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Mombasa, die größte Küstenstadt Kenias, Bild: PrzemoleC / shutterstock

Wildlife and pristine white beaches: dream holidays in Mombasa

With around 1.2 million inhabitants, Mombasa is a true metropolis and, after the capital Nairobi, the second largest city in Kenya. Many tourists from abroad visit Kenya to experience exciting safaris and get up close and personal with exotic wildlife. Safaris can of course also be undertaken from Mombasa. In addition, the city on the Indian Ocean is also ideal for a fantastic beach holiday. After all, the city is largely located on Mombasa Island. This is an island enclosed by the mainland on three sides with an area of 14 square kilometers. For example, Mombasa’s old town is located here, while some more modern districts are located on the mainland. All around there are numerous city beaches with pristine white sand.

Tips on how to get there and the best time to visit Mombasa

Fort Jesus Mombasa
Fort Jesus – medieval fortress in Mombasa, Kenya, Image: kavram / shutterstock

Mombasa is not served directly from Germany , usually a stopover is necessary. Nevertheless, the connections are good and frequent. The airport is about half an hour by car from downtown Mombasa. In addition to a passport, tourists also need a visa to enter the country, which can be applied for online before departure. If you would like to spend a beach holiday in Mombasa, it is best to travel between mid-December and mid-March. Because then it is the dry season and it hardly rains.

Temperatures are relatively constant around 30 degrees throughout the year. From the end of March to mid-June it is correspondingly warm, but then it is rainy season in and around Mombasa. If you are interested in a safari, Mombasa is preferably visited between June and October. At this time, most of the different wild animals can be admired, because this is the phase of the regular animal migration in Kenya.

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Mombasa’s most beautiful beaches

Beach in Mombasa
Fantastic beach in Mombasa, Image: Plun Lix / shutterstock

If you want to go to the beach in Mombasa, you are spoilt for choice. At the foothills of the inner city area, one beach section connects to the next. There are a lot of hotels here that operate their own beaches. However, most of the beaches are open to the public. Mombasa Beach, for example, is very pretty, whose white sandy beach is lined with tall palm trees. The infrastructure here is excellent and offers everything you need for a beach holiday: bars and beach cafés, restaurants, sun loungers and sports facilities.

Mombasa beach is just a few steps away from the old town. 35 kilometers south of the city is Diani Beach. It is considered one of the absolute dream beaches on the Indian Ocean. Diani Beach is no less than 25 kilometres long and therefore offers something for every type of beach. There are busy, but also very lonely beach sections. Diani Beach is even very interesting for divers, because there are some reefs off the beach where the colorful underwater world of Kenya can be discovered. In addition, the reefs ensure that the waves at Diani Beach hit very gently. They also keep sharks away and thus ensure safe bathing pleasure.

A walk through Mombasa

Mombasa’s old town looks winding and enchanted and the best way to go on foot is to go on a sightseeing tour through the narrow old town streets. The Portuguese heritage of the city becomes obvious right away. Numerous buildings have been built here in the Portuguese style. But Arab and Asian traders have also left their mark on the former port and trading metropolis. For example, there is a wholesale market where the spice and food traders line up colourful stalls. The crowd looks like an Arabic souk. You should also definitely visit the fortress Fort Jesus, which was built here in 1593 by the Portuguese. The building, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands directly on the Indian Ocean. The fortress is now partially destroyed, but still houses a museum that provides information about Mombasa’s history as a trading center. The Pembe Za Ndovu is considered a landmark of Mombasa. It is an outdoor sculpture that shows four elephant tusks tilting towards each other. The tusks are not real, but made of aluminum and form the gateway to the old town.

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Experience the wild wildlife of Africa

For animal lovers, there are a variety of opportunities in and around Mombasa to experience a wide variety of animal species in the wild, or at least under natural living conditions. Just outside the city gates of Mombasa is Haller Park. Here, visitors can walk independently through forests and palm avenues on designated hiking trails. Hippos, zebras or giraffes and 160 different bird species can be encountered, including pelicans. Just a few kilometers away is the Mombasa Marine National Reserve, an underwater park. Here, you can primarily see fish and sea birds above the water surface.

The Mamba Village is a snake and crocodile farm where you can get close to these species under the supervision of animal keepers. If you want to go on a real safari with all the wildlife that the African continent is known for, you can go 180 kilometers from Mombasa in the Tsavo East National Park. Elephants, lions, buffaloes or giraffes, for example, cavort here. Halfway here, it is recommended to make a stopover in the Shimba Hills Reserve, which is 50 kilometers from Mombasa. The number of different animal species is not quite as wide as in Tsavo East National Park. On the other hand, the Shimba Hills Reserve captivates with scenic charms.