Welcome to Mombasa, where paradise meets adventure! Get ready to soak up the sun, indulge in mouth-watering Swahili cuisine, explore historical sites, and much more. Mombasa offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement, making it a must-visit destination for travelers.
In this article, I will take you through the top 10 things to do in Mombasa.
1. Hit the Beaches
What more could you ask for the sun, the sand, the waves? When in Mombasa, hitting the beaches is an absolute must. Whether you want to soak up Vitamin Sea, build sandcastles, or simply relax with a cold drink, Mombasa’s beaches have covered you.
First up, we have Diani Beach. Its pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters make it a beach lover’s paradise. You can take long walks along the shore, take a refreshing swim, or even try water sports if you’re feeling adventurous.
Next on the list is Nyali Beach, offering a perfect blend of entertainment and relaxation. You can lounge by the beach, catch waves, or enjoy thrilling activities like jet skiing and diving. And when hunger strikes, you’ll find various beachside restaurants and bars to satisfy your cravings.
Bamburi Beach is another gem worth visiting. It’s known for its vibrant atmosphere, with locals and tourists alike enjoying beach volleyball and beach parties. Don’t forget to grab a tasty snack from the beachside vendors while you’re there!
Moving on, we have Shanzu Beach, a tranquil haven where you can unwind. The soft sands, swaying palm trees, and gentle waves create the perfect ambiance for relaxation and contemplation. It’s an ideal spot for those seeking a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lastly, we have Tiwi Beach, a hidden gem that offers privacy and seclusion. The beach is lined with coconut trees, and you can take leisurely strolls along the shore or simply bask in the sun. It’s the perfect spot for some quality me-time.
Whichever beach you choose, just pack your sunscreen, sunglasses, and a good book. Mombasa’s beaches are waiting to sweep you off your feet and offer a blissful escape from reality. Don’t miss out on these sandy wonders.
2. Explore Fort Jesus
Explore Fort Jesus: Immerse Yourself in History
Step into the rich history of Mombasa at Fort Jesus. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, this majestic fortress is a testament to the city’s colonial past. As you wander through its ancient walls, take in the breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and let your imagination transport you back in time.
Discover the intricacies of Swahili culture and the power struggles that once played out within these walls. Don’t forget to snap a few selfies with the cannonball-studded ramparts in the background. Fort Jesus is a must-visit for history buffs and explorers alike.
3. Experience Old Town
Wandering through Mombasa’s Old Town’s narrow, winding streets is like stepping back in time. This historic neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures, where Arab, European, and Swahili influences blend together harmoniously.
As you explore, you’ll be captivated by the intricately carved doors, vibrant markets, and bustling mosques. Don’t miss the chance to visit the 16th-century Fort Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a testament to the city’s rich history. And, of course, indulge in some delicious Swahili cuisine while you’re here. Old Town is a cultural feast for the senses that you won’t want to miss.
4. Indulge in Swahili Cuisine
Mombasa is not just about the beautiful beaches and historic sites; it’s also a food lover’s paradise. Swahili cuisine is a delightful blend of African, Arab, and Indian influences that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Start your culinary adventure with a plate of biryani, a fragrant rice dish infused with aromatic spices and topped with tender meat or vegetables.
For seafood enthusiasts, feast on a sumptuous platter of grilled prawns, calamari, and fish straight from the Indian Ocean. Don’t forget to try the famous chapati, a soft and flaky flatbread that goes perfectly with any dish. And if you’re feeling adventurous, sample the mouth-watering mahamri, a sweet and spicy doughnut-like pastry. So go ahead, embrace the flavors of Mombasa, and let your taste buds do the happy dance!
5. Take a Dhow Cruise
Prepare to set sail on a traditional dhow cruise along the enchanting coastline of Mombasa. Feel the wind in your hair and the salty spray on your face as you glide through the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Marvel at the stunning views of the city’s skyline and watch the sun kiss the horizon with its vibrant hues.
Indulge in savoring an array of mouthwatering Swahili delicacies served with picturesque scenery. Trust me, this is one experience you don’t want to miss! Grab your pirate hat and hop on board for an unforgettable adventure on the high seas.
6. Visit the Haller Park
Visit Haller Park and immerse yourself in nature’s wonders. Encounter a wide variety of wildlife, including giraffes, buffalo, and hippos, roaming freely in their natural habitat. Check out the reptile park, filled with slithering snakes and scaly crocodiles. And don’t forget the highlight – hand-feeding the adorable and mischievous giraffes.
Learn about the park’s conservation efforts and how they rehabilitate animals for reintroduction into the wild. With lush greenery, serene trails, and captivating animal encounters, Haller Park is a paradise for nature lovers. So, prepare for a wild adventure.
7. Shop at Maasai Markets(One of my best things to do in Mombasa)
Mombasa’s Maasai Markets will be your paradise if you’re a shopaholic searching for unique and vibrant souvenirs. These bustling markets offer a wide range of handmade crafts, jewelry, fabrics, and traditional Maasai attire. Bargain your heart to get the best deal and bring your persuasive skills.
As you navigate the maze of vendors, you’ll be enthralled by the colorful displays and the rhythm of Swahili music in the background. Whether searching for wooden carvings or beautifully beaded accessories, the Maasai Markets caters to all your shopaholic needs. Just be prepared to haggle and embrace your inner negotiator.
8. Discover Marine Life at the Mombasa Marine National Park
Are you fascinated by the enchanting world beneath the waves? Look no further than the Mombasa Marine National Park. Dive into turquoise waters overflowing with vibrant coral reefs, teeming with marine life. From angelfish and parrotfish to colorful coral formations, this underwater paradise is a must-visit for any nature enthusiast.
Snorkeling or diving in this marine wonderland will transport you to a new world. Swim alongside graceful sea turtles, spot elusive seahorses, and marvel at the colorful tropical fish. The crystal-clear waters provide an unmatched opportunity to witness the beauty and diversity of marine life.
Incredible underwater seascapes await, inviting you to explore and admire the wonders of the deep. Be prepared to be amazed as you witness the delicate balance of nature unfold beneath the ocean’s surface.
So, grab your snorkel or diving gear, and get ready to dive into an underwater adventure like no other at Mombasa Marine National Park.
9. Explore the Gede Ruins
Step back in time as you wander through the ancient Gede Ruins. These magnificent ruins, hidden among the dense coastal forest, offer a glimpse into the rich history of the Swahili civilization. The crumbling walls, intricately carved doorways, and mysterious tombs tell tales of a bygone era.
As you explore, imagine the bustling city that once stood here, with its palaces, mosques, and markets. Listen closely, and you might even hear the whispers of the past echoing through the air. Let the enchanting ambiance transport you to a different time and immerse yourself in the wonders of these captivating ruins.
10. Visit the Bombolulu Workshops
Visit the Bombolulu Workshops and experience the magic of local craftsmanship. Watch skilled artisans create stunning handcrafted jewelry, textiles, and woodwork. You can even participate in a workshop and learn how to make your own unique piece.
The workshops, run by the Association for the Physically Disabled, provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities, making it a socially impactful visit. So, not only will you get to admire beautiful creations, but you’ll also be supporting a great cause. It’s a win-win situation. So don’t miss out on this chance to witness creativity in action and make a difference simultaneously.
11. Experience the Mombasa Nightlife
Experiencing nightlife is one of my favorite things to do in Mombasa. It’s a glamorous blend of vibrant clubs, pulsating music, and an electric atmosphere. Start your night by bar-hopping along the iconic Nyali Road, where you can find a variety of trendy bars and lounges. Dance the night away at the famous Club Hypnotica or groove to some live music at the cozy Alchemist Bar. Don’t forget to try the local beers and exotic cocktails that will surely get you in the mood for serious partying. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a fire performance or two. So make sure you put on your dancing shoes.
12. Relax and Unwind at a Spa
After all that exploring and adventuring in Mombasa, it’s time to treat yourself to some well-deserved pampering. Head over to one of the luxurious spas in the city and let the stress melt away. Indulge in soothing massages, rejuvenating facials, and calming body treatments that will leave you feeling like royalty.
The skilled therapists will work their magic, using essential oils and heavenly techniques to transport you to pure bliss. So, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let the skilled hands work wonders. After this heavenly experience, you’ll emerge refreshed, revitalized, and ready to take on the world again.
In conclusion, Mombasa is a treasure trove of experiences that will leave you wanting more. So, pack your bags, soak up the sun, explore the history, devour delicious food, and create unforgettable memories in this coastal paradise. Mombasa awaits your adventurous spirit.