The coastal city of Mombasa (off Kenya’s Eastern coastline and bordering the Indian Ocean) is one of Africa’s major tourist attractions.

A common phrase to describe this city is “Mombasa Raha”.

Raha in Swahili means joy or happiness.

Famous for its exotic beaches, world-class hotels and arguably the worlds friendliest people, this city reflects fusion and diversity.

photo 22But that’s not why I love it.

Mombasa is an Island that boasts a fascinating history, yet at the same time presents itself as a cosmopolitan and commercial port town.

Connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries, the city overlooks a harbour; allowing holiday-makers and residents alike, beautiful (yet paradoxical) sea views of commercial shipping vessels alongside traditional sailing dhows.

Mombasa is also home to the Fort Jesus. A Unesco world heritage site, built in the 1600’s by the Portuguese. It was built to keep away the Arabs seeking to colonize the port city.

Below, an image of the fort, built in 1953, by order of King Philip II of Spain, who also ruled the kingdom of Portugal at that time. It guards the old harbour of the city –

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The Fort still stands today, as testimony of a tumultuous past, yet simultaneously acting as a make-shift soccer pitch for the locals (As seen in the 3rd inset below). Also pictured are 1) a Dhow being loaded with Tea and Coffee, which are sent to Zanzibar in exchange for Spices and 2) Swahili style architecture.

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Mombasa’s soul is found in the exotic old town, amongst narrow winding streets, Arab architecture and the co-existence of Mosques, Temples and Churches.

Below, the Swaminarayan Baps Hindu Temple –

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Mombasa’s streets are always alive, bustling with brightness;

of men and women dressed in traditional Khanga’s (an all purpose wrap around cloth);

of the smell of intoxicating spices;

of the sights of quaint eateries servingΒ  continental as well as authentic Swahili cuisine.

Pictured below;

1) Me wearing a Khanga as a Skirt, paired with a white lace crop-top from Top-Shop.

These photos were taken on New Years Eve 2013.

2) Some photos of my favourite dishes I love to enjoy whenever I’m in Mombasa.

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Yul’s is a famous Italian restaurant on the North coast of Mombasa serving delicious fusion food.

Mombasa has undoubtedly one of the best (and warmest) white sandy beaches in the world, which are divided into four main regions. Each of which offers a unique experience. The North and South Coast beaches are the most popular.

The city traces many of its cultural roots to former Portuguese, Arab, Indian and British settlers- all of which have a lasting effect on its food, architecture and people.

Today, Mombasa stands as a melting pot of various cultures. A popular destination with a large selection of beachfront hotels.

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Coupled with its warm (Indian Ocean) waters, this spot promises a perfect vacation!

Would be great to hear about your travels to Mombasa πŸ™‚

For now, its time for some beach chillin’

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