Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya built on a coral island. It separates the north and south coasts. Once it was the gateway to the black continent. It was used by slave traders and European missionaries who wanted to travel inland. Mombasa's trade relations with other ports in East Asia dated back to 1498, when Vasco da Gama docked in Mombasa and found a vibrant centre of Swahili culture.
Behind the facade lies the true Mombasa, a melting pot of cultures, where mosques, Hindu temples and Christian churches stand side by side competing for the souls of the crowds. Built by the Portuguese, Fort Jesus, Indian shops and narrow streets in Mombasa's Old Town are reminiscent of old times like the ‘’thousand and one nights’’.
The old harbour gives an impression of how Arabs and Swahili used to set sail to sail their dhow on the Indian Ocean to other parts of the world. The landmark of the city is the tusk replica in Moi Avenue, which was built in 1956 on the occasion of a visit by the British Princess Margaret. Kenya attained its independence on 12th of December 1963. Every 12th of December of every year is a Kenyan public holiday ‘’Independence Day’’.
In addition to the sights you should not miss a shopping spree in Mombasa. Countless goods are offered in the shops. From African wipes, fabrics, wooden figures and other souvenirs everything is offered here. Jewellery can be found in Indian gold stores at cheaper prices than in Europe.