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Kilindini Harbour
Mombasa Port
Aerial view of Kilindini Harbour
Country  Kenya
Location Mombasa, Mombasa County

4°03′19″S 39°39′07″E / 4.05528°S 39.65194°E / -4.05528; 39.65194

Type of harbor Natural/Artificial
Annual cargo tonnage 22 Million [1]
Kenya Ports Authority

Kilindini Harbour is a large, natural deep-water inlet extending inland from Mombasa, Kenya. It is 25-30 fathoms (45-55 meters) at its deepest center. It serves as the harbour for Mombasa, with a hinterland extending to Uganda and Sudan. Kilindini Harbour is the main part of the Port of Mombasa, the only international seaport in Kenya. It is managed by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). Apart from cargo handling, Mombasa is frequented by Cruise ships.

"Kilindini" is an old Swahili term that means "deep". The port is so called because the channel is naturally very deep. Kilindini Harbor is an example of a natural geographic phenomenon called a ria, formed millions of years ago when the sea level rose and engulfed a river that was flowing from the mainland.


Mombasa has a centuries old history as a harbour city. The Kilindini harbour was inaugurated in 1896 when work started on the construction of the Uganda Railway.

During [2]


On August 29 2013, expansion of the port enabled it to handle Panamax Vessels. The project was launched in July 2011 at a cost of $82.15 Billion by the Kenyan Government and was carried out by China Roads and Bridge Corporation. A new berth, Berth 19, with 15 acres of stacking yard, has provided additional annual capacity of 200,000 TEU. The project is to increase the port throughput by 33 percent, consolidating the leading status of Mombasa as well as Kenya in East Africa. [2]

Dongo Kundu Freeport

The Kenyan Government has also started facilitating the development of a Free Port on a 3,000 acres of land owned by the Authority at Dongo Kundu area through public private partnership arrangements. Also underway is the Road Bypass project to link the project area and Mombasa – Lunga Lunga – Nairobi Highway.[3] Known as the Dongo Kundu bypass the projects aim is to ease traffic flow to Kenya's South Coast. Construction is to begin in late 2013.[4]

Proposed Lamu Port

However, there is a new international seaport under-construction in Lamu known as the Lamu Port. [5] [6] Lamu Port is to be larger than Kilindini Harbour but the Kenya Ports Authority says that the two ports won't compete but complement each other.

The port will have 32 berths and dredged entrance channel done to -18 meters to enable it to accommodate ships of 100,000 tons (Post-Panamax Vessels) The cost for the Short-term Plan for Lamu Port Project, including the first 3 berths, is estimated to be US$ 664 million. The First Phase is to be completed by 2016.[7]


External links

  • Kenya Ports Authority
  • Times obituary of Brian Townend, code-breaker, retrieved 15 October 2006
  • Code-breaking in Mombasa, retrieved 15 October 2006

Coordinates: 4°4′50″S 39°40′00″E / 4.08056°S 39.66667°E / -4.08056; 39.66667

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