Mombasa is the second-largest city of Kenya after the capital city Nairobi. Middle Eastern and Asian traditions influence the city substantially. It is a cultural melting pot because of its strong commercial links. Attractive architecture, local markets, Old Town ancient buildings, and lip-smacking cuisine enriches Mombasa. We put together 10 top-rated places to visit in Mombasa for an interesting day trip. The bustling island welcomes you with an exotic taste of the African tropics and seafaring history.
TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN MOMBASA
1. Fort Jesus
Fort Jesus is an unmissable place to visit designed by the Italian architect Cairati. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a fine example of architecture from the 16th century. The fort is built in the shape of a man and was given the religious name of Jesus. It houses a museum that exhibits a vast collection of pottery and ceramics that were traded along the coast. Wander the many battlements, Omani House, and Passage of Arches within the compound. Interestingly, the fort was there to protect the Old Port of Mombasa. This is where many battles were fought from 1621 to 1875 when the fort was won and lost 9 times by nations who wanted to control Kenya.
Location: Mombasa KE, Kenya
2. Old Town
Old Town, one of the best places to visit in Mombasa, mesmerizes with architecture that reflects Arab, Asian, and European culture. It is on the southeast side of Mombasa Island, an important port once ruled by the Portuguese. The narrow streets are where history buffs can stroll the alleys and admire old buildings with ornate doors and balconies. Shop for antiques, oils, spices, and plenty of tasty cuisines and take in the cultural vibes. There are plenty of buildings inspired by the trade culture of Mombasa with influences of Islamic and Portuguese architecture. Wander the Old Town that is spread over an area of 72 hectares of land, a prominent area in the Mombasa region.
Location: Southeast end of the Mombasa Island, next to Tudor Creek, Kenya.
3. Diani Beach
Diani Beach offers beautiful beachscapes and a lineup of water sports. In a developed area south of Mombasa, tourists flock to soak in the sun, surf, and sand. The beach is on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya in East Africa. Enjoy an adventurous day out in the water and indulge in snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing, diving, kite surfing, and more. This top-rated place in Mombasa also offers vibrant nightlife. Imbibe the picture-postcard views on the beach that makes it one of the most romantic places around Mombasa. Diani Beach stretches to about 10 km and is home to the cheeky black and white colobus monkeys.
Location: South of Mombasa, Kwale County, Kenya
4. Haller Park
Haller Park, formerly known as Bamburi Nature Trail is a project that began in 1971. Dr. Rene Haller created a wildlife park and a thriving nature reserve from abandoned limestone quarries. Giraffes, zebras, Cape buffaloes, hippos, and more wander the park. The park is also home to the 130-year-old tortoise Mzee who became an internet sensation. Sally, Potty, Owen, and Cleo are other interesting animals to meet. We can find over 150 species of birds in the park from weaver birds, pelicans, cranes, and more. Enjoy the walking and cycling pathways and explore the casuarina groves, butterfly pavilion, crocodile pens, and more.
Location: Majengo, Mombasa, Kenya
5. Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve
The park was established in 1986 and is spread over an expanse of 2500 acres. It lies between the Mtwapa and Tudor Creek. The sparkling blue waters of the ocean are ideal for water skiing, snorkelling, and windsurfing. The park is home to a variety of marine animals from stonefish, crabs, turtles, starfish, and more. You can find interesting corals, migratory birds in the protected area. Seagrass and marine algae are the vegetation that surrounds you on your stay at the Mombasa Marine Campsite. The park can be reached by road from Mombasa city centre and is then connected by boat from various points on the beach. MV Dania is a popular wreck dive attraction and you can view it from a glass-bottom boat too.
Location: Next To Serena Beach Resort, Serena Road, Mombasa, Kenya
6. Mombasa Tusks
Visit this beautiful landmark built in the year 1952, which was made to commemorate Queen Elizabeth`s visit to the country. It is a symbol that you spot as you enter the city of Mombasa. The metal tusks form an M shape to denote the initial letter of the port city. There are several shops, markets, banks and attractions nearby. The majestic metal Mombasa Tusks can be admired with no fee and throughout the year. Hence, it is a popular attraction in the city. The tusks from two arches above Moi Ave welcome visitors into the city. The four elephant tusks are white called Mapembe ya Ndovu erected precisely where the British Sovereign was to pass on her visit.
Location: Moi Avenue, Mombasa, Kenya
7. Bamburi Beach
Experience the incredibly calm beach with fine soft sands. This is an ideal place for sun-seekers and beach lovers. This top place to visit in Mombasa lets you enjoy swimming and walking to simply unwind. Catch up on some fun at the nightclubs, restaurants, and hotels that are plenty. Scuba diving, snorkelling, and other water sports facilities are on offer here. Hop onto a camel and take a camel ride that is a fun activity here. Take a fantastic vacation in a beach open all through the year where entry to the beach is free.
Location: Northern coast of Mombasa, Kenya
8. Spice Market
The bustling Spice Market is a famous place to visit in Mombasa. Remember to bargain hard and enjoy the jostling of crowds in the market. You see rows upon rows of amazing spices from turmeric, curry leaf powder, cloves, cardamom, and more. Take these fresh spices home to use in amazing recipes. The market stretches along Nehru and Langoni Roads and gives you a sensory overload. Also, there are stalls selling delicious street food, along Langoni Road, a must-try. Sense the exotic aromas of the stalls and expect lots of yelling, wheeling, and dealing.
Location: Nehru Road, Mombasa, Kenya
9. Mamba Village Centre
Mamba Village Centre is the largest crocodile farm in East Africa. This fascinating place to visit in Mombasa is where you can learn about the life cycle of crocodiles. Watch as the crocodiles’ fight for morsels during feeding time. The place also offers horseback riding facilities that are a lot of fun. Other attractions include a botanical garden and an aquarium in the village centre. Wander to see many aquatic plants and pretty orchids in the botanical garden. The centre lies in Nyali and is a favourite Kenya attraction.
Location: Beach Road Roundabout, Off Links Road, Nyali, Mombasa, Kenya
10. Nguuni Nature Sanctuary
One of the must-visit places in Mombasa, the animal park is located along the Nguu Tatu Hills. The sanctuary is home to elands, giraffes, antelopes, ostriches, and more. The place lets you experience stunning sunsets that can be truly enticing. It is here nature perfectly blends in communion with various species of animals. You should try your hand at feeding the giraffes that will make you fall in love with the animals. Also, the sanctuary is a bird watcher’s paradise and hence, offers various picnic spots. Bird watching sessions happen in the sanctuary between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm that are exceptional.
Location: Off Kiembeni Road, Mombasa, Kenya