Mombasa, Kenya » City Info

The port city of Mombasa is the second-largest and the oldest city in Kenya, and it is one of the popular tourist destinations in the country. The city is also known as the white and blue city. Being Kenya's chief port, Mombasa is the commercial and industrial hub on the Indian Ocean and is connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries.

Mombasa is the main seaport in Kenya. It comprises Kilindini Harbour and Port Reitz on the Eastern side of Mombasa Island and the Old Port and Port Tudor north. Moi International Airport connects Mombasa by air.

The original Arabic name is Manbasa which is called 'Kisiwa Cha Mvita' in Swahili, which means 'Island of War'. This name is because many wars for its possession have had a significant impact on its long history.

The majority of the Mombasa population comprises Muslims or Swahili people. The majority constitute migrants and merchants from countries like Iran, Middle East, Somalia, and the Indian sub-continent who came and settled there.

The town overlooks a large harbour, where commercial shipping blends with long-established sailing dhows. What attracts people from a distant land to this Island is the striking old town and its splendid Arab architecture. The city has narrow snaky streets, the air often filled with the scent of spices. The local Men & women are always wrapped in bright coloured coastal wears' khanga' and 'kikoy & women wearing the traditional outfit - buibui (ˈbʊɪˈbʊɪ) and the active markets flooded with fresh fish of the coast is the typical scene.

The city is well known for its exotic beach resorts and luxurious hotels. Water activities like kite surfing, scuba diving, and much more are available on these beaches. The city has many shopping malls, restaurants, lively nightlife and posh residential areas too.

Makadara is part of the Old Town that houses many Baluchi settlers. Kibokoni is another part of the Old Town with evident Swahili architecture and the famous Fort Jesus. Ganjoni and Tudor are residential districts. Kizingo is where the State House, Mombasa Golf Club and the Aga Khan Academy are established.

Area295 km² (113.9 sq.mi.)
Land230 km² (88.8 sq.mi.)
Water65 km² (25.1 sq.mi.)
Population1,208,333 (Urban)
Population3,528,940 (Metro)
Density3,184 km² (8,246.5/sq.mi.)
Time ZoneUTC+3 (EAT)
CurrencyKenyan shilling (KES)
LanguageSwahili, English