An aerial view of
Mombasa skyline at sunset from the old town
Kenyan English: [mɔmˈbɑːsə]) is a
city on the coast of Kenya. It is the country's second-largest
city, after the capital Nairobi, with an estimated population of
about 1.2 million people in 2016. Its metropolitan region is
the second largest in the country and has a population of
approximately two million people. Administratively,
Mombasa is the
county seat of
A regional cultural and economic hub,
Mombasa has an extra-large port
and an international airport, and is an important regional tourism
centre. Located on the east coast of Kenya, in
Mombasa County and the
former Coast Province, Mombasa's situation on the Indian Ocean made it
a historical trading centre, and it has been controlled by many
countries because of its strategic location.
3 Political divisions
5.2 North Coast
5.3 South Coast
6.2 Music and nightlife
10 Twin towns – sister cities
11 Notable residents
12 Image gallery
13 In popular culture
14 See also
17 External links
The city had a population of about 939,000 per the 2009 census.
It is located on
Mombasa Island and sprawls to the surrounding
mainlands. The island is separated from the mainland by two creeks:
Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour. It is connected to the mainland to
the north by the
Nyali Bridge, to the south by the
Likoni Ferry, and
to the west by the Makupa Causeway, alongside which runs the
Kenya-Uganda Railway. The port serves both
Kenya and countries of the
interior, linking them to the ocean. The city is served by Moi
International Airport located in the northwest mainland suburb of
Mombasa has a cosmopolitan population, with the
Swahili people and
Mijikenda predominant. Other communities include the Akamba and Taita
Bantus as well as a significant population of Luo and Luhya peoples
from Western Kenya. The major religions practised in the city are
Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. Over the centuries, many
immigrants and traders have settled in Mombasa, particularly from the
Middle East, Somalia, and the Indian sub-continent, who came mainly as
traders and skilled craftsmen.
Mombasa Before 1593
Portuguese Empire 1593–1698
Sultanate of Oman
Sultanate of Oman 1698–1728
Portuguese Empire 1728–1729
Sultanate of Oman
Sultanate of Oman 1729–1824
British Empire 1824–1826
Sultanate of Oman
Sultanate of Oman 1826–1887
British East Africa/
See also: Timeline of Mombasa
Kenya–Uganda railway near Mombasa, circa 1899
The founding of
Mombasa is associated with two rulers: Mwana Mkisi and
Shehe Mvita. According to legend, Mwana Mkisi is the original ancestor
of Mombasa's oldest lineages within Thenashara Taifa (or Twelve
Nations). Families associated with the Twelve Nations are still
considered the original inhabitants of the city. Mwana Mkisi was a
pagan queen who founded Kongowea, the original urban settlement on
Mombasa Island. Importantly, both of these names have linguistic and
spiritual connections with Central Africa. "Mkisi" is considered the
personification of "ukisi" which means "the holy" in kiKongo.
"Kongowea" can similarly be interpreted as the Swahili locative of
"kongo" which denotes the essence of civilizational order in central
Africa. These legends can be read as an acknowledgment of the
Bantu-speaking origins of the Swahili people. Shehe
the dynasty of Mwana Mkisi and established the first permanent stone
Mombasa Island. Mombasa's oldest extant stone mosque, Mnara,
was built c. 1300. Shehe
Mvita is remembered as a Muslim of great
learning and so is connected more directly with the present ideals of
Swahili culture that people identify with Mombasa. The ancient history
associated with Mwana Mkisi and Shehe
Mvita and the founding of an
urban settlement on
Mombasa Island is still linked to present-day
peoples living in Mombasa. The Thenashara Taifa (or Twelve Nations)
Swahili lineages recount this ancient history today and are the
keepers of local Swahili traditions.
Most of the early information on
Mombasa comes from Portuguese
chroniclers writing in the 16th century. In 1331, the famous Moroccan
scholar and traveller
Ibn Battuta also visited the area during his
travels to the
Swahili Coast and made some mention of the city,
although he only stayed one night. He noted that the people of Mombasa
were Shãfi'i Muslims, "a religious people, trustworthy and righteous.
Their mosques are made of wood, expertly built."
The exact founding date of the city is unknown, but it has a long
Kenyan school history books place the founding of
900 A.D. It must have been already a prosperous trading town in the
12th century, as the Arab geographer
Al Idrisi mentions it in 1151.
The oldest stone mosque in Mombasa, Mnara, was built c. 1300. The
Mandhry Mosque, built in 1570, has a minaret that contains a
regionally specific ogee arch. This demonstrates that Swahili
architecture was an indigenous African product and disproves
assertions that non-African Muslims brought stone architecture to the
Civitates orbis terrarum
Civitates orbis terrarum by
Georg Braun and Franz
During the pre-modern period,
Mombasa was an important centre for the
trade in spices, gold, and ivory. Its trade links reached as far as
Indian subcontinent and modern-day
China and oral historians today
can still recall this period of local history. History shows that
there were trade links between
Cholas of South India.
Throughout the early modern period,
Mombasa was a key node in the
complex and far reaching Indian Ocean trading networks, its key
exports then were ivory, millet, sesamum and coconuts.
In the late pre-colonial period (late 19th century), it was the
metropolis of a plantation society, which became dependent on slave
labour (sources contradict whether the city was ever an important
place for exporting slaves) but ivory caravans remained a major source
of economic prosperity.
Mombasa became the major port city of
Kenya in the Middle Ages and was used to trade with other
African port cities, the Persian Empire, the Arabian Peninsula, the
Indian Subcontinent and China. 16th-century Portuguese voyager
Duarte Barbosa claimed, "[Mombasa] is a place of great traffic and has
a good harbour in which there are always moored small craft of many
kinds and also great ships, both of which are bound from
others which come from
Cambay and Melinde and others which sail to the
island of Zanzibar."
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama was the first known European to visit Mombasa, receiving
a chilly reception in 1498. Two years later, the town was sacked by
the Portuguese. In 1502, the sultanate became independent from Kilwa
Kisiwani and was renamed as
Mvita (in Swahili) or Manbasa (Arabic).
Portugal attacked the city again in 1528. In 1585 a joint military
expedition between the
Ajuran Empire and the Turks of
Ottoman Empire led by Emir 'Ali Bey successfully liberated
other coastal cities in Southeast Africa from the Portuguese
colonizers. The Portuguese landlords; only
Malindi remained loyal
to Portugal. The Zimba overcame the towns of Sena and Tete on the
Zambezi, and in 1587 they took Kilwa, killing 3,000 people. At Mombasa
the Zimba slaughtered the Muslim inhabitants, but they were halted at
Malindi by the Bantu-speaking Segeju and went home. This stimulated
the Portuguese to take over
Mombasa a third time in 1589, and four
years later they built
Fort Jesus to administer the region. Between
Lake Malawi and the Zambezi mouth, Kalonga Mzura made an alliance with
the Portuguese in 1608 and fielded 4,000 warriors to help defeat their
rival Zimba, who were led by chief Lundi.
After the building of
Mombasa was put by the Portuguese
under the rule of members of the ruling family of Malindi. In 1631 Dom
Jeronimo the ruler of
Mombasa slaughtered the Portuguese garrison in
the city and defeated the relief force sent by the Portuguese. In 1632
Dom Jeronimo left
Mombasa and became a pirate. That year the
Portuguese returned and established direct rule over Mombasa.
With the capture of
Fort Jesus in 1698, the town came under the
influence of the
Sultanate of Oman, subordinate to the Omani rulers on
the island of Unguja, prompting regular local rebellions. Oman
appointed three consecutive Governors (Wali in Arabic,
12 December 1698 – December 1698: Imam Sa'if ibn Sultan
December 1698 – 1728: Nasr ibn Abdallah al-Mazru'i
1728–12 March 1728: Shaykh Rumba
Mombasa returned to Portuguese rule by captain-major Álvaro
Caetano de Melo Castro (12 March 1728 – 21 September 1729), then
four new Omani
Liwali until 1746, when the last of them made it
independent again (disputed by Oman), as the first of its recorded
1746–1755: 'Ali ibn Uthman al-Mazru'i
1755–1773: Masud ibn Nasr al-Mazru'i
1773–1782: Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mazru'i
1782–1811: Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Mazru'i (born 17–died 1814)
1812–1823: 'Abdallah ibn Ahmad al-Mazru'i (died 1823)
1823–1826: Sulayman ibn 'Ali al-Mazru'i
From 9 February 1824 to 25 July 1826, there was a British protectorate
over Mombasa, represented by Governors. Omani rule was restored in
1826; seven liwalis where appointed. On 24 June 1837, it was nominally
Said bin Sultan
Said bin Sultan of
Muscat and Oman. On 25 May 1887, its
administration was relinquished to the British East Africa
Association, later the Imperial
British East Africa
British East Africa Company. It soon
became the capital of the
British East Africa
British East Africa
Protectorate and the sea
terminal of the Uganda Railway, which was started in 1896. Many
workers were brought in from
British India to build the railway, and
the city's fortunes revived. The Sultan of
Zanzibar formally presented
the town to the British in 1898.
Mombasa became the capital of the
Protectorate of Kenya, sometime
between 1887 and around 1906 then Kenya's capital was moved to
Nairobi at around 1906.[why?]
Nairobi has since been Kenya's capital
On 28 November 2002, a suicide car bomb exploded at the Israeli-owned
beachfront Paradise Hotel, killing three Israelis and ten Kenyans.
About 20 minutes earlier, an unsuccessful attempt was made to shoot
Arkia Israel Airlines
Arkia Israel Airlines
Boeing 757 chartered tourist plane
taking off from nearby
Moi International Airport
Moi International Airport using surface-to-air
missiles; nobody was hurt on the plane, which landed safely in Tel
Aviv. The main suspect for both attacks is al Qaeda (see
Mombasa Republican Council is a separatist organisation based in
Mombasa. The group claims areas around the city and the
broader coastal region. It was formed in 1999 to address perceived
political and economic discrimination against the people of the coast
Mombasa Republican Council traces its secession
claims to the 1895 and 1963 agreements transferring the 16 km
(10 mi) strip of land along the coast to the Government of Kenya
from Zanzibar. The group contests these agreements as invalid because
they were enacted without the consent of coastal stakeholders, and
asserts that the
Kenyan government has not honoured the provisions
designed to protect the coastal population.
Mombasa is also a county and divided into six constituencies and
Port Reitz · Kipevu · Airport · Miritini ·
Jomvu Kuu · Magongo · Mikindani
Mjambere · Junda · Bamburi · Mwakirunge ·
Mtopanga · Magogoni · Shanzu
Frere Town · Ziwa La Ng'ombe · Mkomani ·
Kongowea · Kadzandani
Mtongwe · Shika Adabu · Bofu · Likoni ·
Mji wa Kale/ Makadara · Tudor · Tononoka · Shimanzi/
Ganjoni · Majengo
Being a coastal town,
Mombasa is characterised 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,
Port Reitz in the south and
Tudor Creek in the north.
Kizingo: Considered the prime residential area of Mombasa. The State
House of Mombasa, Provincial Headquarters, The
Mombasa Law Courts, and
the Municipal Council are located in Kizingo. The Aga Khan Academy,
Aga Khan High School, Serani Primary School, Serani High School,
Santokben Nursery School, Coast Academy, Jaffery Academy, Mombasa
Primary School, Loreto Convent, Mama Ngina Girls' High School and the
Government Training Institute (GTI)
Mombasa are all in Kizingo as
Kibokoni: Part of Old Town with Swahili architecture.
Fort Jesus is in
Englani: Part of Old town between
Kibokoni and Makadara.
Kuze: Part of Old Town with Swahili culture and architecture.
Originally flourishing with
Swahili people but currently becoming a
more cosmopolitan neighbourhood.
Makadara: Part of Old Town consisting of a high number of descendants
of Baluchi former soldiers who settled within this area before it
developed into a town. The name is derived from the Arabic word
Qadr-ur-Rahman meaning fate of God.
Ganjoni: Primarily a middle class residential, home of second biggest
dry dock of Africa after the one in South Africa.
Tudor: Another middle class residential area with homes and shops. The
Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) is situated in this
Nyali Beach, north coast (from the Voyager Resort).
Nyali, also considered a prime and up-market residential area, it is
on the mainland north of the island and is linked by the New Nyali
Bridge. It has numerous beach front hotels in the area known as the
Nyali has two distinct sections – the posh Old Nyali
and the upcoming New Nyali. For many residents,
Nyali has now become a
self-contained residential area, with two Nakumatts, a multiplex
cinema, shopping malls, banks, schools and post offices. This often
eliminates the need for residents to cross the bridge and to go into
Mombasa city centre.
Nyali is home for the
complex, Mamba Village, the
Nyali Golf Club, and some of the most
prestigious academic institutions of the Coast Province.
Kongowea is a densely populated area with 15 villages, two
sub-locations and an estimated population of 106,180 residents.
Kongowea is a cosmopolitan settlement mainly inhabited by people from
mainland who migrated into the city in search of employment, mainly in
service and manufacturing sector. The area is adjacent to the rich
Nyali which employs a portion of the village residents. They
are mainly hired as cheap labour as watchmen, gardeners, masons for up
coming houses and house help. The most well known villages inside
Kisumu Ndogo, Shauri Yako and Mnazi Mmoja, despite
being located in this prime area, many residents live under extreme
conditions – poor sanitation, high crime rate and lack of basic
essential amenities like schools, hospitals and tap water. Kongowea is
also home to one of the largest open-air markets in the African Great
Bamburi is an outlying township (fifteen minutes drive) along the
Bamburi is the location of
Bamburi Portland Cement
Company. Other notable features in the area are the Mijikenda public
beach, commonly known as Pirates, and Haller Park, a nature trail and
wildlife conservatory. Kiembeni Estate, also in the
hosts around 100,000 residents. The estate has its own supermarket,
several retail shops, salons and boutiques, and a number of licensed
drinking dens. The establishments include The Shilla Bar, Turkey Base,
Stars Garden and Sensera pub. Kiembeni is arguably the largest estate
in Mombasa, and growing even faster.
Other areas include, Shanzu, Mkomani, Bombolulu,
Kisauni and, across
Mtwapa creek, the popular area of Mtwapa, which is already
The North Coast has an entertainment industry which attracts locals
Likoni: is a lower income and lower-middle-class neighbourhood
Mombasa Island by ferry. It is south of
and made up of mostly non-Swahili Bantu tribes. The ferry was the
target of the
Likoni Riots of 1997.
Diani Beach: a beach resort area situated over the
Likoni Ferry on
the south coast of Mombasa. It is located some 36 km (22 mi)
Mombasa city on the mainland coast and is a prime resort for
many local and international tourists.
Diani Beach has an airport at
Ukunda town to cater for tourists who fly there directly from Nairobi
Wilson or any other airports and airfields in the country.
Magongo: is an outlying township 20 minutes driving distance northwest
Mombasa Island, situated on the
Nairobi Highway. This fringe
community lacks any effective electricity, water or sewer systems,
with a general lack of infrastructure. Poverty, lack of sanitation,
and unemployment continue to be the greatest issues for the Mikindani
Township, which have ensured low health and safety standards for its
residents. Poor, lower class housing is widespread, ranging from
simple stone, two-storey structures to mud and earth homes fitted with
corrugated iron roofs. Much of the community works outside of the
Mombasa Island itself as there is a lack of
employment and industry. There are number of small health clinics,
shops, and a few public primary schools: Nazarene primary is one
school, which is known in particular as being staffed by a revolving
volunteer teacher base from Western, and predominately English
speaking nations. This small town serves as a link between the city
and Moi International Airport. Magongo is also home to the Akamba
Mikindani, a suburban area: This is an outlying township on the
mainland along the
Nairobi Highway. It is built in the heavy
industrial sections of
Changamwe and mainly accommodate the working
class who either work in the industries, the town centre on the Island
and the Port at Kilindini harbour.
Miritini: outlying township on the
Nairobi Highway which is
first growing as a suburban area.
Changamwe: Industrial area which contains the
Kipevu power generation
Kenya Oil Refinery Company facility and housing estates
Chaani and is the gateway to the Moi International Airport.
The area has administrative offices of the D.O and the chiefs who
serve the administrative division.
Migadini & Chaani: They are two adjacent estate that are located
east of Airport road and east of
Kenya Port Authority. They are
bordered by Port Reitz, Magongo and KPA
Port Reitz: Is a suburb on the mainland which contains a beach, oil
refineries, housing estates etc.
Moi International Airport
Moi International Airport and the
Port Reitz District Hospital are in Port Reitz.
Moonlit boats in Mombasa
A major cultural hub in
Kenya and the African Great Lakes, Mombasa's
proximity to Zanzibar,
Nairobi and the Indian subcontinent, as well as
its large shipping and maritime industries gives it a diverse mosaic
of cultures. Music is a main feature of Mombasa's culture.
The majority of Mombasa's population is Muslim. This large
population has recently adapted Arab immigrant practices into Swahili
New Year. The celebrations of maulidi, a celebration of the Prophet
Muhammad’s birth, and shirk, the
Mombasa adopted name for the
Swahili New Year, have witnessed an increasing overlap of cultures
within the city. This parallels increased migration of Muslim Arab
immigrants in the region.
The Catholics are pastorally served by the Metropolitan Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Mombasa.
Music and nightlife
Taarab music, which originates from Zanzibar, has a prominent local
presence. Styles of music native to
Mombasa include the smooth and
mellow Bango, fast-paced
Chakacha and traditional Mwanzele.
Musicians of note are
Mombasa Roots, Safari Sounds, Them Mushrooms,
Anwar Juma Bhalo and Princess Farida.
Mombasa has been the home or
base for former greats like Fundi Konde, known for his song "Tausi";
Fadhili Williams and Grand Charo, famous for the song "Malaika"; Sal
Davies; Malika Mohammed; Stara Butte; Juma Bhalo. Contemporary hip-hop
fusion artistes are Susumila, Majizee, Nyota Ndogo, Cannibal
(musician), Sharama and Ukoo Flani super group which once could boast
up to 40 rappers.
Recently, hip hop, reggae, soul, blues, salsa and (among the Indian
community) bhangra have become popular, especially amongst the youth.
Mombasa is mainly a tourism centre populated by hundreds of
entertainment spots of all categories from night clubs, bars, hotels,
fancy restaurants and many more. It has the most vibrant night life in
Kenya catering to the mainly tourist population.
Mombasa is represented in the
Kenyan Premier League
Kenyan Premier League by
Bandari F.C, which plays at the Mbaraki Sports Grounds. Also, the
Congo United FC, Promoted and dropped in 2011, are in the second tier
Nationwide Super League with 4 other hometown clubs – Admiral F.C.;
Magongo Rangers; Sparki Youth and Coast United. Derbies between
Mombasa teams have become intriguing affairs recently. Another
team, Coast Stars, was relegated several years ago from the league.
The only Mombasa-based team to win the league is Feisal F.C., the 1965
champions. Kiziwi leopards was a popular team in the 1980s as was
Mombasa Wanderers decades before. There are several cricket teams in
Mombasa. One of them is
Mombasa Sports Club (MSC), whose ground was
given ODI status in 2006. MSC has also a rugby union team playing in
Kenya Cup League, the premier rugby competition in Kenya.
men and MSC ladies represent
Kenyan field hockey leagues.
The 2007 World Cross Country Championships were held in Mombasa.
Mombasa Marathon is competed annually in Mombasa. The town also hosts
the biennial classic edition of
Safari Rally and annually a Kenya
National Rally Championship round.
Scuba diving takes place mostly within the
Mombasa Marine National
Park and Reserve, which is managed and maintained by
Service. The park has a length of about 8 km (5.0 mi).
Biashara Street, Mombasa
Mombasa is a major trade centre and home to Kenya's only large
seaport, the Kilindini Harbour. Kilindini is an old Swahili term
meaning "deep". 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 at the end of the last glacial period
when the sea level rose and engulfed a river that was flowing from the
Mombasa is a centre of coastal tourism in Kenya.
Mombasa Island itself
is not a main attraction, although many people visit the Old Town and
Fort Jesus. The Nyali, Bamburi, and
Shanzu beaches are located north
of the city. The Shelly, Tiwi, and Diani beaches are located south of
Mombasa. Several luxury hotels exist on these beaches, while the less
expensive hotels are located further away.
Mombasa's northern shoreline is renowned for its vibrant 24-hour
entertainment offers, including both family entertainment (water
parks, cinemas, bowling, etc.), sports (watersports, mountain biking
and gokarting), culinary offers (restaurants offering a wide range of
specialties from Kenya, China, Japan, India, Italy, Germany and other
countries) and nightlife (bars, pubs, clubs, discothèques, etc.).
Other local industries include an oil refinery with a capacity of
80,000 barrels a day, and a cement factory capable of producing
over 1.1 million tons per year. The major intercontinental
undersea telecom cables reach shore next to Mombasa, connecting the
African Great Lakes
African Great Lakes to the rest of the world and supporting a
fast-growing call centre business in the area. The estimated real GDP
Kenya in 2016 is 5.7-6.0%. This growth will be in response
to the construction of a railway system from
will aid in trade and transportation between Kenya’s two major
Mombasa will become a
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in which certain
industries such as tea, garments, and footwear will be exempt from
certain taxes to promote domestic growth. This is in response to the
deficiencies in Export Processing Zones (EPZ).
Kenyan Dock Worker’s Union is situated in
Mombasa and has
roughly 5,000 members.
President Kenyatta has made it a priority to deepen economic ties with
Asia at the onset of his presidency. Japan has played a role in
financially sponsoring the expansion of the
Mombasa port in phase one
and two of the expansion project.
At 44%, the rate of youth unemployment in
Mombasa is more than double
the national average of 21% (2016).
Mombasa has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: As). The amount
of rainfall essentially depends on the season. The rainiest months are
April and May, while rainfall is minimal between January and February.
As a sea port,
Mombasa is subject to detrimental consequences of a
fluctuating climate. In October 2006,
Mombasa experienced a large
flood that affected 60,000 people.
Coastal erosion has become a problem for
Mombasa infrastructure. Due
to rising sea levels, the coastline has been eroding at
2.5–20 cm per year. This has increased the number of annual
Climate data for
Mombasa (1961–1990, extremes 1890–present)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: NOAA
Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity, 1962–1993), Meteo
Climat (record highs and lows)
Sunrise at Moi International Airport
Moi International Airport
Moi International Airport serves the city of Mombasa. It is located in
Port Reitz area, also known locally as
Chaani area on the mainland
metropolitan area. Flights to
Nairobi and other Kenyan, European and
Middle Eastern destinations depart from the airport.
Nairobi are connected by chartered flights operated via Wilson
airport. This takes approximately 45 minutes.
Moi International Airport
Mombasa has a modern railway station that replaced the century old
station built by the British. Completed in 2017 and located at
Miritini, the station links
Mombasa to the rest of the Kenya. Kenya
Railways transports passengers and cargo through the Standard Gauge
Nairobi to Mombasa. The journey takes approximately
four hours between the two cities.
Moi Avenue in Mombasa
Mombasa is straightforward and the majority of the roads
are tarmacked. Main roads include Jomo Kenyatta Avenue, Digo Road,
Nyerere Road, Nkurumah Road, Moi Avenue, Mama Ngina Drive, Barack
Nairobi Highway and
Mombasa to Nairobi,
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam while northward
road link to
Malindi and Lamu, which also extends towards the border
Within Mombasa, most local people use matatus (mini-buses) which are
extremely common in Kenya, to move around the city and its suburbs.
The tuk-tuk—a motor vehicle with three wheels—is widely used as
transport around the city and its suburbs. No more than three
passengers may be carried. A boda-boda is originally a bicycle taxi.
Especially in cities, the bicycles are more and more replaced by
Mombasa Waterfront with ferry
Mombasa's port is the largest in Kenya, with 19 deep water berths with
two additional berths nearing completion and two oil terminals.
Rail connects the port to the interior. There is little or no
scheduled passenger service. International cruise ships frequent the
There is no bridge between
Mombasa Island and south coast, instead the
distance is served by ferries operated by the
Ferry Service from
Likoni in the south coast of Mombasa. In
1994, a ferry serving
Mtongwe route sank and 270 or more perished.
As a result of the major build-up of more luxurious hotels in South
Coast and a lack of a direct bridge linking the South Coast to the
North Coast, visiting tourists have the option of flying directly into
the South Coast airstrip using the domestic airline, Air Kenya.
Twin towns – sister cities
Mombasa is twinned with:
6 April 1981
20 November 2007
United States Virgin Islands
20 February 2012
During its history,
Mombasa was visited by numerous pioneers of the
maritime exploration, such as the Arabs Al Idrissi (1151) and Ibn
Battuta (1330), the Chinese
Zheng He (1413) or the Portuguese Vasco da
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral (1500)
João da Nova
João da Nova (1505) and
Afonso de Albuquerque
Afonso de Albuquerque (1507).
Swaleh Nguru, Arab businessman, conservationist and philanthropist
Karen Blixen, Danish novelist
Thomas Risley Odhiambo, entomologist
Fadhili William, musician, singer, composer.
Abdilatif Abdalla, writer, university professor and political
Ayub Ogada, musician, singer and composer known for having composed
two songs of the movie The Constant Gardener.
Timothy R. McClanahan, marine ecologist who lived and has worked in
Mombasa since 1991.
Mombasa CBD Building
Mombasa beach sunrise
Port of Mombasa
View of the old town
"New Dwarikadham Temple", A popular
Hindu temple in Nyali.
In popular culture
Mombasa is a pivotal setting in the highly popular Halo video game
Mombasa appears as a major setting in Halo 2, and the entirety
of Halo 3: ODST takes place in Mombasa. The science fiction games are
set in the year 2552, and the city has been divided into "Old Mombasa"
and "New Mombasa" (a prosperous section filled with futuristic
skyscrapers and an iconic orbital elevator). The city comes under
attack by humanity's alien adversaries, "The Covenant", who focus
their planetary invasion in and around
Mombasa in search of a massive,
technologically advanced artifact buried nearby.
The Finnish pop hit
Mombasa (by Taiska) is about the city.
In the US, the
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World resort recreated a
Kenyan village in
the Africa section of the
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park named
"Harambe", which is modelled after Mombasa. The village features a
store called the "
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Mombasa
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mombasa.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mombasa.
Mombasa County Government
WorldStatesmen – Kenya
Settlements on the
Mombasa at Wikimedia Commons .
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