Discover Mombasa a city on the coastal side of Kenya. Mombasa is one of the oldest destinations in Kenya with a rich history and culture. Mombasa has an array of tours available to fit your budget. Below you will find a list of tours available for a trip to Mombasa. These operators are verified by Trip advisor.Mombasa tours include everything from facts about the history of the old town, that still retains most of its architecture and way of life to date.
Mombasa Island is a very popular destination among local and foreign travelers. The island has surprises the curious traveler. The Island has a rich history dating as far back as the 15th century. In this blog post I share with you some of the notable places in Mombasa Island to look out for in your next adventure.
The Island has a rich history combined with a modern vitality. At the coast, the Island lies on the east coast. I share the following places to visit: The Likoni Ferry, The City of Mombasa including the elephant tusks, Old Town, Fort Jesus and Nyali Bridge.
The bridge connects the city of Mombasa Island to the mainland Kenya. Nyali bridge crosses through Tudor Creek to the northern part. Nyali Bridge is 330 meters. The first Nyali Bridge was built in 1931. It was a floating pontoon that was made of steel.
This bridge was replaced in 1980, 49 years later after the first bridge was built. The construction was done a few meters from the old bridge. Nyali bridge now hosts two lanes of traffic that heads towards Malindi from Mombasa and another that comes from Mombasa to Malindi.
The city of Mombasa has a history that dates back to 900 AD. The city has a lot of Arab influence in terms of religion, culture and architecture that is still felt to date. A few years ago, the county government of Mombasa had an ambitious plan to have all the buildings in the central business district painted white with a stripe of blue.
This however was stopped by a court order barring the county government from going ahead with the plan. The requirement was later upheld by the courts.
Mombasa is separated from the mainland by Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour and connected to the mainland by Nyali Bridge. The city is connected to the south coast by the Likoni Ferry and further to the west by Makupa Causeway. Alongside the causeway is the Kenya – Uganda Railway.
The Elephant Tusks are one of the major landmarks of the city of Mombasa. They are located along Moi Avenue. Their history dates back to 1956 when the princess of England; Princes Margaret paid a visit to Kenya. The tusks were meant to represent the entrance to Mombasa. They would serve as a welcome to the princess.
At the time elephant tusks were considered an high end commodity. The tusks also represent the letter M which is the first letter of the name of the city and situated between the port and the old town.
Old Town is located on the south eastern part of Mombasa city. The town covers an area of 72 Ha with its inhabitants mainly descendants of of Portuguese, Arabs, Europeans and Asians. Old Town is a UNESCO world heritage site as most of the history, culture and heritage is still found here. Next to the old town is Fort Jesus another UNESCO world heritage site.
At the entrance of the old town is a statue of cups and a pot of coffee. These were built in in 1988 by a man named Burhan Ali Taher, he gave it as a gift wot Mombasa.
Some of the notable places to pass by on your tour to old town include: The White house, or Obama house as the locals call it. The white house was built in the 18th century by a man named Esmailji Jevanjee. The house was later rented to the Church Missionary Society to accommodate unmarried women missionaries. It was christened ‘The Ladies House’ and was used by nuns and missionaries between 1893 and 1904. In 1915 to 1918 the white house was used by the American government as the first Kenya consulate.
The old post office still stands at Mombasa’s old town. It was opened in 1899. This was around the same time when the Kenya – Uganda railways was under construction. Indians were brought from India to build the railway and most of them used the post office to send news and money to their loved ones back in India. During the first world war, the office was also used as a temporary immigration office.
The government square is another notable land mark. It is located next to the old port. This square served as the center of business for Mombasa for many years. The square is surrounded by buildings that were owned by the most influential people at the time.
Mombasa House is another notable land mark in the old town that was built in 1880. It is one of the few houses built with closed balconies.
The house has maintained its original look to date and its occupants remain the descendants of the Jawdeji Dewi who was the builder. The Africa hotel was one of the first hotels to be built in old town. It was opened in 1901. By the time, the was no building facing the ocean and many guests appreciated it for this aspect. The hotel had 12 bedrooms. It was later sold and converted to a tailoring and grocery business.
The Mandary Mosque is one of the oldest buildings in old town and the oldest mosque in Kenya. It was built in 1507. It was expanded in the late 1980s
Fort Jesus is a popular attraction at the Kenyan coast, that was built between 1593 and 1596 and designed by an Italian Architect. A UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases Portuguese Military architecture.
The Likoni Ferry is a service managed by the government of Kenya through the Kenya Ferry Services. It is the only ferry services connecting the north and south coast. The Kenya Ferry Service offer free transport services to pedestrians; however cars pay a toll fee. The toll fee includes the following charges:
- Buses – ksh. 1,100
- Minibuses – ksh. 600
- Motorbikes – ksh. 50
- Cars – ksh. 120
Support local tour guides as you discover the best in Kenya’s local coastal culture, from the food, restaurants, architecture to the white sandy beaches.
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Best Mombasa Tours
Mombasa is a great place to travel and a place with a lot of history to learn from. Have you visited Mombasa before? Which is your favourite spot? Share in the comments below.