Mombasa boasts of a number of tourist attraction sites from sandy beaches to Heritage sites.
The Mombasa Tusks which is a famous landmark in the city, were built to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Mombasa in 1952. Constructed of aluminum, the tusks mark the entrance to the heart of town where visitors will find most of the banks, shops, and markets. The intersecting tusks also form the letter “M” for Mombasa.
Built in 1593-1596 by the Portuguese, Fort Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Mombasa’s top tourist attractions. Italian architect, Cairati, designed the structure, which is one of the world’s finest examples of 16th century Portuguese military architecture. Built in the shape of a man, the fort was given the name of Jesus as a clear religious reference. The fort changed hands nine times between 1631 and 1875 before finally resting with the British. Although partially ruined, Fort Jesus houses a museum built over the former barracks for the garrison. Exhibits include a vast collection of ceramics and pottery reflecting the various cultures that traded along the coast. Fort Jesus has many battlements and ruined buildings within the compound, including Omani house, built in the late 18th century, which houses Omani jewelry and displays on Swahili life. The Passage of Arches was cut through the coral to give access to the sea.
Wasini Island is a popular day trip from Mombasa. Dolphins regularly cruise these waters and passengers can stop to snorkel and dive the coral reefs along the way. The island itself is tiny – only 5 sq km. Sightseeing opportunities include visiting Wasini Village, strolling around the coastal scrub where ancient Swahili ruins lie, exploring the exposed coral gardens, and dining on fresh seafood at the small restaurant. The village of Shimoni is the launching point for Wasini Island tours and was once the headquarters of the Imperial British East Africa Company. Here, visitors can explore the Shimoni Caves, thought to hold slaves before their shipment to Arabia.