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Mombasa is a place steeped in history, yet at the same time fascinating commercial and cosmopolitan port town. Mombasa is an island connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries. The town overlooks a wide harbor, where commercial shipping mingles with traditional sailing dhows. The true heart of Mombasa is found in the exotic old town, among the narrow winding streets and Arab architecture. The air here is always heavy with the scent of spices. Women wearing the traditional bui bui fill the narrow streets and busy markets. At the dhow docks fresh fish and goods from all along the coast arrive daily.


The streets are alive with the bright colours of the traditional coastal khanga and kikoy, the all purpose wrap around cloth worn by both men and women. At the waters edge is Fort Jesus, an imposing fort that stands watch over the harbor. The high gun turrets, battlements and underground passages of this 16th Century Fort were the centre of a historic struggle for control of the Kenya coast between the Portuguese army and the Shirazi Arabs. This war was waged around Mombasa and countless battles, and the Fort stands as a testament to this tumultuous past.

Modern Mombasa is a city of great diversity and life. This is a town where all are welcomed and quickly absorbed into this great coastal melting pot.Mosques, Hindu Temples and Christian churches surround streets that thrive with a world of cultures. Mombasa is a place where both history and progress are greatly valued, where a busy harbor existence is lived at its own unique, tropical pace.

Mombasa can be accessed directly from Nairobi by air, road, or rail. Mombasa is the central access point for the entire coastal region. There are scheduled flights to Mombasa. Kenya's tropical coast boasts over 300 miles of beaches lapped by the shallow warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Guests can combine a stay at the coast with a safari to see the amazing wildlife of East Africa or just relax at the coast and enjoy exploring the underwater marine world of the reefs that lie off its shores. A selection of good quality hotels on beautiful Indian Ocean beaches offering excellent value for money.

The coastline North of Mombasa is a world of enthralling history and natural beauty. The coast is lined with pristine palm fringed beaches, and the calm inviting waters of the Indian Ocean.The beaches are broken by the wide mouth of Kilifi Creek, whose azure waters are a popular port of call on the international yachting circuit. The beaches of Nyali, Vipingo, Kikambala and Shanzu are home to a wide range of World Class resorts with fine cuisine and services. The peaceful beach havens of Mtwapa and Takaungu offer an ideal escape from the outside world, with endless deserted beaches. The offshore reefs are alive with coral, myriad fish, sea turtles and dolphins. Both outer and inner reef walls offer world class diving with spectacular coral gardens.


Towards the north end of the beach is Mamba Village, a crocodile farm, world's largest, and an entertainment complex. A nearby attraction is Haller Park. Also, on the sea side of the main Malindi road is Kipepeo Aquarium, which displays an astonishing number of Kenya's tropical fish from the lagoons and reefs which fringe the entire coastline. After Nyali beach comes Kenyatta and Bamburi beaches before Shanzu, a beach from which you can swim at all tides. There are many hotels along this stretch of coast.At Mtwapa Creek just north of Shanzu beach is Kenya Marineland where Kenya's largest aquarium houses all the monsters from the deepest parts of the Indian Ocean and which can be viewed from a glass-sided underground tunnel. 7 kilometers beyond Mtwapa is Kikambala Beach where there are few hotels and where the water is shallow enough at low tide to walk out to the fringing reef. These are the last beach hotels before Kilifi. The gateway to the North Coast is Mombasa, The Coastal highway runs north of Mombasa all the way to Kenya’s northern frontier. Mombasa airport has many direct international flights and almost hourly flights from Nairobi. The airport also serves Private Charters.

All the beaches, which lie to the south of Mombasa form part of the "south coast",but the main is Diani Beach, about 40 km from Mombasa where the majority of the hotel and resort development is centered . Others are Shelley Beach, Galu, Msambweni, Tiwi and Shimoni which is close to the Tanzania border. Diani Beach is 10 kilometers long, a vast uninterrupted stretch of white sand lapped by an opal ocean joining up with Tiwi Beach. A wide range of World Class resorts, centered around Diani Beach allow visitors to relax and enjoy this natural paradise with the best standards of accommodation, service and cuisine.In addition to the hotels, there are private houses, some available for renting, and several self-catering "villages". Most marine activities are available which include windsurfing, water skiing, scuba, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing. coastline south of Mombasa is a tropical paradise of palm fringed white sand beaches, where the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean meet beautiful coral reefs. The protective reefs have created ideal beaches with calm, inviting waters. Days are filled with sunshine and nights are balmy and warm with gentle sea breezes. The offshore reefs are alive with coral, myriad fish, sea turtles and dolphins. Both outer and inner reef walls offer world class diving with spectacular coral gardens. At Kisite-Mpunguti, a Marine Reserve has been established around beautiful Wasini Island, an ideal day trip for divers and snorkellers. The beaches are bordered by lush green coastal rainforests with prolific birdlife and variety of wildlife including baboons, rare colobus monkeys and even leopard.

 

The south coast also has many smaller quiet getaways such as Tiwi Beach, ideal for travelers looking for a low key break. Inland, the fertile hinterland of Kwale District consists of small villages inhabited by the Wakamba, Digo and Duruma tribes. Further south, the small fishing village of Shimoni is home to a series of deep mysterious coastal caves that stretch from the sea to deep into the jungles. Historically, these caves were long used as a refuge for Dhow Sailors, Arab slavers and explorers. Shimoni is also an excellent base for big game fishing in the waters of the Pemba Channel.


Many hotels have their own marine sports centers but there are also independent ones to supply the needs of the more experienced marine addicts. Fishing is year round except for May and June and perhaps July. The main center for serious deep sea fishing is Shimoni.It is also the base for visits to the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Parks and Reserves Whether you are looking for a base to actively explore this fascinating region, or just somewhere to unwind and find peace, Kenya’s south coast has everything you could wish for. The gateway to the South Coast is Mombasa. There are no bridges from Mombasa island to the South Coast, and a vehicular ferry is used to cross the Likoni channel A good paved highway serves the whole of the south coast, and there is a tarmac airstrip at Ukunda serving the Diani area for schedule and Charter flights.
North Coast