Depart the pier and travel through the city center, past colonial administrative buildings, markets bright with fruit and colorful cloth, street stalls and modern office blocks, temples and mosques and enormous aluminium elephant tusks that span the main avenue. Pay a visit to the once forbidding hulk of Fort Jesus; today a museum of coastal antiquities featuring fine ceramics and carved doors, as well as an exhibit on the culture and history of the coast and its people. It also displays artifacts recovered from a Portuguese frigate sunk in 1697. There is a fine view of the Old Town from the ramparts, and you can enjoy a cold drink before continuing your tour. Historic Mombasa survives in the Old Port area, where traditional Arab dhows still tie up along the wooden docks, although it now contains Persian carpets and Arab chests rather than slaves and spices. In the Old Town, you'll explore the labyrinth of narrow streets, lined with mosques and markets. Money lenders, street vendors, tailors, jewelers, coffee merchants, and perfume makers all contribute to the stunning blaze of color and a mix of exotic aromas. See Swahili-style buildings, their Indo-Arab architecture complete with carved doorways and balconies, exotic brass-studded doors and gold and silversmiths.
You will also have time to visit the Akamba Woodcarving factory to see the skilled craftsmen, still hand carving their artefacts in time-honored tradition. You may purchase their wares from the co-operative shop.
Please note: Due to Muslim traditions, guests are strongly advised to dress conservatively. Legs and shoulders should be covered; shorts, short skirts and skimpy outfits are deemed inappropriate. This tour includes approximately one-quarter mile of walking in the Old Town over cobblestone streets, and inclines and declines on uneven surfaces at the fort. Guests with limited mobility and guests in wheelchairs are strongly advised to remain on the ground level area during the visit to the fort. Guests should be prepared for the heat and humidity.