Our top sights, highlights and exclusive tips
A seaport town on the Indian Ocean, Mombasa intoxicates with urban feels and multiculturalism. Kenya’s second largest city is a heady mix of vibrant city charm and luxurious ocean retreat, providing a gateway for those wishing to enter wildlife nature reserves. Stroll urgent streets colored by kanga garments and jovial personalities. Scuba dive in marine rich Diana Beach or enjoy a cruise. Be amazed by Mombasa’s ability to seduce and surprise.
Shimba Hills National Reserve
Pembe Za Ndovu
Immortalized by Hemingway in The Green Hills of Africa, Shimba Hills is a nature reserve of rising land, cascading water, and exceptional wildlife. A short drive from Mombasa, the second largest coastal forest of East Africa is a naturist haven of meadows, dense mountain forests, and rolling hills. The African elephant, endangered sable antelope, and many other wild animals are here for your viewing pleasure.
Flanked by tropical palms, Diani Beach’s white sands make for a paradise retreat. 18 miles from Mombasa, divers and snorkelers are invited to get up close and personal with lively marine creatures. A reef breaks waves to offer a moderate swell in the Indian Ocean. Witness aerobatic Wasini dolphins playing at sea. On land, visit Diani Beach Art Gallery and absorb striking African works, before enjoying a sunset cocktail.
This artistic city gate welcomes visitors to Mombasa. Pembe Za Ndovu is a memorial to decades of struggle against the illegal ivory trade that has greatly impacted the surrounding wildlife. The national parks of East Africa are now dedicated to protecting the African elephant and black rhino. Erected in 1952, these arched tusks (made of aluminum) that line Moi Avenue symbolize Kenya’s defiance in the face of poachers.
Bordered by inlets to the east and west, Mombasa Island (considered the city center) is a gateway for cargo headed to neighboring countries. Visit Fort Jesus to learn of early European, Arabic, and Indian influences. Relax with a coffee and watch as huge cargo ships head out on their next voyage. Modern and traditional architecture contrast this downtown landscape.
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