We stayed at the Shimba Hills...
We stayed at the Shimba Hills lodge for 2 nights. The only things I can remember of this place are the shower in our 'hut'...it was huge. Also, the evenings spent in the bar area. At a certain time (can't remember the exact time) they place raw meat on feeding posts and then spotlight the posts. The tourists then sit back and watch whichever animal comes along to feed. Good photo opportunity, but we didn't have our camera with us! The grounds were teeming with monkeys, so you could get up close and personal. The staff were also very pleasant here, which gave a friendly air to the place.
16 day trip to Kenya
We've been in Kenya for 16 days and we had the time of our lives. Besides relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches there is alot to do. We've been to Shimba Hills, Tsavo, Amboseli, Haller Park, Shimoni, Kisite National Marine Park and Wasini Island. Our hotel was in Mombasa, on the North Coast. We've booked all of these safaris with the locals.
Mombasa is located at the coastal region of Kenya. It is devided in Mombasa North and Mombasa South. The only way you can reach the South Coast is by means of the Likoni Ferry. You should do this as this is an experience you'll never forget. The ferry runs up and down between the North - and South coast every 7 minutes (there are 2 ferry's). The ferry is always overcrowded. Hundreds of people use it. When you take the ferry in the urly morning, you'll see the people running up the hill to get to their job in time. While you are on the ferry various people try to sell you things like carvings,bracelets,food,beverage,...
There's also alot to do in Mombasa city. You can visit the Fort Jesus, the crocodile farm, some carving companies or you can go shopping in the mall (which was nice to our surprise, you can buy cheap bottled water and other various cheap things here!). Just ask a cab or take a Matatu. The Matatu's are little van's which drive very dangerously (you'll notice them when you go into town). They are very cheap, perhaps 10 times cheaper then a taxi but it's not safe. We always took a taxi everywhere we went. There were other people at our hotel which always used the Matatu's and they were back safely every time so it's up to you if you want to risk it. You can also take the bush tour and see how the people really live. Along the coast there are various restaurants which are quite nice. Most of them are owned by foreigners.
You can do a beach walk safely. Once you leave the beach in front of the hotels you won't see many beach boys trying to sell you everything you can possibly imagine. If you don't want anything just say no and don't look at their merchandise but remember to be nice as this is the only source of income for these people.
We did a short walk in Mombasa but it's not safe for tourists. Most of the locals are nice people but some of them will rob you, have no doubt about that! During this walk we were accompanied by a beachboy. He could yell in Swahili to leave us alone or he'd call the police.
Also remember that when the evening comes, the prostitutes go to the beach and they will bother you, even if you have your wife with you.
Our first safari in Kenya was at Shimba Hills. Shimba Hills is a National Reserve. It's founded to protect the extraordinary sable antelopes. It's actually the only place in Kenya were you can spot this beautiful creatures. The environment in Shimba Hills is truly magnificant with amazing outlooks from different viewing points.
We left our hotel early in the morning and took the Likoni ferry to Mombasa-South. Along the road we took a short break at a souvenir shop and then we went straight to the reserve. We immediately started with our game drive. We spotted some small animals (we called them Kenyan chickens, they looked like chickens but were blue), nothing interesting. We were enjoying the environment when we spotted a giraffe surrounded by at least 20 sable antelopes. The herd was crossing the street and stopped at our left. We admirred the herd for a half an hour and moved one. We spotted a huge herd of water buffalos at a watering place. The birds were eating the vermin of the water buffalo's back. Regrettably, these were the only animals we've spotted during our game drive.
Next thing to do was a game walk to the waterfalls, accompannied by a guide and a ranger. At this time there was a cloud burst so our game walk was delayed. The walk was hard as the air was very humid. Along the way we saw alot of elephant poo and we even spotted two elephants eating. Finally, we arrived at the waterfall. This was perhaps one of the nicest places we ever saw in our lives. After some pictures we followed the road back, but this time, uphill! Once we were up the hill again, we took a break and ate our lunch at a really nice viewing point.
In the afternoon we did a short game drive, but we soon got fed up with the Kenyan chickens and decided to pay the lodge a visit. The Shimba Hills Lodge is actually one big pole house. We had some Kenyan coffee and a plate of french fries at the bar while we looked over the small lake. A sea eagle was hunting on the lake. A german television station was making a documentary about these birds. We also saw some monitor lizards. Suddenly, we saw a green snake on the pole next to us. There was some panic because at first people shouted "green mamba" but after closer inspection, the snake turned out to be completely harmless. During this commotion, a squirrel started eating Mieke's fries. We also did a short walk in the lodge. In a treecabing nearby, a priest was getting ready to marry a british couple. We finished our coffee and went back to our hotel after saying congratulations to the british couple.