As the second-biggest city in Kenya Mombasa is an important center of trade due to also being the largest port as well. That however is only part of what makes this city so great – great beaches, a mixture of cultures and travelers from across the globe, wonderful and rich marine life and great accommodation are mostly what people enjoy here.
What truly makes a trip to Mombasa worth the money you’ve put into this is the unique and beautiful culture the locals have and the blend between the familiar and the mysterious which permeates the land here. If you feel like spending time looking for entertainment you can find a lot of night clubs here to fill your needs: The Bora Bora night club which offers cabaret dances (with local and Russian dancers no less), the huge Mamba International Night Club with its thirteen bars and incredible capacity. The music in these venues will be a blend between reggae, rap, dance and traditional African rhythms to truly make you feel part of the land. If you feel like gambling instead there are also a number of casinos to suit your flavor of gambling vice – you will find them around town with ease.
If it is historical sites and spots of cultural significance that catch your heart then you should visit Fort Jesus, a 16th century Portuguese fortress which served as a center for the slave trade which was unfortunately so popular back in those days. Other items which were moved through here were spices, precious metals and gems obtained on the continent and so on. Today you can still see the cannons the Portuguese used to defend the fortress. Another place you would want to visit that conveys the most about the local culture and history is the Old Town. It carries heavy influences from the time when the Arabs were a major part of the local cultures, the architecture and designs used here are a reminder of those days. You’ll be able to find a lot of good shops for curios and souvenirs as well as wonderful antiques. It is best to do the trip around here with an experienced guide as it is easy to get lost around the small, narrow streets.
The great cultural diversity of Mombasa also brought a good number of Hindu temples which you’ll be able to visit. The local gurus will gladly explain about the history of the temple and the meaning of their faith for those who want to learn something new. The Gedi Ruins are a place any history buff as they are very well-preserved. The ruins were the home of thousands of Swahili who were once ruled by a rich and powerful sultan around the 15th century. A great tour is offered here where you’ll learn a great deal about the ancient settlement and its historical background. The Gedi ruins are a place of national and cultural significance protected by the Kenyan government, so a lot of efforts were put to restore the previous glory of the rock buildings while keeping them undamaged.
But before you go anywhere you shouldn’t leave on an empty stomach, right? The local cuisine is exceptional – you’ll be able to find traditional African food and European cuisine often on the same streets. You’ll be able to enjoy anything from Italian to Chinese and Indian food served in some great locations. A local favorite and a traditional meal you should at least try once is the “Nyama choma”, the traditional Kenyan barbecue with a spicy taste to it. You should also try the wonderful Swahili dishes offered around town as well before you return to your place of origin.
Angela Harpert is an avid traveler and adventurer by nature. She instantly falls in love with new places, new cultures and undiscovered “treasuries”, constantly finding inspiration and fascination behind every corner. For more information visit: http://polartraveller.com/