The coastal city of Mombasa is actually an island, which measures just over 14 sq km – less than five square miles – with magnificent stretches of white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Mombasa is East Africa’s largest port and Kenya’s main tourist hub. Located in the southeastern part of Kenya, Mombasa is one of the most significant towns of this area – as a major tourist destination.
It is also well known for its imports and exports through its port. Mombasa’s biggest market is the Makupa Market off Mwembe Tayari – a colourful place featuring a wide range of produce that is well worth a visit. Mombasa Island is a good place pick up souvenirs, especially cheap fabrics, like ‘kanga’ wraparounds.
The “Old Town” is the part of Mombasa that is reminiscent of the days when the Arabs exerted a heavy influence on the town and its culture, and they especially influenced the architecture and the language of this island. This part of Mombasa is well known for its ancient buildings, extravagant art designs and curio shops that sell antique and popular Kenyan souvenirs. Old Town is best seen when explored by foot, as the streets are too narrow to accommodate a large number of vehicles. The town’s inhabitants are mostly of Arab origin whose forefathers once roamed the same streets of the town.
The Port of Mombasa is vast in size. Port Tudor, Kilindini Harbor and Port Reitz (which used to be the old port) are what make up the Port of Mombasa. The Port offers many of the essential services such as cargo handling, berthing of ships, and other such facilities. Most of the ships seen at the port are from Kenya’s neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Zaire and a few others as well. Cruise ships, Navy ships and the famous QE2 are frequent visitors to the port and the town.
If you would like to add a visit to Mombasa for a cultural adventure on your Kenya safari please chat to us – we have some great ideas!