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About Mombasa

The city of Mombasa is the second largest in Kenya. However, it seems a million miles from the capital, and has more in common with Dar es Salaam than Nairobi.

Found on the shores of the Indian Ocean, Mombasa is a blend of languages, cultures and experiences. There's never a dull moment, so make sure you book a FlipKey rental that's in the heart of it all!

About Mombasa

Mombasa has an intoxicating feel that transports you back to the days of Sinbad the sailor and voyages to exotic islands.

Built on an island surrounded by a natural harbor, Mombasa is one of East Africa's largest ports, and is home to an arrival airport for tourists looking to vacation at the surrounding tropical resorts down the coastline. Little do they know, they're missing out on a vacation hotspot right here!

Mombasa has a rich history. It was discovered by Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama in 1498. Since then, it’s been occupied by the Portuguese, the Arabs, the British and now Kenya.

After being discovered by Vasco de Gama while looking for a sea route around Africa to India, the Portuguese returned five years later to raid Mombasa before eventually establishing a settlement and building Fort St Jesus to protect the harbor.

There are plenty of opportunities to explore this history. From the 16th century fort, traditional Dhow building and the Old Town, you may not have enough time to see everything Mombasa has to offer! 

What to do in Mombasa

Visit Fort St Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and try to depict the inscriptions scratched into the walls by Portuguese sailors depicting both European and Arab sailing ships.

Despite lacking the medieval charm of Zanzibar, the Old Town of Mombasa has some intriguing alleyways and ornate doors that make for interesting photographs. It's a great place to explore for a few hours.

Indulge your senses by visiting the spice market west of the Old Town, where you can witness the frantic trading between the various sellers all looking to offload their condiments for the best price.

Top Mombasa travel tips

Kenya is, of course, packed full of safari tours and finding one from Mombasa is as simple as walking into the nearest travel agent. They can fix you up with a trip to watch the elephants in the Shimba Hills National Reserve, or even dolphin watching aboard a traditional dhow.

Thanks to Mombasa being positioned right on the equator, it makes for the perfect vacation spot for people in the northern hemisphere looking for winter sun. But try to avoid the rainy seasons between April-May and November-December.

More like a story from the Arabian Nights than what most people conjure up when they think of Kenya, Mombasa is a cosmopolitan mix of cultures and traditions forged over the centuries.

To experience Mombasa to the fullest, FlipKey has the right vacation rentals in and around the city for your every need, at a price you can afford.