From visiting historical places to engaging in action-packed activities, there’s a lot of fun things to do in Mombasa. And we’ll list them all out for you.
Are you looking for fun things to see and do in Mombasa during your vacation? Well, the city offers a wide range of activities for couples, families, and solo travelers. From visiting Fort Jesus to walking on the beautiful beach sand and exploring its exceptional off-shore reefs, there are many fun things to do in Mombasa! Here is a list of affordable things to do in Mombasa.
Visit Fort Jesus
A trip to Mombasa is incomplete without visiting its old fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Portuguese built Fort Jesus in 1593 on a hillside overlooking the Indian Ocean. This historical building features high plastered walls built from coral rocks.
The iconic building is one of the conserved evidence of formidable military fortification in the 16th century. It was positioned near the ocean for easy monitoring of invaders through the Indian Ocean. It’s a must-visit place for families and friends looking for fun things to do in Mombasa.
Reasons to visit Fort Jesus, Mombasa
- You will learn about the history of Mombasa.
- You’ll learn about the wars between Christian Europeans and Muslim Arabs as they fought to control Mombasa and the Indian Ocean trade routes.
- Learn more about the slave trade and how they were tortured before being shipped to their masters.
- Visit the Omani House, where the first Sultan who ruled the East Africa Coast dwelled. And you also enjoy a display of Omani jewelry and weaponry.
You’ll need to pay some entrance fee to access the building. That’s usually about 200 bob for residents and 400 for non-residents. Depending on your level of interest in learning about the culture and history, you may hire a registered guide.
Fort Jesus opens at 0800 to 1800 hours East African Time every day.
Visit Mombasa’s Old Town
Just a walking distance from Fort Jesus is Mombasa Old Town. This Old Town harbors the Old Port of Mombasa, where traditional sailing boats (dhows) from India, Persia, Arabia, and Somalia once docked. You will also enjoy seeing ancient buildings with unique architectural art designs that will connect you to ancient times. Get fascinated by the ornately carved doors and balconies on these ancient buildings.
Among the fun things to do in Mombasa is to sample Swahili cuisines in the Old Town. There are several restaurants and cafes in this area. After enjoying your meals, walk down to the curio shops for a wide range of antiques and unique ornaments at affordable prices.
The place is fun to visit as a group of friends or family members and couples. However, visitors, especially ladies, are encouraged to dress modestly because of the rich Swahili culture in this area. So, in as much as Mombasa City is hot, you want to avoid mini-dresses, shorts, tank tops as such may arouse stares from the locals.
Again, you could walk alone, or hire a local guide to take you through places.
Visit Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve
Between Tudor and Mtwapa creek is Mombasa Marine Park, a top spot for waterskiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The park has a wide range of fish and coral species, making it a fantastic place to visit with your family.
Fun Things to Do in Mombasa While Visiting the Marine Park
The park offers a wide variety of activities for daring adventurers as well as less adventurous people. These activities include;
- Sailing on a glass-bottom boat that navigates into the deep clear waters allowing you to see a colorful diversity of marine species under the boat.
- If you’re a sharp swimmer, this is the time to feel the fish sliding past your body while swimming in their territory. Swimming in the deep-sea is not ideal for children.
- Engage in watersports such as water skiing and windsurfing, a perfect recreation activity for adults. Couples familiar with swimming can also enjoy scuba diving together.
- If you want a less adventurous activity, walk along the white sandy beach and around the marine trails or simply sunbathe.
Visiting the Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve is one of the many fun things to do when in Mombasa. The entry fee into the park is $1 and $15 for residents and non-residents, respectively.
Visit the Haller Park
This park is along the Mombasa-Malindi Highway, opposite the epic Mombasa City Mall. Previously known as the Bamburi Nature Trail, Haller Park is the best spot for birds enthusiasts and animal lovers while in Mombasa. So, if you are looking for fun things to do in Mombasa, Haller Park should be in your list of itinerary. You don’t want to miss a chance to feed the giraffes and later watch crocodiles sunbathing.
Other wildlife to watch in this park include:
- Cape buffaloes
- A variety of snakes (not for the ophidiophobia)
- Over 160 species of birds
The nature trail offers good walking and cycling paths that wind through the butterfly sanctuary to the lush forest’s surroundings. The trails make an ideal place for enjoying a walk, jog, or cycle with your partner or friends. Watch out for monkeys!
With the variety of flora and fauna in the surroundings, you’ll not miss a glimpse of giant tortoises freely roaming around the park. Whether you are coming to Mombasa with your partner, friends, or family, Haller Park is one of the must-see places.
Get Lost in Nguuni Wildlife Sanctuary
For a more wildlife experience, you can visit Nguuni Wildlife Sanctuary, which is around 15 minutes drive from Haller Park. Some of the animals you’ll encounter in this sanctuary include ostriches, oryx, eland, giraffes, and various birds. Besides watching wildlife, Nguuni Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect picnic site in Mombasa. An ideal place surrounded by nature for spending time with your partner while in the Coastal city.
Visit Mamba Village
A list of fun things to do in Mombasa is never complete without mentioning Mamba Village in Nyali. It’s the largest crocodile farm in East Africa, housing crocodiles of different ages, from hatchlings to the Big Daddy, a 120-year-old crocodile. By visiting this place, you will learn about the life cycle of crocodiles and their behaviors too.
Quick tip: try visiting the Mamba Village Mombasa before mealtime. This way, you can catch them as they eat. It is fascinating to watch them fight for fresh meat during their feeding hour. After that, you can dine on game meat, including zebra, crocodile, and ostrich, at the restaurant in this center. Eating crocodile meat is a memorable undertaking for anyone looking for fun things to do in Mombasa.
Mamba Village has a playground for kids to enjoy – which is a great plus for parents. And if they’re not playing, you can dare them to hold a baby crocodile for the thrill and memory shots. Mamba Village is perfect for all travelers, families, couples, or even solo travelers.
Have Fun at Wild Waters Waterpark
Visiting the Wild Waters is among the top fun things to do in Nyali, Mombasa. The park is in Nyali, Opposite the Mombasa Golf Club, and just a few kilometers from Mombasa Town. Wild Waters Waterpark is home to all the water actions you’ll need, including:
- Fun spiral slides for kids and adults
- A water PlayStation for kids
- Fun pool for a family outing
- Fun wave pool
- Fun tube rides for the more adventurous tourists
There are activities for everyone in this place! The facility opens from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily, except for Monday.
Take a Walk Along The Pirates Beach
Mombasa boasts extensive white sandy beaches, and Pirates beach is among the famous beaches to visit in Mombasa. The best part is it’s a public beach, so you don’t have to worry about payments or charges. Walk by the beach for the therapeutic feeling as you enjoy the cool breeze that helps to calm the mind. Walking along the beach is one of the inexpensive ways of having fun while on the coast. It also creates special memories, especially when walking arm-in-arm with your partner or with your loved ones.
The best time to enjoy this walk is before noon, when the beach is not crowded. If you are lucky, you will get an opportunity to buy fresh prawns and fish from fishermen coming from deep-sea fishing.
Take an out-of-town trip to Wasini Island
Wasini Island is a tiny island in the South of Mombasa. The most popular means of getting to this island is on a traditional dhow boat. On the way to the island, you will enjoy watching dolphins, and if you are an excellent swimmer, you can dive and snorkel near the coral reefs. Watching dolphins tops the fun things to do in Mombasa for people of all ages, so you can bring your children to enjoy this excursion.
You can enjoy your late lunch at Wasini village by dining on fresh seafood. There is also a variety of local Swahili dishes for you to taste while on this island. If you have spare time, you can visit the locals and learn about their culture.
What You Need to Know Before Visiting Mombasa
Here are few things to remember when planning for fun things to do in Mombasa;
- Mombasa has a tropical climate, so plan to wear light clothing.
- You can travel from Nairobi (Kenya’s capital city) to Mombasa by air, railway, and bus service. Different cabs and hotels provide transfers from the airport and railway station. However, for convenience, you can let us help you with all your travel plans.
- The peak season starts from June to September or December to January.
Mombasa is a beautiful city with several exciting things to do. Fun things to do in Mombasa include watching crocs at the crocodile park, having fun at wild waters world, and taking a walk by the beach.