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

18 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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  • 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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  • Day1


    September 2, 2016 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Nach einigen Schwierigkeiten sind wir sechs nun gut in Mombasa angekommen. Bereits am Flughafen in Frankfurt ging es mit vielen Unklarheiten und Fragezeichen in den Gesichtern los. Etwa 20 E-Mails und dutzende Anrufe hatte Hanna im Vorfeld getätigt um den Flug von Frankfurt nach Mombasa möglich zu machen. Wir wurden gebeten 4 Stunden vor Abflug vor Ort zu sein, damit der schwere Rollstuhl verladen werden kann. Als wir ankamen wussten weder die Angestellten vom Flughafen noch von Condor über die Abmachungen Bescheid. Nach gefühlten zwei Stunden des Wartens und Abklärens haben wir letztendlich doch Betten für die Wartezeit zu Verfügung gestellt bekommen. Nach etlichen Stunden des Wartens schauen wir auf die Uhr und merken dass es nur noch 15 Minuten bis zum Boarding ist und wir noch immer im Warteraum festsitzen. Die Angestellten versicherten uns, dass wir nicht vergessen wurden, sich jedoch alles etwas verspätet. Als die Rollstühle ankamen und wir endlich los durften, hetzten wir durch den Sicherheitscheck um anschließend feststellen zu dürfen, dass das Boarding bereits angefangen hat und wir warten mussten, bis alle Passagiere eingestiegen sind. Der Flug verlief dann an sich reibungslos.

    In Mombasa angekommen, wurden wir bereits mit den Rollstühlen empfangen und waren sehr froh darüber, dass beide E-Rollstühle heil angekommen sind. Die "Taxifahrt" zur Villa hat uns jedoch gleich auf den Boden der Tatsachen zurück gebracht. Unsere beiden Rollstuhlfahrer sollten zusammen in einem kleinen Van fahren...hierfür mussten erst einmal noch ein paar Sitze ausgebaut werden. Das bedeutet 2 Kenianer bauen den Sitz aus, die restlichen 13 Männer stehen drum herum und geben ihre Kommentare dazu ab. Am Schluss verlangen alle Trinkgeld. Die Fahrt war, wie ihr euch schon denken könnt, sehr sehr holprig. Die Fahrt von Mombasa nach Diani Beach könnt ihr euch anhand der Bilder etwas vorstellen ;)
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  • Day12

    Heimweg über Mombasa

    September 13, 2016 in Kenya ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Der Heimweg hat sich ewig gezogen und alle waren ziemlich müde, selbst die Fahrer. Als wir in Mombasa endlich aus dem Stau draußen waren entdecke ich auf der linken Seite - hier in Kenia ist ja britischer Linksverkehr - ein ziemlich demoliertes Fahrzeug und kurz darauf den Landrover von Hanna und Jasmin. Wir bleiben sofort geschockt stehen und ich war schon dabei mich abzuschalten und aus dem Auto zu springen um zu sehen wie es den beiden geht, als mein Fahrer meinte ich sollte besser nicht aussteigen. Nach kurzer Zeit haben wir erfahren, was passiert war und dass es allen gut geht. Wir sind auch schon bald weiter gefahren wobei Hanna und die anderen noch etwa 2 Stunden auf die Polizeistation verbringen mussten. Um 22:00 und insgesamt 14 Stunden im Auto sind endlich alle heil an der Villa angekommen.

    Auf dem zweiten Bild ist der Landrover, in dem Hanna und Jasmin mitgefahren sind zu sehen. Die zwei Fotos danach zeigen das Auto, in das sie rein gefahren sind.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Mombasa, Mombasa District

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