Mombasa Island is a 5km by 3km coral outcrop located on Kenya’s coast and connected to the mainland by a causeway and ferry crossing. Part of the City of Mombasa is located on the Island, including the fascinating Old Town which echoes that of Lamu and Zanzibar. Dating from the 13th Century, the Old Town is a place of winding streets, magnificent carved doors, delicate filigree balconies and dimly lit emporiums.
Mombasa is made up of the Island and the Mainland. It is the second largest city in Kenya, with an estimated population of 2 million people, and is located on the Indian Ocean just south of the Equator, making it a historical trading centre. The city traces many of its cultural traditions to former Portuguese, Arab and British settlers and traders, all of which has left a lasting influence on the City’s food, architecture and people. Swahili cuisine prevails here; a glorious mix of spices, coconut, tamarind and freshly chopped herbs often mixed together with the ‘catch of the day’.
Mombasa town overlooks a wide harbor, where at the water’s edge stands Fort Jesus, an imposing Fort which holds 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.
Mombasa is the principal seaport of Kenya and is one of the most modern ports in Africa. Visitors find themselves seduced by this, East Africa’s largest and most cosmopolitan commercial Port, which also serves landlocked neighboring countries. Ferries undertake the fascinating 10 minute journey between Mombasa Island (Kilindini/Mtongwe) and the South Coast (Likoni).
Moi International Airport Mombasa serves the city of Mombasa, and is the second most important airport in Kenya after Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi. ‘Mombasa Airport’, as it’s called, has modern facilities with two adjacent passenger terminals, allowing for smooth passage. More than eighteen airlines fly directly from European countries to Mombasa, and for passengers flying into Nairobi there are 8 domestic airlines transferring passengers between Nairobi and Mombasa several times a day.
Additionally, the new and state-of-the-art Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) offers a reliable train service between Nairobi and Mombasa, and highways connect Mombasa to Nairobi and other parts of the country, as well as to neighboring Uganda and Tanzania.
Things to do:
With the coast’s breathtaking scenery, rich history ad range of engaging activities, you will be spoilt for choice with what to do. Whether you go on safari, immerse yourself in the local culture, get your pulse racing with water sports or just take time to refresh your soul in nature, you are guaranteed a memorable visit. Discover the best top things to do in Mombasa through this link:
Most Governments nowadays are moving towards digitization of their operations, and Kenya is no different. Online applications make it possible for visitors to obtain their Visas in advance hence removing the anxiety of obtaining a visa on arrival. The procedure for visa application has been modified and simplified to a user-friendly mode with three simple steps.
The E-Visa portal now has a dedicated website: http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html. Visas are approved on a real-time basis.
The applicant must upload a passport size photograph and a copy of their passport in order for the online application to be completed. Photos can either be scanned or taken on a mobile phone. The system is able to resize photos automatically to the required size.
Visa fee is non-refundable since the application will be processed for approval or non-approval. The online payment of visa fee is in US dollars.
The Kenya Shilling (KES) is the national currency. There are no restrictions on the movement of currency into or out of Kenya for currency transaction purposes. Banks are generally open from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm Mondays to Fridays, and from 8.00 am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. International Credit Cards are widely accepted for payment in most hotels, restaurants and shops, particularly Visa, MasterCard and, on a more limited basis, American Express. Exchange bureaus and ATM machines are available throughout the Country and at the Airports. US Dollars, Euros and Sterling Pounds are most accepted and cause least delay. Please check for exchange rates on: www.xe.com
The electricity supply in Kenya is 240 volts AC. Sockets are usually 3 pin, and take the 13 amp “square” variety plugs.
Kenya has only one time zone which covers the entire country. East Africa Time (EAT) is the time zone used in Eastern Africa and is 3 hours ahead of UTC (UTC+3), which is the same as Arabia Standard Time, Further-eastern European Time, Moscow Time and Eastern European Summer Time.
Kenya lies on the equator and thus has a pleasant, tropical climate, with regional variations mostly related to altitude. Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F with a temperate dry wind. The Mount Kenya and Aberdares regions experience cooler nights. Coastal areas are hot with varying degrees of humidity.
You may obtain “Mombasa Kenya typical October weather including average and record temperatures” from: www.AccuWeather.com
It is recommended that visitors drink only boiled or bottled water, and avoid ice in drinks. Hotels and Lodges generally provide bottled water or a thermos flask in your room with safe drinking water.
Taking photographs at airports, of state officials, policemen, state properties, military installations or the national flag is prohibited. Prior to taking photographs of local people, permission should ideally be obtained.
Tipping & Porterage
Although hotels and lodges include a service charge, it is customary to tip porters and waiters (USD 2-5 per service rendered) and safari drivers/guides (USD 15-20 per person per day is acceptable).
Liability and Insurance
The Congress Secretariat and Organizers cannot accept liability for personal accidents or loss of or damage to the private property of participants whilst in Kenya. Participants are advised to take out their own personal travel and health insurance as they would normally do when travelling abroad.
Safety and Security
As in any other destination, normal precautions should be taken. Don’t leave bags or briefcases unattended when inside or outside the session halls. Hotels recommend that you use their safety deposit boxes for cash and valuables. It is also advisable not to walk alone in isolated areas in towns or on beaches, particularly after dark, just as you would do anywhere in the world.
Embassies & Consulates
All Embassies and High Commissions are located in Nairobi.
Letter of Invitation
Upon request, the Secretariat of the 79th Skål World Congress can e-mail a personal invitation to participants. This invitation is meant only to help visitors to obtain a visa. Official letters of invitation designed to help overcome administrative difficulties in certain countries may also be sent on request. If you require an original letter, it is recommended that you send your request well in advance to account for postal delivery times. Requests can be sent via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org