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Romantic Date Ideas In Mombasa

Top Romantic Things to Do on Kenya’s Coastal Region

February, the month of love, is here once again, and what better way to celebrate your love than with a romantic getaway in Kenya’s stunning coastal region?
With its pristine beaches, lush forests, and exotic culture, this idyllic location provides the perfect setting for couples to create unforgettable memories. Whether you are seeking peace and serenity or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Kenya’s coastal region has something to offer every couple.
In this article, we will guide you through 9 of the most romantic things to do in the coastal region, ensuring you and your loved one have a magical and memorable experience. So grab your sweetheart, pack your bags, and let the romance begin!

Stroll Along the Beach

Taking a leisurely walk with your loved one along the serene shoreline is a timeless and romantic experience. The tranquil sound of the waves and the refreshing sea breeze provides a serene atmosphere for a heart-to-heart conversation or simply cherishing each other’s presence.
Kenya’s coastal region is renowned for its picturesque and pristine beaches, surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Some of the most picturesque beaches include Diani beach, Mombasa beach, Shela beach, Nyali beach, Bofa beach, Watamu beach pirates beach Kikambala among others.

Dine in Exotic Places

A romantic dinner is a staple for couples looking to create memories together. Couples searching for a romantic dining experience will find a world of options in Kenya’s coastal region. From outdoor beachfront dining to intimate candlelit dinners, there is a culinary adventure waiting for every kind of lovebird.
One dining experience not to be missed is Ali Barbour cave restaurant in Diani. This unique restaurant is set in an old cave that has a huge hole at the top. The atmosphere is set with the gentle flickering of candles, drawing diners’ gaze toward the sparkling stars above.
This impressive cave-turned-restaurant Specializes in international cuisines, specifically seafood, vegetarian, and meat dishes, with a blend of classic Swahili recipes and contemporary culinary creations.

Go on a Picnic

Nothing beats the romance of a picnic in nature surrounded by the beauty and peace of the environment. A picnic in Kenya’s coastal region is a magical experience that will leave you with memories to cherish forever. The best part? Picnics are budget-friendly and relaxed, making them the perfect option for couples who want to spend quality time together.
Kenya’s coastal region offers plenty of stunning picnic spots with unique scenery. You can either organize the picnic yourself or hire professional picnic organizers who come fully equipped with everything you need, including wine and a photographer to capture the memories. Some of the most popular picnic spots include the beaches, Jumba la Mtwan in Mtwapa, the Butterfly Pavilion, and Nguuni Nature Santuary, which offers an out-of-Africa experience with giraffes roaming freely in the background, providing the perfect backdrop for those Instagram-worthy shots of your romantic picnic.

Go Wild Together

There’s something undeniably romantic about exploring the wild together. From spotting big game to admiring breath-taking landscapes, a safari in Kenya’s coastal region is the perfect opportunity for couples to bond and create new memories. The shared experience of being in the presence of awe-inspiring wildlife and nature is a moment that will be, cherished forever.

The coastal region of Kenya offers a variety of safari options to suit different preferences. For the adventurous couple not concerned about the budget, a luxury camping safari is the way to go. With high-end tents, comfortable bedding, and gourmet meals in the heart of nature. Couples can spend their days exploring the wild and their nights snuggled up under the stars.

For couples who prefer a more relaxed experience, a group safari is a more affordable option. This type of safari offers the opportunity to meet other travellers and share the excitement of the wild.

Adopt an elephant

Romantic Date Ideas In Mombasa
Romantic Date Ideas In Mombasa

Adopting an elephant is a unique and heart-warming experience that will bring couples closer together and provide a lifetime of memories. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and a wonderful way to make a difference in the world.

Adopting an elephant is a unique and heart-warming way for couples to show their love and support for wildlife conservation. The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, founded in 1977 by Daphne Sheldrick provides a platform for people to adopt an orphaned elephant and be a part of their journey toward recovery and release back into the wild.
For just a small fee, couples can contribute to the conservation of this magnificent species and support the efforts of the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.
In addition to the emotional benefits of adopting an elephant, you will receive regular updates about the adopted elephant, a certificate of adoption, a photo of the elephant, and the opportunity to visit the elephant at the orphanage.

Stay in exotic places

Escape the ordinary this February and choose a romantic stay in a picturesque location that will reignite your love and leave you rejuvenated. Couples searching for a romantic getaway will find a wealth of exotic accommodation options in Kenya’s coastal region, from luxurious private islands to tents in the heart of Tsavo. There is an option for every budget and holiday idea to fit your needs.
The allure of staying in exotic places lies in the intimate details, from breath-taking sunsets to breath-taking landscapes. Couples can fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the coastal region, by choosing the perfect accommodation to make their romantic escape.
For those seeking luxury, a private island is a perfect choice. With private access to the island, couples can enjoy seclusion and romance, from sunrise breakfast on the beach to sunset dinner under the stars. There’s nothing quite like the intimacy and opulence of staying on a private island.
For budget-conscious couples, there are numerous beachfront cottages and resorts in the coastal region that offer stunning ocean views, comfortable rooms, and access to amenities such as spas, restaurants, and activities. These resorts offer a perfect escape for couples seeking a romantic getaway.

Visit Lamu

The romance of traveling to Lamu lies in the simplicity of the experience. Lamu archipelago is home to Lamu island, a place like no other in Kenya with its streets free of cars and its pace of life being set by the gentle sway of donkeys on land or boats on the water. The village of Shela is particularly romantic, with its narrow alleyways, while the more luxurious Manda Bay and Manjlis Hotel offer expensive resorts.
However, the true beauty of Lamu lies in its sunset dhow cruises, where traditional Swahili dhows set sail, loaded with snacks and friendly crew. As the dhows lean into the wind, the sails swaying between turquoise waters and a sky of infinite blue, with ancient thick green mangroves overhead, the magic of Lamu comes alive.
As the sunset begins the dhows line up at the open sea in the mangroves, offering a priceless opportunity to watch the sun sinking beneath the horizon and the sky turning into a beautiful canvas of orange and yellow hues. With a bit of luck, you may even be treated to the rare phenomenon of a blue moon lighting up the sky as you embark on your dhow cruise. The beauty of the sunset over the water, the mangroves, and the endless blue sky will leave you in awe and fill your heart with a sense of peace and happiness.

Live music and food

The coastal region of Kenya is a hub for live music, with a plethora of venues offering live music performances by local and international artists. A night out to enjoy live music with your significant other is a great way to add some extra excitement to your relationship. Whether you prefer an intimate jazz bar, a lively concert, or a romantic dinner with live music, sharing a musical experience is a special moment.

For a unique and romantic experience take Tamarind Dhow. This dhow restaurant offers live music during dinner take a cruise around Mombasa’s old town while savouring a tantalizing seafood meal. The cruise departs from the Tamambo Jetty and serenely sails up the Tudor Creek to a quiet spot where the dhow moors. Onboard the resident band offers a wide choice of dance music, from the latest hits to the golden oldies, providing a magical way to wind up your day on the Kenyan coast. With unrivalled views of the twinkling lights of Mombasa and the starlit sky

Thrilling Adventures

The Kenyan coastal region is a perfect adventure hub for couples seeking a thrilling experience. Whether it’s skydiving in Diani, kite surfing, hiking, scuba diving, or go-karting, the options for excitement are endless. The shared experience of conquering a new challenge will not only bring couples closer but also create long-lasting memories. Skydiving in Diani is a must-try experience offered by the Skydive Diani team, providing an opportunity for couples to leap into the skies and free fall towards a beach landing. This heart-pumping adventure is available at any time of the year, weather and tides permitting. So, gear up for a unique and exciting adventure with your significant other in Kenya’s coastal region.

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Mombasa Tide Chart (28th – 3rd Feb 2023 )

Whether you are planning to cast your line, hit the open water, or visit the nearest sandbank we’ve made it easy for you to check the tide forecast to help you plan your safe and exciting adventure.

Use the chart below to help you plan your day around the tides, and check back daily to see the updated forecast for up to a month in advance!

Sunrise & Sunset

DayTide times for Mombasa District
1nd Tide2rd Tide3th Tide 4th TideSunsetSunrise
Sat 28
2:19am 0.8 m8:23am 2.9 m2:28pm 0.7 m9:00pm 3.1 m 6:25am

 6:43pm
Sun 29
3:14am 1.1 m8:23am 2.9 m3:14pm 1 m9:59pm 2.9 m6:25am
 6:43pm
Mon 30
4:28am 1.3 m10:21am 2.3 m4:17pm 1.3 m11:20pm 2.7 m6:25am
6:43pm
Tue 31
6:15am 1.4 m12:10pm 2.1 m5:52pm 1.4 m 6:26am
 6:43pm
Wed 1
12:55am 2.7 m7:54am 1.3 m1:54pm 2.2 m7:28pm 1.4 m 6:26am
 6:43pm

Thu 2
2:10am 2.9 m8:52am 1.1 m2:54pm 2.4 m8:32pm 1.2 m 6:26am
6:43pm

Fri 3
3:01am 3.1 m9:31am 0.9 m9:17pm 1 m 6:26am
 6:43pm
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Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

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Nguuni nature sanctuary
Nguuni nature santuary

Nguuni nature sanctuary Mombasa offers a one-of-a-kind experience for those who are enamoured by the elegance of giraffes. Here, you can come face to face with these majestic creatures as they roam freely in their natural habitat.

With the recent downpour of the late April rains, Nguuni nature sanctuary will soon be under a lush green coat of grass flecked with colourful wildflowers. Creating a picture of what Africa should be; miles of open fields where giraffes gracefully roam free, randomly snaking away. A place where the skyline lacks the very destructive human touch.
Just ten minutes away from Bamburi, Nguuni Nature Sanctuary is a reclaimed 28 acres patch of land adorned with acacia trees, shrubs, and ponds. Once considered infertile and inhabitable, Nguuni’s nature sanctuary is a result of one man’s ( Dr. Rene Haller) vision that saw an exhausted quarry turned into an oasis where animals and birds now thrive.

The sanctuary is home to families of giraffes, onyx, birds, snakes, bees, and elands.
It provides a perfect picnic location set against a stunning backdrop with a healthy number of giraffes that will happily photobomb you, giving you Instagram-worthy out-of-Africa pictures enough to give any influencer a tone of the much-coveted likes.

Nguuni nature sanctuary

The scenery dramatically changes with the change of seasons. During the wet months of the year, this expanse of wilderness transitions into a photogenic green landscape with lots of colourful wildflowers, and when the rain goes, it turns into a savanna landscape. The wet months offer the most beautiful scenery. Though muddy and sometimes slippery( if you are walking) a visit during the days when the rain breaks and the sky is clear is the most preferable for me. The afternoons are better as the guides hold animal feeding sessions, and you get a bonus of the sun setting behind the Nguu Tatu Hills.

The sanctuary offers picnic grounds, an events area, camping grounds public library, and a dispensary for the locals.
My thoughts: The management could consider adding a few other species like zebras and maybe another ostrich to keep the one already there company.
Who goes here: Families, couples, friends, and solo travellers
What to wear: closed-toe footwear if trekking up, comfortable clothing, a hat, and sunscreen.

What to bring: a happy attitude, friends, snacks and a camera.

Guides are available upon request at the entrance.

Admission Rates at Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

When it comes to admission rates, Nguuni nature sanctuary offers different prices for residents and non-residents. Resident adults can enjoy the sanctuary at a cost of Kshs.350.00 while non-resident adults will be charged Kshs.800.00. This allows visitors who live locally to enjoy the beauty of the sanctuary at a more affordable price.

Hours: Everyday from 9:00 – 5:00

Contact: 0700 337068

Location: Off Kiembeni Road, Mombasa

Reminders, always respect wild animals.

Nguuni nature sanctuary
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Hell's kitchen

KILIFI COUNTY

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Kilifi county is one of the six counties that make up the Coastal region of Kenya, it’s located northeast of Mombasa. Kilifi county was a result of the merging of the Malindi and Kilifi districts in 2009. It borders Tana River county to the North, Taita Taveta County to the West, Mombasa, and Kwale to the South, and the Indian Ocean to the East.

Quick facts

Kilifi county is one of the six counties that make up the Coastal region of Kenya, it's located northeast of Mombasa.

Capital – Kilifi town

Population – 1,453,787 as of the 2019 census

Size– 12,245.90 km2 (4,728.17 sq mi)

Subdivisions

  • Kilifi North
  • Kilifi South
  • Kaloleni
  • Rabai
  • Ganze
  • Malindi
  • Magarini

Climate and Geography

The weather is generally warm throughout the year (above 25 °C) with two seasons of moderate rainfall (about 800–1000 mm). Long periods of rain start around March and last into July, while the short periods start around October and last until December.

The terrain is generally flat with sandy-loamy soils

Attractions around Kilifi county

  • Watamu Marine National Park
  • Arabuko Sokoke National Park
  • Malindi Marine National Park
  • Gedi ruins
  • Watamu Marine
  • Malindi Museum
  • Marine park
  • Rabai Museum
  • Matungu Public beach
  • Kaya forest
  • Tropical beaches
  • Jumba ruins
  • Vuma cliffs
  • Marafa Hell’s kitchen
  • Mida creek
  • Mabrui dunes
  • Wasini island
  • Vasco da Gama pillar

Transportation

Kilifi county has a well-connected road system, and most areas in the county, are easily accessed by a regular vehicle. 

The easiest way for the locals to get around is via Matatus (minibusses), tuk-tuk ( rickshaws), or boda-boda ( motorbike taxi )

Air Transport

Malindi is home to malindi airport, which is located 2.5 Km west of Malindi Town off Mombasa-Malindi road. Regional airlines frequent the airport some twice a day.

Accommodation in Kilifi county

From private beach villas to barefoot luxury resorts, kilifi COUNTY has enough options to suit all tastes, budgets, and trip types. Whether you’re looking for an exclusive island getaway or a remote off-the-beaten-track beach holiday, our selection of accommodation is sure to inspire you. Browse through the accommodation section or contact us directly

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Taita-Taveta County

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Taita-Taveta county is one of the six counties that make up the Pwani region block of Kenya. It borders kajiado county to the west -makueni , kitui, and tana river counties to the north, kilifi and kwale county to the east, and Tanzania to the south.

Quick facts
Taita-Taveta county is one of the five counties that make up the Pwani region block of Kenya.

Population: 340,671 as of 2019
Capital city: Mwatate
Weather: Tropical with an average of temperatures 32°C
Seasons: Main rainy season between mid-April
Short rains in late May, October, and November

Location

Taita Taveta County is approximately 360 km southeast of Nairobi and 200 km northwest of Mombasa, it’s a port and gateway to the United Republic of Tanzania through Taveta town.

Taita-taveta county consists of four sub-counties:

  • Taveta
  • Wundanyi
  • Mwatate
  • Voi

Climate

The climate in Taita-Taveta is semi-arid, the highest average temperature is 31°C in February and the lowest is 27°C in July. The lower regions receive an average of 440 mm of rain per annum, whereas the highlands receive up to 1900 mm. Altitudes range from 500 metres, above sea level to almost 2300 m at the highest point in the county Vuria Peak.

Attractions In Taita-Taveta County

Even though Taita-Taveta doesn’t have a coastline like all the other counties in the coastal region, it has plenty to offer its visitors. It covers an area of 17084.1km2 with 10,649.9 km2 being within Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, the remaining 5,876 km2 consists of small-scale farms, ranches, sisal estates, and water bodies (such as Lakes Chala and Jipe in Taveta and Mzima springs), and the hilltop forests.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions include

  • Lakes: Lake jipe and Lake Chala
  • Mountains: Kisigau Mountain
  • Hills: Taita Hills and Shomoto Hill
  • Aruba Dam
  • Mudanda Rock
  • Yatta plateau
  • Lugard falls
  • Tsavo national reserve
  • Shetani Lava Flow
  • Mzima Springs

Accommodation options in Taita-Taveta County

Ranging from private safari camps to budget friendly camping sites Taita-Taveta county has plenty of options to suit all tastes, budgets, and trip types. Browse through the accommodation section or contact us for your perfect holiday.

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Friends go karting in Kenya

Mombasa Go-Kart

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Located just 15 km from Mombasa’s city center, Go-Kart Mombasa is a popular family-friendly attraction and a must-visit destination for speed kings and queens. First opened in 2004 under the management of its Swiss owner, this facility has been providing a thrilling grand-Prix experience for all its visitors. Whether you’re a family looking for a fun-filled bonding time, or a group of friends looking for an exciting day out, Go-Kart Mombasa is the place to be.

Kart racing at Mombasa Go-Kart

Go kart in mombasa
Go- kart Mombasa

The 500m track at Go-Kart Mombasa is designed for speed lovers, with several rights or left sweeping curves and straights for the speeding petrol heads to test their skills. The 200cc karts can reach a maximum speed of 75km per hour, and there are three categories to choose from, with varying levels of difficulty. The karts are well-built and maintained to international standards, and safety helmets are available for each competitor. All lap times are recorded, and regular updates are announced, creating an authentic racing environment. There are two main viewing decks, one from the restaurant and a lower level one beneath the restaurant under the trees where the spectators can cheer their favorite drivers or get a photo of their loved ones in action. The Go-karting Mombasa prices vary according to the number of tracks, with all drivers getting a total of 10 laps on all levels. Minimum age and height restrictions apply, with the speed for younger or shorter kids lowered to 10km per hour.

Paintballing at Mombasa Go-Kart

Go-Kart Mombasa offers various paintballing games to keep the opponents involved and enhance competitiveness. The most popular one is ‘the capture flag’, which involves two teams trying to capture a flag provided by the facility and trying to elect it in the opponent’s base without being shot. The paintballing experience is a great way to bond with friends and family while having a thrilling experience.

Dining at Mombasa Go-kart

The Plane Lounge Café

Experience dining in a piece of history at the Plane Lounge: the newest addition to Go-Kart Mombasa’s list of facilities. Built from a DC3;ZK-BBJ airplane, that was once used in World War II. The plane lounge cafe was renovated and repurposed it into a unique restaurant. Not only can you dine in style, but you can also spend the night in one of our six guest rooms. Prices start at just 500 per person to enjoy the ambiance or host your party for 20,000.

The main restaurant

There’s also a full restaurant and a bar that offers a variety of Kenyan dishes and a few hand-picked Swiss specialties including cheese fondue and raclette.

Other activities to be enjoyed at Mombasa Go-Kart

Other activities to be enjoyed at the facility include Archery Tag, Rodeo Bull Ride, Hi-Strike, VR-Rollercoaster, 9-Pin Bowling.

Animals at Mombasa Go-Kart

Go-Kart Mombasa is also home to several animals, including a llama, 2 donkeys, fish, and goats among others, making it a perfect destination for animal lovers as well.

Other Info

Opening Hours: 10:00-01:00
Location: behind the Shanzu Petrocity Petro Station.
How to get there: Take the Mtwapa matatus from the Mombasa CBD, the fare is normally 70sh during the day. The fare might hike during the rush hours.

Website: Mombasa Go-Kart (mombasa-gokart.com)
Contacts: 0721485247


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siyu fort

Discovering Kenya’s Rich History: Must-See 15 Historic Sites in Kenya’s Coastal Region ( Mombasa )

Embark on a journey through time and discover the rich history of Kenya’s Coastal region and its surroundings. From ancient ruins to colonial landmarks, this coastal region of Kenya is home to a captivating array of historic sites that are just waiting to be explored. So, buckle up and get ready to be amazed, as we take you on a tour of 15 must-visit historic sites that you cannot afford to miss in and around Mombasa!

Historic Sites In Lamu County

Lamu Old Town

historic sites in Mombasa

Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa; It’s built in coral stone and mangrove timber, the town is characterized by the simplicity of structural forms enriched by such features as inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors. Unlike other Swahili settlements, abandoned along the East African Coast, Lamu has been inhabited continuously for over 700 years. With a core comprising a collection of buildings on 16ha, Lamu has maintained its social and cultural integrity, as well as retaining its authentic building fabric up to the present day. The town is characterized by narrow streets and magnificent stone buildings with impressive curved doors, influenced by a unique fusion of Swahili, Arabic, Persian, Indian and European building styles. The buildings on the seafront, with their arcades and open verandas, provide a unified visual impression of the town when approaching it from the sea. The vernacular buildings are internally decorated with painted ceilings, large niches (madaka), small niches (zidaka), and pieces of Chinese porcelain.

The Lamu Fort

The construction of Lamu Fort commenced in 1813, shortly after Lamu’s victory over Pate and Mombasa in the battle of Shela. The main building task was reputedly undertaken with the cooperation of Seyyid Said, the Sultan of Oman, who was cultivating a promising new alliance with Lamu at the time. Upon its completion in about 1821, the Fort marked the southern corner of the traditional stone town and served as a garrison for Baluchi soldiers sent by the Sultan of Oman. Its protective presence encouraged new development around it. For example, it was at this time that some Lamu merchants erected the 19th-century shop front and buildings. By 1900 the Fort had become central to the community, a role which it still plays today.
Between 1910 and 1984, the Fort served as a prison for both the British colonial regime and the Kenya government, and it was handed over to the National Museums of Kenya in 1984. Today, the Fort houses a library with an excellent collection of Swahili poetry and reference material on Lamu. The courtyard is available for weddings, meetings, and theatre productions.

Lamu House

The Lamu house is built on the seafront, overlooks the beautiful Manda Island, and is also part of the Lamu museum. The house gives its visitors a glimpse into the traditional Swahili home setup, an example of 18th-century Swahili houses. It depicts the lifestyle that the wealthy Swahili merchants enjoyed in the olden days. It was built by a wealthy Swahili merchant who later on abandoned the house for the mainland; it was eventually acquired and renovated by the National Museums of Kenya.

Takwa ruins

historic sites in Mombasa

The position of the site at the narrowest location on the whole island was most probably a strategy. The Takwa ruins are remnants of a once-thriving Swahili town between the 15th and 16th centuries. The unique Friday Mosque with a large pillar atop the qibla wall is among the most notable features. This pillar is believed to symbolize the burial of a Sheikh below the wall.
Takwa’s position/location with shallow waters must have been of considerable importance, especially during its peak, when many of the sails that came into view were likely to be hostile. Therefore access to the site must have been primarily from the shallow channel, which could only admit vessels of shallow draft. Takwa’s eventual abandonment in the 17th century was due to the salinization of the once-fresh water and endless fighting between Takwa and the Pate people. These ruins were gazetted as a National Monument in 1982.

German Post Office

historic sites in Mombasa

German nationals Clement Denhardt and G. A. Fisher first made contact with the Lamu hinterland in the late 1870s. They soon struck a friendship with Ahmed Abdullah Simba, the Sultan of Witu, who at the time was having problems with the rulers of Lamu and Zanzibar and so welcomed a new ally. Shortly afterward, Witu became a German protectorate. This building was the first German Post Office ever established along the East African Coast. The Post office was established on November 22nd, 1888, by the Germans, led by Clement Denhardt. At the time, the communications and trade contacts for the German Protectorate in Witu could be served through Lamu, a well-established town with links to the outside world. The Post office operated for more than two years before its closure on March 3rd, 1891, after the withdrawal of the German settlement in Witu.

The Siyu Fort

siyu fort a historic gem

The Siyu Fort is the only Fort around the coastal region constructed by a local resident. It is located in the coastal province in the Pate Island area of Lamu district, opposite Siyu town. The Fort was built by one of Siyu’s leaders, Bwana Mataka (Mohammed Ishaq bin Mbarak bin Mohamed bin Oman Famau), in the 19th century to safeguard Siyu residents from Omani Arab domination. He also rebuilt much of the town.

Historic Sites To see In Mombasa County

Fort Jesus

The Portuguese built Fort Jesus in 1593. The site chosen was a coral ridge at the entrance to the harbour. The Fort was designed by an Italian Architect and Engineer, Joao, Batista Cairato. Fort Jesus was built to secure the safety of Portuguese living on the East Coast of Africa. It has had a long history of hostilities among the interested parties that used to live in Mombasa. Between 1631 and 1875, the Fort was won and lost nine times by the nations contesting control of Kenya. On October 24th, 1958, Fort Jesus was declared a National Park and became a Museum in 1962. The Fort is now an important historical landmark in the East African region.

Mombasa old town

Historic Sites To see In Mombasa County

Mombasa Old Town Covers an area of 72 hectares (180 acres) and is inhabited by a mix of local, Arab, Asian, Portuguese, and British settlers. These groups’ various social, political, religious, and economic activities have created a distinct character and culture that has come to define this old town. The visible aspect of this unique character is a collection of historical buildings dating from the 18th century, which combines African, Arabic, and European influences. Many of these buildings still exist, with beautifully carved doors and elegantly styled balconies attached to their turn-of-the-century facades.

The African Hotel

The Africa Hotel Located in the old town, the African hotel was built over 100 years ago and was the 1st hotel in Kenya and began its operations in 1901. Visitors are invited inside to view the architecture, plus a photo gallery that captures those times. The Africa Hotel hosted business travelers and government officials in its glory days.

Leven House

The history of Leven House dates back to 1824. It is a fact that many of its occupants were important people and institutions. The house stands out due to the distinct architectural work different from the traditional housing structures that make up Mombasa’s old town. Leven House was named after HMS Leven, a British naval survey ship that docked at the Coast in 1824. The house was later gazetted as a national monument under the Mombasa Old Town Conservation Area. And in 1997, the National Museums of Kenya took over the ownership of the house. It now acts as the headquarters of museums on the Coast.

Historic Sites To See In Kilifi County

Vasco da Gama Pillar

Constructed in 1498 in Malindi, Kilifi County, Vasco da Gama Pillar is one of the oldest European monuments in Africa. It is named after Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer. The coral column is topped by a cross made of Lisbon stone, which almost certainly dates from the explorer’s time. Impressively Standing on a cliff, the pillar was a remake of the first pillar and was erected as a navigational aid.

Gede Ruins

Gede ruins are the remains of a Swahili town that traces its origin to the twelfth century,

historic sites in Mombasa; gede ruins

but It was rebuilt with new town walls in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At its peak during the fifteenth century, the town had numerous inhabitants and was considered wealthy. This enormous wealth is evidenced by the presence of multiple ruins, comprising a conglomeration of mosques, a magnificent palace, and houses, all nestled in 45 acres of a primeval forest, at its peak during the fifteenth century. But the last families left the town in the first half of the seventeenth century. Sir John Kirk, a British resident of Zanzibar, 1884 first visited it in. Over forty years later, in 1927, it was gazetted as a Historical Monument. Two years later, in 1929, it was declared a “protected monument,” In the late thirties, the Public Works Department carried out work on preserving its crumbling walls. Soon after the repairs in 1948, it was declared a National Park, and an Archaeologist was appointed as the warden.

Jumba ruins

historic sites in Mombasa

Jumba la Mtwana is a picturesque ruined village that is thought to have been built in the fourteenth century but abandoned early in the fifteenth century. The principal inhabitants were Muslims. The village contained four mosques, a tomb, and four houses within this area. These houses include the House of the Cylinder, The House of the Kitchen, and The House of the Many.
Pools, The clearance and excavation of the area was first done in 1972 by James Kirkman, and in 1982, Jumba la Mtwana was gazetted as a National Monument.

More resources: Museums of Kenya

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Tana River county

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Named after the longest river in Kenya (Tana River)Tana River county covers an area of 35,375.8 square kilometers and is home to a population of 262,684 according to the 2012 census. The county is divided into three divisions – Bura, Galole, and Garsena ( Hola or Galole is the capital city)
Tana river county borders Kitui County to the West, Garissa County to the North East, Isiolo County to the North, Lamu County to the South East, and Kilifi County to the South.
The main source of income for the residents of Tana river is agriculture and pastoralism.

Attractions

The landscape here comprises several areas of forest, woodland, and grassland. The most notable landmarks are two rivers (The Tana river and the Lagas river) and Bilbil hills. These two rivers are a source of water for irrigation in the county.
The main attraction sites in Tana River are the Kora National Park, Arawale National Reserve, Tana Primate National Reserve. Tana river county is home to several Monkeys, lions, Zebras, Elephants, and Birds.
Other attractions include inselbergs, Grand Falls, wilderness, Sand Dunes, Riverine Forest, Mangrove, Woodland, Kora rapids, and George Adamson’s grave.

Climate

The county lies on a semi-arid area with an average rainfall of less than 600ml per year. The daily temperature ranges between 29.61º to 30ºC.

How To Get To Tana River County

By Road

The county is situated 280km northwest of Nairobi and can be easily accessed via road through Thika, Mwingi road passing through Kyuso village.

By Air

Hola town is home to a small civilian airport (Hola Airport)serving Hola and surrounding communities.

Accommodations In Tana River County

The main accommodation options here include Kipini Tana River Lodge, Tana River Lodge, Delta Dunes Lodge, and Kipini Conservancy House. Browse through our accommodation section for information on the above facilities

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Vuria hill of Taita Taveta rises above the plains of Tsavo West National Park, it's the highest peak of the Taita hills.

Vuria Hill

by admin

Discovering Vuria Hill: A Guide to Taita Taveta’s Highest Peak

Vuria Hill is an inselberg in Mwanda Mgange ward, Wundanyi constituency in Taita Taveta county, Kenya. With an elevation of 2,228 meters above sea level, it rises above the semi-arid plains of Tsavo West National Park, making it the highest peak of the Taita hills. The Taita Hills are tropical montane cloud forests forming the northernmost outlier of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and southeast Kenya.

The Formation and Biodiversity of Vuria Hill  

The Taita hills, including Vuria Hill, were formed from repeated uplifts and faults millions of years ago, causing the rising of the central plateau, also known as Kenya/Tanzania highlands. Having been in isolation for millions of years, the plants and animals in Taita hills have gradually evolved and produced a unique and complex biodiversity.

Attractions at Vuria Hill

The caves

One of the main attractions at Vuria Hill is the caves. Nestled in the belly of the majestic Vuria hill is a series of gapping caves that were once used by Mwangeka Wa Malowa, a Senior Chief and a heroic Taita warrior who led the community’s resistance against British rule. Some caves served as armories, whereas others served as living quarters.
Today the caves are an important cultural and spiritual site for the Taita community. A place where the remains of their elders are preserved and the living can visit to offer sacrifices, ward off bad omens and invite blessings to the community.

Floral and fauna

Forests in Vuria hills are conserved and managed by Kenya Forest Service and are home to a variety of endemic and threatened flora and fauna including; birds, snakes, frogs, butterflies, and at least nine plant species.
Forests in Vuria hills are conserved and managed by Kenya Forest Service and are home to a variety of endemic and threatened flora and fauna including, birds, snakes, frogs, butterflies, and at least nine plant species.

Activities

Hiking & sightseeing

The roads are good, and the drive there is an attraction by itself with sharp corners that wind up the hill offering beautiful views of the lowlands.
The trail to the summit is well-maintained and marked, making it easy to follow. However, be prepared for a bit of a workout as the trail can be steep and rocky in some places, so hikers should be in good physical condition. The hike takes around 3-4 hours round trip, but it’s worth it for the breathtaking panoramic views of the Taita Hills, Tsavo West National Park, and the surrounding landscapes that the hike offers.
As you reach the summit, you’ll find a peaceful and serene spot to rest, take in the views, and enjoy a picnic before descending. The trail is suitable for hikers of all levels, but hikers should be prepared for the change in temperature and altitude as the climb gets steeper.

Birding

Owing to its rich biodiversity Taita hills forests are home to various species of birds including, Taita Apalis, Taita White-eye, and Taita Thrush, which are endemic to Taita hills.
Other notable birds include Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Taita Falcon, Grasshopper Buzzard, Madagascar Bee-eater, Lemon Dove, Hartlaub’s Turaco, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Orange Ground Thrush, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Yellowbill, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Brown-breasted Barbet, and Black-cheeked Waxbill.

Items to bring

Here are some items that you should consider bringing:
1. Hiking boots or sturdy shoes: Good footwear is essential for a safe and comfortable hike. Hiking boots or sturdy shoes provide support for your feet and ankles and help to prevent slips and falls.
2. Bring enough water to last for the duration of your hike.
3. Snacks and a packed lunch
5. Sun protection
7. Rain gear or a poncho
8. First aid kit
9. Map and compass
10. Warm clothing
11. Camera

Always check the weather forecast before your hike and plan accordingly. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or family member, and let someone know where you are going.

Have you visited Vuria hill lately? we’d love to hear about it, share your articles with our readers here or pictures on social media at @visitnyali on Instagram or Facebook

Useful links

Guides: https://naturekenya.org/2022/09/27/local-bird-guides/

Taita Hills: Taita Hills – Wikipedia

A Guide to Taita Hills: A Guide to Taita Hills: Unique Natural History – Lawrence Wagura – Google Books

All about Taita Hills: Taita – Animals of Taita, Kenya (animalstaita.com)

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The Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park, established in 1978, encompasses the Mpunguti and Kisite Islands. The Mpunguti Reserve spans 28 square kilometers, and the Kisite Island covers 11 square kilometers. Located 100 kilometers from Mombasa, visitors can access the park by boat from Shimoni, a small fishing village in the Kwale County near the Tanzania border. The park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park

From Shimoni to the reefs in Kisite-Mpunguti, it’s a 4-8 km boat ride, and on the way, you pass beautiful and unspoiled Wasini Island. Due to visibility, depth, wind, and waves, arriving at the reef for snorkelling around low tide is preferable. The exact time of the high and low tides varies daily, so it’s a good idea to check the tide timetables at the hotel before booking a dhow trip to Kiste-Mpunguti.
The dhows anchor at the edge of the reefs at depths between 4 and 8m. From here, you will have to swim forth and back to the reef, but the dhows should carry safety jackets and other floating devices to support the less experienced swimmers. If the wind and tide permit, the dhows usually return to Shimoni by sail in the afternoon. After a couple of hours of snorkelling, an excellent seafood lunch can be had – either on the boat or on Wasini island, depending on which company you book with. In Shimoni, there is an opportunity to visit the old slave caves where thousands of enslaved people from the inland were being held captive.

Marine Life in Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

Currently, around 250 varieties of marine fishes and over 40 varieties of coral species have been documented in Kisite-Mpunguti marine park. The area offers excellent opportunities for diving and snorkelling, and some of the marine species include parrotfish, triggerfish, moray eels, butterfly fish, angelfish, groupers, wrasses, scorpionfish, pufferfish, damselfish, rays, and snappers. You can see green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, and dolphins.
Dolphins visit the marine park almost daily, and it’s possible to jump in from an engine-powered engine-powered boat and swim with the dolphins for a limited amount of time.

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

Sizeable marine life is always seen at Shimoni caves and Nyuli reefs, and sharks and stingrays are familiar sights. Also, there are chances to spot humpback whales and whale sharks in Kisite-Mpunguti between August and October.
Corals like staghorn, brain, mushroom, lilac-blue, and lavender coral present great photo-taking opportunities. The coral’s colourful beauty is complemented by many yellow and red tuna and snappers, which are virtually unmatched.
Fishing is not allowed in the marine park, but deep-sea fishing lovers can travel further to the Pemba channel to catch large barracuda, marlin, sailfish, and kingfish.

Suppose you are not much into diving or snorkelling. In that case, we still recommend visiting Kisite-Mpunguti because the surroundings are so beautiful. Despite being costly, it is lovely to spend a day on the sea and maybe see some dolphins playing in the Indian Oceans’ deep blue waters.

Practical guidance

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
Photo © Mikkel Alexander Grabowski
  • Booking a trip to Kisite-Mpunguti marine park can be done at some of the larger hotels along the (south) coast, and they will provide transportation to Shimoni by bus, and from there, you will board on the dhow to reach the marine park. You can save a bit of money by booking with someone on the beach, but chances are they need to be authorized.
  • If you book with one of the dhow tours, the crew will provide you with a mask and snorkel of reasonably good quality (fins are discouraged as they might harm the corals), but if you want to be sure to have equipment that fits you well, you might consider bringing your own.
  • A camera and maybe binoculars would be great to bring with you on the boat and when you snorkel or dive.
  • If you haven’t yet become acclimatized to the scorching African sun, the ultraviolet exposure from a whole day on the sea in the tropics can give you severe sunburns that can ruin the rest of your holiday. Therefore you should bring a hat, sunglasses, some sunscreen with a high UV protection factor, and light clothes to shield exposed body parts from the sun. Also, some medicine to prevent sea sickness can come in handy while on the boat, as the sea can sometimes get rough.

Activities to be enjoyed at Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park

Diving, sunbathing, snorkelling, Bird watching, camping.

What to take with you

Footwear, e.g., sandals or flip flops (to protect your feet from the reef) and T-shirts (to protect your body from sunburn)
Snorkel, mask, fins, all of which are available for hire Camera, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent Friends Plenty of drinking water

Best time to visit.

The best time to visit the Kisite-Mpunguti marine park depends on each tourist’s activities, budget, and interests. For anglers’ enthusiasts, the period from August to October is excellent. June to December is perfect for observing Humpback whales as they migrate. For scuba divers and snorkelers, October to March is the best time to enjoy marine life. Low seasons will be preferable for those traveling on a budget or seeking quiet time.

PLEASE RESPECT THE MARINE WILDLIFE CODE

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski
  • Check local weather and sea conditions before entering the reserve.
  • Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything underwater.
  • Do not damage or remove the coral; it’s a living organism that takes many years to form and is host to many rare and endangered species.
  • Do not remove shells, starfish, or any other sea Flora or Fauna. Not only is it illegal, but also it can seriously disrupt the ecosystem, and some marine life is dangerous. The areas outside the park and reserves are threatened by excessive shell collection. Empty shell provides a home for hermit crabs and some fish.
  • Do not buy shells and other marine animal products as souvenirs, as this encourages further plundering of reefs.
  • Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastic waste with jellyfish and die if they eat it.
  • Hand-feeding fish is discouraged. It disrupts standard feeding patterns.
  • Hook and line fishing is allowed in marine reserves but prohibited.
  • Support traditional coastal livelihoods and industries, and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people in their habitat without asking for their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya, and always dress decently.

Admission fees

Admission fees for the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park are as follows:

For Citizens:

  • Adults: 215 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

For residents:

  • Adults: 215 KSH
  • Children: 125 KSH

For non-residents:

  • Adults: 17 USD
  • Children: 13 USD
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Wild Waters

by admin

Located on Links Road, Nyali, wild waters park features a full day of fun for the entire family – whether you take a thrilling plunge down the water slides, or just relax and float around the lazy river… there is something for everyone.
With over 15 adult and kids slides, wild waters also has  a water play station, a Raindance Arena, a variety of amusement and air rides, and bumper cars. In addition, we have a scrumptious food court selling cuisines from around the world, and an excellent bar.

Contact: info@wildwaterskenya.com / 0726 337000

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