Stunning beaches, enviable weather, and an overflowing
wealth of culture are just some of the things that Mombasa
Kenya has to offer. The Mombasa tourism possibilities
might not be known to most travelers, but you might be
surprised at just how great a vacation experience here
can be. Found on the southeast coast of Kenya, Mombasa
is one of the top Kenya vacation destinations, largely
due in part to the Mombasa beaches and the quality beach
resorts found in the area. The town of Mombasa is
actually found on Mombasa Island, which is separated from
the mainland by both Tudor Creek and Port Reitz Creek.
Mombasa is the only large seaport in Kenya, and it is
without question the country's top coastal vacation
destination. You could easily base yourself in Mombasa
Kenya during your visit, as it's quite easy to arrange
tours for all kinds of adventurous excursions. Plus, the
rich marine life found in the Indian Ocean here makes
for some wonderful scuba and snorkeling pursuits. When
the sun goes down, the fun doesn't stop, as Mombasa
transforms itself into a nightlife playground. Mombasa
tourism is surely worth looking into if you are looking
for a most unforgettable, tropical beach vacation.
The history of Mombasa is quite storied. As for the date when Mombasa Kenya was founded, that remains an overall mystery, but before the arrival of Portuguese explorers, the town had already long been an important trading center on the east African coast. The Swahili culture found in Mombasa today still maintains ancient customs and traditions, and these Muslim-based peoples can trace their lineage back to when Mombasa was becoming the important post that it still is. Most of what is known about early Mombasa Kenya history comes from the annals of early Portuguese travelers, who feather-penned most of their chronicles in the 16th century. The first European to land on the shores of Mombasa was none other than the Portuguese explorer, Vasco de Gama. Upon his arrival in 1498, he was not exactly welcomed with open arms by the locals. Earlier, in the year 1415, however, the great Chinese explorer, Zheng He, landed just north of Mombasa, in modern-day Malindi. Respectful of the peoples and cultures he found here, Zheng He offered the natives goods made of porcelain and silk. Supposedly, zebras and giraffes were among the gifts he got in return, and these curious African animals reportedly ended up in the Ming imperial zoo. Quite an odd development, to say the least.
The Portuguese moved in to sack and capture Mombasa in and around the year 1500 AD, forming a relationship with the then King of Malindi. By 1502, the sultanate that was this area separated from the Kilwa Kisiwani community, which was in those days east Africa's most powerful city. In 1528, the Portuguese returned to once again raid Mombasa, and by 1592, they had firmly established a stronghold. One of the most intriguing vestiges of Mombasa's past is Fort Jesus, which was built by the Portuguese in 1593. It wasn't until the 1800"s that Fort Jesus got its present-day name, which curiously enough does not refer to the Jesus as most know Jesus, but instead in honor of then ruler of the Al Bin Ali Al Utbi Tribe, Isa Bin Tarif. In Arabic, "Jesus" translates to "Isa", hence the name. Mombasa became a Portuguese colony in 1638, though it would change hands often, eventually falling under control of Omani Arabs. The city would come under British rule in the latter half of the 1800"s. In 1963, Kenya gained its independence from the British, and Mombasa was thus freed from foreign rule.
Fort Jesus is the most popular Mombasa tourism draw, apart from the Mombasa beaches. Strolling through Old Town Mombasa is a joy, if not for the architectural and linguistic influences from the days of Arab rule, but also for the curio shops here that certainly make for fun Kenya shopping. Many inhabitants in Old Town Mombasa Kenya are descendants of the past Arabs. Since Fort Jesus is found so close to Old Town, those enjoying Mombasa holidays can easily pair the two attractions together in one day. The city's Hindu Temple certainly further encourages Mombasa tourism, as do the Gedi Ruins north of town. Shoppers who travel Mombasa will not only enjoy perusing the goods in Old Town, but will also likely want to check out the Bombolulu Workshops, which employ over 150 disabled craftsmen and craftswomen. You'll certainly want to take a snap shot of the Mombasa Tusks while you travel Mombasa. Created to appease Queen Elizabeth during her visit in 1952, these "tusks" symbolize the ivory trade that Mombasa, and Kenya overall, was known for. They are shaped to form the letter "M", which represents the city's name.
Those who travel Mombasa and its environs might also consider a visit to Mamba Village, which is the largest crocodile farm in east Africa. Also, the Bamburi Nature Trail, which is a large animal sanctuary, certainly beckons those who are looking for fun things to do in Kenya. When the sun sets in Mombasa, you can enjoy a relaxing night, or find yourself partying well into the early morning. Close to most of the major hotels in Mombasa are a list of clubs, and some of the top Mombasa Kenya hotels offer their own clubs. Some of the most popular night clubs in Mombasa are found beachfront, which is quite nice. Mombasa is also known for its casinos, as well as its cinemas and Little Theatre Club, the latter of which puts on some fun shows. Dining is also a welcome pursuit for those enjoying Mombasa holidays, and besides plenty of fresh seafood, visitors can enjoy internationally-inspired cuisine, including, but not limited to, Indian, Italian, and Swahili. Mombasa tourism is certainly on the rise, evidence of which is reflected in the city's Moi International Airport, which now receives plenty of international flights to Kenya.