Fort Jesus is the most important tourist attraction in Mombasa, located along the coastline near the Old Town, is an imposing and fascinating piece of architecture that was built in the 16Th century by the Portuguese, an Italian architect and engineer, Joao Batista Cairato designed the Fort. Then changed hands many times in the next three centuries. It is strategically placed to protect the Old Harbor and overlook Old Town.
The Fort is currently a museum, serves as a host for the regional services of the National Library, a Conservation Lab, and an Old Town Conservation Office. The museum contains an exhibit of artifacts from the Portuguese gunner "Santo Antonio de Tanna" which sank in 1697, Fort Jesus museum also has torture rooms, prison cells, exhibits include weapons such as canons, pottery and ceramics recovered along the coast. The museum is open from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm.
To spend a day exploring the Fort is a great experience, but be careful of the many "guides" who tend to be persistent.
Old Town is an area of narrow streets and busy shops, situated in the eastern part of Mombasa Island. Old town is best seen when explored by foot with an experienced guide, you can enjoy its winding streets slicing between tall white buildings and stunning mosques such as Mandhry Mosque which was finished in 1570 and the Basheikh Mosque which was built around 1300.
Most of Old Town dates back only to the 19th century, it is a city with predominantly Muslim influence, is characterized by its Arab architecture and curios shops offering some fabulous buys. There are also some ancient tombs toward the north end of Old Town. Some of the places of interest to visit are Leven House, the old law courts and the Ndia Kuu (one of Mombassa's original old roads), takes no more than one day to see all the sights in Old Town.
Mamba Crocodile Village is situated about a 10 minute drive north of Mombasa Island on Nyali Beach; Mamba is the largest crocodile farm in East Africa, with over 10,000 crocodiles. During the day visitors can see the life cycle and behavior of these archaic reptiles, you will see from hatchings to 5 meter long adults.
There are also a snake park, camel and horse riding, and botanical gardens where you can see Orchids, aquatic plants and carnivorous species. The highlight for many visitors is when the crocodiles are fed, tourists can see them fighting for the meat. The park shuts at 7.00 pm.
There is also a Sports Bar and a restaurant on site, excellent cuisine is available at the Mamba Restaurant, it specializes in game meat such as crocodile, ostrich and zebra. Souvenirs of your visit can be bought at the Mamba shop situated within the village. When the park shuts, a disco opens.
The Jain temple near Old Town, is open daily from 10.00 am to 12.30 pm. It was the first Jain Temple built outside India; this magnificent creation was built and consecrated in the 1960s. This spectacular temple is adorned by a spire of gold, doors of solid silver and sculptures and figurines. Visitors must remove their shoes and anything made of leather and women are requested not to enter during their monthly period.
Jain Temple provides guided tours and an introduction to Jainism. Jainism known as Jain Dharma is an Indian religious belief contemporary with Buddhism and commonest in Gujarat. The Jain faith disallows the consumption of any kind of animal, Jains believe in an eternal universe governed by natural laws and they are usually friendly toward other faiths.
Address: Langoni Road near Digo Road, Mombasa, Kenya.
The Mombasa Tusks, situated in the city centre, lying directly on the path from the port to the town. The tusks are symbolic representations of the entrance to Mombasa town. The ceremonial arch was built in 1952 to celebrate the visit of Queen Elizabeth, when she visited Mombasa for her Kenyan Safari.
They are made of aluminum; the intersecting tusks form the shape of the letter M for Mombasa. It serves as a reminder of the many elephants killed for their tusks.
BAMBURI NATURE TRAIL
Haller Park, located in Mamburi next to the Cemetery Factory, is also known as The Bamburi Nature Trail is the largest animal sanctuary for a large number of flora and fauna species. Educational videos are shown, with emphasis on the history and continuous improvement of the trail.
In 1971, Dr René Haller rehabilitated Haller Park with a successful tree-planting effort, now the sanctuary boasts a large variety of animals, reptiles, insects and botanical gardens.
You can see several number of bird species (more than 160), several antelopes, Cape buffalo, crocodiles, giraffes, hippos, giant tortoise and zebras, each animal has a function on the Bamburi ecosystem.