Fort Jesus, Mombasa (Kenya)

Fort Jesus is a Portuguese built fortress in the Mombasa old town. The museum of the present-day was used to protect the Kenya Eastern coast. The fort served for the Portuguese soldiers as a barrack and was converted as a prison.

Places of attraction

Fort Jesus Museum

This museum reveals the history of Mombasa and is the frequented attraction site. It is the best-preserved evidence during the 16th century and has military fortification. The Fort is spread around 2.36 hectares and includes the surrounding areas and a moat. There are preserved items including the Persian chest, Portuguese chair, plates, drums, and gourds. Canons are arranged neatly outside the fort and are on display.

Spectacular Sound and Light Show

The Fort plays host to sound show and spectacular light. The visitors are welcomed in flowed robes into the Fort by guards by brandishing flaming torches. There are sound effects and visitors are led to a choreographed show specially designed using lights. This brings life to the turbulent and long history of the Fort.

A candlelit dinner is at the show end served in the Fort open courtyard. This presents an atmospheric night out. This can be combined on Mombasa harbor with a dhow cruise during sunset.

Mazrui Hall

In the fort Compound, there are flowery spirals across a wall topped by the Omani Arabs as wooden lintels. Portuguese sailors illustrate the identity of the Indian Ocean, leaving walls with European frigates, coir-sewn camels, and Arabic dhows three-pointed.

Omani house

This was built in the 18th century and it features a small fishing dhow. There is a small exhibition of weaponry, Omani jewelry, and artifacts. The Omani audience hall and the Arches Passage leads to a double-azure vista.

Things to do

  • The India Ocean has lots to offer, right from water sports and swimming to deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, and sailing. Mombasa has fascinating architecture, interesting cultural history, and great clubs or restaurants.
  • Mombasa allows you to see the old city highlights. You can see the Old Arab streets, the produce markets, and the Fort Jesus.
  • Take the city tour taking you to a wildlife park featuring animals such as giraffes, hippos, waterbucks, and zebra.
  • A Dhow cruise as a perfect evening and to enjoy the sound show and daylight.

How to access

  • Getting to Fort Jesus is not difficult. Using public service buses, you can reach the neighborhood and from there you can take a tuk-tuk or taxi.
  • The cost of a tuk-tuk depends on the place it is picked. If you pick from within the island the charges will be under Ksh 300.
  • Ubers are not common and taxi prices vary as they are not metered.

Flying is the best option taking an hour or so.  You can fly from Nairobi to Ukunda and then take a car ferry.

The train takes 5 hours and a little more from Nairobi and a drive covers the same in 7 hours.

Best time to visit

The weather is the same as Kenya, while here it is more humid. The best time to visit is in the two dry seasons and to enjoy a combination of a wildlife safari.

  • July to October and
  • January to February


  • The museum is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm
  • Under 16 years will have a half entry fee. The entry fees for Kenyan, East Africans and non-citizens is Ksh 100, 400 and 1200, respectively.

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