1. Mombasa: Discovery Day Tour and Haller Park
Get picked up from your hotel and proceed to Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in the 16th Century. Hear about the long and fascinating history of the fort before it was converted into a prison in 1985, and later, into a historical landmark. The tour takes you through a maze of cobbled narrow streets, past ancient mosques and picturesque residential houses that evoke the island's medieval past. Wander under overhanging balconies and through mysterious doorways to bustling markets filled with exotic spices, fruit, and colorful fabrics. Then, drive through the Elephant Tusks on Moi Avenue and call in at the Akamba woodcarvers, where you can see them at work and take the opportunity to purchase some of their wonderful crafts and other souvenirs. Take a break for lunch, maybe at the delicious Tamarind Restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Dr. Rene Haller's Nature Park, a group of former quarries now reforested and home to many animals, including hippos, giraffes, buffalos, antelopes, and crocodiles. The park offers a variety of attractions that educate and entertain the over 160,000 annual visitors, among them a game sanctuary, reptile park, a small demonstration fish farm area, palm garden, crocodile pens, and a giraffe-viewing platform. The diversity of vegetation is considerable, from mangrove palms and majestic indigenous shade trees to coastal forests where several of these plants are rare and endangered: a true haven for botanists. Later, return to your hotel in Mombasa.