My first 24 hours in Mombasa
Mombasa, the second largest city in Kenya and situated on the east coast, is a great destination to base yourself for Kenya holidays. I was keen to get a taste of this lively city and the mix of cultures you will find within.
To start as I intended to carry on in the bustling port town, I was up early to visit Fort Jesus – the most popular attraction in Mombasa.
Built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, the monumental building looks out over the sea. The fort witnessed the struggles for control between the Portuguese and Shirazi Arabs, and later became the centre of the local slave trade.
Mombasa’s mix of differing cultures and history mean there is a lot to see when walking or driving around. I decided to take a tuktuk tour, to obtain an alternative view of the city.
There is a wonderful diversity between the older, winding streets, Arab architecture and the smell of spices, and the newer, modern city with its casinos, malls and famous Mombasa tusks, arching across the main road.
I spent the afternoon at a more leisurely pace, enjoying Haller Park. The largest animal sanctuary in Mombasa is home to an enormous variety of animals, birds, insects and beautiful botanical gardens. The park has promoted conservation and under the close eye of a guide, you can hold or even feed some of the reptiles on site.
For dining options Mombasa has a great variety of restaurants. The diversity of cultures that call Mombasa home has led to a great selection of foods being readily available.
From a bite on the go to fine dining, there is something for everyone’s wallet and taste buds. Being by the sea I was keen to sample some of the locally caught fresh seafood and wasn’t disappointed. Other local delicacies include ‘nyama choma’ and barbecued meats, while Swahili dishes are popular as well.
After dinner, I wanted to get a taste of the popular nightlife in Mombasa – the most lively location in Kenya.
There is a great variety of clubs and bars around the beachfront, and you’ll find a mix of music and a spirited atmosphere.
Also popular with the locals and tourists are the casinos. Some of them offer great dining experiences and nightclubs alongside the chance to chance your luck, so you can sample a whole evening’s entertainment in one place.