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Kenya meets the Indian Ocean in a brilliant blaze of blue where the crystal-clear azure waters caress fine white sands. As you lay on our beaches with calmy breezes fresh off the sea, whispering palm trees overhead and the shimmer of waves breaking on a reef in the distance, there is no mistaking where you are. This is the very defination of paradise. Our coast stretches 480 km/300 miles from North to South. Mombasa has a population of around 900,000 inhabitants (1999 census: 665,018) and is located on Mombasa Island, which is separated from the mainland by two creeks; Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour. The island is connected to the mainland to the north by Nyali Bridge, to the south by the Likoni Ferry and to the west by the Makupa Causeway alongside which runs the Uganda Railway. The port serves both Kenya and countries of the interior linking them to the Indian Ocean.

The town is mainly occupied by the Muslim Mijikenda/Swahili people. The Mijikenda ("the nine cities") are the nine ethnic groups along the coast of Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania. Historically, these ethnic groups have been called the Nyika or Nika by outsiders. It is a derogatory term meaning "bush people".
The Mijikenda include the Digo, Chonyi, Kambe, Duruma, Kauma, Ribe, Rabai, Jibana, and Giriama. Each have unique customs and language, although the languages are similar to each other and to Swahili. Traditions are rich since British and German colonists had strongest influence in the upcountry of Kenya, leaving the poorer coast alone. Over the centuries there have been many immigrants, particularly from the countries of the Middle East and Indian sub-continent who came mainly as traders and skilled craftsmen and even after four or five generations, their descendants continue to contribute highly to the economy of present day Mombasa and Kenya as a whole. Recent immigrants are peoples from the interior of Kenya brought to the area by employment opportunities in the tourist industry. Traditional dress for the Swahili women is a brightly coloured, printed cotton sheet called a kanga, which may have inspirational slogans printed on it, and type of black headdress and veil called a "bui bui". Men wear a type of sarong, which is coloured in bright bands, called a "kikoi".

Places to visit:
Fort Jesus
The only entrance to Fort Jesus is up a steep incline and a flight of steps leading to the court yard. Ancient cannons and pyramids of cannon balls bear witness to the vicous wars between the Portuguese and the Arabs of a bygone ageThe Fort, whose imposing structure is placed on different levels, was so built to be virtually impregnable. Inside it, there is a Museum with a vast collection of archaelogical findings, which is a popular destination for foreign and local tourists receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. As well as a tourist destination the Fort is important as a host for numerous research programmes, a Conservation Lab, and Education Department and an Old Town Conservation Office.
Old Town
IIt shows plenty of examples of the old Islamic architecture. Biashara Street in Mombasa which in Swahili means "Trade Street" is also an old part of the city where the Indian and Arab merchants set up shop and one can now find kangas and kikoys (pl. vikoi) being sold in these small authentic shops.
The earliest history of Mombasa is mostly legendary and is associated with two rulers: Mwana Mkisi (female) and Shehe Mvita, who are seen as the founders of the city. According to oral history and medieval commentaries (also based on oral history), Shehe Mvita superceded the dynasty of Mwana Mkisi and established his own town on Mombasa Island. Shehe Mvita is remembered as a Muslim of great learning and so is connected more directly with the present ideals of Swahili culture that people identify with Mombasa. Most of the early information on Mombasa comes from Portuguese chroniclers writing in the sixteenth century. But the famous Moroccan scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta did visit Mombasa in 1331 on his travels on the eastern coast of Africa and made some mention of the city (he only stayed one night). He noted that the people of Mombasa were Shãfi'i Muslims, "a religious people, trustworthy and righteous. Their mosques are made of wood, expertly built." Throughout its pre-colonial history Mombasa was a key node in the complex and far reaching Indian Ocean trading networks. During this time its key exports were ivory, millet, sesamum, and coconuts. In the late pre-colonial period (late nineteenth century) it was the metropolis of a plantation society, which became dependend on slave labor (the city was never an important place for exporting slaves). But ivory caravans were also a major source of economic prosperity. The great Chinese fleet of Zheng He is supposed to have visited Mombassa around 1415. Vasco da Gama was the first known European to visit Mombasa, receiving a chilly reception in 1498. Two years later the town was sacked by the Portuguese who built Fort Jesus. Since the 1593 Portuguese occupation it was governed by a Captain-major. In 1638 it formally became a Portuguese colony (subordinated to Goa, as a stronghold on the route to Portuguese India).

The town came under suzerainty of the Sultanate of Oman which appointed three consecutive Governors (Wali in Arabic, Liwali in Kiswahili]):
12 December 1698 - December 1698 Imam Sa`if ibn Sultan
December 1698 - 1728 Nasr ibn Abdallah al-Mazru`i
1728 - 12 March 1728 Shaykh Rumba
Next it returned under Portuguese rule by captains-major Álvaro Caetano de Melo Castro (12 March 1728 - 21 Sep 1729), then four new Omani Liwali till 1746, when the last of them made it independent again (disputed by Oman), as the first of its recorded Sultans:
1746 - 1755 `Ali ibn Uthman al-Mazru`i
1755 - 1773 Masud ibn Naisr al-Mazru`i
1773 - 1782 Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mazru`i
1782 - 1811 Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Mazru`i (b. 17.. - d. 1814)
1812 - 1823 `Abd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Mazru`i (d. 1823)
1823 - 1826 Sulayman ibn `Ali al-Mazru`i
From 9 February 1824 to 25 July 1826 there was a British protectorate over Mombasa, represented by Governors. Omani rule was restored in 1826; seven liwalis where appointed. On 24 June 1837 it was nominally annexed by Zanzibar; in 1840 it was effectively taken by the sultan of Zanzibar . On 25 May 1887 its administration was relinquished to the British East Africa Association (see under Kenya). The sultan formally presented the town in 1898 to the British. It soon became the capital of the British East Africa Protectorate and is the sea terminal of the Uganda Railway, which was started in 1896. Many workers were brought in from British India to build the railway. On 1 July 1895 it became part of Britain's Kenya protectorate (i.e., the coastal strip nominally under Zanzibari sovereignty). Mombasa was part of the state of Zanzibar until 12 Dec 1963 when it was ceded to be incorporated into the newly independent state of Kenya. On November 28, 2002, a suicide car bomb exploded at the Israeli-owned beachfront Paradise Hotel killing three Israelis and ten Kenyans. About 20 minutes earlier, an (unsuccessful) attempt was made to shoot down an Arkia Israel Airlines Boeing 757 chartered tourist plane taking off from nearby Moi International Airport using surface-to-air missiles; nobody was hurt on the plane, which landed safely in Tel Aviv. The main suspect for both attacks is al Qaeda (see Kenyan hotel bombing).
Townships Aera
Kizingo - Considered the prime residential area of Mombasa. The State House & Mombasa Golf Club are in Kizingo.
Nyali - It is on the mainland north of the island & is linked by the Nyali bridge, It has numerous beachfront hotels in the area known as the "North Coast". It is also a prime residential area.
Changamwe - Industrial
Kibokoni - Part of Old Town with swahili architecture. Fort Jesus is in Kibokoni.
Makadara - Part of Old Town consisting of a high number of descendants of Baluchi soldiers who settled within this area before it developed into a town. The name is derived from the Arabic word Qadr-ur-Rahman meaning fate of God.
Mombasa is a sister city of Seattle, USA.
Fort Jesus is a Portuguese fort built in 1593 on Mombasa Island to guard the Old Port of Mombasa, Kenya. It is built in the shape of a man (viewed from the air), and was given the name of Jesus in an obvious religious reference.


Zanzibar is the collective name for two East African islands off mainland Tanzania: Unguja (also called Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital of the islands, located on the island of Unguja, is also known as Zanzibar. The city's old quarter, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site. The population of Zanzibar was 981,754 in the 2002 census, and its area is 1,651 km² (637 mi²).
Zanzibar's main industries are spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper) and tourism. Zanzibar is also the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus. The word "Zanzibar" probably derives from the Persian, Zangi-bar ("coast of the blacks"). However, the name could also have been derived from the Arabic Zayn Z'al Barr ("fair is this land"). "Zanzibar" often refers especially to Unguja Island and is sometimes referred to as the "Spice Islands," though this term is more commonly associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia.
Although Zanzibar is part of Tanzania, it elects its own president who is head of government for matters internal to the island. Amani Abeid Karume was re-elected to that office on October 30, 2005 under criticism from opposition candidate Seif Shariff Hamad [2]. Earlier, the fairness of his election on October 2000 was queried, and in January 2001 at least 27 peaceful protestors were killed by the police. Zanzibar also has its own House of Representatives (with 50 seats, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms) to make laws especially for it.
The Island of Zanzibar comprises of three administrative regions Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North and Zanzibar Urban/West. On the Island of Pemba are the two regions Pemba North and Pemba South.
Zanzibar is the leading world clove producer. It also exports spices.
History of Zanzibar
Zanzibar is situated off mainland Tanzania. The first permanent residents of Zanzibar seem to have been the ancestors of the Hadimu and Tumbatu, who began arriving from the East African mainland around AD 1000. They had belonged to various mainland ethnic groups, and on Zanzibar they lived in small villages and did not coalesce to form larger political units. Because they lacked central organization, they were easily subjugated by outsiders.
Traders from Arabia, the Persian Gulf region of modern-day Iran (especially Shiraz), and west India probably visited Zanzibar as early as the 1st century. They used the monsoon winds to sail across the Indian Ocean and landed at the sheltered harbor located on the site of present-day Zanzibar Town. Although the islands had few resources of interest to the traders, they offered a good point from which to make contact with the towns of the East African coast. Traders from the Persian Gulf region began to settle in small numbers on Zanzibar in the late 11th or 12th century; they intermarried with the indigenous Africans and eventually a hereditary ruler (known as the Mwenyi Mkuu or Jumbe), emerged among the Hadimu. A similar ruler, called the Sheha, was set up among the Tumbatu. Neither ruler had much power, but they helped solidify the ethnic identity of their respective peoples
The island was part of the Portuguese Empire from 1503 to 1698. In 1698, Zanzibar became part of the overseas holdings of Oman, falling under the control of the Sultan of Oman. Sayyid Said bin Sultan al-Busaid, moved his capital from Muscat in Oman to Stone Town in 1840. After his death in 1856, his sons struggled over the succession. On April 6, 1861, Zanzibar and Oman were divided into two separate principalities. Sayyid Majid bin Said Al-Busaid (1834/5-1870), his sixth son, became the Sultan of Zanzibar, while his brother, the third son Sayyid Thuwaini bin Said al-Said became the Sultan of Oman. During this period, the Sultan of Zanzibar also controlled a substantial portion of the east African coast, known as Zanj, including Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, and trading routes extended much further into Africa, such as to Kindu on the Congo river. In November 1886, a German-British border commission established the Zanj as a ten-nautical mile (19 km) wide strip along the coast from Cape Delgado (now in Mozambique) to Kipini (now in Kenya) including all offshore islands and several towns in what is now in Somalia. However, from 1887 to 1892, all of these mainland possessions were subsequently lost to the colonial powers of Britain, Germany, and Italy although some were not formally sold or ceded until the 20th century (Mogadishu to Italy in 1905 and Mombasa to Kenya in 1963). The British Empire gradually took over, and Zanzibar and the British position was formalized by the 1890 Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty in which Germany pledged not to interfere with British interests in insular Zanzibar. Zanzibar became a protectorate of the United Kingdom that year. The British appointed first Viziers from 1890 to 1913, and then British Residents from 1913 to 1963.
On August 27, 1896, the short Anglo-Zanzibar War broke out over the succession of Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini and ended with the accession of British client Sultan Hamoud bin Mohammed. The war is the shortest war in history; Zanzibar surrendered after 45 minutes [1]. Acquiescing to British demands, Hamoud brought an end to Zanzibar's role as a centre for the eastern slave trade that had begun under Omani rule in 17th Century by banning slavery and freeing the slaves of Zanzibar with compensation in 1897. On December 19, 1963, Zanzibar received its independence from the United Kingdom as a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. This state of affairs was short-lived, as the Sultan was overthrown on January 12, 1964, and on April 26 of that year Zanzibar merged with the mainland state of Tanganyika to form Tanzania, of which it remains a part of to this day.


Experience a "breath taking" nature walk in a boardwalk built within a pristinbe mangrove forest tht provides a serene enviroment witha cool sea bryeeeze, intermittent bird watching sites, view points and resting sheds. The site offers unique scenery that gives visitors to Wasini Island a wonderful photographic site that guarantees a lifetime experiencing. The 1000 m long boardwalk constructed using selected mangrove hardwood frame offers visitors a 20-30 minutesv easy romantic walk along fascinating sceneries of the fossilized corals and dense mangrove forest, a popular habitat for migratory birds and other rare bird species found in East Africa. History Wasini Island was first occupied about 400 years ago by people called Vumbas who originated from Vumba Kuu. Because of wars with Masai tribes, they moved to Kigomoni (Tanzania) Island and from there to Wasini then called Vumba Island.Chinese traders started to move in and out trading mainly porcelain and fish for mangrove poles. Settlement of rich trading arabs started and soon the name of the Island changed to Wasini (Wacini) which is an arab word meaning "short Chinese people". All kinds of trade increased with the years but the prosperity was cut short when the Island was bombed by Germans during the Second World War. The Arabs left and the Vumbas moved to Gazi area where they settled. Wasini became a forgotten place. Only a few people doing small-scale fishing and agriculture remained.Brief info
The Wasini Island community is traditional muslim--swahili. They speak a dialect called Kivumba.

The entrance fee to the mangrove forest goes totally to the Wasini Women Group which was established in 1978 and registered as a Community Based Organization with the Department of Social Services of the Government of the Rupublic of Kenya as a direct response to the declining household income. The overall goal of this group is to improve women's income through enhanced marine resources management and conservation.


The southern fringing reef has four gazetted marine parks with a total area of 500 km (310.5 mi) of coastline (stretches from 1°42'S to 4°40'S). The w ildlife to be seen there are 10 families and about 140 species of reef fish, 10 species of sea urchins, 37 hard coral genera, and 28 sea grass and algae genera.