Destinations Eastern Africa

Cool Places in Mombasa You Should Explore

Wasini Island
Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

From stunning beaches, tree-lined streets and vibrant culture to exciting nightlife, Mombasa has to be that one destination on every traveller’s bucket list. This massive city is the place to be if you have been dreaming of white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and palm trees. However, Mombasa also has several hidden gems that not many people know about.

Mombasa, which is Kenya’s second-largest city after Nairobi, sits on one of the longest peninsulas in the world. The coastal city boasts a rich and ancient history as well as beautiful landscape which draw visitors from all parts of the world. Without further ado, let’s take a look at five seven hidden gems in Mombasa you should consider exploring in the future.

1. Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

Giraffes at Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. Photo/

Just a ten minute drive from Bamburi, Nguuni Nature Sanctuary is one of the hidden gems in Mombasa worth exploring. The sanctuary is home to a diverse range of African wildlife and contains three distinct habitats. Open savannah, wetlands and woodlands all attract a variety of birds here.

Some of the activities you can enjoy at Nguuni Nature Sanctuary include game drives, a visit to the ostrich farm and sitting by the campfire. At evening, you can catch a glimpse of the exquisite sunset behind the Nugu Tatu Hills.

2. Wasini Island 

For those who have visited Kenya’s Coast, Wasini might sound like Lamu’s little sister. However, Wasini is more a unique haven that is full of peace and tranquility. Here, the hustle and bustle of Kenya’s coastal beaches is a thousand miles away.

Wasini Island is located 75 kilometres south of Mombasa and three kilometres off the coast of the Indian Ocean. This beautiful destination, which is close to the small town of Shimoni on the mainland, is seven kilometres long and three kilometres across. Some of the activities you can enjoy at Wasini include visiting the Shimoni caves of the slave trade era, visiting Swahili villages and enjoying delicious meals in Wasini Village.

Wasini Island

Wasini Island. Photo/

3. Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant

Named after Alibaba and the Forty Thieves, Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant is one of the hidden gems in Mombasa. The cave restaurant offers free pickup and drops off to hotels around Diani Beach. Here, you get to experience fine dining in a candlelit magical cave and star gaze as you enjoy a seafood meal. Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant is a must-visit for couples.

4. Haller Park 

Haller Park is one of the hidden gems in Mombasa. The sanctuary is a transformation of a quarry wasteland into an ecological area that holds a variety of plant and animal species. Here, you get the opportunity to see wildlife in their natural setting. Enjoy a walk through the botanical gardens getting up close with a variety of wild animals.

Haller Park

Haller Park. Photo/ Hiking Adventures.

Due to the unique, ecologically sound and successful rehabilitation undertaken at Haller Park, it was the first recipient of the UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honour award.

5. Serena Beach Resort & Spa

A short drive from the Shimba Hills National Reserve, Serena Beach Resort & Spa is one of the hidden gems in Mombasa. The Beach Resort overlooking a beautiful stretch of white-sand is a gorgeous hotel perfect for a gateway.

Serena Beach Resort & Spa has Swahili vibe and boasts a lot of facilities that will make your stay memorable. From paddle boating and swimming to windsurfing, there are a lot of activities to engage in here. It is an ideal destination for both honeymooners and families.

Serena Beach Resort & Spa

Serena Beach Resort & Spa. Photo/ Serena Hotels.

Where Do The Rich Live in Mombasa?

Rich Kenyans and foreigners who wish to live near the beach and enjoy the ambiance frequently choose to live in Shanzu, on Mombasa’s North Coast. It is well recognized for its exciting nightlife, breathtaking beaches and opulent houses.

What Is Unique in Mombasa?

Mombasa is the oldest city in Kenya and a great place for a beach vacation, offering a perfect mix of activities.

How Do I Spend My Day in Mombasa?

You can spend your day in Mombasa by visiting the following destinations:

  1. Fort Jesus Museum
  2. Haller Park
  3. Wild Waters
  4. Mombasa Marine National Park
  5. Nyali Beach

What Can One Buy in Mombasa?

The Old Town section of Mombasa contains a delightful collection of tourist-friendly shops and souvenir stands. Here, you can find many good bargains, from clothes and artwork to jewelry, spices and fragrances.

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About the author

Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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