A coconut tree at a beach in Mombasa. In addition to the white sandy beaches, Mombasa has an extremely rich and interesting cultural history. www.businesstoday.co.ke
A coconut tree at a beach in Mombasa. In addition to the white sandy beaches, Mombasa has an extremely rich and interesting cultural history. [Photo/Njenga Hakeenah]

There is no feat that beats a holiday after a long week and even better no feeling matches knowing that it will be a long one at that.

Kenyans are known for their enterprising skills and spirit and when all is said and done, a relaxing break is well deserved.

This weekend is one that you don’t have to worry about its ending too soon and so with the extra day off the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, what a better way to spend it than being where the mantra is the sun, sand and so much more?

The Coastal city of Mombasa is one of the major tourist destinations not only in Kenya but globally.

It boasts of some of the best white sand beaches in the world with the Indian Ocean offering a variety of activities you can indulge in.

From just swimming, there are water sports to engage in. for the adventurous, sailing, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing are other activities one can engage in.

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In addition, Mombasa has an extremely rich and interesting cultural history. Dating back to the times of the Sultans, the City has a fascinating architecture which has withstood the test of time.

And for food lovers, the city has several restaurants suitable for every pocket.

Windsurfing in Mombasa is among the popular water sports one can engage in. [Photo/Njenga Hakeenah]

With this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations headed South to the Coastal City, there is no doubt that there will be no shortage of places and events to participate in while enjoying the break.

Among the most popular places to visit in Mombasa include Fort Jesus which was built by the Portuguese. It was meant to be a stronghold to protect the harbour from any attackers at a time when territory takeovers were the norm. It was later converted into prison cells by the Arabs who held slaves there before shipping them away.

Touring Mombasa gives you a glimpse of life into how the Arabs used to operate and live. The Old Arab streets would be a good way to spend time in Mombasa and in a friendly way that does not hurt your pocket.

And how you know you are in Mombasa is when you encounter the Moi Avenue Elephant tusks. These tusks are not only a relic but they are evidence that the British have had a long stay and relationship in Kenya. When Queen Elizabeth visited Mombasa in 1952, the tusks became the symbol commemorating this visit.

If you’re on a budget, here are some other places that you may find interesting to visit and take in the beauty that is Mombasa City.

For nature lovers, Haller Park is a must-visit. With its expansive land, the Park formerly known as Bamburi Nature Trails is an ideal place for nature trails, cycling, jogging and taking nature walks. The Park is a paradise for bird watchers. It also has a butterfly sanctuary, a game sanctuary and a reptile park.

The Park’s beginnings are a far sight from what it is today. It was once a quarry left bare by the mining of coral limestone by Bamburi Cement Company.

A turtle being returned into the water by a fisherman. [Photo/Njenga Hakeenah]

Its rehabilitation started in 1971 starting with 75 acres. For the conservationists, this is good place to draw inspiration from.

The Bamburi Cement run Nguuni Nature Sanctuary Adventures is another great place for those who are one with nature.

This reserve allows you to bring your own food and drinks. You can also use their fire and grill to make your moments memorable.

If you are all about the sea breeze and watching the blue fade into the horizon, Mama Ngina Drive is the ideal place for you. Strategically positioned, the breeze from the Indian Ocean will soothe you as you watch ships coming to dock and leave.

The drive leads to Kilindini Harbour and is located on the southern end of the island. Do you love photos? This is the place to have those memories frozen for a lifetime especially if your timing is right for the forces of nature to be the effects on your images.

If you’re into pirates and the closest you have been to is Jack Sparrow, then you know nothing! This is until you’ve been to Pirates Beach where fresh seafood is on an endless supply. However, you have to be ready to push and shove if you miss getting there early before all the people decide its time for the sun, sand and more.

Art is what speaks what words can’t and the Bombolulu Workshop is where this is best experienced. The Physically Disabled in Kenya came together putting up the workshop project to empower themselves. The project teaches about the culture in Mombasa in traditional homesteads. If you get hungry while visiting here, there are traditional restaurants which will tease your palate with the different cuisines from around the Coastal City.

And for party lovers, there are several clubs and restaurants throughout the city. Depending on your taste, there is none that is one-size-fits-all and you can sample the different establishments until you’ve had your satisfaction.

While the weekend is long, remember that in Mombasa kuingia harusi kutoka matanga.

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