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Mombasa City Guide

Quick Facts about Mombasa City

Country; Kenya

Province; Coast Province

District; Mombasa District

Population; (1999) – City, 707,400
– Urban, 707,400

Mombasa City is the second-largest city in Kenya lying on the Indian Ocean. It has a major Port and an International Airport. The city is the centre of the coastal tourism industry. The original Arabic name is Manbasa; in Swahili, it’s known as Kisiwa Cha Mvita which means “Island of War”, due to the many changes in its ownership. The town headquarters Mombasa District which, like most other districts in Kenya, is named after its chief town.

Geography and climate

Being a coastal town, Mombasa is characterized by a flat topography. The town of Mombasa is centred on Mombasa Island but extends to the mainland. The island is separated from the mainland by two creeks, Tudor Creek in the north and Port Reitz in the South.
Mombasa experiences a warm, tropical climate. The amount of rainfall depends essentially on the season. The rainiest months are April and May, while from January to February the rainfall is minimal.

Business in Mombasa

Mombasa is a major trade centre and home to Kenya’s only large seaport, the Kilindini Harbour. The port is so-called because the channel is naturally very deep. Kilindini Harbor is an example of a natural geographic phenomenon called a Ria formed millions of years ago when the sea level rose and engulfed a river that was flowing from the mainland.
The city is the centre of coastal tourism in KenyaMombasa Island itself is not the main attraction, although many people visit Fort Jesus and Old Town. North of Mombasa Island is Shanzu, Nyali, Bamburi and the Kenyatta Beaches.

Accommodation in Mombasa

The varieties of accommodations in Mombasa are overwhelming and you can always find somewhere to stay, even in the smallest city zones. The hotels in the city vary from luxury to bottom level that you have the options of luxury accommodations, medium class and lower class. South of the town, there are Shelly, Diani and Tiwi beaches. Several luxury hotels exist on these beaches.

Transportation around Mombasa

The airport of the city is the Moi International Airport. Mombasa has a railway station and Kenya Railways runs overnight passenger trains from Mombasa to Nairobi, though the service is less extensive than it used to be. Highways connect Mombasa to the capital Nairobi, former Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam while northward road link to Malindi and Lamu. Within Mombasa, most local people use minibuses (matatus) to move between villages and Mombasa Island. Mombasa port is the largest in Kenya but there is little or no scheduled passenger service. International cruise ships frequent the port, thus giving Mombasa a “Natural Harbour.” However, there is no bridge between Mombasa Island and the south coast; instead, the distance is served by ferries from Kilindini and Mtongwe to Likoni in the south coast.

Itineraries and safari packages

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