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Top 10 Travel Destinations Mombasa

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  • Day96

    Mombasa, Kenya

    March 23, 2015 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 90 °F

    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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  • Day11

    Mombasa - Welcome to "real" Kenya

    September 16, 2019 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Für unseren Ausflug nach Mombasa hatten wir uns vorab einen privaten Fahrer besucht - was sich als Glücksgriff herausgestellt hat.
    Pünktlich um 7 Uhr ging es von Diani ab gen Mombasa - über die Fähre - und hinein in die Innenstadt.
    Nach kurzem schlendern durch die portugiesisch angehauchte Altstadt sind wir erst einmal in einem typischen Swahili Kaffeehaus für ein kleines Frühstück eingekehrt - nachdem wir uns auf der Strasse schon an ein paar Chapati (ähnlich wir Roti, Crepe, Pfannkuchen, Naan,..) vergriffen hatten. Nach einigen Swahilian Specialties ging es weiter mit unserem Fahrer/Guide durch die Innenstadt, auf einen Markt, an die berühmten Stoßzähne von Mombasa, zu einer Holzschnitzerei und zum Abschluss noch einmal auf einen zweiten Markt. Alles sehr busy, teils nicht wirklich super sicher aber halt um unseren Fahrer, Hotel-Mitarbeiter und weitere Tuktuk-Fahrer zu zitieren „real Africa“. Absolutely recommend it!
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  • Day28

    Mombasa 1

    February 2 in Kenya ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

    La gare du Madaraka express pour Mombasa est flambant neuve. L'infrastructure et le train sont chinois, comme pour le Addis-Djibouti en Ethiopie. Bonne illustration du nouveau rôle de la Chine dans ce coin du monde. Nos voisins de train se lâchent sur les canettes de bière (pour monsieur) et les hot dogs (pour madame). 4h30 plus tard on est accueillis à Mombasa par un taux d'hygrométrie de folie. A partir de là, il faut laisser tomber l'idée de se sentir frais. Balade dans la vieille ville et le Fort Jésus, entre minarets rigolos et et portes sculptées. Les influences de Oman nous mettent dans l'ambiance pour la suite du voyage. Likoni Ferry, matatu puis tuktuk jusqu'à Diani Beach pour 3 jours de grosse-patating au bord de la mer. Les dernières nouvelles du coronavirus nous font considérer un autre itinéraire. Ca commence à sentir le sapin pour la route de Pékin!Read more

  • Day7

    Taita Hills

    January 27 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Entlang der tansanischen Grenze fahren wir zu unserem nächsten Ziel, der Sarova Saltlick Lodge im Taita Hills Schutzgebiet. Am Anfang ist die Straße durch den Regen total aufgeweicht, Autos ohne Vierradantrieb können es kaum schaffen ohne steckenzubleiben. Dann wird es besser, und wir passieren viele kleine Dörfer. Am späten Nachmittag machen wir noch eine Pirschfahrt im Wildschutzgebiet, bei der wir viele Vögel beobachten. An den Wasserlöchern und der Salzlecke vor der Lodge können wir Kuhantilopen und Wasserböcke beobachten.Read more

  • Day8

    Tsavo Ost Nationalpark

    January 28 in Kenya ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

    Wir unternehmen eine Frühsafari im Park, und nach dem Frühstück verlassen wir den Park. Unterwegs erwischt es uns dann doch noch: auf einer total matschigen Straße rutschen wir in den Graben. 2 Autos kommen zur Rettung und fahren sich ebenfalls fest. Dann schaufeln einige fleißige Arbeiter Kies unter unsere Reifen, und wir können aus dem Graben hinaus fahren. Dann fahren wir nach Voi und dort in den Tsavo Ost Nationalpark. Die erste Safari erleben wir auf dem Weg zur Ashnil Aruba Lodge. Auch am Nachmittag geht es noch mal auf Pirschfahrt.Read more

  • Day29


    September 27, 2019 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 ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    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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  • Day6

    Nairobi to Mombasa

    September 21, 2019 in Kenya ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Another early start today and we're wondering if we'll ever get a lie in on this trip. This morning we are taking the train from Nairobi to Mombasa, a 5 hour journey. We decide to sit in the standard class with our new Australian friends, Sof and Clay, as we all didn't want to dish out 3x the price for a first class ticket. The receptionist at the hostel who kindly books the tickets for us lets us know there is a mandatory booking fee we have to pay extra for. We're happy to pay as we're booking the tickets incredibly last minute. It's only later we find out when booking our return ticket that there is no extra booking fee. Oh well.

    Before getting on the train, we have to pass through airport-style security. Chris is taken to the side and asked about the swiss-army knife that he has inside. The security guard suggests that he can hold it here for us, on the condition that we bring him back something nice from Mombasa. He then changes his mind and says that Chris can keep it now. "How much is it worth?", he asks. Chris tells him that it's worth about $20. "Well if you put 2000 KSh in your bag, you might find your swiss knife has been returned." Chris grabs the money, and plunges it to the bottom of his bag. The security then rifles through the contents, and returns the luggage. Sure enough, the penknife is where Chris left the money.

    The train ride is fairly hot and goes by pretty slowly. But we pass time along the way spotting big game in Tsavo National Park which the train tracks somehow go through. We spot red elephants which are native to the park and think we see some camels as well. We try to double check but the train is going by too fast. We decide that we definitely saw some camels.

    Stepping out of the train terminal we are confronted by the heat wave of Mombasa. Hot and sticky we say our goodbyes to the Aussies who are headed towards Diani Beach and we board our first matatu (shared bus-taxi) to the centre. We are awarded the last two seats on the bus and struggle to not hit any of the other passengers with our luggage. It's safe to say we definitely said sorry to far too many people on the bus that day.

    We've heard good things about Mombasa. But to be honest, those people are wrong. Our hostel, as recommended by Lonely Planet, consisted of a large room with spartan beds not covered by mosquito nets - a problem that is highlighted to us as large swarms of mosquitoes fly through the broken windows and prison style iron barred door. The bathroom was additionally shared with staff who took suspiciously long showers. At least it's only for one night.

    We decide to leave our charming hostel and venture into the streets to see what the hype was about Mombasa. After walking less than 100 metres we're approached by a man who asks us for money for medicine. We politely say no and try to part ways but not before he attempts to show Chris what he needs medicine for by unzipping his fly. Back to the hostel it is!

    We spend the evening watching the sunset over the roof. Overhead are millions of bats flying around the harbour which is quite mesmerising. Still, we can't wait to get on the road again tomorrow.
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  • Day10

    The Mombasa Ferry

    September 25, 2019 in Kenya ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    A quick tale here about the Mombasa Ferry.

    Mombasa is on an island, and in order to get anywhere south of the city, you have to get on a big ferry to take you back to the mainland.

    Today, we're returning from the southern side, and trying to get back into Mombasa. Even the short trip to the ferry is difficult, as the alleyways are too busy for our tuk-tuk to navigate. We have to get out on foot and push our way through. At one corner, a lorry is trying to squeeze its way through the crowds of people, goats, motorbikes and cattle. The lorry swings around the corner just as we're passing, and pushes Chris off-balance. Fighting against the push of the massive vehicle, the tent bag rips- all things considered, we got off lightly.

    On the ferry, we sit down on the top deck. The ferry is slow to depart, then stops in the middle of the channel. We spot a military boat passing the front of our ship, making its way out to sea. Then, out of nowhere, there's a massive explosion. The sound is deafening, and everyone's first reaction is one of terror. We've seen the ship fire the cannon, but to everyone, it will have seemed like a bomb, especially in light of the recent attacks.

    But it doesn't stop there, an entire fleet of military ships follows the first, firing cannons seemingly at random, filling the air with huge bangs. We then see fighter jets scream across the harbour, out to sea.

    When we finally disembark the ferry at the other side, there are dozens of busses, fully laden with soldiers. We literally have no idea what is going on, and nor does anyone else. We would never find out what happened.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mombasa, Mombasa District

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