Introduction: Explore the unexplored side of Mombasa. Mombasa is One Of The Most Unvisited Wonders in Kenya
Mombasa is a coastal city in Kenya, and it has been an important port since ancient times due to its strategic location. It was primarily a Portuguese trading center and then a Swahili one under British colonial rule. The city is the second-largest urban area in Kenya after Nairobi.
The city has been inhabited for centuries, with archaeological finds showing that humans lived there from at least 2200 BC onward. It is believed that Arabs were the first major group to settle down in Mombasa after being driven by drought from their previous settlement on the coast of modern-day Somalia.
Mombasa has many stories that are still waiting to be told. Some of them might never be uncovered by historians and archaeologists, but the city also holds the potential to unlock new territories of innovation.
The unexplored side of Mombasa is rich in history and culture. As the city is much bigger than what you see on Google Maps, chances are there’s something interesting hiding in its dark corners.
While development has been swift in some areas, the city remains a surprising mix of traditional markets, stunning beaches, and tree-lined streets. There is plenty to see and do in Mombasa if you have an adventurous spirit.
The Best Time To Visit Mombasa – Avoid Crowds & Enjoy the Weather
Mombasa is one of Kenya’s most popular coastal city. With a plethora of sights and activities to offer, it has been attracting travelers from all over the world. Many people wonder what the best time to visit Mombasa is.
Mombasa has two rainy seasons, the longest of which is in April and May. During this time you should be prepared for heavy rain in the afternoon but also note that it will not rain all day nor every day of the week.
The tourism hotspots are the busiest during December, November, & March. Hotel prices and flights will be most expensive during these periods. You can save if you purchase your trips/hotel reservations well in advance.
So, what’s the best time to visit Mombasa? Mombasa is a destination that is popular all year, but June-August tends to be when it’s at its finest. You’ll find its best climate & cost of travel during that period, plus you avoid the busiest times of the year.
What Makes Mombasa Unique & Memorable
Mombasa is a coastal city of Kenya that has a rich and ancient history. The city is famous for its natural beauty and it’s not only the beautiful landscape that draws visitors to this area but also the historic places found there.
Geographically, it is located on the coast of East Africa, and it sits on one of the longest peninsulas in the world.
The history of Mombasa is one of the most fascinating stories in Kenya-The city was established by Somali traders who had left their country due to the decline of the once vibrant Islamic trading empire.
The Swahili civilization started here, led by Arab traders who came to trade for gold, ivory, and slaves. Mombasa became a center for Islamic scholars and scientists during the 16th century until it was captured by Omani forces in 1698. After Omani rule, Mombasa became part of the British East Africa Protectorate before becoming Kenya’s first capital in 1963.
Mombasa is a hub of East African trade and commerce, it is also Kenya’s second-largest city after Nairobi with an estimated population of 1.92 million inhabitants as per 2017 census data.
Mombasa has a lot to offer – culturally, historically, geologically, geographically, and archaeologically. It has a diverse and colorful history and is home to various international communities. It’s what makes it so unique & memorable to tourists, which isn’t common for many tourist spots globally.
How To Be a Local In Mombasa?
Mombasa is a city in Kenya and it’s an incredible place to visit. It’s famous for its beaches and resorts, but the city has a lot more to offer than just that.
The city has great architecture, beautiful tourist spots, and interesting history. Just like any other big city in Africa, Mombasa is known for being a hub of culture and art with lots of attractions that will surely wow you.
Being a local in Mombasa can be quite challenging due to cultural differences and language barriers. Here are a few activities you could indulge in to experience what it’s like to be a local in Mombasa-
Learn about the history of Mombasa
Mombasa is a city in Kenya with a long history. It is the second-most populous city in the country and was once a part of Arab Swahili culture. Some of the places you should visit to learn about the history of Mombasa are listed below:
Old Town – Stroll the streets of Old Town, a historic district that is replete with museums, art galleries, churches, restaurants, and cafes. Old Town Mombasa was developed by British East Africa Company traders in 1828, who made it their headquarters for their business. Diverse groups of the time, like the Arabs, Portuguese, Asians, and British all lived throughout Old Town Mombasa.
Fort Jesus- Learn about history at Fort Jesus which served as a defense against pirates and invaders. Originally built by the Omani Arabs to protect Mombasa from African tribes, fort Jesus is now a popular tourist destination. The city’s fort also houses many treasures of their history, including a mosque. Its importance is emphasized by the fact that it is not simply a tourist attraction – locals often visit the historical site.
Indulge in authentic Kenyan Food
Kenya is a paradise for foodies. It provides variety in cuisines with subtle flavors and fresh ingredients. One of the most popular dishes is Kenyan stew. It’s made by boiling vegetables, beef, or chicken in a spicy sauce. Other delicacies are matoke, ugali, and beans & rice dishes made with different types of beans ranging from red kidney beans to borlotti beans.
Kenyan cuisine is a fusion of East African, Indian, and Western cuisines. It is known for its spiciness due to the use of locally available spices such as ginger, cayenne, or green cardamom. This cuisine offers something for everyone including meat dishes, vegetables, soups, rice dishes, and even desserts that are made from local ingredients.
It’s said that the best Kenyan dishes are created by com bining traditional African cooking with influences from Europe and Asia. If you’re looking for a new food adventure, explore some of the unique culinary delights of Africa and its neighboring countries.
[Also Read: Explore the best restaurants and varied cuisines in Mombasa]
Visit top tourist and local attractions in Mombasa
The city of Mombasa is a beautiful seaside town in Kenya. With a lot of historic and cultural attractions, Mombasa is one of the top tourist destinations in East Africa. It is also the gateway to Kenya’s coastal tourism. Here are a few top local attractions you wouldn’t want to miss when visiting Mombasa-
Haller Park- Haller Park Mombasa is a hit with animal lovers. It started out life in 1971 after Dr. René Haller transformed the abandoned limestone quarries into a thriving nature reserve. Haller Park is located in one of the most beautiful wildlife parks in East Africa. The numerous natural waterfalls and diverse habitats create outstanding views that are nearly impossible to beat while taking on any adventure activities at this park.
Mombasa Marine National Park- Mombasa Marine National Park provides protection to globally important marine habitats, including mangroves, seagrass beds, sandy beaches & coral reefs. Mombasa Marine National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya. It is a great place for outdoor activities, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.
Mombasa Tusks- Mombasa Tusks is a famous landmark in Mombasa. Mombasa Tusks were built in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth’s 1952 visit. Constructed of aluminum, they mark the entrance to the city center, where you’ll find most banks, shops, and markets.
Mamba Village centre- Mamba Village Centre in East Africa’s largest crocodile farm. Come to learn about the life cycle and behavior of these fascinating amphibians. Mamba Village Centre offers a range of activities like horseback riding, a botanical garden, and an aquarium.
Take part in fun activities with your family
The climate and culture in Mombasa make it a fantastic destination for families to visit during the school year or summer break. The activities and attractions in Mombasa will keep your family entertained and engaged no matter the season. Below are some of the must-try activities in Mombasa-
Glass Bottom Boat Trips- The glass bottom boat trip in Mombasa is one of the top tourist attractions in Kenya and it lasts around 45 mins. You can cruise inside a clear-bottomed boat while looking at some of the most beautiful views of the Mombasa Island.
Deep-Sea Diving- Mombasa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Kenya. These beaches provide visitors with a chance to go deep-sea diving. Deep-sea diving has a number of purposes. It’s one way to experience new and beautiful things like you wouldn’t otherwise.
Kiteboarding- It is no wonder that Mombasa has been a world-renowned kiteboarding destination for decades. The vast panoramic views of its beautiful land and culture are an unforgettable experience. So much so, in fact, that it justifiably attracts tourists from around the world each year.
[Also Read: Water sports and activities you must try in Mombasa]
Mombasa Arts and Crafts Industry – The Hidden Established Gems in Town
Mombasa is a coastal city in Kenya and has a rich heritage of arts and crafts. The Mombasa Arts and Crafts industry has been around for decades, with current businesses located in the city and many other towns and villages across the country.
Mombasa’s Arts and Crafts Industry has grown significantly in recent years with several factors contributing to its growth. These include international trade agreements, increased access to trading, access to finance, growing demand for locally produced goods, and increased global integration.
The secret behind this thriving industry is its diversity of products, skillsets, culturally diverse workforce, and ability to adapt to changes in demand. The Mombasa Arts and Crafts Industry is driven by the traditional skills of Kenyan women who have been producing crafts for generations. Here are some places to visit for Mombasa’s arts and crafts industry-
Akamba Handicrafts – The Akamba Handicrafts Cooperative manufactures and exports hand-carved souvenirs, sculptures, decorative accessories, and fancy customized goods. This cooperative employs over 10,000 local people.
You can find a wide array of different pieces at very affordably priced prices like sculptures, paintings, and more.
Bombolulu Workshops – Bombolulu Workshops works with more than 100 people with different disabilities. They work with the artisans to help them overcome their physical limitations and empower them economically and socially to become fully integrated members of their communities.
Bombolulu designs are inspired by the vibrant cultures of different communities, which they then incorporate into their product designs. They also work with a variety of materials from canvas to leather to make a wide range of products for everyday use.
Mombasa’s Local Food Scene
Mombasa’s rich culture has influenced many aspects of the local food scene. There are over 80 different ethnic groups in this coastal Kenyan city, and these groups have brought their unique flavors to the cuisine. The food scene in this country was influenced by the diverse culture and the culinary skills of its residents.
Immigrants from all corners of the world blended their cultures and flavors to form a fusion of delight that is easily sought. Many people come to the country looking for flavors they can’t find anywhere else. The local food scene is very rich in diversity. Here are some of the famous Kenyan dishes that you should try-
Ugali na Sukuma Wiki
Where Can you Relax in Mombasa – Best Hotels & Resorts in Town
The city of Mombasa is a beautiful seaside resort on the coast of Kenya. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in East Africa and the surrounding region. Wanna know what’s the best hotel to stay at for a good experience?
Travellers Beach Hotel & Club in Bamburi Beach is an ideal destination for business and leisure travelers. The hotel provides guests with upscale amenities like comfortable rooms, spacious suites, and an ample swimming pool.
The hotel also offers various activities like water sports to help make your stay in Kenya memorable. Travellers beach offers 288 individually furnished rooms, free Wi-Fi, and 24-hour room service. There are televisions in every room so you can always watch your favorite shows.
The hotel has a lot of recreational amenities for guests. One of them is the private beach. Guests can relax here in between their adventures in nearby attractions and activities. Outdoor tennis courts also let you enjoy a nice game while you’re there!
Whether you want to dine at a private beach, enjoy a drink from one of their two bars, or take part in events at the hotel. Travellers Beach Hotel & Club is a great place to stay in North Coast Mombasa.
[Also Read: Guide to finding the best hotel in Mombasa for holidays]
How to Get Around Mombasa the Easiest Way Possible?
We all want the fastest and most efficient way of getting from point A to point B without wasting too much time. If you’ve ever been to Mombasa and wondered how do I get here from there? Then there are a few options!
One of the best ways to get around Mombasa is to travel by boat. The Likoni ferry keeps the southern mainland well within reach, so you’ll want to try & catch it if you’re trying to head to Diani beach or anywhere south from there.
Another great options is Matatu and tuk-tuk. The most common form of transport in Mombasa is the matatu(mini-buses). In Mombasa, they charge between KSh30 and KSh50 for a short trip. There are also plenty of three-wheeled tuk-tuks, which run from about KSh50 to KSh200. Speaking of three-wheelers, these are the most common form of transportation in Mombasa.
Taxis are available, but they can be an expensive way of moving around. Therefore, Tuk-tuks, boats, and matatus are the main ways to get around in Mombasa without a car.