Mombasa Travel Guide - Mombasa Hotels, Places to Visit in Mombasa, & More
Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya and the capital of Mombasa County. It’s on the east coast of Kenya, along the Indian Ocean, and has a population of 1,389,000 (2022), with an average growth of 3.4% annually.
Mombasa town is 488 km from Nairobi. The road trip from Nairobi to Mombasa takes about 8 hours and 35 minutes. Alternatively, you can board the SGR, which takes about 4 hours.
Most business and leisure travelers to Mombasa opt for domestic flights from JKIA (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi), which take about one hour. Besides Masai Mara National Reserve, Mombasa is Kenya’s most popular tourist destination for local and international travelers.
I know you are getting the drift; the list of fun things to do and places to visit in Mombasa is endless. Let the local Swahilis describe the city for you. They say, “Mombasa mji wa raha, kuingia rahisi, kutoka ngumu.” This means, “Mombasa is a city of extreme joy and fun. Entering is easy, but leaving is hard.
The local uses the word kuingia (enter) because Mombasa is an island connected to the Kenyan Coast by ferries and bridges. They say it’s a city of extreme joy and fun because the island offers leisure and business travelers an unadulterated taste of East African tropics steeped in maritime history.
The city’s perfect blend of Arabia, India, Africa, and its rich culture can be intoxicating. If you want to spark a conversation with us (the locals), just smile and say “Jambo or Habari yako,” both of which are Swahili greetings that equate to “How are you doing.”
The visitor will respond by saying ‘Sijambo or Muzuri Sana respectively,” meaning (I am fine) – the locals get excited when a tourist greets them in their language. It’s the best way to broach a conversation.
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|Our Most Booked Kenya Safari Packages 2023||Price Per Adult Sharing||The Detailed Itinerary|
|1-Day Nairobi National Park & Giraffe Center Tour||From USD 119||See the Itinerary|
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|3-Day Masai Mara Camp Packages||From USD 1015||See the Itinerary|
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|3-Day Masai Mara Easter Packages||From USD 985||See the Itinerary|
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|3-Day Masai Mara Packages from Nairobi||From USD 995||See the Itinerary|
|3-Day Ol Pejeta Easter Safari||From USD 1175||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Africa Migration Masai Mara Packages||From USD 1360||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Naivasha & Masai Mara Easter Safari||From USD 1249||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day L. Naivasha & Masai Mara Safari||From USD 1174||See the Itinerary|
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|4-Day Masai Mara Migration Packages||From USD 1360||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Mombasa & Diani Safari||From USD 937||See the Itinerary|
|4-Day Mombasa & Diani Valentine Safari||From USD 1405||See the Itinerary|
|5-Day Flying Safari to Masai Mara & Ol Pejeta Conservancy||From USD 3777||See the Itinerary|
|6-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari from India||From USD 1730||See the Itinerary|
|7-Day Kenya Christmas Safari||From USD 3093||See the Itinerary|
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|8-Day Kenya Wildlife Safari||From USD 4413||See the Itinerary|
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|12-Day Kenya Wildlife & Beach Safari||From USD 4216||See the Itinerary|
|18-Day Kenya Family Safari||From USD 5849||See the Itinerary|
More About Mombasa Town and The Swahili People
Don’t fear to approach the locals; they are very friendly, but they may shy away from coming to you directly, mainly because you are a “tourist,” As a rule of thumb, the locals view tourists as high-class people.
Also, their English might not be perfect – which doesn’t help much. Sometimes, it can be tricky to follow foreigners. They join words and talk fast; think of Sean Paul rapping. Here, the deal maker is to try and space out your words.
The Swahili and the Mijikenda – the two native tribes in Mombasa, Kenya – are very polite to visitors due to cultural principles. So, don’t fear to spark a conversation with them; they are very welcoming. Note that you can easily tell between a Swahili and a Mijikenda.
The Swahilis were born due to intermarriages between Arabs (early settlers along the Kenyan coast) and the locals. As such, they are light-skinned and look more like Indians). On the other hand, the Mijikenda are predominantly dark-skinned.
Initially, Mombasa was known as “Manbasa,” an Arabic word that means an “Island of War”. A name the island got from a series of violent battles between early settlers over its ownership. And yes! Once in Mombasa, don’t fail to visit Fort Jesus – it’s one of the best-preserved examples of 16th-century military fortification and innovations.
Do you want to see weapons used in the 16th century when enjoying the scenic view of the Indian Ocean? Fort Jesus is the place to visit. At Fort Jesus, you won’t get into the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, but from the top of this articulately designed structure, you can take great photos with the blue waters in the background.
The Swahilis say that you can hear the cannons if you listen carefully. Go and find out yourself. The Portuguese used the cannons to guard the city against invasion, but later they were overthrown by the Britons.
Mombasa’s ideal location has made it a historical trading center with a rich cultural background. The city boasts an international airport, Moi International Airport, and an extra-large port called Kilindini Harbor. Currently, it’s an economic hub.
This large port serves Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi, and it links these landlocked countries to the Ocean.
The Top 13 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Mombasa Kenya
Stretching for kilometers to the North and South of the Kenyan Coast, “Mombasa’s white sand beaches preside over beautiful palm-studded strands edged by shimmering coral reefs and soothing ocean waves. Millions of business and leisure travelers from the U.S, UK, Australia, and beyond flock here to enjoy the vast array of water sports.
From deep-sea diving, dolphin spotting trips, snorkeling the reefs and wrecks, traditional dhows fishing, deep-sea fishing, and basking on the sunny white beaches, the city has something for every adventure seeker.
Also, Mombasa Island is home to numerous tourist attractions, meaning you won’t have a second of boredom during your visit. The list of Fun Things to do in Mombasa is filled to the brim, and although the locals tend to overdo their advertisement of the local wares they want you to buy, don’t be bothered.
If you don’t want to purchase, simply tell them you are not interested. A simple “sitaki,” a Swahili word meaning “I don’t want to buy,” will do. Well, Mombasa is an excellent place for a holiday in Kenya, but just like any other busy city around the world, it is not without its share of rotten characters.
Always avoid “vichochoro” or Backstreet lanes at all times. They are the hiding grounds for thieves who want to help with your hard-earned money or steal your precious gadgets like cameras, jewelry, binoculars, and tablets, among others.
Another common mistake tourists make during their vacation to Kenya is carrying expensive gadgets or flashing them openly. Please note that my definition of “expensive” here differs slightly from the one you have in mind.
For example, while a tablet is an everyday essential in your home country, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, China, etc., it’s an expensive gadget in Mombasa or Kenya.
Yes, besides actual notes and coins in Kenya, nothing lures the bad guys your way more than tech items. That said, your phone, the latest iPhone on the market, is a personal gadget you treasure most for the ease and convenience it adds to your life. If you flip it around, expect to attract all the bad guys your way.
If you want to go to nightclubs, kindly keep it in a safe pocket and, ideally, leave it in your hotel safe. If you have to carry it, don’t go flashing it around. Engaging a guide when going for walks or visits away from the hotel’s accommodation ensures your safety since the local guides know the safe places and the ones that you should avoid at all times.
However, these occurrences are rare, and if you take the necessary precautions, they should not spoil the Mombasa holiday you have always looked forward to.
Next, I will give you a closer preview of some of the best north coast beaches you must visit during your Mombasa holiday.
The Top 5 Places to Visit in Mombasa North Coast Beaches
The north coastline is closer to Mombasa city and the airport, making it easily accessible. Its picturesque beaches, which include Nyali Beach, Bamburi Beach, and Shanzu Beach, are lined with ever-green palm trees and have crystal-clear waters.
Once on any of the north coast beaches, you will enjoy many water sports, including deep sea fishing and diving. You can also visit the Marine National Park and relax in its colorful coral gardens.
North coast is lined with numerous hotels, resorts, and entertainment venues, guaranteeing visitors top-notch accommodation, fine dining, and amusement.
1. Mombasa Beach – Nyali Beach
Nyali Beach is a beautiful stretch of uncontaminated sand located in the luxurious suburbs of Nyali. For exclusive services and shopping, Nyali is well served by shopping malls, including Nakumatt supermarkets, Nyali Cinemax (a cinema theater), a post office, financial institutions, and prestigious schools.
Moreover, visiting Mombasa city is not a hustle since you can use Nyali Bridge which connects Nyali to Mombasa. This makes Nyali self-sufficient and convenient for all travelers. Activities at Nyali Beach are as diverse as they are attractive.
Accommodation at Nyali Beach is in a class of its own where you will feel so comfortable and at home while many miles far away from home. You will see big African mambas or crocodiles at the Mamba Village, the biggest farm in Africa, rearing crocodiles. Playing golf at the Nyali Golf Club can also relax your mind.
Nature does wonders to the human soul, and this will be your experience while staying at Reef Resort which has beautiful tropical gardens. For business trips, your stay at Voyager Hotel will be a kingly experience and if you are looking forward to an exclusive leisure experience, be sure to get more than you bargained for at this 4-star hotel.
2. Mombasa Kenya – Bamburi Beach
The beautiful convolvulus or bindweed flowers and the coconut trees lining Bamburi Beach shores make it the perfect getaway for a memorable holiday after a year of hard work. This gorgeous beach is ideal for sea-kayaking, water-skiing, snorkeling, and sailing.
Apart from being in the water, you can engage in other exciting activities, like going for nature trails in the inland areas surrounding the beach. You will experience the tranquility of Mother Nature as you explore the Baobab Adventure and awe at different species of wild animals reared in the game farms and wildlife sanctuaries.
At Mombasa, we always ensure that your belly stays full because we know that a hungry man is an angry man, or is it an ugly woman? To ensure this, you will have lots of finger-licking local and international cuisines from hotels and restaurants along the beach.
Superb accommodation that guarantees utmost rest to you and your family is readily available during your one to two weeks stay at Mombasa.
Cowrie Shell Beach Apartment and Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa are some of the best hotels near Bamburi Beach. Here you will get an exceptional experience that will linger in your memories for many days.
3. Mombasa Town – Shanzu Beach
Coconut trees and offshore coral reefs line the beautiful stretch of white sand along Shanzu Beach, which connects to Mtwapa Creek. A walk while barefooted along the beach frees your mind from all stress and worries as your feet grind the soft sand.
There are several prestigious private facilities along this beach whose admission is for members only, like African Safari Club, which is an all-inclusive facility. However, if you dig just a little deeper into your pocket, you will enjoy the facilities as a non-guest. You can also have fun using the few available public facilities.
Accommodation and dining needs are well met at Shanzu since you will have an array of hotels to choose from, including the prestigious Serena Beach Resort & Spa, which offers excellent services. Your palate and taste buds will have a wonderful treat from sampling local and international cuisines prepared by our highly qualified chefs.
4. Mombasa Africa – Mombasa Marine National Park
I always enjoy watching the awe-striking creatures as they go about their business underwater while I am in a glass-bottom boat at Mombasa Marine National Park. If being in the water is your thing, you can enjoy snorkeling and diving at the park.
Here you can see stingrays, eels, and seahorses, among other creatures living in the reserve waters. You will also see beds of seagrass and mangroves that are protected by the park.
5. Mombasa City – Haller Park
This fantastic park is named after Dr. Rene Haller, who transformed abandoned quarries into a nature reserve of its kind. Haller Park was the home of an orphaned hippo named Owen, who was adopted by Mzee, a tortoise aged 130 years old, an event that made the park an internet sensation for some time.
Once there, you will be able to see animals like zebras, crocodiles, waterbucks, giraffes, hippos, and Cape buffalos. Bird lovers will enjoy watching over 160 species of birds, including storks, cranes, weaver birds, and pelicans.
The Top 2 Places to Visit in Mombasa South Coast Beaches
If the north coastline was picturesque, then holidaying at the south coast beaches would be an experience like no other. The white sandy beaches are lined with green rainforest, which is home to incredible wildlife.
You will not overlook the colorful coral reefs that demarcate offshore swells from the ever-busy swimming areas. The south coast beaches of Mombasa are the perfect destination for your April Holiday.
The south coastline is the haven for all kinds of water sports like water-skiing, diving, windsurfing, sailing, parasailing, and snorkeling, making it a primary European tourist attraction in Kenya. Diani Beach is the most developed among the south coast beaches, and Tiwi Beach is the favorite for snorkelers and sunbathers.
6. Diani Beach
Diani Beach is the perfect picture of an ideal beach in Kenya. The long stretch of white sparkling clean sand and the crystal clear ocean water make this beach one of the most stunning beaches in the world. You will agree with me once you set your eyes on it.
Fun activities in the ocean waters, like fishing and diving, will add more pleasure to your experience. The site of colorful surfing kites against the clear blue skies dancing in the winds is inviting and will lure you and your little ones into the waters for an enjoyable kite surfing escapade.
An assortment of stylish hotels offering outstanding accommodation services along Diani Beach will provide you with brilliant benefits. Southern Palms Beach Resort is among the best hotels found in this area.
For your dietary needs, you will be spoiled for choice with numerous tasty international cuisines. These range from Seychellois Creole to Japanese Tepanyaki, and you can also expect lots and lots of mouth-watering local cuisines to sample.
Try out the Tamarind Restaurant, Lymington Restaurant, and several Italian restaurants for an exclusive Italian dishes experience.
7. Tiwi Beaches
Visit Tiwi Beaches to experience everything camping; the good and the very good-Yes! I said that right! This is the only place where you can bring your tent and pitch it right on top of the sandy stretch of the beach.
How cool is that? In the morning, you will be awestruck by the beauty of the rising sun and the general scenic view of the ocean in front of you. You will love sunbathing under the warm sun or snorkeling in calm waters a few minutes later.
Normand Restaurant and Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant, you will get dexterously prepared seafood and delicious international, Italian, and European cuisines.
The Top 6 Non-Beach Attractions to Visit in Mombasa Kenya
Here is a list of other attractions you can visit during your safari in Mombasa, Kenya.
8. Fort Jesus
Although it was designed by an Italian architect called Cairati, Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese between 1593 and 1596. The iconic structure is one of the finest examples of the Portuguese military architecture of the 16th century in the world today.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the top tourist attraction sites in Mombasa that you must visit to have a complete Kenyan Coast safari. You will have a rare chance to get into the beautiful blue waters of the Indian Ocean while at Fort Jesus.
But this time round, you will not feel its coolness all over your body, but rather, you will use your camera to take scenic pictures of the cerulean ocean. At the museum, you will appreciate the cultures of traders who sold their wares along the coast and see some of the exhibited pottery and ceramics they made and sold.
9. Mombasa Go-Kart
If you have young children, this is the place since they will enjoy all the engaging activities offered. They will either be speeding in go-karts on the concrete track or learning a thing or two about how a Bobcat excavator works.
If not, your young ones will be busy bouncing on buggies off the road as you enjoy your favorite snack and beverage with friends or other family members at the restaurant. Thrilling computer games are also available, and enthusiastic sports fans can avail the large screen to enjoy all the sporting events as clearly as possible.
You can visit daily between 4 pm to 10 pm except on Mondays when we remain closed.
10. Mamba Village Centre
Reptiles and crocodiles are exciting animals that everybody wants to watch. At Mamba Village Centre, the largest crocodile farm in East Africa, you will have a rare chance to learn how these giant reptiles live, their life cycle, and their behavior in general.
Feeding time is, however, the most exciting moment that no visitor wants to miss as the reptiles fight for pieces of meat in a dramatic show of strength and agility. While the crocodiles enjoy their meal, you can also sample delicious game meat at the restaurant.
11. Old Town
Yet another fascinating work by the Portuguese, Old Town, is one more reminder of those days when they ruled Mombasa Island. The building’s balconies and the rich carvings on the doors tell a lot about the culture and the architecture of the town’s populace, who were mainly of Arab, European, and Asian origin.
There are several shops where you can get souvenirs, spices, fragrant oils, or antiques for your loved ones back home.
12. Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Center
At a glance, you will quickly learn a thing or two about how Kenyans of different cultural backgrounds lived in their traditional homesteads at Bombolulu Cultural Centre. The live performances of traditional dances are so enjoyable and don’t be surprised if you find yourself shaking your leg or nodding your head to vigorous and entertaining rhythms.
Although it is a project for the physically disabled in Kenya, you will be amazed by the unique handicrafts that include jewelry, wood carvings, textiles, and leather crafts sold at Bombolulu Workshops.
Your tour of the inspiring workshops cannot be complete without sampling Kenyan cuisines prepared at the restaurant.
13. Mombasa Tusks (“PembeMbili” which means “two tusks” in Swahili)
Just at the entrance of Mombasa City Center, there is an iconic landmark known as the Mombasa Tusks. The tusks venerated a special visit to Mombasa by Queen Elizabeth in 1952 and are made of constructed of aluminum.
The tusks intersect, forming the letter “M” for Mombasa, and they also indicate the busiest part of the city with many shops, banks, and markets.
Top 10 Exciting Things to Do in Mombasa Africa
You now know the best places to visit in Mombasa. Here are the things you can do in this county and have a great time.
1. Sampling Local Swahili Cuisines
In the evenings, you have an array of delicious street food along Makadara Road in Mombasa’s central business district. You will be spoiled for choices when sampling some of our local Swahili mouth-watering cuisines.
Their affordability ensures much fun even if you are running on a tight budget. You can also opt to dine at restaurants or even quieter restaurants in the city. Some cuisines you will never regret laying your hands on are chicken biryani, meatball biryani, Beef mishkaki, and pilau (spicy brown rice cooked in a seasoned broth).
You will also relish mtuzi wa keema (minced meat sauce), chapatti (unleavened flatbread), and nyama choma (roasted meat).
Beverages include maji ya madafu (water from a young coconut fruit) and uji wa unga wa sima (maize or corn flour porridge). You can also try ukwaju juice (tamarind juice), and various fruit and milkshakes will wash your esophagus with delight and leave your taste buds merry.
2. Leisure Walks Along the Beaches
A leisure walk along the beach and the feeling of soft sand under your feet is so therapeutic that you will enjoy every second of it. The cool breeze blowing over the turquoise blue waters to the white sandy beaches clears your mind and makes you feel one with Mother Nature.
3. Watching Favorite Movies
Grab a packet of your favorite local crisps and head to a cinema theatre of your choice for a thrilling movie with your family and friends. There are different places with high-tech movie theatres in Mombasa, which include Nyali Cinemax and City Mall, just to name a few.
4. Take a Ferry Ride
It is a bit rough at first as people push and pull to get a place on the ferry which transports people from Mombasa Island to the South Coast. Nonetheless, you will eventually enjoy the exciting ride, graced by hilarious characters offering rib-cracking free entertainment.
5. Dhow Cruising
Dining while awash in the moonlight is an experience you cannot afford to miss. The floating Tamarind Restaurant allows you to sit back and relax as you sail down Tudor Creek while watching the beautiful sunset.
As you gorge on the delectable seafood and well-done steak, the moon shines its light on you, giving you such a spectacular atmosphere.
If you enjoy swimming, then Mombasa will be a wonderful place. You will have fantastic hotel and beach offers, especially on Sundays. At Nyali Beach, Bahari Beach, and Reef Hotel, you will enjoy a buffet, swim, and have a relaxing moment at the poolside at an affordable rate.
7. Taking Nature Trails
Nature trails guarantee an intimate interaction with the breathtaking flora and fauna in the picturesque landscapes. Birds of different species, monkeys, and water reptiles of various kinds are some of the animals you will be able to see as you walk along the nature trail off Mombasa-Malindi
8. Go Clubbing and Shake a Leg
Some say that music is the medicine of the heart, and others call it the soap that washes all worries from the soul. Whatever your take, you can shake a leg and take some time enjoying the beats from the music systems in your favorite club.
Are you looking for a mature atmosphere with classy and old folk music? Le Club at Continental Resort is the place to be. At the same time, enjoy the delicious delicacies served in the entertainment venues.
9. Watch the Sunset
The setting sun always has this relaxing atmosphere that is hard to explain. Our busy lives sometimes make us take it for granted, but while in Mombasa, take your time to enjoy the magical Kenyan sunset.
You will have precious memories that will linger for a long even after your Mombasa holiday is long over.
10. Enjoy a Tuk-Tuk Ride
You probably have never seen a tuk-tuk or had a ride in it. But I can assure you that it is an exciting experience. I always remember my first ride with nostalgia; whenever I get a chance to ride in one, I thoroughly enjoy it.
With as little as USD 10, you can enjoy a tuk-tuk ride on holiday in Mombasa. The ride is different from what you would expect since it is a bit noisy and bumpy, but it brings out that holidaying feeling-(if there is anything like that) in a way that you can’t tell.
The 4 Most Popular Events and Festivals in Mombasa Town
What events and festivals can you attend during your stay in Mombasa? Here are 4 of the must-attend festivals in coastal regions.
1. Mombasa Carnival
One of the most popular festivals in Kenya is the Mombasa Carnival which takes place annually in November. Featuring traditional dance performances, colorful decorations, and a showcase of traditional costumes, Mombasa Carnival blends the African and Arabian cultures of the residents in a unique way.
Visitors also learn more about other cultures in Kenya and their way of life in the early days. In East Africa, Mombasa is the critical cultural hub where you will have a chance to sample numerous Kenyan cuisines and shop for gifts and souvenirs to take back home.
2. Mombasa Triathlon
If you are a sportsperson, Mombasa Triathlon is an event that you will thoroughly enjoy. You will have to go through the first leg of 1.5 km of swimming in the Indian Ocean, a cycling route of 40 km, and an exciting run through the busy streets of Mombasa City.
The event, held annually between September and November, is loved by locals and foreigners.
3. New Year Celebrations
Although the celebrations are held worldwide, in Kenya and Mombasa in particular, you will experience the Kenyan New Year in style. Colorful fireworks, choirs singing in all parts of Mombasa, and festive parties all over bring the whole city to life as the clear blue skies light up in beautiful colors.
Delicious delicacies and drinks are in plenty to culminate the celebrations.
4. Lamu Cultural Festival
The past and the future are celebrated at the Lamu Cultural Festival on Lamu Island. The Island is a World Heritage site that showcases the lifestyle and the architectural techniques of the ancient Swahili people.
You will enjoy various exciting activities like donkey races, Swahili poetry, dhow sailing, and henna painting. Held annually in November, the festival brings out the peaceful lifestyle of the locals that is admired by all.
The 10 Best Mombasa Hotels Review
Mombasa is the place to be for the best beach safaris and business travels. To enjoy the Ocean and its flora and fauna, you need to check the location and proximity of the hotel to the beach. Here are the 10 best hotels in Mombasa.
The Best 5 Mombasa Hotels for Leisure Travelers
We start with a review of the best five hotels you should consider staying at when traveling for leisure in Mombasa.
1. Mombasa Hotels – Voyager Beach Resort
Voyager Beach Resort holds a Certificate of Excellence for its high-class services. The hotel overlooks the white sands of Nyali Beach, its rooms ooze with tranquility, and its fresh atmosphere is just unique. It is located approximately 40 minutes from the airport.
The facilities at this exclusive resort are family-friendly and can accommodate families of any size. This makes it the ideal place for you to stay with your whole family. Complimentary Wi-Fi keeps you connected to the rest of the world day and night.
Relaxing at the poolside while watching acrobatic shows is so thrilling and refreshing. As the children enjoy outdoor games in the playground or other fun games in the games room, you can utilize your precious time at the gym or enjoy a relaxing massage at the beauty center.
2. Mombasa Resorts – Serena Beach Resort and Spa
Serena Beach Resort and Spa is close to the beach, making it perfect for romantic night walks. The breeze is excellent, and the services from the friendly staff are exceptional. It is located on Malindi Road in Bamburi.
Its Central Restaurant boasts an expansive finger-licking buffet, and one thing for sure is that the kids will adore the Pizza Restaurant and the Ice-Cream Parlor. Engage in some of the outdoor activities like yachting, pedalos, and windsurfing to add flavor to your leisure Mombasa holiday.
Later, you and your spouse can visit Maisha Spa and Health club for that relaxing massage.
3. Mombasa Accommodations – Reef Hotel Mombasa
Reef Hotel Mombasa is a lavish hotel situated about 400 meters from Mombasa Beach. It’s popular in Mombasa since it’s set on tropical gardens neighboring the white sandy shorelines.
A family runs the hotel, and it features three restaurants, with the main restaurant serving delicious breakfast buffets, lunches, and dinner. For seafood and grilled meats, Tanga Grill is the place to dine, and after that, pass by Pool Side Bistro for late-night and early morning burgers, snacks, and pizza.
A fitness room, an outdoor pool, and a tennis court are handy for physical fitness and body warming activities to ensure you enjoy your leisure holiday.
4. Best Hotels in Mombasa – Cowrie Shell Beach Apartment
This beach apartment will ensure you receive outstanding services from the first day you land in Mombasa to the last. It’s close to Mombasa town, making it ideal for lazy afternoon walks along Old Town’s narrow streets as you practice your love for shopping.
The shops and stalls along Biashara Street offer an array of dazzling African fabrics and Kikoys. For outdoor activities, the Apartment has an outdoor pool where you can enjoy being in the water for as long as your heart desires.
A nature trail at Naturi Walk and Wildlife Club will enable you to enjoy the fresh cool air as your awe of the picturesque sceneries. After the walk, you can decide to have an a la carte at SuliSuli Restaurant, and if you are not too exhausted, you can fix something for yourself in your fully equipped kitchenette. Preparing local dishes together as a family will add more fun to your holiday in Mombasa.
5. Best Accommodation in Mombasa – Southern Palms Beach Resort
This hotel, located just 35 km from Mombasa and on Ukunda’s Diani Beach, has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence due to its exemplary services. The rooms have a fantastic balcony view that faces the beach.
You can try the wide selection of freshly prepared Indian dishes, such as a steaming curry or bhajia, a deep-fried pastry filled with vegetables. At the same time, you can sample an assortment of delicious international cuisines from any of the hotel’s five restaurants.
Outdoor activities include tennis, diving, swimming, or even windsurfing, after which you can enjoy the fantastic massage services.
The Best 5 Mombasa Hotels for Business Travelers
You should always consider staying at a hotel with the best services and all the facilities you need for a successful business trip. Here are the five best hotels in Mombasa for business travelers.
6. Best Resorts in Mombasa – Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa
Located on Malindi Road in Bamburi, this hotel is a beautiful haven with an exhilarating and serene atmosphere. It stands on a 22-acre lush and tropical ground, with a beautiful beach and many stimulating outdoor activities.
The resort offers high service standards and features state-of-the-art conferencing equipment like an LCD projector, PA system, and a laptop, just to name a few. Its nine meeting and conference rooms can accommodate between 12 to 330 delegates.
The resort boasts a PADI diving center, five large pools, including a children’s pool with a slide, and a range of sports and activities such as tennis, water polo, and beach volleyball.
7. The Travelers Beach Hotel and Club
The hotel is located 10 km from Mombasa town and on Malindi Road in Bamburi. It is among the best business hotels in Mombasa. It features conferencing facilities and meeting rooms which can accommodate 3 to 300 business delegates.
At Shibe Restaurant, you will enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast. You can choose between Indian or Italian cuisines at lunch and dinner. Complimentary internet access ensures business travelers a smooth and conducive working environment, even with their colleagues abroad.
The recreational facilities include a swimming pool, or you can decide to take snorkeling and diving lessons.
8. PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort
The hotel is just 11 km from Mombasa and is situated in Shanzu, Coast Region. It boasts the largest conferencing facility in the region, which can accommodate 2500 delegates. It also has over ten meeting and conference halls that can accommodate 70 to 100 delegates, depending on the style used to set up the seating arrangement.
Complimentary Wi-Fi allows business travelers to keep up with their work and business commitments. For leisure activities, you can always play darts, table tennis, or billiards, while a swim in the outdoor pool will keep you rejuvenated and full of vitality.
9. Kenya Bay Beach Hotel
The hotel is situated on Bamburi Beach and is built in a subtle blend of African and Modern architecture, offering a genuinely marvelous ambiance. It features a conference room that can accommodate 60 delegates and a smaller private room for meetings that can accommodate 20 delegates.
Toilets and dining facilities are near the conference rooms. At Frangipani and Acacia Restaurants, you will enjoy finger-licking regional and continental cuisines and an array of African Buffets during theme nights.
An outdoor pool gives you an array of outdoor activities, which include diving and windsurfing.
10. Best Western Plus Creekside Hotel
BEST WESTERN PLUS Creekside Hotel is an international hotel with a Swahili signature and tailor-made furniture pieces. It features a picturesque garden with a waterfall, a fish pond, a fountain, a swimming pool, and a fitness center.
The hotel’s conferencing facilities feature a hall that can accommodate 200 delegates and has state-of-the-art equipment like a PA system, projectors, and large screens. A fully functional business center with printing and photocopying facilities, free Wi-Fi, and computers are also available.
Enjoy fresh seafood in an assortment of delicious cuisines and local favorites like grilled prawns, lobsters, and crabs specially prepared for you. You can also sample Italian, Indian, or Chinese mouth-watering cuisine here.
The Top 10 Markets in Mombasa, Kenya
It is an exciting experience to shop in a foreign country, and where is better to this than Mombasa? Here are the 10 best markets you should visit in Mombasa.
1. Akamba Wood Carvers
Located on Airport Road near the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Akamba Wood Carvers are talented artists who carve intricate animal and human images from various types of wood. They also make beautiful decoration items that can be used for home décor or as gifts.
2. City Mall Nyali
For an exclusive shopping experience with a wide selection of famous brands like Converse, Woolworth, and the likes of Levi’s for the latest and trending fashions, City Mall Nyali is the place to be.
You can also dine in one of the excellent restaurants where you have a choice of sampling either Indian or delectable Chinese cuisines for lunch.
3. Old Town
Are you running on a tight budget? That should not deter you from taking memorable souvenirs and gifts to your loved ones back home. There are plenty of souvenir stands and gift shops on the streets of Old Town selling jewelry, clothes, fragrances, and spices, just to name a few, at a reasonably good price.
4. A1 Supermarket
To prepare local dishes all by yourself in your apartment, you can find fresh local produce and other foodstuffs at A1Supermarket located on Digo Road, Mombasa. Cheese, local and imported snacks, and bountiful Kenyan crops, including seasonal fruits, are readily available at this supermarket.
5. Nyali Cinemax
This shopping mall offers luxurious jewelry, wristwatches, fashionable jeans, shoes, and hats, among other plush items for the refined shopper. Have some fun as soon as you are done shopping and watch a movie or two at the cinema hall while you enjoy your favorite snack.
6. Marikiti Market
At the Marikiti market, you will have an assortment of unique Kenyan khangas, souvenirs, and artwork that will always remind you of your wonderful holiday at Mombasa. The inviting delicacies along the streets will give your taste buds a great treat.
7. Nakumatt Nyali
Nakumatt Nyali is a top-notch supermarket that provides quality products and simultaneously brings you an assortment of products to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible. In the case of any query, the friendly staffs are always ready to offer assistance.
8. Sianzi Mimi Limited
This textile company located at Mtwapa Stage, Mombasa, will offer uniquely made kikois and khangas that can be customized per your likes and tastes. You can also get an assortment of beautiful kikois, bedsheets, and lessos.
9. Biashara Street
The warm weather experienced in Mombasa warrants you to wear light clothing and beautiful scarves that can be bought from various shops along Biashara Street. Shops for unique gifts, souvenirs, and other textile materials like curtains.
After shopping, enjoy delicious Swahili cuisine from any restaurant and call it a day well spent.
10. Bombolulu Workshops
The kind of artwork displayed in Bombolulu Workshops is so gorgeous and unique that you might find it difficult to believe that disabled artists make it in Kenya.
As the proceeds from the sales go to support the charity organization, you will, on the other hand, carry beautiful necklaces, wood carvings, wristbands, and an assortment of artwork to decorate your house.
Mombasa Traveling Guide - Best Time to Go and Traveling Tips
You don’t want to come for your Mombasa holiday only to spend it indoors due to heavy rains. Therefore, I will give you a brief overview of what to expect regarding the weather in Mombasa.
Mombasa has two rainy seasons:
- The long rains are experienced between April and May
- The short rains start from November through to December
You will have an excellent time if you plan your Mombasa holiday to fall between July and October when the sky is so blue, the sun so yellow, and the grass so green. The warmest months of the year are January through March, while the coldest are June to August.
Temperatures range from 32 degrees (Celsius) which is equivalent to 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) during the warm season, to 27 degrees (Celsius) which is equivalent to 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) during the cool season. It is also good to know that there are peak and off-peak seasons for accommodations in Kenya and Mombasa.
In particular, from April to June and November to about three initial weeks of December, we experience the off-peak season when prices of accommodations are relatively cheap. However, during the high peak season, which begins from the last week of December to February and from July to October, the prices of accommodations are relatively expensive.
The number of tourists in Kenya and Mombasa, in particular, is also high. Regardless of the seasons, be they climatic, peak, or off-peak, it is good to know that you are always welcome to Kenya and Mombasa, where we say “Hakuna Matata,” meaning “there is no trouble”.
Here are more tips for a great beach holiday in Mombasa:
Carry all your travel documents
Travel documents are vital when moving from one country to another. They are used to identify and indicate your stay’s intention or purpose. Make sure you carry all the necessary travel documents for a successful Mombasa holiday.
Carry enough cash
Holidaying is synonymous with spending money. Whether on a tight budget or not, always budget for emergencies. Prior budgeting for your holiday in Mombasa will ensure you allocate enough cash for a successful and enjoyable stay.
Pick light clothing and swimming costumes
The warm weather on the Kenyan coast allows you to rock your favorite summer attires with no problem at all. However, remember to carry a few warm sweaters as they will come in handy in the morning, evening, and night when temperatures are slightly lower than during the day.
Swimming costumes are ideal for swimming and other thrilling water activities that you will try out in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Carry beach sandals
Due to warm temperatures during the day, it is easier to move around in sandals. Closed shoes during the day will tend to give you blisters. Nonetheless, they are ideal at night and during the wee hours of the morning when temperatures are at their lowest.
Carry sun hats, sunscreens, and sunglasses to shield you from direct sunlight
Direct sun rays on your skin over a long period can damage and cause sunburns. A cool sun hat and a pair of sunglasses will come in handy when you are out and about the city of Mombasa and while enjoying the beautiful beaches.
Carry a pair of binoculars and a camera
A trip to the coast is worth remembering; a camera and a pair of binoculars will capture the moments as they occur.