When comparing serious crime statistics like attempted murder, burglary with violence, and assaults, the city of Mombasa stands out as significantly safer than other major cities in Kenya, including Nairobi, Kisumu, and Nakuru. Despite being situated approximately 1600 kilometers away from Somalia, the city remains remarkably tranquil and unaffected by the turmoil experienced by Somali dissidents.
Mombasa is one of the coastal towns that we recommend for our Kenya beach safari.
Is Mombasa Safe?
Contrary to many other major cities in Kenya, Mombasa offers a relatively low risk of negative security incidents. The Swahili people residing in Mombasa place great importance on safety and security for their families, driven by their deep religious beliefs. Moreover, the Muslim population strongly condemns theft and thuggery, considering them as ‘haram’ or forbidden acts. Nonetheless, it is advisable to exercise general safety precautions while in the city, such as refraining from walking at night and keeping your valuables securely with you.
Is Mombasa Beach Safe?
Most beaches in Mombasa can generally be considered safe, with few security incidents reported recently. However, it is important to note that if you choose to visit public beaches, the level of security may not be as assured compared to private beaches, primarily owned by prominent hotels along the Mombasa coastline.
As a tourist, it is recommended to always remain vigilant, regardless of the location or time of travel. Make sure to take all safety precautions necessary when out and about, such as avoiding carrying too much cash and jewelry on your person, minimizing walking alone in poorly lit areas at night, and being mindful of your surroundings.
Crime Statistics for Mombasa:
Based on data published by the National Crime Research Center (https://www.crimeresearch.go.ke/), Mombasa is recognized as one of the safest cities in Kenya. It boasts a lower overall crime rate compared to other major Kenyan cities, such as Nairobi and Kisumu. The Crime Research Center’s data for the 2020 period highlights Mombasa City’s superior safety performance when compared to Nairobi, as depicted in the accompanying charts.
Below is a chart with Nairobi crime data(source);
Is Mombasa Safer than Nairobi?
According to the 2020 data from the National Crime Research Center, Mombasa boasts significantly higher safety levels than Nairobi across various metrics. For instance, the prevalence of rape in 2020 was 23.9%, whereas in Mombasa it stood at a mere 5.6%, as illustrated in the tables below.
Below is Nairobi safety metrics stats;
Mombasa safety metric stats below;
Is Mombasa Safe for white tourists?
Mombasa and other coastal areas of Kenya, like Kilifi, are home to a significant number of expatriates. As a tourist, you can anticipate being treated with respect and warm hospitality. It is worth noting that white visitors in Mombasa are often presumed to be affluent, leading beach vendors to approach you offering their assistance or offering to sell you something. While it is advisable to remain vigilant against pickpockets, overall, Mombasa is a relatively secure destination for white tourists.
If you’re traveling with children, it’s best to limit their exposure to public beaches during peak hours (when beach boys are most active) and keep them close to you at all times. Additionally, it’s advantageous to book with reputable hotels and tour operators to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay in Mombasa.
Finally, take precautionary steps such as avoiding carrying large sums of cash around (opt for an international credit card instead) and storing valuables securely in your hotel room or rental car.
How to be safe when visiting Mombasa:
- Familiarize yourself with the current security situation in Mombasa before travelling.
- When out and about, avoid carrying too much cash or jewelry on your person.
- Refrain from walking alone in poorly lit areas at night and keep your valuables securely with you at all times.
- If you’re traveling with children, limit their exposure to public beaches during peak hours.
- Book hotels and tour operators of good repute for a safe and pleasurable stay in Mombasa.
- Avoid displaying expensive items such as cameras or phones while out in public places such as markets and restaurants.
- Be mindful of pickpockets when you are in crowded areas.
- Carrying an international credit card is recommended instead of carrying large sums of cash around.
- Let someone know where you are going at all times, especially if traveling alone or with your family.
- Have emergency contact numbers saved on your mobile phone before traveling to Mombasa, and quickly dial for help during an emergency.
Overall, Mombasa is a relatively safe destination for tourists who take the necessary precautions and remain vigilant at all times. With its colorful culture, historical sites and idyllic beaches, Mombasa offers unforgettable experiences that will leave you with fond memories!
The Bottom Line – Even though there are areas of Mombasa that may not be as safe as others, the city is generally much safer than other major cities in Kenya. When visiting Mombasa, it’s important to take necessary security precautions and be mindful of your surroundings. With its idyllic beaches, flavorful local cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, Mombasa is worth a visit!