Mombasa Town, or Kisiwa Cha Mvita in Swahili.


Mombasa Kenya

The country Kenya, has three cities namely Nairobi the capital city, Kisumu the city by the Lake Victoria, and lastly Mombasa the coastal city of Kenya. Located in the South-Eastern part of Kenya, it is the second largest city in Kenya, with a population of half a million people mainly occupied by the Muslim Mijikenda/Swahili people.

Mombasa is a sister city to Seattle, Washington U.S and Honolulu City and County, Hawaii, U.S. The most common language spoken is Swahili followed by English. However, being a town that thrives on tourism, finding someone who speaks German, French, Dutch or any other language is not problematic.


The original Arabic name is Manbasa; in Swahili it is called Kisiwa Cha Mvita (or Mvita for short), which means "Island of War", due to the many changes in its ownership. The airport of the city is the Moi International Airport. Mombasa has a railway station and Rift Valley Railways runs overnight passenger trips from the city to Nairobi

Apart from the beautiful beaches that have traditionally been a great attraction for the city, another unique aspect is its rich history.

Mombasa is one of the oldest settlements in East Africa a town has existed on the island for over 700 years and some proof exists that would date Mombasa long before that. Stories exist from as early as the 12th century, Vasco de Gama himself arriving there in 1498.

The “Old Town” is reminiscent of the days when the Portuguese used to rule Mombasa, and you can experience the history even today in the structures that still stand, such as the Fort Jesus. The town is heavily influenced by Arabic culture, and is more observable here than in other parts of the city. Mombasa’s Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Inhabited by a richly diverse group of peoples (locals, Arabs, Asians, Portuguese and the British who have co-existed for hundreds of years) the various social, political, religious and economic activities of these groups have created a distinct character and culture unique to it.


This may be witnessed in Swahili food which is loaded with spices and flavors from Asia and the Middle East fused with the indigenous African food, creating a very unique blend but whose influences are noticeable and as such, Swahili food is regarded highly through Kenya such that any local visitor to Mombasa desires to sample the cuisine.

Another factor that draws tourists from Mombasa, not only internationally but also from other areas within Kenya such as the capital Nairobi, is the exciting nightlife.

There are several nightclubs along the North and South Coasts of Mombasa, all of which have different themes that cater to different crowds.

Most recently, the Mombasa Carnival has become a great factor in tourist numbers increasing there. The Mombasa carnival is a vibrant festival celebrated in the city each year in November. Features of African and Arabian influences on the town are well portrayed in this festival. The color, vibrancy and the jovial mood of the people of Mombasa can be experienced and observed during the carnival as people from around the world flock to the city to be a part of this exciting cultural festival. The festival is undoubtedly one the best in the world.

Without a doubt, a visit to Kenya would not be complete without visiting the coastal city of Mombasa.

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