Ali Barbour's Cave

Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant

Useful Information

Location: 30 km south of Mombasa and 200 m back from the high water mark.
(-4.312766, 39.577082)
Open: All year daily 18:30-.
Reservations recommended.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyTufa cave SubterraneaCave Restaurant
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Ali Barbour's Cave, P.O. Box 53, Ukunda 80400, Kenya, Tel: +254-40-3202033, Fax: +254-40-3202223. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1980s founded by George and Jackie Barbour.


Ali Barbour's Cave is located at the Kenyan coast, only 200 m from the shorefront and about 30 km south of the city Mombasa. A resort called Flamboyant located at the beach, with a beach bar called "Forty Thieves" and a cave restaurant called Ali Barbour's Cave? We got the play on “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” but that sounds like a tourist trap. The solution is simple: the resort is privately owned by Tracy Barbour. Her parents, George and Jackie Barbour founded the business in the 1980s.

There is a natural cave, which is said to be between 120,000 and 180,000 years old. Such statements are always confusing, and a sign that the guy who made it has no idea what it means. We don't know either, but we can explain the cave formation. Along the coast of Kenia there are limestone hills, which are actually not very thick, but may extend for many kilometers. Once the sea was higher, or the land lower, and this place was under a warm, oxygen rich shallow sea. The coral reefs grew massively for some time, and finally there was a lot of limestone. When the sea retreated the rivers from the inland had to cross a limestone barrier in order to flow into the sea, and they found cracks, widened them and thus created the caves.

A series of chambers connected by passage is found on a level about 10 m below the ground. Many of the chambers have openings to the surface. The restaurant was built by simply paving the floor and putting furniture in. So dining here is rather exceptional, sitting inside a warm cave while the stars can be seen above.

The cuisine of Ali Barbour's Cave is international, specialized in seafood.