Book Flights to Mombasa

Mombasa – Kenya

Mombasa, the city of salt and spice, seafaring stories and of intriguing traders from faraway lands has many faces. With the passionate calls to prayer, the flagstones of the Jain temples and the Zanzibar-bound dhows it shows its intoxicating blend of India, Arabia, and Africa.

Also known as the Island of War, Mombasa is East Africa’s biggest port and is actually an island connected by bridges and ferries. It is a cultural melting pot where many nationalities have enriched the city’s architecture and its cuisine. In the Old Town, fragrant spices from the local markets linger in the air and visitors step back in time to explore the ancient buildings.

Its beachfront hotels are popular for sun, sea and surf.

As with all major ports, Mombasa attracts its fair share of shady characters and occasionally ethnic tensions and security issues threaten to disturb the peace. Make sure you keep your wits with you when exploring this vibrant city.

Experience the hustle and bustle of Africa’s biggest port town and book cheap flights to Mombasa with TripIndigo today!

Why visit Mombasa?

  • Good prices and excellent value if you look around.
  • Mombasa is the gateway to the Northern and Southern beaches and several national parks and reserves
  • Explore the vibrant city and make sure you don’t miss Fort Jesus, the Old Town including its famous fish market, Haller Park for a dose of city bound nature, Mamba Village, the Nguuni Nature Sanctuary a little further out of town and the Mombasa tusks
  • Discover the underwater world in the Mombasa Marine National Park
  • Heritage forged by Arab, colonial European and Indian influences makes for excellent sight-seeing
  • Time zone: UTC / GMT +3
  • Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KSh, often written as =/)
  • Driving: left-hand side of the road.
  • Power supply is 220V-240V 50Hz. Plug types are ‘Type D & G (British)’
  • Closest Airport:  Moi International Airport (MBA).
Best time to visit lies on the equator and Mombasa’s climate is tropical and humid. As the rest of Kenya, it has two rainy seasons. The short rains in November and December and the long rains in March, April and May. The southern hemisphere winter means June, July and August are the coolest months, with temperatures averaging 27°C / 80°F.

Sights and sounds

Mombasa is a bustling port city with plenty of character and places to explore. Located on the coast it is fortunate to have a marine park right on its doorstep where water sports and sunbathing are popular options.

Old Town Mombasa

Fort Jesus is a good place to enhance your understanding of its varied background, before wandering around the Old Town to indulge in Mombasa’s amazing architecture, a variety of excellent and exotic food options, and the huge range of shopping options from high-end to the cheap and cheerful local markets. Don’t forget to swing past its famous fish market and take a selfie at the Mombasa tusks.

Make sure to check out the local fabrics like kangas and kitenge or the beautiful 100% cotton kikoy, which make excellent souvenirs and presents for loved ones at home.

Marine Life & Ocean Activities

As a seaside town, Mombasa is perfectly located to indulge in some fun in and around the water. Humpback whales migrate through the area from the end of June to December and anybody who enjoys fishing can try their luck with excellent deep-sea fishing right off the Mombasa coast. A trip between August and October gives you the chance to catch yellowfin tuna or try your luck with a marlin between December and March.

Wildlife & Nature

For a dose of nature in town, check out Haller Park and go for a walk, jog or ride on its lovely trails or visit the reptile park or the butterfly sanctuary when you are there. A little further out is Nguuni Nature Sanctuary where you can sip on a cold drink, watching a typical African sunset whilst enjoying a bbq with giraffes, ostriches and some other antelopes around you. There is also a crocodile farm in Mombasa called Mamba Village where you can take a tour and watch them get fed.

Relax & Unwind

And last, but not least Mombasa is an excellent starting point for a trip to the white sandy beaches to the north and south of town, all excellent places to relax and enjoy the best of Kenya’s coast, and the national parks and other wildlife reserves like Shimba Hills or even Tsavo National Park.

Dining and Dietary Considerations

Like all cultural melting pots, Mombasa has a lot to offer when it comes to picking your next meal, and all budgets are catered for.

Don’t forget to sample some of Kenya’s own dishes amongst all the other exotic flavours. We recommend you try

  • Ugali – maize and water, it looks like mashed potatoes,
  • Sukuma Wiki – kale or
  • Githeri – corn and beans.

Make sure you also try Nyama Choma (grilled meat) at one of the authentic nyama choma places around town.

Religious and Cultural considerations

The majority of people in Mombasa are Muslims although it is a melting pot of all cultures and religions as would be expected from a seaside city.

Although not extreme, there are certain things you should do and don’t do when in Mombasa. Shoes should always be removed when entering a home and place of worship. Dress modestly in public and refrain from public displays of affection.

When photographing people, always ask permission first and agree on payment if required.

Cost of Living

Mombasa has facilities for all budgets. This is true for accommodation, transport, food and excursions.

This is what you can expect to pay in Mombasa for:

  • Domestic beer (0.5-litre bottle) in a supermarket – 160KSh
  • Imported beer in a supermarket (0.33-litre bottle) – 225KSh
  • Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) – 200Ksh
  • A bottle of coca cola / pepsi (0.33-litre bottle) – 69KSh
  • A small bottle of water (0.33-litre bottle) – 54KSh


  • Mombasa used to belong to the Sultan of Zanzibar until it was ceded to Kenya when it gained independence in 1963.
  • Due to the many changes of ownership during the centuries of conflict it is called ‘Kisiwa Cha Mvita’ in Swahili, meaning Island of War.
  • Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya.
  • The city is built on an island and is surrounded by a natural harbour. It is the main link for East Africa with the rest of the world as the vast majority of goods for East Africa come in through this port.
  • Wrapping a head-scarf around one’s hair is a great way for women to avoid unneccessary and unwanted attention

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