East African Coast
The East African Coast with its miles of pristine white beaches and sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean comprises of the mainland and a number of islands, each with its unique character and history. The coral reefs and Marine National Parks with their vividly colourful underwater life add to the charm of a vacation here.
The city of Mombasa is situated on an island on the southern coast of Kenya. It is the oldest town in Kenya and the most significant port in East Africa. The earliest known reference to Mombasa dates from 150 AD when the Roman geographer Ptolemy placed the town on his map of the world. The rich historical influence is still visible in Mombasa town which is a mystical mixture of ancient and modern. The Old Town dominated by Fort Jesus with its lurid saga of conquest and siege, the narrow alleys overshadowed by high ornamental balconies and the vibrant bazaars, combines with the New Town to provide an intriguing potpourri of romanticism and practicality.
Mombasa Island is divided into three general areas: the North Coast, the South Coast and Mombasa Town. The beach hotels are located along the palm fringed, sandy white beaches of the North Coast and South Coast. Mombasa has the highest concentration of resorts, lodges and hotels in the region, ranging from beach campsites to five star deluxe beach properties.
Mombasa is located 485 km from Nairobi, and can be accessed by air, road or train. All our packages to Mombasa are by air, with a host of daily flights via Nairobi.
Malindi is the second largest costal town in Kenya after Mombasa. Although the history of the town dates back to the twelfth century, there are few remains of the ancient town. It is now a popular beach resort. The 1980’s brought in a lot of Italian investment with many building their summer villas here, thus the recent Italian influence in the restaurants and shops.
Malindi is located 120 km from Mombasa by road and there are also daily flights from Nairobi.
One of the earliest Arab settlements along the coast, Lamu is a wonderful old stone town which has preserved its distinctive architecture, the carved doors, narrow streets, lack of vehicles and the local culture. The town was founded in the 14th century, and by the 15th century was one of the most thriving ports on the East African coast.
Today’s Lamu relies on tourism as a major source of income. The magical blend of the old stone town and the sandy beaches has attracted free spirits from all over the world to this sleepy but fascinating place.
Lamu is located 350 km from Mombasa by road. However, it is normally recommended to fly and there are daily flights from Nairobi.
The very name Zanzibar conjures up exotic and romantic images. A paradise where spices, rice and coconuts grow, and where the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean wash up on the shores of virgin white sandy beaches. Zanzibar’s ancient stone town, with its cobbled streets, narrow alleys and bustling bazaars is steeped with history, full of atmosphere and immensely attractive. Zanzibar is believed to have begun life in the 8th century when the Arab traders arrived on the island. By the 17th century, Zanzibar had developed into a prosperous town and was considered to be so important a trading post, that the ruling Sultan of Oman moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar.
Zanzibar gained independence in 1963, and in 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.
Zanzibar can be accessed by regular ferry services from Dar es Salaam, or by air with flights from Nairobi, Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam. All our packages to Zanzibar are by air.
Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam means “Haven of Peace” and was given its name in 1866 by the Sultan of Zanzibar who founded the city around that time. The city grew steadily through the Arab, German and finally British rule until Tanganyika’s independence in 1961.
Today’s Dar es Salaam is a cosmopolitan and bustling city, with modern facilities.
Dar es Salaam International Airport connects to the main towns in Tanzania, regional hubs and major cities worldwide.