Practical information

Climate

Mombasa has a tropical wet and dry climate. The amount of rainfall essentially depends on the season. The rainiest months are April and May, while rainfall is minimal between January and February.

For September, daily high temperatures are around 28/29° Celsius, with lows at night around 21/22° Celsius.

For more detailed information, visit http://www.holiday-weather.com/mombasa/averages/september/

Getting in:

Prior to entry to the Republic of Kenya please check if you are eligible for an entry visa or visa on arrival here: http://staging.iame2018.com/visa-information/

By plane

Moi International Airport is newly renovated and has increased the frequency of flights in and out of Mombasa from Europe (Istanbul, Warsaw, Rome and Frankfurt), Middle East (Dubai via Kigali), Africa (Kigali, Addis Ababa, Zanzibar and Moroni). Kenya Airways (www.kenya-airways.com)  is the national carrier, is partly owned by KLM, and makes part of the Skyteam alliance.

Coming from Europe:

There are a limited number of direct flights to Mombasa (see above), such as Condor from Frankfurt. Using the larger airport hubs, Turkish Airlines through Istanbul offers the most direct and frequent connections to Mombasa (multiple direct flights to Mombasa per week).

Mostly however, itineraries from Europe will run through Nairobi international airport (Jomo Kenyatta International Airport), which is directly connected to most European hubs (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Frankfurt among others) by multiple airlines (Kenya Airways, KLM, British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss). Both overnight flights with arrival early morning (and potential to directly connect through to Mombasa) as well as day flights are available. In most cases, the day flights still permit to connect late in the evening directly through to Mombasa via Kenya Airways domestic flights (45 minute flight). For flights landing before 10 PM evening time in Nairobi, it is thus possible to clear immigration and customs and still connect swiftly to Mombasa, as the last flight to Mombasa departs around 23.45.

For connecting participants, we will organize a welcome booth at both international arrival terminals in Nairobi to assist in the process of connecting through to the domestic terminal (located ca. 200 meters from international arrivals). In general, allow for ca. 1h30 to 2 hours to connect through, although the process from disembarking the international flight to domestic sometimes takes less than 1 hour, depending on the evening peak at the airport.

Coming from Middle East / Asia / Australia / New Zealand

The most obvious options are direct connections to Nairobi through the Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar, Istanbul) followed by the short onward connection to Mombasa (as decribed above). All major Middle East airlines have daily flight to Nairobi.

However, direct flights to Nairobi are also available from Kenya Airways to/from major airline hubs in China (Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou), Vietnam (Hanoi), India (Delhi, Mumbai) and Thailand (Bangkok).

Coming from North and South America

As direct flights to and from New York to Nairobi will unfortunately only be available starting November 2018, a stopover in a European or Middle East hub is still required. However, given the substantial amounts of tourism from North America towards Kenya, most airline schedules allow for smooth onwards connections through London, Paris, Amsterdam or other hubs.

Coming from Africa

As Nairobi is an important business hub, it offers direct connections to most African countries, through a variety of airlines.

By train

Mombasa is also accessible by train from Nairobi with two departures daily in each direction. The actual schedule is available at http://krc.co.ke/madaraka-express-rates/ . The old meter gauge railway line between Mombasa and Nairobi stopped in May 2017. The new connection (Standard gauge rail or SGR) is much faster (6 hours), however the railway station is located about 15 km outside Mombasa (Miritini). Due to its popularity reservations should be done as early as possible up to 14 days in advance in some cases.

By bus

While they are not a major mode of transportation within the city, these forty seater vehicles are mostly used for traveling outside the city. Major public transport providers in Mombasa consists of Matatu; fourteen-seater minibuses.

Getting around:

Private taxis are available from the airport, hotels and public areas. Recently, taxi-apps such as Uber and Taxify have achieved large penetration and frequent use (and are recommended by a lot of travelers).

Other travel means are the local 14 seater minibus-taxis (Matatu), auto-rickshaw’s (locally called tuk-tuks, which are three wheeled private taxis), and motorcycle taxis or boda-boda.

Money

Banks and Foreign Exchange Bureaus will accept to change major foreign currencies (USD Dollars, Sterling Pounds, Euros, Francs, Birrs, Rands, Riyals, Dirhams and Rupees). Business hours can vary however most operate from 8:30 am to 5 pm (weekdays) and 10am to 1pm (weekends).

Credit and debit cards (Visa and Master Card) can be used for purchases in most hotels or eateries.

Mobile money transfer is popular with local residents by using Safaricom’s M-pesa or Airtel Money. These platforms enables residents and travelers to pay for goods and services and transfer money within Kenya or abroad (in some cases)

Wifi

Most hotels and eateries provide complimentary wifi to patrons.

Mobile Service Providers

Mobile phone service providers include Safaricom and Airtel. Tourists wishing to acquire local sim cards will have to register with their identification documents prior to using the service. Sim card and airtime vendors are available at the Airport, in the CBD and shopping centers.

For permanent mobile data access, we recommend buying pre-paid cards from Safaricom or Airtel. One card of 3 or 5GB (at a cost of around 15 USD) will carry one through the week.

Both telecom operators have booths at the exit of the airport terminals, as well as a large network of boutiques in shopping malls and near supermarkets. Registering usually does not take more than 5-10 minutes.

Plug Type

Commonly used: Plug Types C (round, 2 pins) and G (rectangle 3 pin) and rarely Plug types D and E (round, 2 – 3 pin)

Electrical rating/config: 240V 50 Hz

It is advised to bring along a worldwide travel adaptor.