I am very sensitive to any form of discrimination, especially when it comes to racial discrimination. In Kenya I realized that there is another form of discrimination that is based on greed and stupidity. I would call this discrimination with her real name, robbery.
At the entrance to museum of Fort Jesus there is a price list which says:
- 80 ksh for the visitors from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania
- 100 ksh for the visitors from other African countries
- 800 ksh for non African residents!!!!
This ticket price list made me so angry that I just turned an walked out.
Mombasa is the biggest port in the Eastern Africa and, as far as I am concerned, very unattractive place to visit. Most Europeans will find it as an ugly, dirthy and unfriendly place, one of those places you see once and forget it even sooner. I have seen only a part of the town around Main Market, Fort Jesus and old core of the town, but it was enough to make my conclusion. As a metter of fact, I've visited it only once during my two weekes staying there and nothing could convinced me to revisit it.
Fondest memory: Mombasa Tusks was built in 1952 to celebrate Queen Elisabeth visit to Mmombasa. They are located at the entrance to the city, not made of ivory but in steel. Taski immulate a M for Mombasa.
Fort Jesus is the most famous historic sight of Mombasa, and one of very few I have seen around. It is pretty huge fortress which dominates the whole peninsula situated in the entrance to the port of Mombasa. The fortress is pretty bad conditions now although it represents the key point of the city-tour.
Fondest memory: It was my second visit to the Fort Jesus and yet, I never entered inside its structure. First time, back in 2006., the fort was overcrowded by the local school kids and this time I just felt like discriminated. The fact is, and it is on the shame of the local authorities, admission for me as European costs eight times more than the admission which pay the local visitor. While Kenyan visitor pays 100 shillings (1 euro) I have to pay 800 or 8 euros. Therefore I said, no thanks can live without it.
Am just returning from kenya mombasa with my family of 5(my wife 3 children ny myself.We had the best memories in Kenya,We stayed in Neptune Village Paradise Village Resort.The beach,the food and the staffs very nice and charming.Our holiday was made the best when we booked few trips with Julius of www.julius-safaris.nl.We went to Tsavo and Amboseli and we saw the big 5 of kenya.The lodges and the parks with the best driver Toti made our holiday the best and our dream is to come back again to Kenya and make along safari with this eagle eyes.Trips to mombasa amd wasini was the best,My family was very happy and they thanked me for good safaris which were reccommended my my friends whos visted Kenya 2years ago and send us to Julius.
Please i will return again.
All the best.
Fondest memory: The best safari we made with Julius for 3days and the wasini tour will be our memories. forever.
Favorite thing: The old core could be much more attractive, especially for the tourists, if only the maintance in the area better than the present one. The facade of the houses, except for the few, are in pretty poor conditions while most of the wooden terraces barely stands looking like falling down. Too bad because it could be the major attraction of Mombasa.
Favorite thing: The old core of the town around Fort Jesus, in some aspects, look alike to the Mediterranean seaport-towns. The streets are short and narrow extended in disordered shape, but the houses are different built predominantly in the colonial style which is characterized by built in wooden terrace on the first floor.
Favorite thing: The market place looks like an big mass and extremelly dirthy. In a normal places I usually buy some fruits or other things, here in Mombasa I just couldn't dare to do it. In a normal places there are tapes with running water, here in Mombasa I haven't seen one.
If, visiting the are for the first time is a good advice to get a taxi-tour from the hotel to take you to Mombasa. Price is not bad, and taxi drivers seem to be very friendly.
They will take you around town, and once in Fort Jesus, they will "pass you on" to a local guide who will take you around by foot. It's a nice and safe way of getting around the small streets in the old town and into the market. Once finnished the taxi driver is waiting for you at the specified meeting point.
Price for both is reasonable, and I can recommend this as a first contact with the town, which has beautiful architecture in the old quarter.
Fondest memory: I really did love the swahili style architecture which is to be found all around the town. Too bad most of the buildings are in very bad shape.
Amazing cultural and religious melting pot.
We loved the snorkelling on the Wasini Island cruise. The dhows look a bit dodgy and held together with string and duck tape but great fun nevertheless. The dhow sails out to a marine reserve and we were accompanied by Dolphins part of the way. What a thrill !
Pity it was deep water and swimming with them was not an option.
Be aware that the dhows moor in deep water and you have to swim to the protected reef. You cannot stand up so if you are not a strong swimmer make sure you have a buddy with you. Safety is your responsibility.
The tour supplies snorkels and masks ie a pile of them on the quay to choose from - not very hygenic ! If you can, take your own !
You can snorkel off Diani Beach but we found it mediocre. Beware the sea Urchins and wear booties with your fins. The beach though is spectacular and you can walk for miles !
Fondest memory: There is a lot of hype about the beach boys. We met up with some who have set up a bar/barbecue right on Diani beach south of Papillon resort towards Neptune Resort.
You must stop and have a beer,and listen to the vibey music from the ghetto blaster powered by a car battery. We ordered crab,lobster,fish and prawns for a lunch the next day. They then get it fresh from the fishermen the next morning and barbecue when you arrive. We were sceptical but I can assure you it was the best shell fish I have ever had, dont be scared to give it a try.
The guys are friendly and fun loving, just trying to make a living. Alex is a 24 year old Kenyan and never been to school. He speaks english,german and french which he has learnt from tourists on the beach. We learnt so much about their lifestyle.
Their opinion is that the hotels are greedy and bad mouth the beach boys to keep business to themselves. Just look at the opulence of the hotels and how the average Kenyan is living and make your own mind up ! We booked the dolphin cruise from the beach boys and it was super and a fraction of the price offered by the hotel tour guides.
We will be back !
Voi National Park in Tsavo West is unforgettable. I saw so many elephants I was in seventh heaven.
Rothschild Giraffe can also be seen here. Watch out for the acacia with their thorns though when travelling over some of the rougher paths. They are deadly.
Fondest memory: Sitting on the balcony one morning when a young monkey jumped down from the overhanging tree. He stood and looked at me for a minute or two, sidled forward, touched my knee and then scampered off.
If he could have spoken I am sure he would have said 'Dad, Dad, I'm brave I just touched a white woman'
Pole Pole : slowly slowly. Take the Kenyan rythm. Leave your watch except for the sunset
Hacuna Matata : don't care about things which are important for you and not for them, but be prepared.
Fondest memory: People
the culture...the seamless smiles...
Fondest memory: waking up before the crack of dawn and watch the animals quench their daily thirst by the lake...what a way to start your day and enjoy life's simplest pleasure...JUST LIVE!!!
Wildlife tour of Tsavo East Park.
Fondest memory: Seeing animals in the wild that for 30 years I had been seeing on TV only.
After giving the gate guards $20.00 and a case of bottled water we were allowed to enter. Regular tourist pay up to $600.00 for the same tour of the park.
We enjoyed out holiday in Mombassa, sadly the safari planned for the end of our trip had to be cancelled as my son picked up an infection and was very ill so the doctor advised against the safari, but one day we will return to Kenya and take a safari
Fondest memory: the people we met were very friendly, this is my son with Jay one of the beach traders.
The traders can be very persistent, but if you are firm they eventually leave you alone
My daughter did get a little unwelcome attention, but after practising her karate moves with one of the guys who told her he was a black belt she didnt get pestered any more !
The old city is quite different from the green and grey city: it's the oldest part of Mombasa - and it has a distinct flavour. The architecture is the traditional Arab and Indian one - all mixed together - and there are some Portuguese elements, too. The streets are often narrow since in the past the only vehicles tat needed to go through them were either donkeys or camels
Fondest memory: the old town at night: corwded - vibrant - full of life. This was accentuated by th fact that I was there during the Ramadan time - so there were lots of people around and about - eating and selling/buying.