Mombasa

Mombasa

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About Mombasa

On the lush Indian Ocean coast of Eastern Kenya

Mombasa is everything you’d expect from an African city – chaotic and ramshackle, yet strangely peaceful in parts. Away from the centre of Kenya’s second city, shanty areas give way to seemingly endless beaches, rumbling to the sound of the surf on offshore reefs, and world class inland game reserves with the best of Africa on show.

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Mombasa offers a wide variety of accommodation to visitors ranging from top-class resorts to low-cost guesthouses. If you’re looking for the height of luxury in the city, you should book at the Voyager Beach Resort, which boasts an incredible suite of facilities. No matter where you go, be sure to research and look for reviews from fellow travellers as the quality of accommodation can vary.

Mombasa has a fantastic shopping scene featuring both western shopping malls and traditional Kenyan markets. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Old Town should be your first stop as it has a dizzying number of smaller stalls ranging from tourist-friendly souvenir stands to the workshops of talented artisans. Alternatively, visitors who fancy a small shopping spree can head to City Mall Nyali where they’ll find big name brands and a spectacular food court.

Kenyan food and drink is as diverse as it is delicious. Meat lovers will be in paradise as the quality of cuts on offer is outstanding – far surpassing what is found in most English restaurants. Be on the lookout for nyamachoma, barbecued meat often served with a spicy tomato relish. If you're more of a sweet tooth be sure to try coupe Mount Kenya, a type of Kenyan ice cream, with rum sauce or pudding ya maziwa lala, a traditional yoghurt dessert.

Kenya’s unique culture offers festivals that are unlike anything else on Earth and when combined with Mombasa’s own culture, thanks to the influence of visitors through its port, there are some truly unmissable events to be enjoyed. If you’re interested in experiencing the city’s celebrations, here are a few of our top picks:

Mombasa Carnival

The most popular festival in Kenya, Mombasa Carnival is an excellent showcase of Kenyan culture that takes place during November. This multicultural showcase sees the streets of the city overrun with dancing parades and the bombastic sounds of taarab music. There are normally several parades which converge on the main street of Moi Ave which then turns into a gigantic party for all to enjoy.

Dragon Boat Race

Held during the summer months, the dragon boat race at Tudor Creek sees boats of twenty men led by a tambourine player go up against each other. It’s a great event to watch as there’s plenty of drama and team rivalries that build the tension.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:English, Swahili
Currency:Kenyan Shilling
Time zone:GMT +3 hours
Flight time:9 hours 30 mins
Airport code:MBA
Holiday type:Beach / Summer Sun / Winter Sun

12 month weather (°C)

 
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Mombasa map

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