Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya. Lying next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and has an international airport. The city also serves as the centre for the coastal tourism industry.
Also known as Mombas in colonial times, its name derives from Mombasa. This was the Arabic name of the former sultanate of Mvita, which had its capital here. In modern times the town is the headquarters of the Mombasa District, which like most other districts in Kenya, is named after its chief town.