Are you planning a trip to Kenya and the Mombasa Coast? Here’s all you need to know to plan the trip of a lifetime.
The Kenyan coast has been influenced by a large number of different cultures throughout history. This is mainly due to the fact that Mombasa has been a bustling port since the 12th century. For 800 years, Arabs, Swahilis, Portuguese, Omanis and British have all been passing through. They’ve left pieces of their traditions and cultures behind.
This unique melting pot of cultures makes Mombasa Coast a fascinating place to discover. You will see Portuguese and Islamic architecture with traces of an Indian and British colonial past.
Here is a quick introduction and guide to what you need to know about Mombasa and the Mombasa Coast when planning your first visit.
When to go Mombasa Coast, Kenya
The coast stays hot throughout the year, but nothing spoils a beach break like a sudden downpour – areas along the coastline also benefit from the breeze coming off the sea, which brings the humidity down, leading to more comfortable conditions.
The best time to travel to this part of the world is during the dry season, which lasts from January through to March.
Although the wettest months tend to be April and May there is often a wet spell in October and November too.
Visitors should be aware that this area of Kenya is predominantly Muslim. Therefore, your travel plans may be affected around the religious festival of Ramadan in November.
Best Beaches Mombasa Coast, Kenya
Since the Mombasa coastline sits on the edge of the Indian Ocean, it is not surprising that some of the best beaches in the world can be found here. Think white sand, azure sea and palms dotted along the shore. They are divine.
One of the best swimming spots in the area due to the reef’s location slightly off shore, which protect the beach from large waves.
It is located to the south of Mombasa. It is a hive of activity during the high season, but more tranquil when the tourist rush subsides.
At the other end of the spectrum to Diani Beach, but also to the south of the city, this is a great place to escape the crowds.
There are no large hotels or resorts at Tiwi Beach, making it much quieter. It is a safe place to swim with no souvenir sellers plying their trade, but there is also a shortage of amenities as a consequence.
This is the hot spot for getting involved in activities. Enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving and water skiing. Here you can also arrange for a camel ride across the beach or on a dhow ride out to sea, so think action-packed as opposed to peaceful.
Things to do Mombasa Coast, Kenya
Start off at the Old Town in Mombasa where the narrow streets are home to ancient buildings and curio shops.
Then head to Fort Jesus, built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, which now contains a museum exploring the practice of slavery that occurred in the area during the era. This educational destination contains various artifacts relating to slavery and shows the cells where slaves lived.
To the north of Mombasa, you can find the ruins of a town called Gedi. They date back to the 15th century when a small group of Swahilis lived there, ruled by a rich sultan.
They make for a fascinating place to explore. The government designated it as a National Museum and a place of cultural importance.
If you are able to stay an extended time in Kenya, be sure to check out the Maasai Mara and other incredible things to do in Kenya.