Mombasa & Mombasa Island
Mombasa Island is on Kenya’s coast and located east from Nairobi through the Tsavo National Park if coming by railway, although you can also find the international airport on the island along with the city of Mombasa. The city itself is the second largest in Kenya after Nairobi and offers a warmer climate. From Mombasa, you have access to Kenya’s coastal areas and fantastic beaches.
The world famous Kenyan coastline is fringed with palm trees and dotted with comfortable accommodation options. This provides a fantastic and contrasting place to relax after your Kenyan safari. You can enjoy attractive scenery, historical attractions, beautiful beaches, and diverse coral reefs.
As Mombasa is a very busy port city, you can expect a bit of hustle and bustle but usually it’s still with a relaxed vibe. It’s one of the oldest settlements in East Africa and makes a fascinating place to absorb the continent’s history. Although there aren’t many defined tourist attractions in the city, one of the must-visit areas is Fort Jesus and the Old Town.
Fort Jesus is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of eastern Africa’s oldest European buildings. With 2.5 metre (8 ft) thick stone walls, the fortress was built to be indestructible and became the focus of control for many power struggles on the east African coast. Later, the fort became a prison used by the British and was then converted to a museum, which now houses different artifacts to showcase the history of Mombasa and the regional culture.
Mombasa Marine National Park
The Mombasa Marine National park is a protected area of coastal water, including the coastal mangroves and Indian Ocean territorial waters. It contains different coral reefs with an abundance of animal life, which covers around 200 km² (49,400 acres). The park is very close to the tourist hubs and makes a fantastic trip for some excellent snorkeling and diving experiences.
This area and other Kenyan reefs are ranked as one of the world’s top dive sites along with the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The park’s water at the surface is usually warm and stays between 25°C and 31°C adding to its attraction, which combines with the coconut palms, blue waters, and golden sandy beaches. People enjoy a range of activities in the area, including snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, and water skiing.
The wildlife you’re likely to encounter includes different colorful fish, such as lionfish, angelfish, parrotfish, and zebrafish; as well as sea turtles, colorful crabs, sea urchins, starfish, octopus, jellyfish, and migratory birds. The main reason for the park’s protection was to conserve the fantastic coral reefs that stretch 143 miles (230 km) along the coastline and accommodate the impressive biodiversity. There are a lot of different corals to find here with a diversity of shapes and colors. In addition to the wildlife and warm water, you can also enjoy wreck diving and even night diving from some of the diving tours available.