Sunday 23 February 2020


Our journey was roughly four hours to drive from Taita Hills to Mombasa, with a few sights on the way. The road was bitumen all the way, except for the raffertys rules on the road and very heavy traffic with trucks, the trip was quite pleasant, otherwise.
We arrived into Mombasa, our guide Debit had to use a sat nav, because of all the changes. We were impressed with the new roadworks, being funded by the Chinese government, who have built roads and the new fast train. Kenya is going under major reconstruction to build the second largest deepest/natural port, the largest being in Durban.
After a couple of wrong turns, we finally arrived at our resort, Bamburi Beach Resort hotel. On arrival we  alighted from the safari vehicle, ready to check in and our guide informed us that this was the wrong hotel, as told by the security guards.
After I informed Debit this is our hotel, as it was on our paperwork.  I told our guide to check at reception, but he was bluffed by the security, so we all got into the vehicle. 
I had to put on my big girl pants and talk some sense into Debit to check with reception, showed him the paperwork and to go back and check at reception too see if we were booked in!
I added that how would  security know and we need to check at reception, so back we went and sure enough we were in the right hotel, we felt very sorry for our guide, who was nothing but wonderful.
 This is how goods are transported
 Mombasa roadworks
 Mombasa traffic
 Our guide, time to say farewell.
 Our resort for the next three days.
 In the evening
A nice swim.
 Our three day stay is all inclusive, drinks, alcohol, food on demand, a nice way to relax after a very busy 12days.
 Time for dinner and to wear my african fabric dress that I made with some of the Masai jewellery that I purchased from the Masai. A buffet and entertainment for the night. The waiters loved it and called me Masai mamma.

 Suckling pig.
Our entertainment for the night, very loud and lots of banging, not at all quite and rhythmic like the Masai, my most favourite tribe. The hotel has a show every night at 2100hrs.
After we had an afternoon and full day of relaxation, we were ready to tackle the traffic and chaos of Mombasa and arranged a half day city tour. This we did on Saturday.
Our first stop was at the huge tusks on Moi Ave, named after their first president.  These giant metal tusks were built in 1952, in readiness for the visit of Princess Elizabeth, 2nd, which did not happen as her father died and she had to return to England and when she did visit in 1963 she was a queen.
The large metal tusks on Moi Ave.
This park has a colony of bats, look very closely.

Photo stop
 after crossing a very busy road.
One of the very elaborate Indian temples, there are a large proportion of Indian and Arab people that settled in Mombasa in the early years.
DH on the steps of the temple.
Inside the temple, very elaborate inside.

After our visit to the temple, we made our way to the local handicraft village, where the artist carves wooden statues and get 80% of the earnings, their workshops are very primitive.
We walked throughout the village to watch the craftsmen at work.
The big five

Inside the shop, beautiful work.

Explanation of  woodcraft village.
I did make a few purchases to help the craftsmen.

 Muslim markets
 Fruit and veg
 Spices,coffee and tea,  and no I did not buy anything.
 Entry into the markets.

 Meat market.
 Thus is a hunk of camel

Muslim meat markets

 Muslim markets
 Old town
 Old town, needs some renovations.
 The monument at Fort Jesus.

 The very first hotel in old town, 1901.

 Quirky art
 Old town
 Buildings in ruins, not maintained, such a shame.

 Entry into old town Mombasa.
 Old town, Mombasa

Old town Mombasa.

 An antique shop where I bought an antique fertility statue.

Ruins, buildings date from the early 13th century.

 In the old town.
 One of the first hotels in Mombasa, year 1901.

 The artist, very proud of his work, disappointed that I did not buy anything.
 Very inventive with use of recycled products.
 A quirky artist, I admired his work and complimented him.

Our stay at Bamburi Beach resort was nice and relaxing, all inclusive package deal, food and alcohol.  All day cafe with food on demand, great wood fired pizza’s.
 Fruit in abundance, my favourite was pineapple and passion fruit.
 An array of cakes, not many appealed to me.
 A very nice buffet every night
We had a Swahili night, a mix of African and Arabian food. This young man was cooking nan bread.

 Mombasa has a population of 2,000,000 and is the second largest city in Kenya, it used to be the capital, but shifted to Nairobi in 1963.  I will share some history that I learnt on our tour.
It was in 1498 that Vasco da Gama first bought the Portuguese fleet into town and it was not long before his country men took over the east coast trade and ruled for more than 200 years.
Their domination was not unchallenged and in 1593 the construction of a fort, (known to be Fort Jesus) commenced on a spectacular site overlooking the harbour.
However in 1652 the Omani arabs raided nearby Zanzibar and Pate Islands and killed all the Portuguese. Over the next 40 years there were continuous raids on Mombasa and in 1696 an Omani fleet arrived at Mombasa Island and besieged Fort Jesus. Mombasa was to know no peace for many years and at one time the fort under went a siege lasting 33months. At the end only 15 out of the 2,000 inhabitants of the fort remained alive.
Eventually the Portuguese left the Kenya coast in 1729 and the Arab rulers controlled the town until 1832. This was the year that the Sultan of Oman moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar and from that date until the British East African Protectorate was set up in 1895, the Zanzibar flag fluttered over Fort Jesus. The fort is now a museum and is always included on all scheduled day tours of Mombasa.
 Entry into Fort Jesus, nothing inside, used to be used as a prison.
 UNESCO world heritage site
 Fort Jesus in bad disarray.
Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus.
This is our last day in Mombasa, tomorrow we will catch the SGR rail, from Mombasa to Nairobi, which will be five hours, travelling 1st class, which should be interesting.
Overall, we had a great trip, very well looked after by our guide and driver. our hotel stays, glamping style in the National game reserves, were very comfortable, plentiful food and very good service.
This trip is hard to compare with our South African trip last year, as we both feel that South Africa is much more advanced then Kenya.
The train terminal, built and funded by the Chinese.
A monument dedicated to Zheng He.

Our train trip, was 5 hours and would have been pleasant, except for 7 rowdy French children. We arrived back into Nairobi at 8.15pm, transported to hotel for an overnight stay, the then the long journey home tomorrow begins.
Until next time.........