Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city after Nairobi, is a cultural melting pot due to its legacy as the largest port in East Africa. Visitors get an enticing glimpse of the African tropics. This cosmopolitan tourist hub is currently an island linked by bridges and ferries to the Kenyan coast. Mombasa’s beach resorts, stretching for miles along the mainland north and south, preside over palm-studded strands fringed by shimmering coral reefs. Tourists from Europe, Asia and the Arab world flock here to discover old buildings, experience sea faring and buy fragrant spices in its markets.
MAMBA VILLAGE CENTER
The biggest crocodile farm in East Africa is Mamba Village Center in Nyali. Orchids, marine plants, and carnivorous species are also displayed in its aquarium garden. Apart from horseback riding and the aquarium botanical garden, tourists can learn about the life cycle and behavior of these fascinating amphibians. One of the highlight in this Village center, is seeing crocodiles fight for juicy morsels while feeding. Lovers of crocodile and ostrich meat can also find time to dine in a restaurant located in this center.
Home to about 160 prominent species of birds which were introduced to this wildlife such as weaverbirds, cranes, pelicans and storks. It is also home to a 130-year-old tortoise! This is one of Mombasa ‘s famous wildlife initiative which started in 1971 when one Dr. René Haller transformed the limestone quarries into a flourishing nature reserve. Dr. Haller improved soil mineral content, planted trees and added a fish farm, and created a nature park where each animal works within the thriving environment. Here you can find Giraffes, Cape buffalo, Zebras, waterbucks, and hippos.
Gardens, walking and cycling paths, reptile park, butterfly pavilion and crocodile pen abound in this park. Giraffe feeding is a special highlight, so make sure to monitor times before visiting.
MOMBASA MARINE NATIONAL PARK
The beaches of Nyali, Bamburi, and Shanzu ‘s famous beaches provide access to the marine park. Diving and snorkeling are common activities here in Kenya’s busiest offshore reserves. Mombasa Marine National Park preserves mangroves, seagrass, sandy beaches, and coral reef. Seahorses, stingrays, and eels are among the reserve’s marine species. Visitors to this park can view the bottom of the sea from a special boat which has a glass bottom.
Located in Ndia Kuu, Mombasa, this is one of Mombasa’s main tourist attractions founded by the Portuguese in 1593-1596. Inside its premises, there are many battlements and ruined structures, including Omani residence built in the late 18th century which houses Omani jewelry that displays Swahili life. Fort Jesus houses a garrison-built museum over the barracks. Exhibits are a large array of ceramics and pottery representing diverse cultures trading along the coast. It is one of the best examples of Portuguese military architecture in the 16th century. Fort Jesus was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Lovers of history will spend a few hours walking through the atmospheric alleys peacefully here; snacking in one of the many cafes; and shopping for antiques, spices, plants, and souvenirs. On the southeast side of Mombasa Island, the Old Town is reminiscent of the days when the Portuguese controlled this important port. The inhabitants of the city are mainly Arab, Asian, and European, and their cultures are reflected by architecture of hand crafted doors and balconies that gracefully adorn the old houses there.