Address: Ndia Kuu Road, Old Mombasa Town, Kenya
Phone: (+254) 11-312839
Location: Mombasa, Kenya
Highlight: Four-hundred-year-old Portuguese fortress used as 20th-century British colonial prison
Fort Jesus in 1593 was built by the Portuguese to guard Mombasa Harbor and secure the safety of Portuguese colonists on Africa's eastern coast. In the next 300 years it changed hands between Portugal and Oman about nine times. In 1895 when Britain made Kenya a colony, Fort Jesus was turned into a prison. In 1958 when Kenya attained its independence, it declared Fort Jesus a historical monument, which now attracts thousands of visitors every year. You may climb a steep incline and then a flight of stairs to reach the once-impregnable multilevel structure located on a coral ridge overlooking the entrance to the Old Port. There are also findings of architectural excavations from the fortress and prison eras on display, and guided tours are often arranged.