Located on the east coast of Kenya, Mombasa is the second largest city after the capital Nairobi. It's an industrial and commercial hub that's considered to be the chief port of Kenya, hence why it's so popular with tourists and foreign traders.

Despite its history, Mombasa is a beautiful city, with plenty to do and multiple reasons as to why it's a popular tourist destination.

Language and Currency

Swahili is the official language in Mombasa, with English also widely spoken. A few token phrases to help you get by are:

  • Jambo / Salama = Hello
  • Kwa heri = Goodbye
  • Nafurahi kukuona = Nice to meet you
  • Tafadhali = Please
  • Asante = Thank You
  • Samahani = Excuse Me

The currency used in Mombasa is the Kenyan Shilling (KES) and as of November 2015, the exchange rate is;

  • 1 USD = 102.19 KES
  • 1 GBP = 154.52 KES
  • 1 EUR = 110.19 KES


The heat barely drops below 20'c all year round and is probably the best place to escape to for some winter sun - The hottest months are January to March where it surpasses 32'c! May is usually the wettest month, while March sees the warmest sea temperatures!


There are a wide range of must see visitor attractions in Mombasa, so why not start your trip with a day spent strolling through Haller Park to be up close to wildlife, where you can feed the giraffe and watch crocodile feeding time! Next, Head to Fort Jesus Museum, a UNESCO Heritage Site which despite several attacks since its construction in the 1600's, still stands today as a proud symbol of independence. For something a little more relaxed, how about heading to the beautiful Bamburi Beach for some snorkelling?!

You may notice the theme for activities centres around wildlife, so why stop there?! Another must is a day spent at the Mombasa Marine National Park where you can take a glass bottomed boat tour or a stroll through the coral gardens. Lastly, the obvious choice - go on Safari! With many tour operators specialising in Safari getaways, you'll be spoilt for choice! But you can be safe in the knowledge that you'll be in for a real treat!


You'll find many stalls along the beach selling beautiful souvenirs, but expect to pay a higher price for the luxury of shopping with sand between your toes. Instead, head downtown to a local market or small store and gather your good here. Stock up on spices, elegant materials and wood carvings. For something a little different, how about a soapstone carving or an authentic African mask?

Dining out and Nightlife

Chapatis stuffed with meat and vegetables served hot from the griddle are a definite must in Mombasa, as well as deep fried sweets known as Maandazi with a nice cup of Chai Tea. For a hearty meal, try the delicious Karanga stew with a side of rice, boiled in coconut milk!

Head back down to Bamburi Beach where you'll find a plethora of bars, restaurants and nightclubs to suit everyones taste! There's nothing better than eating your dinner overlooking the beautiful ocean and sipping cocktails on the sand!


Thinking of hiring a car to make the most of your trip to Mombasa? Great! make sure you're aware of the following before you set off!

  • Remember to drive on the left hand side of the road.
  • It is mandatory that seatbelts be worn by the driver and all passengers.
  • Your drivers licence, insurance and registration documents must be kept in the car with you at all times.
  • The legal blood alcohol content in Kenya is 0.08mg/100ml.
  • Let your hire car company know if you plan on embarking on a self driving safari - that way, an appropriate vehicle can be provided, along with correct insurance cover!

Tourist Information

Be sure to visit Magical Kenya for all you need to know about this wonderful city before you go!


Moi International Airport is the main airport that serves Mombasa and only takes a 20 minutes to travel to the city centre!