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Welcome to Kenya’s beautiful coastline

Culture, history, luxury… and beaches. While the true heart of Mombasa is found in the exotic Old Town, among the narrow winding streets where the air is heavy with the scent of spices, you’ll be awestruck with Mombasa’s ridiculously picturesque coastline

Essential information for Mombasa

Local time

Language

Kenya flag
English & Swahili

Currency

Kenyan Shilling
Official currency of Kenya

Flight information

11h 30m
Mombasa (MBA)
Direct flight

Flight schedule

  • Daily flights from the UK to Mombasa.
  • Transfers to all our Watamu, North and South coast hotels from Moi international airport (Mombasa) are included in the package price.

Do I need a VISA?

British citizens require a visa for Kenya and Tanzania which can be obtained prior to travel or easily on arrival. Current cost is approx US$50. Please visit www.kenyahighcommission.net for more information.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Currency info

Kenyan Schillings are preffered and you can change money at the airport or your Nairobi hotels or use the local cash points to get cash out. Change some bills into small denominations to facilitate easy tipping where you feel necessary.

Immerse yourself in Mombasa’s unique culture

With its intoxicating mix of cultures, utterly paradisiacal beaches and majestic wildlife, there’s truly nowhere quite like the Kenyan coastal gem, Mombasa.

Holidays to Mombasa are perfect for every kind of holidayer, whether you’re after a simple sun, sea and sand escape or if you’re seeking to explore a city unlike any you’ve ever been to before.

Beach bums – Mombasa is home to some of Africa’s most spectacular, pristine stretches of coastline. Culture and history junkies, you’ll never want to leave the winding streets of Mombasa Town. Party animal? It’s got amazing clubs where you can dance the night away. Families, Mombasa safari tours are totally unforgettable.

Mombasa holidays really do offer something for everyone, but where to start? Well, here’s our top picks for the best things to see and do in this incredibly diverse and stunningly beautiful city:

The beaches in Mombasa are a huge draw. Couples, you’ll love stunning Bamburi Beach, located on the North Coast. Its tranquility is unrivalled and the soft sands and calm waters offer a dreamy setting for a romantic getaway.

Families and sporty types should head to the palm-fringed Shanzu Beach, for unrivalled water sports and luxury resorts, or Nyali Beach, which is not only a super-relaxing stretch of beach, but fantastic for surfing, too.

Both the most developed and one of the most beautiful beaches in Mombasa, Diani Beach, is incredibly popular with holidayers, but still remains peaceful. Diani is famous for its coral reefs, underwater sandbars and some brilliant water sports. Stay right on the waterfront at the Leopard Beach Resort and Spa, with access to scuba diving lessons and kayaking along the beachfront.

If you can tear yourself away from the beach resorts, Mombasa boasts some truly stunning natural sights. Take an overnight Mombasa safari excursion from Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel to the Ngutuni Wildlife Conservancy, where you might be lucky enough to spot lions, cheetahs, elephants, buffalo and more. After all, when in Mombasa, a safari is a must.

Holidays to Mombasa would be incomplete without a visit to Haller Park, home to a game sanctuary, reptile park and crocodile pens, as well as a giraffe viewing platform and the Nguuni Wildlife Sanctuary. The the ultimate day out for the nature lover, whether solo adventurer or adventurous family. You won’t want to leave.

Take a trip in a glass-bottom boat at the Mombasa Marine National Park, or dive the MV Dania shipwreck – the park is home to a huge variety of spectacularly colourful marine species, from starfish to turtles and a number of fascinating migratory birds. The park itself is picture perfect, with swaying palms framing the crystal clear, turquoise ocean.

With its unique blend of Indian, Arabian and African culture, Mombasa is truly unlike anywhere else on Earth. Explore the Arab architecture and historic buildings in Mombasa town, and head to the 1600’s Italian-designed Fort Jesus and wander the onsite museum. The UNESCO World Heritage Site’s yellow-orange hue against the blue skies is a sight to behold, and you could spend hours exploring the ruins.

If you can, sail by Dhow to Wasini Island and spend some time exploring the ancient Swahili ruins and local villages. Snorkeling is available here, but whether you swim or sail, you might be lucky enough to spot some dolphins!

With such a blend of cultures, it’s no wonder that the food in Mombasa is as varied as it is delicious. But what to try?

  • Dine on the freshest of fresh seafood at Tangaezi restaurant at Baobab Beach Resort; serving up Italian cuisine à la carte. Two words — unbelievably good.
  • Cool down with a pint of Tusker beer, Kenya’s refreshing fave. After all, what better accompaniment to Mombasa beach holidays than an ice-cold beer?
  • To sample some of the best Indian food going in Mombasa, Shehnai Restaurant is a no-brainer. Serving up unforgettable traditional Mughal cuisine, Shehnai is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. Be sure to sample the barbecued paneer, but whatever you choose you’ll be thinking about it for weeks.

Looking to treat yourself? We should think so too! There’s no better way to indulge than with one of our luxury Mombasa holidays. Enjoy a round of golf at the Nyali Golf & Country Club, at Voyager Beach Resort, which also boasts a kids’ club and fun pool, making it the perfect resort for families, too. If you’re in it for the relaxation, unwind with a hot stone massage or frangipani body nourish wrap at The Maisha Spa at Serena Beach Hotel.

If you can, schedule your holiday to Mombasa around one of the city’s vibrant events and festivals – you certainly won’t regret it. Some notable events include:

  • Art fanatics, in March, The Kenyan National Museum hosts the three-day East African Arts Festival, which showcases the art, architecture and artifacts created by East African artists. Don’t miss it.
  • November: The streets come alive with parades, Kenyan dancing, live music and other festivities, all in celebration of Mombasa Carnival. Want a real insight into Mombasa’s rich culture? This is it.

If Mombasa holidays weren’t on your radar before, we’re willing to bet they are now!

Browse our Mombasa holiday deals and hotels, as well as our Mombasa safari tours. Let us take care of all the planning, so all that’s left for you is, you know, the relaxing holiday part. Don’t forget to pack the suncream!

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Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 30 September 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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