Wandering Around Old Town Mombasa, Kenya

The Old Town area of Mombasa is located on Mombasa Island in the same area as Fort Jesus.  Please check out my blog on Fort Jesus in case you missed it.

To start out my tour of Old Town, I had my Uber driver drop me off at the famous elephant tusks.  From there I took a stroll towards old town in the direction of Fort Jesus. 

Old Town is an interesting place.  In some areas the buildings were tightly crammed together, in others you were bombarded with either pleasant or not-so-pleasant smells.  Once you get deep within Old Town, you really get a sense you are wandering through centuries passed.  If you happen to visit, you might want to find a guide, as it can be really easy to get lost.

1: These two pairs of tusks straddling each side of Moi Avenue are a famous landmark in Mombasa. They were built in 1952 to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth, during the time when Kenya was still a British protectorate.

2: Adjacent to Moi Avenue is Uhuru Gardens, home to this fountain in the shape of the African continent. In the past the individual African countries were painted with bright colors, but the fountain seems to have fallen into disrepair. I also noticed the trees within the garden were home to thousands of bats. According to Kenyan news sources, they have become a huge issue in recent years. [src]

3-4: This building is home to operating business, despite the roof being partially collapsed. You can get an idea of this building’s former splendor from the ornately carved door frames, and wall design on the second floor. Unfortunately the majority of colonial era buildings are in similar shape.

5-6: Many doors and door frames throughout the town are decorated with traditional Swahili designs.

7: Souvenir shops such as this one occupied many of the buildings nearer to Fort Jesus. Most were overpriced, and if you are hunting for locally made handicrafts, I highly recommend visiting the nearby Bombolulu Workshop. For more information, please visit my previous blog titled, My Travel Loot #2 | Bombolulu Workshop In Mombasa, Kenya.

8: This was one of the more well-maintained buildings, though it was difficult to get a good photo due to the streets being so narrow.

9: In this area was a port that was integral to the East African slave trade as far back as the 16th century. [src] This was the last time many slaves saw the African mainland prior to being transported to the slave market in Zanzibar. From there they would be transported to Arab and Persian lands.

10: This unremarkable building is the Mandhry Mosque, the oldest standing mosque in Mombasa. Built in 1570, the mosque predates Fort Jesus by 23 years, and escaped destruction at the hands of the Portuguese. [src] Islam is the predominate religion in Mombasa, especially in Old Town.

Thanks for dropping by!  I hope that you enjoyed my travel photos and commentary, and will return for more travel content in the future.

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