Five things to do in Mombasa
Posted Sunday, July 6 2014 at 01:00
ADVENTURE. A recent visit to the coastal island of Mombasa left me amazed, not only at the friendly weather and beautiful beaches, but also the rich history and Swahili architecture, writes Gloria Haguma.
My journey began on Friday morning, aboard Air Uganda, courtesy of their Crane Class package that guarantees one VIP treatment. We set off from Entebbe at 11.19am and landed at the Moi International Airport at 12.43pm. Although I had been told of the hot weather on the island, I found it very warm.
Being a leading tourist destination, the island has a number of resorts and hotels, and several of the apartments are occupied by not just tourists but also some of the natives.
If you plan to visit Mombasa, here is a guide on some of the things you could do to make your stay memorable.
Stay at the Serena Beach Hotel
For those that are familiar with the Serena brand, you will know them for setting themselves apart both in service, ambience, and their distinct architecture. The Serena Beach Hotel in Mombasa does not disappoint either.
The hotel which is 30km away from the airport, hides in green surroundings that give it a cool and refreshing ambience. Its interior and exterior is typical Swahili architecture. When you are in Mombasa, the Serena Beach Hotel is a good choice for accommodation.
While here, remember to check out the to-die-for Maisha Club, and their massage parlour plus yoga area.
Get a feel of history at the Old Town
Mombasa is known for its great history. A tour of the famous Fort Jesus, which is over 100 years old is a sight to behold. Built in 1591 by order of King Philip I of Portugal then ruler of the joint Portuguese and Spanish Kingdoms, the fort was meant to serve as a military barracks for the Portuguese.
Later, during a coup d’état it was taken over by the Arabs. The UNESCO world heritage site has a museum, that has many of the ancient relics, including the cowrie shells that were used as exchange medium during the time, and Arabian swords, and armour.
You can also visit the Old Town, where many ancient structures have remained untouched over the years, with only a little renovation here and there. While here, you could drop by the African hotel, which was the first hotel in the area.
Swim in the Indian Ocean
A swimming costume is a must-have when you travel to Mombasa. You could go swimming in the Indian Ocean in the morning, lounge at the many white sand beaches, in the afternoon and go skinny dipping later in the evening.
The water close to the beach is very shallow, so it is safe for swimming.
You could go diving, boat riding, or even go on a glass boat cruise that enables you to catch a glimpse of the aquatic life in the Indian Ocean. From the star fish, to the water worms, this would be a breathtaking experience especially for a wildlife adventure.
Visit the crocodile park
Popularly known as the Mamba Village, the crocodile park in Mombasa has over 10,000 crocodiles. Everything you need to know about these reptiles is availed to you while on tour of this area.
You can also have some crocodile meat at the Mamba Restaurant that is in the park.