Majestic Mombasa as some call, it is one of the oldest cities in east Africa. It is a prolific city situated on the Indian Ocean that has lots of history and culture to offer. Mombasa city is easily accessible having an international airport, a port and a modern road transport system to cater for the large number of visitors who flock the area to experience this diverse cultural history.
Mombasa is a result of a series of invasions by many trading nations who sought to impose their dominance on it and has switched hands several times all through its history. This brought about a significant influence on its culture and religion but the Arab influence has been prominent in the town for a number of years. Its strategic location along the Indian Ocean made it a center of long distance trade .Arab traders could sail around the Kenya coast as early as 13th century and this boosted the trade greatly along the coast. The city today is covered by markets that have been in existence for as many as hundred years back. These markets are very charming attractions sights and give travelers a true taste of Mombasa.
It is also a place widely known among visitors as the ideal place to buy traditional Kenyan crafts like sculptures, handmade wooden furniture and tools. Visitors are also attracted to the unique traditional kanga clothes of coastal residents which are common items in the markets. Kitenges are a colorful clothes designed specifically for women while kikois are for men. These are common in east Africa coast and are worn as a wrap around a garment. They are best suited for beaches where they are used as beach towels. They are traditionally produced from local fabrics and sold cheaply to the market. Jewelry is also common in the markets and is very popular with tourists. The markets are mainly dominated by Indian traders although there are other smaller traders like Arabs. There are also numerous boutique shops which deal with paintings, modern art items and traditional clothing.
Kisumu has undoubtly the most amazing places to visit as compared to other parts of Kenya. A tour to Kisumu will be totally incomplete without visiting these places. They include;
The Shopping Malls
Kisumu has several modern shopping malls where you can get almost everything you need. These malls are strategically located and are under 24 hour surveillance which boosts security. They also have ample parking space and various security check points. They include United Mall which is located along Jomo Kenyatta Highway, Nakumatt Mega City also known locally as city in a city because of its magnificent design. It is based near Kachok center on Nairobi road and is the best shopping centre in Kisumu, Swan centre is another shopping mall which is located along Oginga Odinga Street on your way towards Lake Victoria and lastly there is Mega Plaza located in the city centre along Oginga Odinga Street. These shopping centre’s have modern facilities and offer variety of items ranging from foodstuffs to electronics..
There are several markets in Kisumu which deal with a variety of goods and services .More and more markets are springing up in this area and this is mainly because of modern infrastructure which has transformed the once old and sleepy town to a modern cosmopolitan city. These are unique places where you can find a variety of fresh and unprocessed goods at considerable prices. These markets include are Oile, Jubilee and Kibuye, Oile and Jubilee are local markets and mainly deal with consumer goods. Kibuye is the biggest market and is a major trade centre in East Africa region. It is usually alive on Sunday and you can get almost anything you think of once you are there.
Kisumu is also endowed with charming, sandy beaches located along the pristine coast of lake Victoria. These are action packed centers which play host to numerous water sports activities as well as rich aquatic ecology. Lwangni beach is located along the lake and is the place to go if you have a dream of relaxing on a comfortable bed under the shade of palm trees with a cool refreshing breeze from the lake stimulating your feelings. It offers also traditional dishes such as a big fried/stewed tilapia together with a plateful of hot ugali. There is also Dunga beach situated in the village of Dunga a few kilometers from Kisumu town centre. It has a bevy of water sports activities mainly boat riding where visitors can rent boats for a trip to explore the regions majestic lake waters.
Jomo Kenyatta Grounds
Kisumu also boasts of a large and beautiful park located in the heart of the town. It has public recreational facilities and a number of local restaurants .It is a popular centre for concerts and sports events which are organized all time round because of its ability to host a large number of people.
These are a must see places in Kisumu. If you are wondering where to have your holiday next time, Kisumu is the most exclusive place you can’t afford to miss.