Kenya
Mombasa

Here you’ll find travel reports about Mombasa. Discover travel destinations in Kenya of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

20 travelers at this place:

  • Day96

    Mombasa, Kenya

    March 23, 2015 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Mombasa is Kenya’s most important port and is situated on an island just on the coast. Arab sea traders influenced the city’s early history as did the Portuguese, who also controlled the city at times. It was ruled by Omanis for extended periods and the result is an African city with heavy influences of Muslim and European colonial architecture and culture.

    Quite gritty, there were warnings on our ship about how best to safely visit the city. We had done a safari the first day of the stay, but wanted to explore the city itself on the second. We therefore took a ship shuttle bus into downtown and hired a local street guide to show us around for two hours for $10.

    Our guide looked official at first glance with his patches, badges, epaulets and military boots but the “Revolucion” patch above his pocket and “Che Guevara” on his back revealed otherwise. His commanding, definitive presence led us through street traffic where he boldly crossed using only his outstretched hand to stop the taxis and tuk-tuks. We scurried to keep close to him and avoid being stranded in a no-man’s-land of vehicles.

    He took us through spice markets where we bought several spices, not because we can bring them into the US, but just to be able to enjoy the colors and smells for awhile. He described historical sites and led us into a particularly bloody meat market where Ali almost threw up when a vendor pulled out a camel leg and hoof from under a table. It was a very dramatic moment!

    The Arab/Africa blend that makes up Swahili culture was evident in the ornate balconies and doors of many of the buildings. The influence of the Omanis will also be seen in Zanzibar, our next stop.
    The first photo is some of the architecture in Mombasa.
    The second photo is Ali and our guide.
    The third photo is the spice market we visited.
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  • Day29

    Mombasa

    September 27 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Am 26.9. hatten wir dann einen langen Reisetag. 3 Stunden mit dem Bus von Embu nach Nairobi und von dort nochmal 5 Stunden mit dem Zug nach Mombasa. Die Zugfahrt war aber sehr schön und führte uns durch den Tsavo Nationalpark, sodass wir viele wilde Tiere und eine tolle Landschaft vom Zug aus sehen konnten. In Mombasa ging es dann nochmal um die Themen berufliche Bildung sowie Interreligiöser Dialog & HIV-Prävention. Außerdem haben wir die Altstadt erkundet und eine Moschee besucht. In den letzten Tagen haben wir auch ein bisschen gefeiert und unsere neuen Tanzskills aus Embu im Nachtleben von Mombasa umgesetzt. Es war ein schöner Abschluss unserer Reise und von unserem Geographiestudium 😊Read more

  • Day98

    Mombasa, Kenya

    March 22, 2015 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 90 °F

    Big change from the quiet, idyllic beach setting of the Seychelles to the bustling dirty city of Mombasa. We left the boat at 7:30am aboard a Toyota minivan with a poptop heading for the largest game reserve in Kenya, Tsavo East. It was about a 2-3 hour drive from Mombasa on the main highway leading from Mombasa to the inner countries of East Africa and was packed with trucks taking containers from the port. It was narrow with a big drop off on the shoulder so that if one of the trucks actually runs off the road it may very well flip over (We saw one that had done just that on the trip). Of course the driver of the van, and every other driver on the road was passing the slow moving trucks like they were standing still. Often getting back into the lane just inches in front of the truck as a similar sized semi passes. Fortunately the drivers there were fairly tolerant of the chaos and we made it there alive. :-)
    The drive through the park was safer although when we pulled off the road into some bush and the driver told us to look at the lion and we realized he was pointing to the sleeping one under a bush about 20 feet from the jeep we were having second thoughts. :-) Fortunately for us we look too big to eat for the lion and he just seemed more annoyed that we woke him up then dangerous.
    Lunch at the restaurant overlooking a watering hole was pretty special though. The lodge had an underground tunnel that went out to a bunker right at the water hole level so you could be at ground level right under the animals as they come up to drink. We had been watching this <1 week old baby as his mother crawled over the little rock wall that held in the water. He went crazy running around from each of the other females in the herd until he finally sniffed her out and was able to crawl over a short area and get to her. Then after watering for a while she wandered back over the wall and he just couldn't follow her. The last two pictures captured how wonderful and gentle these animals are when Mom very tolerantly came back and reached down and lifted the baby with her trunk.
    We didn't go into the city the next day since we didn't want to spoil our impression of the wild Kenya with the reality of the 40%+ unemployment rate and filth that was the main city of Mombasa. We have not seen a poorer country or worse living conditions then we saw in some of the areas in the outskirts of Mombasa on our travels to date and did not really want to dive head first into it. Ali and Jeff did though the next day and you can read their impression on their blog.
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  • Day81

    Mombasa, oh boy

    March 22, 2016 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    To be honest, this city's rough: Sellers are aggressive, smells are abundant and strong, garbage everywhere, but that's not new... We stayed in our usual cheaper guesthouses, but this one actually felt like a neighbourhood wasn't one I would mess around at dark in... They mostly say not to be out anywhere in Kenya after dark, but I believe it here. I felt safer in Nairobi, which says a lot. That being said, I'm a smart girl. I keep my stuff close, stay polite, yet firm. That's what we've learnt so far. 

    We got to Mombasa around 12pm from Watamu, just enough time to walk around old town, explore the old port, beautiful carved doors again, gorgeous balcony architecture... Crossing some people welcoming us, and some looking at us just creepily enough to make me keep walking. We got to the Fort Jesus, main attraction here, and spotted other tourists at the door. My goal was to ask if it was worth visiting, but they were just heading in with their own guide and invited us to tag along. Free guide! Entrance fees were 800 as per our lonely planet, which we thought was expensive, but getting to the gate they were actually 1200! Again, student cards save the day! They let us pay the "under 16" price of 600 instead. Score! 

    The Fort was our first bit of true history on the country. We've seen cultural history, tribal history, but not the whole Portuguese coming in 15?? And Omanis taking over to then be over taken by the English or something along those lines... It's funny, during these tours, I'm super interested and curious, and the second I leave those gates I forget everything that was just said to me. But the Fort was cool! Lol. The doorways had a mix of Portuguese, Arabic, and Muslim carvings. And of course there's the obligatory clay pot museum that I sat outside to get a nice breeze. It's still brutally hot on the coast - averaging 34 C during the day and 27C at night. 

    We didn't get to doing the spice market on the same day as the old town, so we set off to it in the morning before moving on to Diani beach. Turns out, we found a bunch of fantastic materials we plan to use for our hookah lounge / pillow pile! We have all these great plans for our apartment, the only thing missing is the actual apartment that won't happen for another 3 months... Lol. Successful morning! 
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  • Day7

    Lazy Day

    September 21, 2018 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Had initially planned to take a trip to Malindi, see the Gedi ruins today later changing to a visit to Diani beach, but the hassle (ferry crossing, 2hr trip) and cost (costing Ksh 5,000 one way on uber) was just too much just to see Diani beach. So I decided to spend this last day enjoying my Voyager resort.

    Woke up at 9:23am changed without bathing to catch breakfast before it winds up at 10am. Came back and took another short nap.

    Left the Resort in the afternoon hoping to have lunch at the beach bar & restaurant I identified yesterday. As I walked along the beach I noticed that the tides had risen so much making it impassable, so I diverted and tried to walk through the hotels and resorts by the beach but met a fence and had to exit through one of the resorts onto the main road. Changed my mind and went to Maasai Restaurant for lunch. Was craving swallow and soup so I improvised by asking for vegetables, mashed potatoes and Nyoma Choma. Was shocked when the vegetable turned out to be a bowl of vegetable salad. Fortunately, the Nyoma came with some tomatoes sauce.

    The A-Team put on an incredible acrobatic / dance show at 9:00pm.

    Left for Anuba night club at Nyali centre after the show, spent about an hour before transferring to Hypnotica club in the same centre which had better music with a younger and more vibrant crowd. Naija songs are quite popular in Kenya. I finally left the club at 3am with an Uber back to the resort while some guest were just arriving.
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  • Day2

    Arrived Mombasa, Kenya

    September 16, 2018 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Weather was chilly with temperature at 14 degrees. By 6:30 am I was already on the Visa queue having filled the Visa application form and Entry card provided in the hall. Que for those applying for Visa was very very long and I finally had my visa pasted in my passport at 7:50 am.

    Got my lone bag from the conveyor belt and proceeded to the exit of the airport stopping to change $100 to KsH 9,800. Found a Safricom kiosk just outside the airport exit door and bought a sim with 2GB data for Ksh 1,000. After which I proceeded to the domestic terminal just across the road from the international terminal. Checked into the Kenya Airways Mombasa flight which departed at 9 am and arrived at Mombasa after a 1 hr flight.

    Hailed an Uber to Voyager Beach Resort. Scenery to the resort wasn’t spectacular. Arrived at the resort a few minutes before noon. Lovely Ship themed resort, was welcomed at the gate by a security man who blew a trumpet to announce my arrival. Paid for half board accommodation which covers breakfast and dinner but breakfast was already over when I arrived, so I ate lunch which was a buffet charged to my room.

    Took a walk round the hotel taking in the lovely sights and met two interesting ladies. Came back to the room to catch up with sleep and later had dinner
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  • Day3

    Fort Jesus & Old Mombasa Town Tour

    September 17, 2018 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Had breakfast then called an Uber to take me to Fort Jesus, a Portuguese fort built in the 16th century which was later captured by the Omanis. The fort is built to depict a man. It also doubles as a museum with lots of artifacts and pictures. Entrance fee for non-east Africans is Ksh 1,200 Our tour guide Aghakan offered to also do a tour of old Mombasa for us, so I extended his contract.

    Mombasa reminds me of Stone Town, Zanzibar. Same concept, narrow streets with similar doors and building design. A lot of the landmark buildings have been converted to residential houses with a wooden plaque on the wall for identification and brief history. Had Mutton Byriani, basically basmantic rice and goat meat. Was a nice meal in a restaurant by the sea overlooking English Point Hotel.

    After the tour we took a Matutu (keke) to City Mall, the largest shopping mall in Mombasa. Changed $200 at exchange rate of Ksh 98 per dollar. There was no supermarket in the mall so we strolled down to Nyali Centre which had a big supermarket called Naivas, where I bought drinks, snacks, mouth wash (the one I came with had poured in my suitcase). After buying stuff to stock up my fridge I took an Uber to the hotel, rested a bit and went to the restaurant for dinner at about 8:00 pm.

    There was a birthday cake procession by the restaurant staff. Later on some acrobats entertained us with pole climbing stunts which reminded me of a similar show by the Kenyans at last year’s Calabar carnival.
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  • Day4

    Visit to Pirate Beach

    September 18, 2018 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Peter the dreadlocks Uber driver responded to my taxi request, stating that he has problem receiving card payments as such would appreciate if I pay cash for the trip. I agreed with the proviso that it will be the same Uber rate. So off we went. First destination was to Mombasa SGR Terminus, the new train station for the standard guage rail. A magnificent structure built by the Chinese. I bought a 1st class ticket for Saturday to Nairobi.

    From the train station we proceeded to Uhuru Gardens location of the famous Mombasa Tusk erected in 1956 to commemorate the visit of Princess Margarete to Mombasa.

    After snapping some memorable pictures at the most famous tusk, Peter took me to Pirates Beach which is the most famous public beach in Mombasa. We went to the cordoned off Pirates Beach Restaurant & Bar for a Byriani lunch and beer and away from the numerous aggressive hustlers on the beach trying to sell me stuff.

    Pirates beach is lovely with lots of people and one can wade into the water a long distance from shore before getting to the deep part. There were camel rides for offer.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mombasa, مومباسا, Горад Мамбаса, Момбаса, মোমবাকা, Μομπάσα, מומבסה, MBA, モンバサ, მომბასა, 몸바사, Mombása, मोम्बासा, Mombassa, Mombaça, Mombaaso, ممباسا, 蒙巴萨

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