When I feel like I need a getaway to spoil myself, get back in touch with Mother Nature and rejuvenate my senses, Mombasa, Kenya immediately comes to mind. With some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and some of East Africa’s richest culture and history, this Island draws me to it like a moth to a flame. Mombasa is famed for its brilliant white, powder-soft sandy beaches, world-class beach resorts and remarkable historical sites. For me, simply put, it is the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life in the city.
From five-star beach hotels and spa resorts, to more homely self-catered beach cottages, Mombasa has accommodation options to suit every traveller’s pocket. There are also plenty of options for the business traveller who is looking for a long-term stay or simply wants to escape the beach culture.
When it comes to gastronomy and places to eat, Mombasa has it all! From a seafood restaurant aboard a dhow that takes sail in the evening on a romantic cruise to local eateries where you can experience true Swahili Style dining and cuisine, you are spoilt for choice. As the sun sets, the Island comes alive with the abundance of nightclubs and bars that are strewn across the North Coast where you can step things up a notch or two and get your groove on to some great music whilst you enjoy a truly Kenyan ‘Dawa’ cocktail…or two under the African skies.
For those seeking to explore the flora and fauna this area has to offer, the astounding beauty and variety of species that can be found under the Indian Ocean’s surface is sure to take your breath away. Diving and snorkelling opportunities are plentiful and swimming with the dolphins in Wasini Island is an experience that promises not to disappoint. With a game reserve that is home to the endangered Sable Antelope, a crocodile conservancy where you can get up close and personal with the incredible reptiles and a nature trail where a 150 year-old tortoise and baby hippo became best friends, Mombasa has a great deal of wildlife to discover. The history enthusiasts amongst you will be enthralled by the famous Fort Jesus built by the Portuguese in the 16th Century to guard the old port of Mombasa, the Gedi Ruins in Malindi and the ancient Swahili architecture of Mombasa’s Old Town.
Be sure not to leave Mombasa without some souvenirs. There are numerous beach vendors or curio shops at almost all the Mombasa Hotels selling beautifully crafted curios, colourfully woven fabrics, paintings and batiks that can be purchased at negotiable prices so that you can take home a little piece of Mombasa… as you will surely leave a little piece of you behind when you leave this magical place.