geographical name \mäm-ˈbä-sə\

Definition of MOMBASA

island Kenya on coast N of Pemba
city & port on Mombasa Island & adjacent mainland pop 900,000

Rhymes with MOMBASA


geographical name    (Concise Encyclopedia)

City (pop., 2006 est.: 823,500), Kenya, located on the island of Mombasa off the southern coast of Kenya. The island has an area of 5.5 sq mi (14.25 sq km) and is linked to the mainland by causeway, bridge, and ferry; the city includes a mainland area of 100 sq mi (259 sq km). Founded by Arab traders in the 11th century, it was visited in 1498 by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama. With its strategic position for the Indian Ocean trade, it was continually fought over, passing among the Arabs, Persians, Portuguese, and Turks until 1840, when Zanzibar gained control. It came under British administration in 1895 and was the capital of the East Africa Protectorate until 1907. It is Kenya's chief port and second largest city; it is also a major agricultural market.


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