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Mombasa

 is the second-largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry.
 
Also known as Mombas in colonial times, its name derives from Manbasa. This was the Arabic name of the former sultanate of Mvita, which had its capital here. In modern times the town is the headquarters of Mombasa District, which, like most other districts in Kenya, is named after its chief town.
The city has a population of 939,370, as per the 2009 census and is located on Mombasa Island, which is separated from the mainland by two creeks: Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour. The island is connected to the mainland to the north by the Nyali Bridge, to the south by the Likoni Ferry and to the west by the Makupa Causeway, alongside which runs the Kenya-Uganda Railway. The port serves both Kenya and countries of the interior, linking them to the Ocean. The city is served by Moi International Airport located in the northwest mainland suburb of Chaani, northwest of Changamwe area.
 
The city is mainly occupied by the Mijikenda & Swahili people. The major religion practiced is Christianity, Muslims also form a considerable number. Over the centuries, there have been many immigrants and traders who settled in Mombasa, particularly from Iran, the Middle-east, Somalia and the Indian sub-continent, who came mainly as traders and skilled craftsmen.
Traditional dress for the Swahili women is a brightly coloured, printed cotton sheet called a kanga , which may have inspirational slogans printed on it. Muslim women wear a covering known as a bui bui, that is traditionally black, along with a head covering called a hijaab, and sometimes wear a veil called a nikab. Men wear a type of sarong, which is coloured in bright bands, called a kikoi.
 

Geography and climate

 
Being a coastal town, Mombasa is characterised by a flat topography. The town of Mombasa is centered on Mombasa Island, but extends to the mainland. The island is separated from the mainland by two creeks, port reitz in the south and Tudor creek in the north.
Mombasa has a warm, tropical climate. The amount of rainfall depends essentially on season. The rainiest months are April and May, while in January to February the rainfall is minimal.
 
 
Climate data for Mombasa
Month
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Year
Average high °C (°F)
32.0
(89.6)
32.3
(90.1)
32.6
(90.7)
31.2
(88.2)
29.3
(84.7)
28.4
(83.1)
27.7
(81.9)
27.9
(82.2)
28.8
(83.8)
29.6
(85.3)
30.6
(87.1)
31.6
(88.9)
30.17
(86.30)
Average low °C (°F)
23.2
(73.8)
23.6
(74.5)
24.2
(75.6)
23.9
(75.0)
22.7
(72.9)
21.3
(70.3)
20.4
(68.7)
20.3
(68.5)
20.8
(69.4)
22.0
(71.6)
23.1
(73.6)
23.3
(73.9)
22.40
(72.32)
Precipitation mm (inches)
33
(1.3)
15
(0.59)
56
(2.2)
163
(6.42)
240
(9.45)
80
(3.15)
70
(2.76)
66
(2.6)
72
(2.83)
97
(3.82)
92
(3.62)
75
(2.95)
1,059
(41.69)
Source: WorldWeather.org
 
Mombasa is a major trade centre and home to Kenya's only large seaport, the Kilindini Harbour. Kilindini is an old Swahili term meaning "deep". The port is so called because the channel is naturally very deep. Kilindini Harbor is an example of a natural geographic phenomenon called a ria, formed millions of years ago when the sea level rose and engulfed a river that was flowing from the mainland.
Mombasa is the centre of coastal tourism in Kenya. Mombasa Island itself is not a main attraction, although many people visit the Old Town and Fort Jesus. The Nyali, Kenyatta, Bamburi, and Shanzubeaches are located north of the city. The Sheli, Tiwi, and Diani beaches are located south of Mombasa. Several luxury hotels exist on these beaches, while the less expensive hotels are located further away.
Mombasa's northern shoreline is renowned for its vibrant 24-hour entertainment offers, including both family entertainment (water parks, cinemas, bowling, etc.), sports (watersports, mountain biking and gocarting), culinary offers (restaurants offering a wide range of specialties from Kenya, China, Japan, India, Italy, Germany and other countries) and night life(bars, pubs, clubs, discothèques, etc.).
Other local industries include an oil refineryand the Bamburi Cement factory. The major intercontinental undersea telecom cables reach shore next to Mombasa, connecting East Africa to the rest of the world and supporting a fast-growing call centre business in the area.
 

North Coast

 
Nyali: Also considered a prime and up-market residential area, it is on the mainland north of the island and is linked by the New Nyali Bridge. It has numerous beach front hotels in the area known as the "North Coast". Nyali has two distinct sections - the posh Old Nyali and the upcoming New Nyali. For many residents, Nyali has now become a self-contained residential area, with two Nakumatts, a multiplex cinema, shopping malls, banks, schools and post offices. This often eliminates the need for residents to cross the bridge and to go into the congested Mombasa city center. Nyali is home for the Nyali Cinemax complex, Mamba Village, the Nyali Golf Club, and some of the most prestigious academic institutions of the Coast Province.
 
Kongowea: Kongowea Location is a densely populated area with 15 villages, two sub-locations and an estimated population of 106,180 residents. Kongowea is a cosmopolitan settlement mainly inhabited by people from mainland who migrated into the city in search of employment, mainly in service and manufacturing sector. The area is adjacent to the rich suburb of Nyali which employs a portion of the village residents. They are mainly hired as cheap labor as watchmen, gardeners, masons for up coming houses and house help. The most well known villages inside Kongowea include Kisumu NdogoShauri Yako and Mnazi Mmoja, despite being located in this prime area, many residents live under extreme conditions – poor sanitation, high crime rate and lack of basic essential amenities like schools, hospitals and tap water. Kongowea is also home to one of the largest open-air markets in Eastern Africa.
 
Bamburi: also an outlying township (fifteen minutes drive) on the way to the town of Malindi. Bamburi is the location of Bamburi Portland Cement Company. Other notable features in the area are the Mijikenda public beach and Haller Park, a nature trail and wildlife conservatory.
Other areas include, ShanzuMkomaniBomboluluKisauniMtwapa and kilifi.
The North Coast is famous for its broad entertainment industry which attracts locals and tourists as well.
 

South Coast

 
Likoni: is a lower income and lower middle class neighborhood connected to Mombasa Island by ferry. It is south of Mombasa Island and made up of mostly non-Swahili tribes. The ferry was the target of the Likoni Riots of 1997.
 
Diani Beach: a beach resort area situated over the Likoni Ferry on the south coast of Mombasa. It is located some 36 km (22 mi) south of Mombasa city on the mainland coast and is a prime resort for many local and international tourists. Diani Beach has an airport at Ukunda town to cater for tourists who fly there directly from Nairobi Wilson or any other airports and airfields in the country.
 
Magongo: is an outlying township 20 minutes driving distance northwest of Mombasa Island, situated on the Nairobi Highway. This fringe community lacks any effective electricity, water or sewer systems, with a general lack of infrastructure. Poverty, lack of sanitation, and unemployment continue to be the greatest issues for the Mikindani Township, which have ensured low health and safety standards for its residents. Poor, lower class housing is widespread, ranging from simple stone, two storey structures to mud and earth homes fitted with corrugated iron roofs. Much of the community works outside of the township, within Mombasa Island itself as there is a lack of employment and industry. There are number of small health clinics, shops, and a few public primary schools: Nazarene primary is one school, which is known in particular as being staffed by a revolving volunteer teacher base from Western, and predominately English speaking nations. This small town that serves as a link between the city and Moi International Airport. Magongo is also home t
Miritini:outlying township on the Mombasa Nairobi Highway which is first growing as a suburban area.
o the Akamba Handicraft Cooperative.
 
Mikindani, a suburban area: This is an outlying township on the mainland along the Nairobi Highway.It is built in theheavy industrial sections of Changamwe and mainly accommodate the working class who either work in the industries, the town centre on the Island and the Port at Kilindini harbor.
 
 
Changamwe: Industrial area which contains the Kipevu power generation projects, the Kenya Oil Refinery Company facility and housing estates such as Chaani and is the gateway to the Moi International Airport. The area has administrative offices of the D.O and the chiefs who serve the administrative division.
 
Port Reitz: Is a suburb on the mainland which contains a beach, oil refineries, housing estates etc. Moi International Airport and the Port Reitz District Hospital are in Port Reitz.
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