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Mombasa City

Mombasa City

View Mombasa City Main Features in a larger map

Mombasa City located along the shores of the Indian Ocean is the second largest city of the Republic of Kenya and chief port. Mombasa is located on 42’60.000″S 3940’0.120″E and occupies an area of 212.5 km² and is 441.38 km away from Nairobi.


Mombasa’s original Arabic name is “Manbasa” and in Kiswahili it is called “Kisiwa Cha Mvita”, which means “Island of War”, due to the many changes in its ownership most of them involving war. The City is also the headquarters of Mombasa County. Mombasa became the capital of the coastal Protectorate of Kenya in 1920. On December 12, 1963 it became part of newly independent Kenya.


According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Mombasa City had a population of 939,370 people in 2009.


Mombasa is linked to other parts of Kenya by good road network, Moi International Airport, cruise ships, ferry services and the railway. Minibuses, motorbikes and Tuk-tuks – Vespa vans are used for commuting within the city. Kenya Ferry Services connect to Likoni in the south coast as there is no bridge.


Mombasa is a county and it is divided into four divisions;

Mombasa is headed by Governor Hassan Ali Joho and each division is led by a district officer.

Fort Jesus-Mombasa

Fort Jesus is a Portuguese fort designed by an Italian architect, Jao Batisto Cairato, who was the Chief Architect for Portuguese possessions in the East. It was built in 1593 on Mombasa Island to guard the Old Port of Mombasa. Built in the shape of a man (viewed from the air), it was given the name of “Jesus” in an obvious religious reference. Between 1631 and 1875 the fort was won and lost nine times by the nations contesting control of Mombasa. It was declared a historical monument in 1958. Today it houses a museum.