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The coastal city of Mombassa is one of Africa's major tourist destinations, with some of the best beaches in the world. Located on Kenya's Eastern coastline bordering the Indian Ocean, Mombassa has become popular for its exotic beaches, diverse marine life, world-class hotels and friendly people.
Mombassa's history dates back to the 16th century, and it has been ruled by the Portuguese, Arabs and British-which have all influenced the town's culture and the attractions that still exist including historical ruins such as Fort Jesus and the Old Town.
Mombassa's beaches offer a host of activities for kids and adults alike, such as deep-sea fishing and water sports. Tours of the town, safaris in game parks, and camping can all be planned through travel agencies within the city. Hotels also incorporate these activities as part of their entertainment, with the aim of making the trip to Mombassa the ultimate holiday experience!
The beaches in Kenya have become one of the world's greatest playgrounds, with plenty of opportunities for water sports or simply sunbathing. More than half of the country's international hotels are based along the Coast. We welcome you to Mombassa, where the sun shines all year round and the diversity of activities is unequalled, make Mombassa your next holiday destination.
Old Town - It is the part of Mombassa that is reminiscent of the days when the Arabs exerted a heavy influence on the town and its culture, and especially in the architecture and language (Kiswahili has a lot of phrases derived from various Arabic dialects). It 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 with an experienced guide, as the streets are too narrow to accommodate a large number of vehicles. The town’s inhabitants are mostly of Arab origin who’s forefathers once roamed the same streets of the town. Fort Jesus is located just a few steps away from where the town "starts", thus a complete tour of the fort and the “Old Town” can be done in a single day.
Fort Jesus – It is Mombassa’s most popular tourist attraction. The fort, located along the coastline near the Old Town , is a monumental piece of architecture that was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese. The fort has a museum that displays various artefacts from the era where Mombassa served as a transit point for trading of slaves and commodities, and which enjoyed regular visits by seafarers and the like. Its interior comprises torture rooms and prison cells where slaves were kept in captivity before being traded. Weapons such as canons, which were used to defend the fort from invading foreigners as well as rioting locals, can be seen both inside and outside the fort. The fort opens its gates for viewing in the morning and closes at dusk.
Mombassa "Tusks" – They are symbolic representations of the entrance into the heart of the town. The tusks were built to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth to the town in 1952, as they lay directly on the path from the port to the town. Ivory was considered to be an exquisite commodity during the time, and in essence the tusks were meant to embrace the Queen and the British Empire into the town and within its social structure. Coincidentally the tusks also spell the letter "M" for Mombassa.
Hindu temple – It is a one of the many symbols of Mombassa's cultural diversity. The temple is a popular tourist spot and a tour can be taken inside the temple, with a historical background of the temple given by one of the temple gurus. Extravagant idols and stone carvings of the various religious beliefs are displayed within the temple and on its walls. It is located near the Railway Station just outside the perimeter of the downtown area.
Kenya’s different topographical regions experience distinct climates. Generally, the hottest time is in February and March and the coldest in July and August.
The coastal region is largely humid and wet. The city of Malindi , for instance, receives an average rainfall of 1,050 mm ( 41 in ) per year, with average temperatures ranging from 21° to 32°C (70° to 90°F ) in January and 20° to 29°C (68° to 84°F ) in July.
The low plateau area is the driest part of the country. There, the town of Wajir receives an average annual rainfall of 320 mm ( 13 in ) and experiences average temperatures ranging from 19° to 37°C (66° to 99°F ) in January and 19° to 34°C (66° to 93°F ) in July.
Local hand-crafted items and souvenirs can be bought in the city as well as on the beachfront from tourist shops and local vendors respectively. Traditional African and Arabic clothing can also be purchased at these places. Prices vary, and some good deals can be obtained with a bit of bargaining.