Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

Mombasa

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
Mombasa is Kenya's second largest city and a sea port.
Mombasa2.jpg
Old town of Mombasa from English Point

Understand[edit]

Mombasa is Kenya's main tourist destination. It is located on the Eastern coastline of Kenya bordering the Indian Ocean which has made it a popular destination for its beaches. Mombasa offers a diverse marine life, world-class hotels and friendly atmosphere. There is a tropical climate all year; it is a great destination filled with activities for all ages.

Mombasa was ruled by the Portuguese, Arabs and British and originated back in the 16th century. Mombasa's culture today still exhibits that of its past. Historical ruins like Forte Jesus de Mombaça (AKA Fort Jesus), an historic Portugese fort, and the Old Town are attractions influenced by Mombasa's trade culture, with many examples of Portuguese and Islamic architecture.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

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 [1] offers the most as far as options for traveling to/from Mombasa.

By train[edit]

Train service is mainly provided between Nairobi and Mombasa. The advantage of traveling by railway is the ability to see wildlife up close. The train ride from Nairobi to Mombasa is estimated at 13 hours. There are meal accommodations and options of purchasing first or second class seats.

By bus[edit]

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.

Get around[edit]

By taxi from center: to south beaches ; ca 30-35 dollar. To airport:10-12 dollar Matatu (minibus) in city Ksh 50 (0,65)

Travel by the local bus-taxis (Matatus)-they are mini-buses that are usually full of people to maximum capacity. They're cheap. The name derives from a Swahili term that refers to 'ma'penny - the original matatu cost three cents many years ago. They are all over and in huge numbers, and they're licensed (stickers on the windshields). They are privately owned mini-buses regulated by the government. They are subject to extensive regulatory controls; a driver and bus can be pulled for the driver wearing a loud shirt. Taxis don't have taxi-signs on the roof, but license papers stuck to the windshields.

One can also travel using auto rickshaw's (locally called tuk-tuks) which are three wheeled private taxis. They cost about the same as Matatus. Moving from one part to the city to another is quick with these "bikes". Ideally use them for distances below 20km as they can be noisy. On the plus side they are quite airy and allow you to take in the scenary as you go by.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Bombolulu Workshops. Bombolulu Workshops was founded in 1969 and is a project of the Association for the Physically Disabled in Kenya (APDK). This center is a popular attraction for tourists and has 150 disabled employees who create jewelry, textiles, wood and leather crafts. It is the largest rehabilitation center in Kenya.  edit
  • Hindu Temples. Attributes to Mombasa cultural diversity. Tourist/visitors are able to go inside the Temple accompanied by a guide from the Temple. Inside you will be able to see artifacts, idols and cultural pictures/paintings.  edit
  • Mombasa Tusks. On Moi Avenue. The tusks were built in 1956 to celebrate Princess Margaret's visit to Mombasa town. They are located at the entrance to the city; they are not made of ivory as is sometimes thought, but of aluminum. An interesting thing to note is that the tusks form dual archways over each side of the road creating the shape in entirety of an 'M' for Mombasa or Margaret!  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Old Town. Located around Ft. Jesus, this historic district has mostly been converted into souvenir shops and restaurants. A nice place to explore on a Sunday when much of the city is closed down.
  • Colobus Trust nature walks and conservation volunteering at Diani Beach.
  • Mtwapa Creek is a place to visit on Mombasa's North Coast. An Indian Ocean inlet with some small marinas and beautiful tropical vegetation. Very famous for bird watching, mountain bike tours around the creek, and starting point for deep sea fishing trips. Mtwapa is also famous in Mombasa for its clubs and active nightlife. To get here from the city center, take a matatu from Digo road.
  • Nyali Theatre featuring Hollywood and Bollywood new releases (500 KSH), with bowling alley, casino, and Italian Restaurant. Have some Indian bhelpuri, a type of chaat (hot puffed rice, vegetables and tangy tamarind sauce) while you're there. Taxi from centre - 800 KSH, Tuk Tuk- 300 KSH. Matatus plying the Mkomani or Nyali routes - 30 ksh (Ask to alight at "Cinemax").
  • Kinazini Funzi Dhow Safaris, (1 hr south of Mombasa off main Tanzania Rd, bus transport from all beach hotels included), +254.734.603.250, [2]. Every day. Visit unspoilt Funzi Island via Dhow (traditional Arab sailing ship), explore Ramisi River Mangroves by canoe for crocs and lots of bird life up close, bathe on a magical sandbank in the Indian Ocean, feast on a lobster and seafood BBQ on Robinson Crusoe Island. $105.  edit
  • Haller Park (Bamburi Nature Trail), East Side of Links Road just North of Nyali (North on Links Road to Nyali. Look for entrance on left or ask a local). 8:30 - 5:30. Small zoo that feels like a park. Animals include giraffes, hippos (2), monkeys, and a reptile house. Guides speak English, Spanish, French and other languages. Watch out for the monkeys. They are numerous and appear friendly but do occasionally bite. 1400. (4° 0'22.82S,39°44'13.31E) edit
    Haller park
  • Avicennia Island, info@kayakingkenya.com (Funzi Keys), +254 724 414860, [3]. Every Tues, Thurs, Sat. For South Coast adventures, Avicennia Island is unbeatable. Kayak silently through submerged mangrove forests; swim & sunbathe in the emerald waters of the Funzi Sandbar, enjoy a sumptuous seafood barbeque meal served at a delightful wooden banda (open structure, beach house, or shelter, sheltered from the elements). $90.  edit
  • Go-Kart, (Shanzu, near Haller Park), 0721 48 52 47, [4]. Mombasa's motor sport arena – a place to chill with your friends and thrill with your kids. Whether you’re a budding Schumacher or a first-time driver, Mombasa Go-Karting has the experience and technical know-how to put you on the right track.There is a viewing veranda located in the bar and you can order food from the bar whilst you are watching the action on the track.  edit
  • Shimba Hills National Park: the approximately 30km south of Mombasa situated National Park is mountainous with lush tropical vegetation. This makes it particularly attractive as most other well-known national parks of Kenya have steppe-like vegetation. The main attractions include the elephant habitat, the stocks of antelopes, the waterfall, the Mwaluganje forest and the many vantage points of the fabulous landscape.
  • Enjoy the famous night life of Mombasa. The night life and entertainment in Mombasa is broad and offers something for every taste. Many bars, pubs and nightclubs in many price ranges offer something for every taste and budget. From local bars to exclusive lounge bar, everything is available. In the city center there are numerous coffee shops, small pubs and bars as well as some small to medium sized clubs. Nightlife "special kind" is mainly found in the village Mtwapa, north of Mombasa. Its called "the village that never sleeps".

Beaches of the North Coast

  • English point: Tiny sandy beach at Mkomani with view over the old town. Its a nice place to go but less for swimming than to enjoy the view.
  • Nyali Beaches: nice sandy beaches but due to the close distance to the town the water quality is poor and polluted. Its nice to walk along the shore when when you get tired of the hotel pools.
  • Bamburi Beach: Very nice beach with white sand and palm trees. Water quality is much better than at Nyali beach. Restaurants along the beach invite to sit under palm trees drinking a cold beer while watching people pass by. Du to the closeness to the town the beach is overcrowded on weekends or holidays.
    Bamburi Beach
  • Shanzu Beach: Very nice beach with white sand and palm trees. Less crowded than Bamburi beach.

Beaches of the South Coast

  • Tiwi Beach is a place to visit on Mombasa's South Coast. Quiet beach not spoiled by mass tourism. At low tide, you can swim in a tidal pool where tropical fish are trapped until the next tide comes in. Be careful to avoid the many sea urchins. Though there are relatively few people, there is a small cafe serving food and drinks. To get to Tiwi from Mombasa, take the Likona ferry to the south by taxi (ca $ 50,00) from Mombasa city center. Alternatively, take public transportation from the city center by catching a matatu on Digo Road across from the post office. The matatu route is aptly named "Ferry" and the matatu touts will be happy to point out the correct vehicle. The matatu drops passengers just outside the ferry, which is free for pedestrians. Take a another matatu going to Diani, but alight early at "Tiwi Spot". Hire one of the many motorbikes plying the main road to carry you the relatively short distance to the beach, since muggings have previously occurred on this stretch of road.
  • Diani Beach is the place to go. A fantastic long white beach with loads of watersports and primates to see. A night at '40 Thieves' beach bar is a great place to hang out with a few tuskers (beers). If you want to see one of the six primate species in South Coast Kenya visit the Colobus Trust, dedicated to primate rescue, research and conservation, for an informative walk and you may spot one of the many wild primates.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Kenya Shillings is the form of currency. However Euros and USDs are accepted. $25 USD = 20 Euros = 2000 Shillings. Credit Card and Debit Card uses are ok, however it is highly suggested to alert your bank that you will be traveling and using your card. This will avoid them from thinking that your card has been stolen and fraudulent charges are being made.

  • Mombasa Sandals, (Located in most souvenir shops and from street merchants). Hand made sandals made from leather and old tires (for the soles), these stylish shoes are a great souvenir from Mombasa. Local craftsman use colorful beads and pieces of leather to create a vast variety of shapes and decorations. No two pairs are alike. 500 ksh.  edit
  • African Fabrics, (Available in curio shops and markets throughout the city). Mombasa is one of the best place in Kenya to buy lesos (khangas) and kikois. Lesos are colorful printed fabrics that come in pairs and are traditionally worn by Swahili women. Kikois are typically striped or plaid and are typically worn as shawls. Lesos are sold at around 350 ksh, while Kikois are around 500 ksh. Prices vary with quality and may be higher in areas with lots of foot traffic from tourists (notably in Mombasa Old Town outside Fort Jesus).  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Mombasa is known for their diverse cuisines from Swahili, Indian, Chinese, Korean, and Italian cultures. They offer an abundance of resturants and eateries to choose from including establishments with freshly caught seafood.


  • Mikaye Restaurant - Fort Jesus, Sir Mbarak Hinawy Road (Opposite Fort Jesus), 0719331880, [5]. 6:30 am - 7pm. Mikaye is an authentic fusion restaurant. Mikaye a honorable woman in dholuo sets the guideline for the restaurant- entailing good food, admirable service, great ambience hence a formidable culinary experience. With a scenic view of Fort Jesus, the decor of the restaurant is modern with strong African influences. . The food is essentially a fusion of African food with touches of international cuisine. Biriani, Pilau , Kuku Kienyeji, Tilapia , Mataha Ksh 500.  edit

Chinese[edit]

  • Chinese Galaxy - is the most visited Chinese cuisine attraction. They offer fine dining, and a wide range of selections including house specials.

Seafood[edit]

  • Tamarind - On the island. It is the most popular with tourists. It overlooks Old Harbour and offers freshly caught seafood, exotic menus, nightlife and entertainment.

Variety[edit]

  • POA Restaurant & Grill - Tembo Entertainment Plaza on the North Coast, near the Nakumatt Nyali Shopping Centre. Large menu ranging from snacks, burgers to specialties from Germany, Italy, India, China, Thailand, as well as seafood. Open throughout the night, from 6pm to 6am.
  • Blue Room - which offers a self-serve cuisine ranging from 'Indian Bites' to other items like burgers, pizza, and ice cream.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are quite a number of good bars, pubs and Entertainment Spots in Mombasa Town and the North Coast. Night Life is very vibrant in Mombasa.


  • Bob's Bar, Nyali. Lively and popular bar located near Tembo. This bar and grilll is where a lot of great nights out get started.  edit
  • Fontanella Beer Garden, (Moi Avenue/Digo road Junction). Relaxed atmosphere right in the middle of the city affordable meals and drinks  edit
  • Club Lambada- Mtwapa, (Mtwapa Town). 24Hrs. Located in the north coast with offering all night disco and cabaret shows food drinks and accomodation  edit
  • Sheba Lounge, (City Mall Nyali). Rooftop Bar Great Music and atmosphere  edit
  • Tulia House and Camp, Off links road, Nyali, Mombasa, +254711955999, [6]. 24h. Based in the heart of the entertainment area of Nyali in Mombasa, Tulia House and Camp offers a range of accommodation to suit every individual and every budget.  edit
  • Mikaye Restaurant Nyali, Links Road Nyali (First roundabout from the Shell Petrol Station Nyali), 0734 442 543, [7]. 7am -1am. The best Whisky Roof Top Bar in Mombasa. Mature Clientele great for a romantic evening or a night out with friends. Ksh 500.  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are many accommodations to choose from when visiting Mombasa.

  • Mombasa Backpakers, Mwamba Drive #69 (Behind the Kenol Petrol Station on Mwtapa Rd in Nyali), [8]. Dorms/singles/doubles/camping. phone: +254(0)701561233 Located near the beach and has a swimming pool. The most popular place to stay in Mombasa. Often with a party atmosphere. Food is good quality as well as location. Take a tuk tuk or taxi after sunset.  edit
  • Bechara guest house, Haile Selassie road (Cnr Digo road). In the middle of town, a decent, clean and friendly, if basic, option, within walking distance of the train station. 900 ksh for singles (April 2011). The self contained rooms have fan and tv. 900 ksh.  edit
  • Backpackers Nirvana, Nyandurua Road, Nyali Beach (2nd house to the left of the main entrance of Nyali barracks), 0738130386, [9]. checkin: 11; checkout: 11. Ambient backpackers retreat in Nyali, Mombasa, is relocating 31st March 2014 just a little further up the beach. Designed with traditional African decor, Freebies in your rate, poolL, staff on-site for all your needs and highly secured location for your safety. $10-40.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Lambada Holiday Resort [10] at Mtwapa Creek, on Mombasa's north coast. The resort consists of 60 spacious rooms, entertainment area, restaurant, hair salon, health bar, swimming pool, sports bar and modern conference facilities. Rates from $25 low season-$50 high season per person/night. Tel: +254 (0) 729 351 383, +254 733 777557
  • Villa Annchen [11] at Mtwapa Creek, on Mombasa's north coast. Very private atmosphere and huge natural stone pool. 4 guest room with king size beds and en suite bathrooms. Rates from $40 low season-$80 high season per person/night. Tel: +254 (0) 710906126
  • Hotel Sapphire - at $20 per person you can stay at this hotel which offers 110 rooms and suites, catering providing food from various traditions and cultures, health club and gym.
  • Sun N Sand Beach Club - all inclusive resort providing accommodations for 298 guest rooms, Health Club, Pool, nightlife, and various activities. This resort is also children friendly.
  • Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club - offers accommodations for all, including RCI timeshare members. The resort is right off the coast with enjoyable nightlife, multiple restaurant selection with diverse cuisines, gym, pools, and friendly staff.

Stay safe[edit]

Several countries have issued warnings that the city centre is not safe during the night, that car-jacking is widespread and that robberies after sunset at the beaches can occur. Use common sense and a healthy dose of skepticism regarding your surroundings.

Stay healthy[edit]

For precaution don't drink tap water and be carefull with ice cubes. Its always wise to follow the old british role for the tropics:"Peel it, cook it or forget it". Mombasa has 3 major well equipped private hospitals with high standards: the Aga Khan Hospital, the Pandhia Memorial Hospital and the Mombasa Hospital. Many smaller hospitals and clinics are spread out all over Mombasa and the North Coast.

Cope[edit]

Consulates[edit]

Consulate of Austria in Mombasa, Kenya 3rd floor, Ralli House Nyerere Avenue P.O.B. 84045 Mombasa, Kenya City: Mombasa Phone: (+254) (41) 31 33 86 Fax: (+254) (41) 31 33 86 Email: tibor@tgaalarchitects.co.ke

Honorary Consulate of Belgium in Mombasa, Kenya P.O. Box 91276 - 80103 Mombasa (Kenya) City: Mombasa Fax: + (254) (41) 474.236 Email: consulbel@mombasa.be

Royal Danish Consulate Mombasa, Kenya Mikanjuni Road, Liwatoni Bay P.O. Box 99543 Mombasa, Kenya City: Mombasa Phone: +254 41 229241/2/3 Fax: +254 41 221390 Email: jhn@africaonline.co.ke

Honorary Consulate of Finland in Mombasa, Kenya Mikanjuni Road Liwatoni Bay c/o Shipmarc Ltd. Postal address: Honorary Consulate of Finland P.O. Box 99543 City: Mombasa Phone: (254-41) 229 241/-2/-3 Fax: (254-41) 221390 Email: jhn@africaonline.co.ke

Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mombasa, Kenya Bank of India Building 2. Stock, Nkrumah Road, Mombasa P.O Box 86779, Mombasa, Kenia City: Mombasa, Kenya Phone: (00254 41) 222 87 81 Fax: (00254 41) 231 45 04 Email: mombasa@germanconsul.com

Honorary Consulate of Greece in Mombasa P.O. Box 90194, Mombasa, Kenya City: Mombasa Phone: (002541) 1228286 Fax: (002541) 1314642

Honorary Consulate of Hungary in Kenya Mombasa Kastan Center NR Nyali Bridge, P.O.Box 90653, Mombasa/Kenya City: Mombasa Phone: 475-074, 474-947, 0733-608-767 (mobil) Fax: 471-257, 473-533 Email: mike@southerncrosssafaris.com

Assistant High Commission of India in Mombasa Bank of India Building Nkrumah Road PO Box 90164 Mombasa City: Mombasa Phone: +254 � 41 � 2224 433/2311 051 Fax: +254 � 41 � 2316 740 Website: http://www.hcinairobi.co.ke/Pages/AHC_mombasa.html Email: cimsa@swiftmombasa.com

Royal Norwegian Consulate in Mombasa Junction of Nyali Rd and Moyne Dr P.O. Box 99976 - 80107 Mombasa Kenya City: Mombasa Phone: +254 (0) 41 2230835 or 2311096 Fax: +254 (0) 41 2230835 Website: http://www.norway.or.ke/Embassy/Embassy/ Email: objmombasa@yahoo.co.uk or omarbajaber@gawab.com Details: Consul Omar S. A. Bajaber (honorary)

Consulate of Tanzania in Mombasa TSS TOWERS 12th FLR NKRUMAH ROAD PO BOX 1422 Mombasa Kenya City: Mombasa Phone: LOCAL: (041) 222.8595 International: +254.41.222.8595 Fax: LOCAL: (041) 222.2837 International: +254.41.222.2 Email: tancon@africaonline.co.ke

Honorary Consulate of United Kingdom in Mombasa PO Box 85593 80100 Mombasa Kenya City: Mombasa Phone: LOCAL: (041) 222.0023 INTERNATIONAL: +254.41.222.0023 Fax: LOCAL: (041) 231.2416 INTERNATIONAL: +254.41.231.2 Website: http://http://ukinkenya.fco.gov.uk Email: valerie@africaonline.co.ke

Get out[edit]

Transport to get out of Mombasa include regional flights and Bus coaches. Apart from Mombasa beaches, other tourist destinations in East Africa are Tanzania Game parks and beach resorts in Mombasa Island. Tanzania game parks are rich in wildlife species and beauty scenery on its wilderness savanna. This game parks are National parks,game reserves and conservation areas. Some famous National parks are Serengeti,Tarangire,Lake Manyara,mount Kilimanjaro,Ruaha, Selous game reserve,mikumi and Ngorongoro conservation area.These are among wildlife safari destinations recommended in Africa. Mountain climbing,walking safaris, bird watching and photographic safaris.

Get out of Mombasa is through bus transport and regional flights. Bus from Mombasa to Moshi Tanzania and Arusha are available and organized.

Get out of Mombasa by flight is through Kenya airways,Precision Air and Regional Air. Booking flight tickets is easier and flight tickets are also cheap.

Most wildlife safaris are organized in Arusha and begin in Arusha city while Mount kilimanjaro climbing trips begin in Moshi, Tanzania. Moshi is a tourist town located at Kilimanjaro slopes and kilimanjaro trekking adventures begin here.

After enjoying Mombasa beach holidays, some travelers want to experience to climb highest mountain in Africa with 5 ecological climatic zones.

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages