Il Covo is a nightclub and a restaurant with Italian and Japanese cuisine. The night club is know to be a place for tourists where you can listen to western/mzungu music. It's located in in Bamburi Beach.
Cheers bar is an open air bar located in Bamburi beach. There is no entrance fee and the beer and food is cheaper here. You can sit with the locals and watch football from the flatscreen on the wall. Cheers bar is according to some local people a hangout place for prostitutes.
7 7 is a bar cum night club. The sign outside reads 77 but everyone knows the place by its Kiswahili translation Saba saba (seven seven).
This place is a bit of a throw back to a time when bars across not just Mombasa but throughout Kenya and especially down River rd in Nairobi were all like this. A large open bar area with a stage for live bands and food being served, usually not much more than a butchers shop that grills meat by the kilo. On my first visit to Kenya apart from a few discos in Nairobi and Mombasa all night spots were like this. So it is probably more accurate to say that Saba saba has not changed in its entire existence.
Situated on the cross roads on Kenyatta avenue and Ronald Ngala Street in Mombasa where there have been traffic lights for years but only in the last year or two have I seen these traffic lights actually working.
Last time I poked my head around the door an Akamba band were playing on the stage, thinking about it on many of my previous visits to 77 an Akamba band would have always been playing. This was a Saturday evening and as in most bars in Africa on a Saturday the large TV screen was showing an English premiership game. Only a few customers were dancing, one of whom was a one legged women who managed (with the aid of a crutch) to swivel quite convincingly to the staccato guitar riffs.
On the TV Man U scored and a huge cheer went up from those in the bar watching the footie and the band played on without missing a beat. Class.
This photo of me was taking during the day at the Millennium bar, a bar where I spent far too much time during my last trip to Mombasa. I had been to this boozer on many previous visits but was made really welcome by all the bar staff and management on this morning as I was walking into town from the airport.
As you can see from the photo things are pretty quiet during the day but this 24hour boozer doesn’t really get going until evening time when chairs and tables are set up outside on the pavement in front of the two separate barrooms that make up the Millennium bar as well as in front of the adjoining shops and cafes either side of the boozer. From sun-down the place starts to fill till it reaches its peak at around 11 when a spare seat is pretty hard to come by inside or out including the chairs that disgorge around the corner of the street.
In Feb 2011 a beer Tusker would cost 110 KSH
After 4 years I decided its time to visit again Mombasa for a two weeks vacation. I was surprised to see so many changes, so many new buildings, shops and new entertainment spots. since i am i big fan of entertainment and nightlife, i went around to check on the places i had visited during my earlier stays in mombasa. Unfortunately some of my old Favourites had either closed down or were not as busy as before. But i found quite a number of new establishments which have come up, although nothing really impressive. Only Florida and Tembo really attracted large crowds, nice mixtures of tourists and local kenyans.
Most impressive was that my old no1 favourite tembo had recently undergone major renovations and facelifts. What i new from before was only the Tembo Disco and the Tembo Beer Garden. I was amazed how much that place has changed. They completely changed their set up and added several new outlets. Now they call it Tembo Entertainment Plaza and it has still my oldtime favourite Tembo Disco but all the rest has changed. The old Tembo Beer Garden is gone and was replaced by an exclusive upmarket Lounge Bar, the Comfy Lounge with designer sofas, chairs, stools and tables. It opens very early at 6pm and is nice to chill out for a sundowner drink. From around 11pm the Dj's started playing lots of new dance music. I really enjoyed the posh atmosphere. They also gave the old barbecue restaurant a total makeover and changed it into a very cosy restaurant with a touch of exclusivity, inclusive nice carpets. I ate there 4 or 5 times and had actually never a problem to find something to my taste. The menu is very large and offers besides the normal Kenyan BBQ also Chinese, Thai, Italian, Indian and Seafood Specialties. The prices were very reasonable. And the best thing about is that they open throughout the night until morning hours.
They still have a beer garden but it was relocated to the other side of the premise, just next to the mainroad entrance. Its smaller than the old one and named Bavaria Beer Garden according to its design with Octoberfest decorations. Same like the old beer garden its operating every day around the clock.
One of my favourites was the "Gentlemen's Bar", the Lollipop A Gogo. A nice small bar with aircondition and modern design. I liked the new idea with the beautiful exotic dancers performing non-stop table dance shows throuhout the night. Actually whenever i was at tembo i ended up my nights with a visit at Lollipop.
Besides my nights at Tembo i also visited Just Drinks Bar which has now relocated about 500m from the old place. It's now direct at the Tudor Creek and has also added a restaurant. Food is delicious and the cocktails there are still amongst the best in Mombasa.
Bobs Bar is still there but the patrons have changed quite a bit. Mostly young Kenyans and a few tourists are there. Its still quite busy on weekends.
I also went to Mtwapa, but honestly, although that area is now full of new small bars and pubs on each corner, besides Club Lambada none of the establishments there can compete with the high standards and designs of the bars and clubs on the North Coast.
But after 4 years it has shown me that Mombasa still is a good place for fun and entertainment lovers
Dress Code: Dress Code at Tembo is casual and smart casual.
This place has a super location and does super cocktails and shooters but if you do take a risk of going there, be sober enough to check the bill because chances are you will see additional items on the bill 3 out of 5 times. I have been there lots of times and seen drinks I never had on the bill. When you complain they will simply say its a mistake and life goes on.
Don't make the mistake of asking to see the manager because the owner will turn up. he is rude andnearly always drunk.
He will first accuse you of not having enough to pay the bill and if you do insist yo have more than enough he will start talking in a loud voice to attract attention and cause a scene and thus try and embarass you into paying the bill.Its easier to tell the waiter or the barman that there is a mistake unless you are willing to ask for undue attention.
I suggest they change the name to Just Thieves instead.
If you do go there have the shooters. they are quite good but you have been warned to stay sober lest you get conned.
Dress Code: whatever you like.
most of the people are dressed down
Florida Nightclub WOW!!! When I die I want my ashes scattered here! Big enough for 2 sound systems, several bars, lots of nooks and crannies, and some very beautiful girls. But! Go with a girl from anywhere if you don't want to be hassled all night, and even then, should you look at a working girl and she catches your eye, it's no guarantee that she will not hook you on the way to the gents. You can be excused though, for these are some of the best looking girls I ever saw. There are also girls that dance on the bar, and a sexy floorshow that does its best, given the limited space. A great atmosphere, never any trouble, mostly good music and some great dancers. I have seen couples of all ages here, all races, letting go on the floor showing some moves. Also attended by many seamen from all around the world, it's a great place for observers of life................
Dress Code: T shirts, jeans ok, suits; girls can glam up; whatever you like!
North Coast Bars and Clubs
A general piece of advice, you will be safe in the bars, but at night take a taxi door to door. If you are adventurous it is safe to take a matatu at night as long as you are going between two places right on the main coast road, and the matatu stops directly outside.
On the tourist beach is Il Covo, (restaurant and bar) popular with ex-pats, people staying at the nearby hotels and aircrew, fills up after midnight..
Between Il Covo and the main coast road is Pitcher and Butch in the Kamaha Hotel, a modern bar with a large open air area, popular with thelocals. Live jazz on Thursdays, local 'legends' Mombasa Roots play on Friday and Sunday;
A couple of minutes in a taxi from the tourist beach is Cheers, (local type bar, around 50 - 50 locals and wazungu) or during the day about 15 minutes walk along the road in the direction of Mombasa. It can also be reached from the beach. Between Sai Rock hotel and the hut renting swim suits, rubber innertubes and plastic chairs there is a narrow path that goes along the side of Sai Rock and past the ruins of Jungle Village nightclub and the fenced off remains of Bora Bora Night club and bar to a filling station, between the filling station and the main road is a parade of shops. Mombasa North Coast Tours, a Pharmacy and the Shaban Mini-Mart (which also does foreign exchange – usually the best rates around Bamburi, you can also change money in the Cheers / Unik office next to Cheers bar, usually also a good rate). Cheers used to be very popular but is very quiet these days, a lot of locals switched to Mtwapa bars, and moving the main pool table down alongside the secondary table in the Miraa chewing area changed the atmosphere of the bar. Now there is always a group of German ex-pats sat at the circular bar, the main area is often largely empty, with a few ex-pats around tthe pool tables amid the chewers. But for the German ex-pats it could follow Bora Bora and Jungle Village into extinction. It is busier on Friday and Saturday nights as a pre-Tembo place
Pirates bar / disco on the beach at the Public beach, large area both open air and covered, fills up after midnight.
A little farther afield in the same direction is Tembo Disco, it has a beer garden and bbq at ground level, the main disco is sunken into a disused quarry. Still popular at weekends, although not as packed as it used to be, its about 80% local. Friday night is ladies night, they get free entry (150 bob). Starts to fill up around 11 - 11.30. (They have bikini dancers on the bar tops on Fridays and they also have a ‘gentleman’s lounge’ - Lollipop - at ground level which advertises ‘exotic’ dancers)
Further on is Black Havana night club, they had a problem with gangsters last year, when money was extremely tight after the troubles, some locals are still nervous about it. They have male strippers there.
A bit further on, near Nakumatt is Bob’s Bar, an open-air bar which has live music on Thursday’s and Sunday’s, it also has an air-conditioned area called Murphy’s.It is very popular at the weekends particularly with weekednders from Nairobi
Going in the opposite direction are Shanzu and Mtwapa,
On the main road at Shanzu a local bar on the main road called Paradise has just changed ownership and is in process of being upgraded to a bar / beer garden. On Shanzu Tourist Rd, outside the gates of the resorts is Safarai Inn, set back from the road. it is generally the haunt of german ex-pats during the day. has a band on Tuesday and Friday nights playing oldies, reggae and African music. has Masai dancing on Wednesday night.
In Mtwapa, on the right soon after the bridge over Mtwapa Creek is Casaurina disco / bar, usually 90 % or more local. ASC have been seen to run mini-buses to Casaurina from Shanzu and they sit off to one side watching the locals like it was some sort of safari.
Across the road is Banhoff, very popular and very busy since three Brits took it over but still very much a locals bar. There are lots of locals bars on this stretch of road.
Behind Casuarina is Kendas Arcade which is a locals bar with a good atmosphere, good for watching football (it is packed and raucous when Man U or Arsenal play)l, it has several tvs, including a projector. Used to be packed until Banhoff stole a lot of its business. Has an unerotic pole dancing session at midnight most nights
About 100 yards down the beach road from Kendas is a new bar Club Legend which is has not really managed to pick up business.
Further along the main road and set back a bit is Club Lambada, new last year, a more European style club, with a sports bar upstairs, a stage, and an open-air area around a shallow pool at the back, which now forms part of the entertainment, with bikini dancers. Almost exclusively local and local ex-pat, few tourists venture that far into Mtwapa.
Many of these bars are traditional style, makuti thatched roof, no walls. The only English style one is the Murphy’s bit at Bob’s.
Just for info you should be aware that where male tourists go there will be lots of local girls keen for their company, some just girls looking for someone to improve their lives, others are full time malayas (working girls). There will be some in Cheers, Safari inn and Bob’s, lots in Tembo and Casuarina. Having said that a lot of young African men are equally very solicitous of a mazungu lady's company
Casablanca is probably the best nightclub in Mombasa. It's located in the city centre. So if you are staying in Bamburi Beach you have to take a taxi or a Matatu (small minibus) to get home at night.
The nightclub is in two floors, with bars and private rooms in the first floor, and disco and a "open air balcony" on the second floor. You can eat and drink in the middle of the night.
Tembo is probably Africa's largest open air disco. It's located in Bamburi Beach, and is a place for tourists and middle class Africans. Tembo is more expensive than other places in Bamburi. So expect to pay 3 times higher price for your beer. There is also an entrance fee. The security is supposed to be high, and you have to be scaned by x-ray just like in the airport. This is strange and maybe annoying because it's an open air disco. A handgranat thrown over the fence would have done the same effect.
Anyway, I recommend to see this place, but don't stay here all night.
Aha! Now this is where I spend far too much of my time whilst in Mombasa, The Hide Corner is one of a few half decent bars in Mombasa town centre. This particular bar used to be a real favourite of mine years ago when it was called The Mvita bar. Above the bar was a hotel of the same name and this would be where I would stay for weeks on end some of that time was spent with stinking hangovers and malaria fevers. Even though The Mvita has in the last few years been transformed into The Hide Corner Bar a few of the old regulars still frequent the new place but it is a shadow of its former self.
To be honest, I never visited this place. When taking this picture, from the street side, two girls up on the balcony called me to join them for a drink. It was around forenoon and both of them were already in a "good spirit", or maybe they just such a joyfull characters. Anyhow, I wasn't much interested to find it out.
I used to engaged the same taxi driver for most of my rides around, so Juma told me there are couple of such a clubs in and around Mombasa. It is where certain "ladies" generously offering their services. In case of interest, the other one and the most famous there is called "Casablanca".
I don't think this place has anything to do with the Hotel itself it is just one of those businesses that has sprung up on the roof similar to the salons below that have started in the vacant rooms of the Hermes Hotel below. Beer is reasonable and it is a tidy place for a cold hassle free midday beer with views across Mombasa.
If anyone remembers the Splendid Hotel rooftop bar this is a similar kind of set up, you can actually see what’s left of the Splendid bar from the Hermes bar these days its all faded walls and rotten makuti!
Go down the stairs along the corridor and over the daft little bridge to enter this cheap and cheerfull nightclub in the centre of town. It hasn't changed in years this place. Not as busy as it once was but a faithfull bunch come here usually to ldance isten to (but not exclusivly) reggae music.
Dress Code: Red yellow and green seem to be the colours of choice on the dance floor.
This place used to be a real busy place in the centre of Mombasa, 5 minutes walk from the famous tusks that bestride Moi Avenue; but over the years as the near-by Casablanca grew in prominence as this part of the coast’s premiere night spot so Sky Bar began to wane. At one time I would spend a night happily going from one bar to the other having a beer in each. The last time I was in Mombasa I was the only person with a drink in front of at the Sky Bar and this was a Saturday night at 11pm, apart from me there was a gaggle of working girls who were probably only in the Sky because they were barred from Casa B. It amazes me how Ali the owner can afford to keep this place going. Each time I arrive in Mombasa I am expecting to see the place either boarded up or under new management but as yet it still manages to exist. One good thing about the lack of custom is that the beers tend to spend more time in the fridge so making them probably the coldest beers in Mombasa.
Bad news I'm arfraid the Sky Bar's long battle for existence and has ended since I was last here in may 2007. It had been dying a death for the last few years but what killed it off was a court battle between Ali the guy whos business was the bar and the bloke who actually owns the building. The court case will be sorted in afew months but in the mean time builders have moved in and divided up the bar onto shops.
Another one bites the dust!