Mombasa, a coastal city in Kenya, is a top travel destination in Africa, known for its history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. It stands as one of the top travel destinations in Africa. If you’re planning to visit Mombasa, there are many places to visit. Let’s explore the 11 best places to visit in Mombasa, along with the most exciting things to do.
Where is Mombasa Located?
Before we reveal what are the best places to visit in Mombasa, Kenya, let’s first locate it on the map.
Mombasa City is a coastal city in southeastern Kenya along the Indian Ocean. It is located on Mombasa Island, which is separated from the mainland by two creeks: Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour.
The city is connected to the mainland to the north by the Nyali Bridge, to the south by the Likoni Ferry, and to the west by the Makupa Causeway, alongside which runs the Kenya-Uganda Railway.
Mombasa Island is a 5 by 3 km coral outcrop located on Kenya’s coast on the Indian Ocean, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya and the nation’s major seaport.
What Are the Best Places to Visit in Mombasa
Mombasa, known as the “City of Beaches,” boasts of some romantic places to visit. From historic sites to natural wonders, this city has it all. Let’s dive into the must-visit places and activities in Mombasa.
Nyali Beach is found on Mombasa’s North coast. It’s a fantastic place to start your Mombasa trip. This beach has beautiful white sand and very clear water.
Nyali Beach is famous for swimming, sunbathing, picnics, and just relaxing. It truly captures the wonderful coastal vibe of the city of Mombasa hence one of the best places to visit in Mombasa.
Diani Beach is a great tourist attraction in Mombasa and one of the fun things to do in Kenya. Located 38 miles (60 km) south of Mombasa, Diani has earned the title of Africa’s leading beach destination multiple times since 2015.
With its pristine shoreline along the Indian Ocean, it’s no wonder that travelers flock to this tropical paradise for sun, sea, and surf.
Fort Jesus is a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This fortress, designed by Italian Giovanni Battista Cairati, was built between 1593 and 1596 to guard the old Port of Mombasa.
Here you will see a variety of animals, walk along beautiful trails, learn about ecology and conservation, visit the reptile park and fish farm, and enjoy the giraffe viewing platform.
Haller Park is a nature park in Bamburi, Mombasa, on the Kenyan coast that was transformed from a quarry wasteland into an ecological area.
It is a testament to the city’s commitment to sustainability. Here, you will also enjoy beautiful walking trails, guided tours, and bird watching. The park also has a reptile park and a small demonstration fish farm area.
Mombasa Go-Kart is located in Mombasa North Coast, along Mombasa-Malindi Road, 1.5 km after Hotel Whitesands, just next to the Petrocity station.
Mombasa Go-Kart offers a variety of activities, including go-karting, zip-lining, paintball, bull riding, and pizza no wonder it is one of the best places to visit in Mombasa.
It is easily accessible by public transportation, including buses and mini-vans, taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber and Bolt are also available in Mombasa.
The prices for activities at Mombasa Go-Kart vary depending on the activity and duration. However, the prices are generally affordable and reasonable.
The Mamba Village
Visiting Mamba Village is one of the best things to do in Mombasa. It is located in the upmarket Nyali area of Mombasa.
The Mamba Village is home to the largest crocodile farm in Africa and offers a variety of activities, including crocodile feeding, ostrich feeding, horse riding, and camel riding.
The Mamba Village is easily accessible by public transportation, including buses and minivans. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber and Bolt are also available in Mombasa.
The Mombasa Tusks, constructed in 1952 in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Mombasa, are iconic landmarks that you can’t miss.
The Mombasa Tusks are two giant replicas of elephant tusks that form two arches above Moi Avenue.
They are a prominent landmark and one of the best places to visit in Mombasa.
The metal elephant tusks were erected by the Chamber of Commerce of Mombasa as symbols of the city.
They are located on Moi Avenue in the central business district of Mombasa and are easily accessible by public transportation, including buses and mini-vans.
Mombasa Marine National Park
Mombasa Marine National Park is a marine park and national reserve located in Mombasa, Kenya. The park lies between the Mtwapa and Tudor Creeks and is one of the best places to visit in Mombasa.
It covers an area of 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi), while the reserve covers an area of 200 km2 (49,400 acres). Through legislation in 1987, the area was officially recognized as a National Park to prevent damage to both the park and the communities surrounding the park due to over-fishing, coral reef stripping, and revenue lost resulting from less tourism.
The Mombasa Marine National Park is famous for offering fantastic water activities, including diving and snorkeling.
The park’s blue waters are ideal for windsurfing, water skiing, and other water sports. The Mombasa Marine Park is home to a variety of marine species, including crabs, starfish, stonefish, cucumbers, sea urchins, corals, turtles, and seagrasses.
It is also a popular spot for migratory birds, including crab plovers. Mombasa Marine National Park is easily accessible by public transportation, including buses and mini-vans.
The Old Town of Mombasa
Mombasa’s Old Town is a vibrant and historic area of the city that is well worth a visit.
The Old Town is made up of narrow streets and ancient houses that are a mix of Swahili, Arab, Asian, Portuguese, and British styles. It’s a great place to wander and get lost in the maze of streets.
The Old Town is home to many locals who live and work in the area. It’s a great place to interact with them and learn about their culture and way of life
The buildings in the Old Town are mostly Swahili, but there are also many examples of colonial Portuguese styles from the 16th century and modern Islamic architecture. It’s a great place to appreciate the unique architecture of the area.
In addition, the Old Town is home to many restaurants and cafes that serve local Swahili cuisine. It’s a great place to try new foods and flavors.
Nguuni Nature Sanctuary is a natural paradise located in the Nguu Tatu Hills on Mombasa’s Jurassic Coastline. Nguuni Nature Sanctuary is situated off Kiembeni Road, 4km from the Bamburi Cement Factory, and a 10-minute drive from Bamburi Beach.
The sanctuary is home to a variety of animals, including giraffes, ostriches, elands, oryx, and waterbucks. Here, you can enjoy guided tours, picnics, and bird watching.
The community has worked to conserve the native habitats at Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. It’s a great place to learn about conservation efforts in the area.
Mama Ngina Drive
Mama Ngina Drive is a scenic waterfront area in Mombasa that offers beautiful views of the Indian Ocean and a cool escape from the heat of Mombasa Island.
Mama Ngina Drive is located next to the Likoni Ferry in Mombasa. This is a great place to take a walk, relax, and enjoy the scenery.
At the Mama Ngina Waterfront, you can also enjoy picnics, take photos, and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean. Mama Ngina Drive has recently been redeveloped into a modern public space known as Mama Ngina Waterfront Park.
The park covers 26 acres and offers a variety of activities, including a children’s play area, a cultural center, and a food court.
How Will You Get Around Mombasa?
Mombasa has several modes of transportation available for visitors. Here are some of the options to get to some of the best places to visit in Mombasa:
Buses and Public Transport
Mombasa has a large system of buses and other forms of public transport, including minivans and rickshaws. The Mombasa Public Transport Service Plan is a high-quality bus-based public transport system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at metro-level capacities.
Taxis are also available and can be found just about anywhere in the cityYou can also use taxi-hailing apps like Bolt or Uber, which are a cheap and convenient way to travel between further places like Mombasa Old Town and Nyali.
Indian-style tuk-tuks are a common mode of transportation in places along the east coast of Africa and are a cheap and fast way to get around Mombasa. Electric tuk-tuks have also been introduced in Mombasa.
If you prefer to travel by water, you can take a traditional Kenyan dhow for a trip along the coast or take a ferry to cross the Likoni Channel and enjoy views of the Indian Ocean.
Travelling from Nairobi to Mombasa
If you’re traveling from the capital of Kenya, Nairobi to Mombasa, you can take the bus, train, or flight. It’s important to note that Mombasa is not a safe city for tourists, and attacks happen in the area of the old town often at night.
How long is the train ride from Nairobi to Mombasa?
The train ride from Nairobi to Mombasa takes approximately 4-6 hours, depending on the type of train in service.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Places to Visit in Mombasa
When is the best time to visit Mombasa?
The best time to visit Mombasa is from June to October and from December to March. During these months, the weather is warm and dry, making it perfect for beach activities and sightseeing. However, it is important to note that Mombasa can be quite humid, so visitors should be prepared for the heat.
What are the visa requirements for Mombasa?
All visitors to Mombasa must have a valid passport with an expiry date of at least six months after the end of their intended stay in Kenya. Visitors must also obtain a visa before entering the country.
Is Mombasa a safe place to visit?
Mombasa is generally a safe place to visit, but you should take precautions to ensure your safety. The Old Town of Fort Jesus in Mombasa has a similar crime rate to other areas of the city during the day, but there is a greatly increased risk of criminal activity at night. Crime rates are also high on and around the Likoni Ferry, which links Mombasa and the southern resorts.
Check the travel advisory board of Kenya if you plan on visiting as they will give a more accurate description of areas and neighborhoods to avoid and travel tips on how to be more aware of the surroundings.
What are some popular places to stay in Mombasa?
Here are some popular places to stay in Mombasa:
- PrideInn Hotel Nyali
- Traveller’s Beach Hotel & Club
- Voyager Beach Resort Hotel
- English Point Marina & Spa
- Baobab Holiday Resort
- Bamburi Beach Hotel
- Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
- Serena Beach Resort and Spa
- Muthu Nyali Beach Hotel
- CityBlue Creekside Hotel & Suite
- PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort & Spa.
What is the average cost of a hotel in Mombasa?
The average cost of a hotel in Mombasa is around $165 USD per night.