The East African country of Kenya has so much to offer visitors of the nation, while the capital of Nairobi remains the focal point for both leisure and business travelers entering the country, the coastal city of Mombasa is starting to attract its fair share of visitors and for good reason.
Mombasa is a great tourist destination located on the East Coast of Kenya and provides unrestricted access to the picturesque Indian Ocean via several pristine beaches. From stretches of white sand beaches to marine parks and temples, Mombasa is a traveller’s paradise. If you’re planning to travel in Kenya in your upcoming vacations, try to incorporate a few days in Mombasa into your travel itinerary.
But before you do, make sure you know enough about the city so you don’t land in trouble while you’re there.
Let’s have a look at the 15 important things you need to know before you visit Mombasa
Even though the average daylight temperature in Kenya is between 20°C and 28°C, it may rise above 30°C in Mombasa, as it is a coastal city situated along the Indian Ocean. The Mombasa weather is hot and humid! Don’t worry, there are monsoon winds to counter the hot Mombasa weather. From December to March, it’s summer season in Mombasa and from July to October, it is quite cold!
2. Options to travel around
There are multiple airlines that service Mombasa offers you the best flight timetable to and from Mombasa, railways and bus services are also present in the city to make your travel very comfortable and their fares are very economical too. Besides that, cabs are also easily available. There are many Mombasa hotels as well that provide car transfers to and from the airport.
Mombasa has also recently launched a sightseeing double-decker bus for tourists!
Double Decker Bus
Image Source: Nation.Co.Ke
3. Best time to visit?
Plan your trip to Mombasa somewhere between June and September or December and January. Since this is the peak holiday season here, don’t forget to book your tickets in advance! The Mombasa weather is ideal during these seasons.
It may seem weird but men should stay away from slay queens in Mombasa. They would befriend men and then rob them. So, safety first!
5. Where to eat
Mombasa has some very fine eateries and you can visit any of them. Two of them are Blue Room Restaurant and Galaxy Chinese.
Blue Room Cafe
Image Source: Facebook.Com
6. Popular tourist attractions
There is a lot to see in Mombasa. From Haller Park to Mombasa Marine Park, Old Town to Mandhry Mosque and from Fort Jesus to Jain Temple, there is a lot for you to explore! These are some of the best areas in Mombasa that you need to visit. You’ll have to walk a lot in Mombasa, so sandals or flip-flops won’t serve the purpose. Get a pair of comfortable sneakers or you’ll end up having sore feet.
Mandhry Mosque in Mombasa
Image Source: Wikipedia.Com
7. Malaria and Yellow Fever
This is a problem particular to Kenya so it is highly recommended that you get preventive malaria medicine from your physician before you travel to Mombasa. Since there can be some side-effects from the medication, it is recommended to use anti-insect sprays. Similarly, get yourself vaccinated against Yellow Fever as well. The authorities may require you to show a vaccination certificate upon your entry to Kenya. A Yellow Fever vaccination is mandatory if you’re entering Kenya from a listed Yellow fever region. There are many sites where you can find out the latest yellow fever risk regions.
DO NOT drink tap water in Mombasa. It is not of good quality at all and you should always prefer bottled water. Use bottled water for cleaning teeth, but potable water is fine for ablutions.
9 Mombasa beaches
The northern Mombasa beaches are more sparkling than the southern ones and are also easily accessible from the airport. Clear water, reefs, entertainment spots and water sports; this is what Mombasa beaches are all about. Don’t forget to visit Nyali, Bamburi and Shanzu. They are all great beaches with great tourist amenities!
Beaches in Mombasa
Image Source: AllTheRooms.Com
Kenyan Shilling is the local currency. Visa, Mastercard and mobile money (local) are accepted all over the city
Tipping the people who help you is considered a good gesture here. It would be great if you tip your porter USD 1 per bag or give the server a tip equal to 10% of your food bill!
12, Want to go shopping?
Well, if that is the case, you won’t be disappointed as Mombasa has some very fine shopping malls. City Mall Nyali, Coast Zanzibar Curio Shop and Bombolulu Workshops are to name a few. Mombasa shopping is a fun and interesting experience! Don’t forget to bargain!
Markets in Mombasa
Image Source: TheCultureTrip.Com
Many languages are spoken in Mombasa. However, English and Swahili are the two official languages. Try to learn some common daily-use phrases in Swahili language so you don’t find it tough to communicate in Mombasa.
- Jambo = Hello
- Ahsante / ahsante sana = Thank you / thank you very much
- Karibu = welcome
- Pole pole = slowly, relax, take it easy
- Poa = ok
14. Essentials to carry
Planning a trip to Mombasa won’t cost you much as far as the to-carry items are concerned. A t-shirt, a hat, comfortable sneakers, a neckerchief, full sleeve cotton shirts for the night, a light zipper for summers and a warm jacket for winter would be enough for you. Don’t forget to carry high SPF sunscreen, binoculars, appropriate medicine and a copy of your passport!
15. Photography rules
You are not allowed to photograph or film the military, government offices and the Kenyan flag. Also, photographing or filming the President or his residence may land you in trouble. So do take due care in this regard! It is advised to always ask before taking pictures of people – local custom.
Mombasa is like no other
Mombasa is one of the best East African tourist spots and we recommend that should place it in your go-to list when visiting the region. However, this post could only summaries so our favourite and most important tips when travelling to the city and there is still a host of other activates and experiences for you to try during your stay.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun and make sure you take care of the above-mentioned guides to make your trip safe and fun!
So, what are you waiting for? Travel to Kenya in East Africa and have an experience of a lifetime! You can head over to our “Flights”, “Car hires” and “transfers” sections for more information about travelling to Kenya!