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Situated on the south-eastern part of Mombasa Island is Fort Jesus, a World Heritage site. The castle was constructed in the late 16th century by the Portuguese and, by 1875, when it was seized by the British, it had changed hands nine times. The partially-ruined but nonetheless spectacular military architecture contains a museum which features ceramics that reflect the wide range of cultures that have made their mark on the city.
Fort Jesus overlooks the Old Town, and is another example of the influence of the Portuguese on Mombasa. The town also reflects the culture and architecture of its current inhabitants who are mostly Arabic, Asian and European. Narrow streets are lined with enchanting old buildings adorned with decorous doors and balconies.
Animal lovers will adore Haller Park, a nature reserve that was converted from abandoned limestone quarries in the early 1970s. Now a wildlife park and fish farm, its home to buffalos, giraffes and tortoises, one of which is over 130 years old. Birds are well-represented too, with more than 160 species including storks, pelicans, cranes and weaver birds. There are several paths that lead you to crocodile pens, the reptile park and the butterfly pavilion and a sanctuary where herds of ostriches roam about.
And at Mombasa Marine National Park you'll have the opportunity to observe sea life in its natural habitat. Here you can don a snorkel and swim among creatures such as stingrays and seahorses. And if you don't fancy getting your feet wet, then enter the glass-bottomed boat for a splendid view of eels, turtles and much more.
Mombasa's coastline is split into North Coast Beaches and South Coast Beaches. In the north the palm-lined beaches, crystal-clear waters and coral reefs have a resort feel to them and are an ideal location for water sports. To the south, the natural beauty of Mombasa is laid bare with sun-kissed beaches lapped by blue-green waves. And the rainforests here ring with the sound of birds and other wildlife
Eating, drinking and nightlife
Part of a small Kenyan chain, Tamarind Mombasa excels with its seafood menu that includes grilled lobster and fish and prawn piri-piri. The food is tasty and the staff are friendly and helpful. Pavilions Restaurant offers a good mix of international cuisine from China and India to Kenya and Britain.
After your meal, why not take a stroll along Makadara Street and enjoy a delicious ice cream? For night-time revelry, Bella Vista in Mombasa Town is a lively place in which to eat, drink and dance. And if you're worried about missing the big game, don't worry - catch it on the huge Plasma screens.