Mombasa: Kenya’s Indian Ocean treasure
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Mombasa is everything Nairobi is not. Laid-back, sultry, and distinctly Swahili in character, it stands on an island once known as the ‘Island of War’ due to its turbulent history. Enjoying endless sunshine, Mombasa is the hub of the Indian Ocean tourism industry, a fascinating historical treasure, and a stronghold of coastal culture.
Gateway to the Indian Ocean
North and south of Mombasa are some of the finest beaches in Africa; endless crescents of silver sand bordered by waving palms and vibrant coastal resorts. Head north to Nyali and south to the fabulous Diani Beach.
The pristine beaches of Watamu and Malindi are just a two-and-a-half-hour drive, or a very short flight, from the city.
Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve, running from Mombasa’s Tudor Creek to Mtwapa, is Kenya’s most visited marine park and one of the country’s finest snorkeling and dive venues. Established to protect the fragile reef ecosystem, it promises coral gardens alive with colourful tropical fish and sightings of endangered sea turtles and dolphins. The Park is also a popular destination for windsurfing, water skiing and for tours by speedboat or glass-bottom boat.
Location: Mombasa lies on Kenya’s east coast, 480km south-east of Nairobi.
Accommodation: Hotel choices include beach and town hotels (5-star to the simple guest house) with a wide range of campsites and hostels.
Getting there: Moi International Airport hosts both local and international flights. Mombasa is also a terminus of the Madaraka Express, just a four-and-a-half-hour scenic train journey from Nairobi. Mombasa island is linked to the south coast via the Likoni Ferry and the north coast by the Nyali Bridge.
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