What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Mombasa

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Relocating to Mombasa

About the City

Mombasa is the second largest city in the African country of Kenya and considered to be an important cultural and economic hub within the country. The city is the capital of Mombasa County and has a cosmopolitan population of an estimated 1.3 million, living in the four suburbs of Mombasa Island, the North Coast, South Coast and Mombasa Mainland. Mombasa has a flat topography and a tropical wet and dry climate. The rainiest months are April and May, while the driest are January and February.

Visas for Kenya

Most European Union citizens and those from the United States will need a visa to stay in Kenya. There are some exceptions, so it is worth checking before travel. For expats who do require a visa, while it is possible to purchase one on arrival, it is best to organize this prior to traveling, to save time and complications in Kenya.

It is worth noting that a Kenyan business visa allows expatriates to conduct business such as attending meetings and conferences, but only lasts for three months. A business visa does not allow the owner to be employed in Kenya during that time.

For more information, please refer to our article on Moving to Kenya.

Finding Accommodation

Mombasa is divided up into four suburbs; Mombasa Island, North Coast, South Coast and Mombasa Mainland. Within these suburbs there are different areas, so a good start for any expatriate moving to Mombasa would be to decide which area is right for them before the property search in Mombasa begins.

Mombasa Island is considered to be the prime residential area of the city. Many municipal buildings and top schools are here, making it an attractive area for expats. The North Coast suburb is on the mainland to the north of the island and is also considered to be prime real estate. Linked to the island by the New Nyali Bridge, this area has many high class and beachfront hotels, as well as a cinema, shopping malls, banks, schools, shops and other amenities.

The South Coast suburb also has some beach resorts, and the residential areas tend to house lower income families. Mombasa Mainland features a collection of working class townships and suburban housing estates, as well as industrial areas and Moi International Airport in Port Reitz. Expats moving to Mombasa can find property to rent or buy using online portals such as Property 24.

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  • Mario Rimardi

    Wish I had discovered InterNations before I relocated to Kenya. It's really helpful on both a private and a professional level.

  • Caroline Hayes

    Expats on InterNations gave us valuable hints for finding an appropriate school in Nairobi for our two children.

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