The gateway to Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline
Mombasa is a major seaport on the Indian Ocean, and Kenya's second largest city. Although not typically known as a tourist destination, Mombasa is the location of the international airport and the Gateway to Kenya's Indian Ocean coast beach holiday resorts. Kilindini Harbour, from the Swahili term for 'deep', is Kenya's only large seaport, which helped it to prosper as an important centre for trade. The Kenyan locals in Mombasa are a mixture of native Swahili people and Arabic Muslims descended from Middle Eastern traders that have come here over centuries of trade. The brightly coloured traditional dress of the Swahili women adds to the vibrant, exotic feel of Mombasa. As well as Mombasa itself, the Indian Ocean coastline near the city is a popular tourist destination, with beach resorts such as Bamburi and Tiwi attracting holidaymakers for the sleepy, laid-back atmosphere of the resorts.
Mombasa is exiting and exotic, a great place to unwind and soak up the atmosphere of a completely different culture and way of life to that at home. Whether you are flying to Mombasa to spend time in the city, or heading to the relaxing beach resorts, take a moment to immerse yourself in the culture of this colourful, vibrant city.
When to Go?
Mombasa is typically hot, hot, hot throughout the year, but as a tropical climate, there are periods of rainfall too. April and May are the wettest months, so unless you want to get a regular soaking, they are best avoided. January, February and March are the hottest and driest months, but of course also tend to be the busiest.
How to get there?
Fly from London Gatwick or Manchester with Thomson to the Indian Ocean coastal city of Mombasa in Kenya. Moi International Airport (MBA) is located in the district of Port Reitz. Flights to Mombasa from the UK take approximately 9 hours direct. You can also get flights to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) on BA, Virgin or Kenya Airways and then get a connecting flight from there, or travel by road or rail to Mombasa.
One of the most notable features of holidays to Mombasa is the impressive natural surroundings. Mountain bike tours of traditional villages, mangrove forests and the attractive Indian Ocean coastline are a great way to experience it. For some worthy souvenirs of your holiday, pick up some local African art work such as sculptures made by local artisans, who you can visit in their workshops. Among the places of historical interest, Fort Jesus and the old town area have some interesting buildings such as the Spanish colonial fort itself, which now houses a museum.
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