The port city of Mombasa is situated on the shores of the Indian Ocean, along the Kenyan coast. Its rich history as a harbor for Portuguese missionaries and Arab traders makes it a melting point of diverse cultures. The name Mombasa is derivative of an Arabic word, Manbasa, which loosely translates into “Island of War,” owing to the historical battles between the Portuguese and the Arabs. It features Arabic architecture in the Old Town as well as historic sites, such as the Fort Jesus Museum. Its white sandy beaches, favorable weather, and rich cuisine make it a haven for international and local tourists alike.
The Moorings is Kenya’s sole floating restaurant that has been in business for over twenty years. It floats along the mangroves of Mtwapa creek and prepares seafood. However, it might be helpful to note that no alcohol is served without an order for food. Dhow cruises are also available. It was voted winner of the Taste Awards and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor in 2013.
Tamarind Dhow Dinner Cruise
The Dhow offers dinner at sea as it sails on a tour of Fort Jesus and Old Town. The four course meals are simply amazing and the view of Mombasa’s twinkling lights is romantic. There is a live band and a dance floor for guests interested in dancing the night away. The dhows are also available for private hire.
If you enjoy authentic Italian cuisine, I would definitely recommend Yuls, located on the North Coast. It offers great pizza and the best ice cream in the city, with an unrivaled view of the Indian Ocean. For those interested in water sports, there are even jet skis and surfing kites for hire, with trained professionals to show you the ropes. With all these options, it is no wonder that the establishment has been in business for years.
Il Covo Japanese and Italian Restaurant
Offering an unexpected blend of Japanese and Italian cuisine, Il Covo Restaurant has two branches in Bamburi and Nyali. Its sushi bar and authentic Italian wood-burning ovens provide a dining experience that one is sure not to forget. As if that was not enough, it has a lounge and bar where the music is loud and the atmosphere is electric. A night out on the town is definitely not complete without a visit to Il Covo.
Forty Thieves Beach Bar and Bistro
Forty Thieves Beach Bar and Bistro is located on Diani Beach and has several activities, especially for adrenaline junkies who are interested in sky diving, windsurfing, kite surfing, and deep sea diving. Alternatively, there are bar games to be played, like quiz nights. All this, combined with the vibrant disco, live music, and delicious meals makes Forty Thieves a force to be reckoned with in Mombasa’s entertainment scene.
Mamba Village Centre
This is Africa’s largest crocodile farm, complete with a botanical garden and accommodation. You can dine at the Croco Soul City Restaurant and even sample some crocodile meat. If you are interested in learning more about these fascinating creatures, you can also watch the crocodiles at feeding time. There are also horse riding tours and a fish pond that includes exotic fish, such as the deadly stonefish.
Haller Park was once a quarry of the Bamburi Cement company, that was then reclaimed by the company and converted into a nature trail. It has diverse wildlife, including birds, vervet monkeys, and hippos, all within its game sanctuary, fish farm, giraffe viewing platform , reptile park, and crocodile pen. One of its main attractions is an unusual relationship between a hippo (Owen) and a tortoise (Mzee). In 2004, Owen was rescued and brought to Haller Park, where he adopted Mzee as a surrogate mother.
Mombasa Go-Kart is the ideal destination for petrol heads. You can go-kart around the track, drive off road with buggies, or even try bulldozing. There are also speed governors to ensure safety for children and a restaurant, Galana, for lunch. Additionally, teams can play paintball, bowling, table tennis, and even go mountain biking.