Austria Reopens Mombasa Consulate

The Austrian government is reopening its honorary consulate in Mombasa after four years of closure.

A statement from the Austrian Embassy in Nairobi indicated it had appointed a new honorary consul for Mombasa on May 2.

Honorary Consul Saleem Ghalia also serves as the honorary consul for the Germany government in Mombasa.

According to Ms Katharina Rauscher, Deputy Head of Mission at the Austrian Embassy in Nairobi, the Consulate in Mombasa is being reopened "because of the ever growing numbers of Austrian tourists visiting the Kenyan Coast each year."

The embassy says about 3,000 Austrian tourists visit Kenya annually and the Mombasa office is supposed to help them in times of emergencies such as when they lose travel documents.

However, it will also save coast dwellers the trouble of travelling to Nairobi whenever they want a visa to Austria.

The consulate in Mombasa was first opened in early 1900s before WWI forced it to close down. It was re-opened in 1971 before being closed again in 2012. At the time, the Austrian government said its then honorary consul Mr Tibor Gaal had fallen ill.

The reopened Consulate will relocate to new offices on Dedan Kimathi Avenue in Mombasa from Nyerere Avenue where it was before.

It will be open between 8am to 4pm every weekday but only offer consular services between 8.30am and 12 noon.