Home > Port


Pre Arrival:  Overview | Location | Charts | Docs | ISPS   ...
Arrival:  Approach | Pilots | Anchor
Communications:  Pratique | VHF
Berthing Ops:  Tugs | Berths
Cargo:  Bulk | Containers | Cruise | Other | Tankers   ...
Pollution:  Waste | Slops
Facilities:  Medical | Water | Fuel | Chandler | Services   ...
Security:  Police etc | Security | Stowaway | Regs
Local Info:  Weather | Delays
Report:  Report


Max. Size:  Breakbulk:  Draft 11.5 m. Containers:  Draft 14.0 m. Passengers:  LOA 300 m., draft 10.5 m. Ro-Ro:  LOA 300 m., draft 10.5 m. Bulk:  Draft 15.0 m. Tankers:  85,000 d.w.t., LOA 259 m., draft 13.2 m. Gas:  85,000 d.w.t., LOA 259 m., draft 13.2 m. Largest Vessel:  LOA 259 m., draft 13.25 m.
Fuel:  All grades.
Airport:  Mombasa Int'l, 11 km.
Repairs/Drydocks:  180 x 24.75 m.
Medical:  Facilities available.

Port Plans

Safe Area ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Port Layout ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Kipevu Oil Terminal ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
KOT Jetty ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )
Shimanzi Oil Terminal ( Icon kml , Icon port plans )

ACE Reports

   Arrival Declaration for Passengers (landing only) (Form F1)
   Arrival & Sailing Reports (Agency forms)
   Crew Declarations (Form C8)
4 Crew Lists
4 Landing Passenger Lists
   Maritime Declaration of Health (Form Med-284)
4 Passenger in Transit Lists
   Port Health Clearance of Ships (Form GPK-160)
   Ship's Record & Master's Report (Form KPA/Rev. 92) (to Pilot)
   Ship's Register (copy)
   Shore Passes (company forms)
   Stores List (Form C7)
   Vaccination Lists.
Approaches:  Mombasa is a natural port and very well protected where navigation must be conducted with the utmost care and precision.
The port has recently been dredged to permit entrance by vessels with LOA 335 m.
Chart BA No. 666 is very well detailed and meets all necessary requirements for a safe in-port passage.
The approaches to Mombasa either from north or south must be conducted with extreme caution as Andromache Reef on the SW side and Levin Reef on the NE side and a great number of shallow waters, all of them not detectable at HW, pose a threat to navigation.
Consideration should also be given to the very strong East African current, setting north, which reaches 4.5 knots during the months from April to November then declining to about 1.5 knots in February.
It is strongly suggested that no attempt should be made to negotiate the approach to the turning buoy without the Pilot on board, and that the positioning of the ship on the leading line to approach the turning buoy be taken at least 1.5 n.m. from the turning buoy, to evaluate the drift properly.
The suggested waiting area is in Lat. 04° 04′ 12″ S and Long. 039° 42′ 12″ E in about 20 fathoms of water.
When the ship is set on the approaching leading line, up to the turning buoy the navigation should be checked with utmost care as this leading line sensitivity is rather poor, since the two Mackenzie Pt. beacons are too close to each other.
After having rounded the turning buoy navigation proceeds on the heading line 301°(T) and in the area south of Ras Serani, the ship has to make a sharp turn to west to proceed on course 238°(T). In this turning area tidal currents set north and a good berth must be given to shallow waters, marked by a buoy which is well inside the 6 fathom line.
When on course 238°(T) the ship approaches the narrowest passage in the port, approx. 183 m. wide. This passage is marked by a buoy on the south side of the channel and a beacon on the north side.
After Ras Mzimba, when on course 309°(T) another narrow passage must be negotiated before entering Port Kilindini. This passage, approx. 183 m. wide, is usually well marked.
After this passage, navigation up to the oil jetty does not present any particular difficulty.
After Ras Serani up to Port Reitz the tidal currents run in the same direction as the channel.
The port navigation is controlled by VHF from the Harbour Master's office.
Shoals in the port area are marked by beacons. It may occur that some of them are missing without any warning. Caution should be exercised as in some areas leading line beacons could be obscured by growing vegetation or by anchored ships.
Anchorages:  Outside: A suggested anchorage position is in Lat. 04° 06′ 12″ S and Long. 009° 42′ 12″ E (same as suggested waiting area). The anchorage is not sheltered, rather exposed to currents, wind and sea, and bottom holding capacity is doubtful.
Anchoring is not suggested unless the ship has to wait for a long period of time. In this case, Pilots should be consulted on VHF Channel 12 for the most suitable position.
Inside: There are six approved anchorages in the port area, three of which are located between Ras Mzimba and Kilindini Reef. The remaining are situated respectively two in Port Kilindini and 1 in Port Reitz.
The suggested anchoring point for all of them is along the leading line.
Tankers are usually not allowed to anchor inside the port, except for short waiting periods. VLCCs are sometimes moored on buoys to await berth.
Pilotage:  Pilots hold Master's Certificate of Competency. Only Senior Pilots with Master's Certificates and at least one year's experience as Pilots in Mombasa Roads are authorised to Pilot large ships. There are currently six Pilots employed in Mombasa.
Some delays in obtaining the Pilot can be expected due to shortage of Pilots.
Pilots board the ship approx. in Lat. 04° 06′ 12″ S and Long. 039° 42′ 12″ E (waiting area) or up to 1.5 n.m. from the turning buoy, from an orange hull cutter with white superstructure on which ``Pilot'' is painted in black.
When leaving the port, during the SW monsoon period with heavy swell affecting the port entrance, the Pilot disembarks just after the Ras Serani turn, before the turning buoy, but may be retained past turning buoy.
Both pilot hoist and pilot ladder are acceptable for boarding and leaving the ship although the ladder is preferred. Manropes obligatory.
  1. The Approach Buoy is painted red and white (Fl.(W) 5s.), and is located in position Lat. 04° 05′ 34″ N, Long. 039° 42′ 46″ E
  2. Strong NE currents in the pilot boarding area sometimes reach 5 knots. Pilots are often late to meet the vessels, and they reduce the speed of a pilot launch and order vessel to reduce speed to dead slow. This should not be done, as current will rapidly drive vessel on to the shoal to the east.
  3. The rainy season lasts from May to June.
  4. All berths are supplied with good fenders. A majority of the berths are provided with shore cranes.
  5. In order to avoid filtering of stowaways on board, I recommend taking a local watchman.
    When staying at the roadstead at night time, a vessel should use maximum lights, including lamps for lighting ship's hull, and have two seamen on deck (forecastle and stern). The deck itself should be visible to the watch officer.
During our stay in the port, cases of theft took place on several vessels.
Mombasa Approach Recommendations: 
  1. Arrive about 30 minutes earlier than the pilot boarding time.
  2. Make a run along the harbour entrance on a course of approx. 212°(T) from a position of approx. 3–5 km. off Ras Iwetine.
    This is extremely useful as you can familiarise yourself with the sightings, e.g. determine the strength of the current, check on the position of the entrance buoys and check on your approach to pipelines when on the leading line.
  3. After passing the leading line of Ras Serani, set course for a position at least 4.8 km. SE of Buoy No. 2 and take the Pilot on board there. If you take the Pilot on board closer than that, first proceed to seaward again.
  4. Go in at full speed, thus making the angle of compensation for the current as small as possible.
  5. Determine a point of no return.
We took the Pilot on board 6.4 km. SE of Buoy No. 2 on a southerly heading.
I let the Pilot do the line up on the leading line, and after he started compensating for current with only 4°, I took over and took the ship in myself until the effect of the current could no longer be felt. This was about 2 cables to the seaward of Buoy No. 2.
We passed Buoy No. 2 with a speed of approx. 12 knots.
Buoy No. 1 and the turning buoy were not there. All other buoys were in position (this was also reported by the Harbour Control).
We calculated the current at that time to be approx. 2.5 knots.
As for the 10.20 m. depth near the leading line, we passed very close to this spot, but never had less than 2.0 m. of water under the keel.
When asking the in-going Pilot, he stated ``plenty of water''.
The out-going Pilot stated that the whole area between Buoys No. ½ and 3/4 had been dredged to 13.0 m. Taking into account that we never had less than 2.0 m. under the keel, the vessel's speed and squat, this seems to be a possibility.
Note:  I see Mombasa as a very high risk port for vessels of this size (80,000 d.w.t.), due to the very small margins of safety.
SHIPMASTER'S REPORT: January 1995 (Updated 2002) Vessel:  Tanker, 33,900 d.w.t., LOA 182.6 m. and arrival draft 10.4 m.
Berth:  Shimanzi Oil Terminal.
Cargo:  Products.
Pilot:  Pilot boarded 2 hours after HW. Boarding ground is 1.6 km. seawards of the outer channel buoys.
Berthing:  Docked at Kipevu Oil Terminal. This now has facilities to discharge all grades of refined products, as well as heavy oils.
3×10 in. Chicksans available for refined products.
Slop line available.
Water can be supplied by barge only, but as there is a serious water shortage in Mombasa, it should be booked well in advance.
Maximum draft allowed 13.4 m.
White oil vessels discharging here will have to shift to Shimanzi, if a heavy oil vessel arrives. This appears to be the norm, with most vessels shifting at some time during the discharge.
It may be economically more sensible to arrive with a draft of 9.75 m. and berth direct at Shimanzi Oil Terminal.
Lights and Navigational Aids:  All observed were operational and in good condition.
Agency: 2 Crew Lists, Cargo Manifest, Clearance from Last Port, Ship's Register.
Immigration: 4 Crew Lists, Passenger List.
Customs: Crew List, Personal Declaration, Stores List, Parcels List, Bonded Stores List.
Port Health: Crew List, Vaccination List, Livestock List, Ports of Call List, Health Declaration.
Pilot: Ship's Record and Master's Report Form.
Anchorage:  White Oil tankers with a short period to wait for the berth are permitted to anchor in Port Reitz.
VHF:  Port works on VHF Channels 16 and 12, and Pilots on VHF Channel 12.
Departure:  No night sailing for tankers.
Notice:  Issued by Agent to Master:
Stowaways: Recently ships sailing from Mombasa have found several stowaways after steaming one or two days. Most of the stowaways are from the neighbouring countries, and the current Kenya Immigration Regulation is not to allow any stowaway who is not Kenyan to land at Mombasa.
If the stowaways claim to be Kenyans with no documents, his relatives here have to be interviewed by Immigration, and only after that proof would the stowaway be allowed to land. No other stowaways with or without documents will be allowed to land in Kenya.
SHIP OFFICER'S REPORT: January 1996 Vessel:  Tanker.
Cargo:  Mogas, gas oil.
Berth:  Kipeva Oil Terminal.
Moorings:  3-2-2 each end. Two head lines from the starboard bow first by mooring boat. Aft springs from poop.
Tugs:  One each end for berthing and unberthing. Tug's lines used.
Gangway:  Used for access. Landed just forward of manifold.
Shore Lines:  Shore has 10 in. lines for all grades. Four chicksans are available, the aft one for Jet and the others for mogas and gas oil. Shore do all connecting and disconnecting, though they do not connect until an hour before the sample results are out. Sample tests can take a very long time, so we spent a lot of time waiting.
Security:  Shore provide security teams of three men during the day and five men at night. They also carry out a full stowaway search before departure. Shore firemen come on board for meals.
We provided the shore with a radio, so we had some communication with the Loading Master, instead of shouting down to the jetty.
Discharge Rate:  Maximum for all lines is 1,600 cu.m./hr. or 10 Bar, whichever comes first.
First call: Vessel has 32,000 tonnes of gas oil. The forward chicksan was inoperative, so with two lines and three pumps we averaged about 2,700 cu.m./hr. Samples took 6 hours for testing.
Second call: (2 weeks later): Vessel had mogas (green and yellow line), jet (blue line) and gas oil (red line). Again the forward chicksan was inoperative, so one line for each grade. Connected up to mogas and the gas oil. Jet discharged once the gas oil chicksan disconnected. As it was a weekend, we had a long wait for samples and also delays whilst shore pumped cargo around to make ullage for gas oil and jet. Mogas samples took over 12 hours. With only one pump on each grade, we were unable to make the maximum back pressure or rate, but still managed over 1,000 cu.m./hr. on each grade – mogas 1,070 cu.m./hr.; gas oil 1,300 cu.m./hr.; jet 1,100 cu.m./hr.
SHIPMASTER'S REPORT: July 1999 Vessel:  Car carrier, 27,600 g.t., LOA 160 m., max. draft 7.5 m.
Berth:  Kilindini Wharf, Berth No. 3.
Publications:  BA Charts No. 674 and 693.
Admiralty Light Lists, Volume D.
Pilotage:  Pilot boarded about 0.8 km. to seaward of Buoys No. 1 and No. 2. Due to the ship's high windage area, with wind south at 20 knots and current estimated to be from the north at 4 knots, maintained a leading line of 301.75° by steering 285°(T) when slowing to 6 knots to embark the Pilot. After embarking the Pilot, sea speed of 13 knots was rung immediately. Buoy No. 6 was rounded with the ship making 12 knots.
Berthing:  Vessel berthed starboard side alongside at Kilindini Wharf, Berth No. 3. One tug used for berthing, wind 10 knots from the west. For sailing the following morning, with winds from south at 20 knots, two tugs were ordered. After a 20 minute delay, with the second tug crew reportedly missing, the ship was forced to sail using one tug. For berthing and unberthing, tug's lines were used. Tug's lines in poor condition. For berthing and unberthing, the tug's line was secured to the ship's bitts on the port quarter.
The section of the wharf where the ship berthed has two bends. For vessels of length greater than 100 m., the tractor tyre fenders are ineffective in the bow and stern areas, resulting in some paint damage at low water.
Very important: The dock cranes on Berths No. 1 and 10 are very close to the seaward edge of the wharf, due to the narrow apron. It would appear that the cranes are rather exposed to shipping movements. At least two wharf cranes have been knocked over recently by vessels attempting to berth.
AGENT'S REPORT: March 2002
Terminal: All Conventional Berths.
Length: 183 m.
Draft: Max. 9.75 m.
Commodities: Bulk wheat, maize, sorghum
Storage capacity: No storage facilities in port. All cargo direct delivery. Bagging can be arranged on pier side
Loading rate: 1,200 tonnes/day. Higher incentives provided. Bagged cargo at 1,000–1,200 tonnes/day
Fresh water: Water shortages occur. There is no pressure from shore hydrant. Water supplied by barge/road tankers
Dock access by vehicle?: Yes
Bunkering: Available from Alba Petroleum at Shimanzi and Kipevu Terminals and by barge
Amount loaded: 15,000 tonnes (bulk maize).

Mombasa Flag of Kenya

View weather forecast

Print this page Report Actual Conditions Experienced Request Port Listing Report Errata Add to Favorites

OVERVIEW:  Mombasa is the principal Kenyan seaport and comprises facilities at Port Reitz (also known as Kipevu district) and Likoni district on the mainland, and Port Kilindini (the collective name for Mbaraki, Kilindini and Shimanzi districts) on Mombasa Island Mombasa not only serves Kenya but is also the main gateway to the eastern African hinterland countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.
LOCATION:  On the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya, in Coast Province, 430 km. SE of Nairobi.
CHARTS:  BA Charts No. 616 and 666.
Publications:  BA Africa Pilot Vol. 3, NP 3.
DOCUMENTS:  The following documents are required for clearance inwards:
6 Crew Lists
   Dangerous Cargo Lists
   Maritime Declaration of Health (forms obtainable from Agent)
10 Passenger Lists
   Ship's Register
Normal port requirements for safety and cargo equipment.
ISPS COMPLIANCE:  Port is compliant.
MAX. SIZE:  Breakbulk:  Draft 11.5 m.
Containers:  Draft 14.0 m.
Passengers:  LOA 300 m.,