's atmospheric Old Town and just 200m (656 ft.) from Fort Jesus. Swaleh -- one of Old Town's true characters -- prepares masterful juices, whipped up while you wait, from fruit procured daily at the market. His flavors range from passion fruit, orange, mango, and watermelon to the more unusual tamarind, tangerine, masterfelly (custard apple), and bungo (a Kenyan coastal fruit). Don't leave Mombasa without sampling the delicious avocado shake, blended with sugar and milk (and ice cream, if you want); kids go bonkers for his "Scud," a combination of mixed fruit and ice cream. Swaleh will mix up just about any combination you desire, as long as what you're after is in season and freshly available; there's even cucumber juice for the ultra health conscious. As it's situated in a residential neighborhood, this is a great place to rub shoulders with locals. The shop is on Nyeri Street, just off Kibokoni Road (there isn't a soul in Old Town who doesn't know where it is, so just ask), opens at 4pm (once people have started returning from work and school), and stays open till midnight.
Night life isn’t the focal tourist attraction in Mombasa; however the Florida Club is really a bar where drinks are created to order and also the music is noisy. In case your goal would be to dance, make way to the quirkily named African Papaya, where dance music plays in to the wee morning hours on weekends.
Kenya’s second-largest city is a one-stop shop for all things exclusively African The primary shopping roads in Mombasa are Nyerere Street and Moi Avenue. Here there is also a numerous shops, art galleries, and souvenir stands full of Kenyan items. Arabic coffee sets, African silver and wooden statues are the most widely used products to buy. Labeka hosts a number of Mombasa's finest art, jewelry and antiques. For Kenyan materials and clothing, stroll lower nearby Biashara Street where you can buy numerous colors and styles.
If you’re unsure where to start, then we recommend Diani Beach shopping centre (www.dianishopping.com). An hour’s drive south of central Mombasa, this is a fantastic introduction to Kenyan shopping as you’ll find a wide selection of African and international designers. For beachwear, visit The Kikoy Co. Celebrities such as Madonna, Brad Pitt and Prince William have worn their products, which include the kikoy – an east African version of the sarong made from woven cloth. You can also stock up on other accessories such as scarves, paper-bead necklaces and beach-bags. For fair trade jewellery, hop over to Kazuri – the name means small and beautiful in Swahili and the store lives up to this promise stocking finely designed beaded necklaces and bracelets. Before you leave, pay a visit to the Diani Beach Art Gallery which showcases and sells fine African artwork including prints, canvases, sculptures and photography by artists from all over the continent.
Once you’ve enjoyed the relative quiet of the shopping centre, it’s time to head into central Mombasa for a real Kenyan shopping experience. Start by wandering through Biashara Street and Mwembe Tayari to get a sense of the sights, sounds and smells of the city. Both these areas are crammed with tourist stores, so this is the place to pick up some Maasai sandals or a shuka (the traditional red-chequered fabric worn by the Maasai tribe) for friends and family back home.
The Fort Jesus area is also known for its tourist shops and, although less concentrated, is worth visiting for a more relaxed stroll through the charming 16th century colonial streets. The area is also known for its artists, so keep an eye out for any attractive paintings that might add an African touch to your collection.
Buying gold always proves troublesome if you’re not sure where to look. For reputable gold, visit Sonara Budha Jewellers at the Nakumatt Likoni Complex. Opened in 1945 by Indian migrants, Sonara Budha specialises in Kenyan wedding jewellery and – given adequate time – can create made-to-order pieces; so get your request in at the beginning of your trip.
For intricately-carved wooden sculptures follow the airport road to Ambika Handicrafts. This non-profit organisation employs a large number of people from the local area to finely craft African masks, Maasai figureheads and animals from the ‘big 5’. Wander the showroom for a vast choice of goods, and watch the crafting take place at on-site workshops. A similar site can be found at Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Centre on the Mombasa-Malindi highway. They employ disabled locals to create wood, textile and leather products. It’s also worth stopping for fresh juice and snacks such at the site’s ZigaRestaurant.
Finally, don’t leave the city without following your nose to Mombasa’s covered food market. Aromatic African spices overwhelm at this Digo road market. Rundown but charismatic, be prepared for a busy market-place experience. Chatter fills the air as hundreds of stallholders compete with each other to sell their fruits, vegetables and spices. Stock up on cinnamon bark, cardamom and cumin – all popular ingredients in Swahili cuisine.
Nakumatt Likoni Complex, off Nyerere Avenue (254 41 222 51 10; www.apdkbombolulu.org)

Captcha Challenge
Reload Image
Type in the verification code above