Are you planning to go visit Mombasa?
Talk to our experts about the perfect planning for your holiday.
Kenya is a country situated on the eastern coast of the African continent. With a varied geography and much of northeastern bush-covered plains, the rest of the country consist of pristine beaches, scenic highlands and lake regions, a good portion of the Great Rift Valley, and the magnificent Mount Kenya. Kenya is one of the finest, and possibly the most famous safari destination in the world. But safari by no means the only reason to visit Kenya, for the attractions of its rich culture and diverse environments are considerable.
Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya and its main port city. The city is particularly known for its warm and sunny climate, white beaches and coral reef diving. Mombasa offers a diverse marine life, world-class hotels and friendly atmosphere, with a tropical climate all year and it is a great destination filled with activities for all ages.
The old town of Mombasa keeps the heritage of this city, covering an area inhabitated by a richly diverse group of communities : locals, Arabs, Asians, Portuguese and the British which have co-existed here for centuries.
- Mombasa was the capital of Kenya till 1906.
- Fort Jesus played a crucial role in 9 different battles between nations for the control of Kenya’s coast.
- The city was one of the main ports for the slave trade for a large portion of its history.
- Mombasa is well-known for its huge aluminum elephant tusks that stretch across Moi Avenue, Old Town. These tusks are not just for show. They were constructed to honor Princess Margaret’s visit to Kenya in 1956 when Kenya was still a part of the British Empire.
- Old Town Mombasa was first populated in the 10th century. In texts from the 12th to the 14th centuries that have been discovered, Arab scholars also mentioned the city. Whatever the exact date of its founding, Mombasa is undoubtedly one of the oldest cities in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Mombasa was a battleground for many wars in the past. In the early days, it was one of the most crucial hubs for ocean trades. It had great economic importance for delivering goods from the outside world to early residents and royal families.
- In the past, Mombasa was a major trading hub for gold, ivory, coconuts, sesame, and various spices. Europe, India, and China were connected by the city’s trading activity.
- The Marine Park with its magnificent marine species is one of the best places to visit in Mombasa.
- Haller Park, with its conserved wildlife, age-old beauty of flora and fauna, and spectacular parks and gardens provide a serene getaway from city life. The park also has memorable activities like feeding giraffes, horse, and tortoise riding.
- The first European to see Mombasa was Vasco da Gama, the renowned Portuguese explorer.
- Lord Shiva Temple in Mombasa is the epitome of Indian architecture and culture.
- The Largest Jain Population in Africa. The religion has been practiced in the country for over 100 years and there is also a Jain Temple in Mombasa.
- Diani Beach – One of the Best Beaches in the World. It has incredible sunset views, surfing over the clear blue waters, panoramic palm trees, and stunning coral reefs.
Mombasa can be visited year-round, but based on the ideal climate conditions, cost of travel, and avoiding peak holiday periods, June-August is the best time to go.
In summer, the temperature in Mombasa can rise as high as 33℃ (91℉). In the winter months, it can get down to as low as 22℃ (71℉) at night.
The sun stays up the longest in Mombasa in November, so you’ll get the most out of your daytime activities if you visit around this time. The wet season in Mombasa falls around May, so if you prefer the dryer weather, you should look to visit in June instead.
- Haller Park
- Fort Jesus Museum
- Nyali Beach
- Wild Waters
- Mombasa Marine National Park
- Bamburi Beach
- Mamba Village Centre
- Diani Beach
Kenya’s main airport is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), located 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi. Kenya’s second international Airport is Moi International Airport (MBA), located 9km/6mi west of Mombasa, but aside from flights to Zanzibar, this is primarily used for domestic and charter flights.
The airport in Mombasa has been newly renovated and has increased the frequency of flights in and out of Mombasa from European cities. Kenya Airways  offers the most as far as options for traveling to/from Mombasa.
The city is also accessible by train from Nairobi, with two departures daily in each direction. The actual schedule is available at http://krc.co.ke/madaraka-express-rates/ The old train connection between Mombasa and Nairobi (13h train ride over night) stopped running in May-2017. The new connection is much faster (about 6h), but the railway station in Mombasa is not in the city center anymore, but about 15 km outside Mombasa. Online booking is not available yet (in December 2017). You can by tickets at the train station or under the local number 0709388888. The first class costs 3.000 KSH, second class 700 KSH, which is cheaper than the buses. Therefore you should book as early as possible (up to 14 days in advance) in high and holiday seasons.
Buses, while not a major mode of transportation within the city, are mostly used for traveling outside the city. The major provider of transportation in Mombasa is Matatu; the fleet consists mostly of fourteen-seater minibuses. Matatu is quite popular with the residents.
An easier alternative is a shuttle bus, at the moment there is one company (Hakuna Mutatu Bus) operating on the Kenya Coast and a ride to Mombasa From Diani or Kilifi costs roughly Ksh 1000 and takes 1hr 30. The shuttle bus is a door-to-door service, meaning you will be collected from your current accommodation in Diani, Kilifi or Watamu and dropped directly at your next accommodation in Mombasa, which makes it an attractive option.
The climate of Mombasa is tropical, with a cooler season from June to September and a hot, muggy season from November to April.
As regards to the rainfall, it is not particularly abundant, in fact, it amounts to about 1,000 millimeters (40 inches) per year, however, there are two rainy seasons due to the two annual zenith passages of the sun (that is, when it shines directly overhead in the sky at mid-day), as often happens at the Equator. The presence of the sea, however, complicates a bit the situation. The rains are abundant in April and May, in the so-called “long rains season”, and reach a peak in May, of about 235 mm (9.3 in). During some years, the rains can be torrential, and can cause flooding and power outages.
From June to September, there would be a dry season, but the south-east trade winds which prevail in this period are able to generate some thunderstorms, since the winds come from the sea, from which they collect heat and humidity, especially in the first part, that is, in June and July, when the sea is warmer.
From January to March, there is another dry season, when showers are rare, especially in January and February, which are the driest months of the year.
From October to December, there would be the second rainy season, called “short rains season”, which is more evident in other areas of Kenya, and it’s not evident here, although there is some variability between the years, so during some years, the rains are plentiful, as happened in October 2006, when there have been floods.
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