Bombolulu is suburb north of Mombasa situated along Malindi Highway. It is famous for its workshop, founded in 1969, and is Project of the Association for the Phycically Disabled Kenyans. It has 150 disabled employees who create jewelry, textiles, wood and leather crafts. Most of the products you could see in the numerous souvenir shops at Nairobi, Mombasa or the airports coming out from this workshop.
If need to buy souvenirs, for the number of your friends, it's advisable to visit this workshop and do it there, because it will cost you at least one half of the price.
Kenyan camels look more friendly then those I have meet in the northern parts of Africa but still, I didn't ride it, not even here. I am not that coward but the riding doesn't look as very comfortable to me. It isn't even the question of money, in fact, I have never ask how much it could cost, not even for the curiosity.
Not many adults goes for ridings here in Kenya but kids do enjoying it alot. Well, maybe I will try it during my next visit.
Surviving in Mombasa
Unemployment is the biggest problem of Kenya, according to the official statistics it is over 40%! People from all over Kenya move to Nairobi or Mombasa in searching for job, but it isn't easy because of very high rate of the corruption. Life could be really cruel to this people who don't deserving it. Can you imagine that some employees are forced to pay even racket to the boss, which goes up to 20% of the sallary. As for the women, they suffer even more forced to be submissive and allowing bosses any kind of mobbings or even abusings.
This nice guy, on the picture, is unfortunatelly disabled. He came to Mombasa searching for the job at Bombolulu where is well known factory which employing disabled people, but wasn't lucky and couldn't get the job. Making this sand made animal figures is the only chance for him to survive. He is coming to the Coral Beach at Shanzu, every single day, hoping to meet generous tourists willing to give him some small money.
Fruits street wendors
To be honest I have expected to find much bigger diversity regarding fruits, in particularly after exploring the countryside. Kenya has very good soil and almost perfect climate conditions for agricultural production and really big potentials in that field. But in spite of that not big diversity of fruits could be seen at the local markets. Besides, quality of the fruits is questionable, except for the ananas which is exceptional. Kenyan banana is rather small and not of good taste.
Some street wendors, however, offering fruits from neighboring countries (Uganad and Tanzania) aswell as imported fruits from South America. Their stands offering even grapes which is very rare fruit in Kenya.
Greetings and Dressing code
Its advisable to shake hands when greeting rather than hugging unless otherwise. Due to many different cultures theres no particular dressing code, you will notice alot of muslim dressed in their black veils (bui bui) and western fashion as taken over, so dress as you wish and enjoy!
Local people - Swahili
Mombasa has a diverse culture from Arabs to indians to africans to whites, but majority of local people are Muslims, who are used to speaking swahili so learning basic words in swahili might come very handy when in Mombasa. Although english is also greatly used, plus you may find two or more people who can speak Chinese, spanish , german or italian.
Habari gani?----- How are you?
Nzuri sana ------I'm fine, Thank you.
Jina lako nani? -----What is your name?
Jina Langu ni -------My name is ......
kwaheri------ good bye
The city dresscode - women in black hijab
Basicly, my family heritage is christian/catholic but I am ateist. It is my choise since I was eighteen. I can't considering myself tollerant to other religions because it sounds absurd since my side actually do not exist. Do I have right to be critical towards any of religions? Hm, it is not my intention, as we in Croatia use to say, "to pull the devil for his tail", but this pictures tell the story.
Beautiful local girls
The previous tip is in a strong contrast with this one. The girls of Mombasa are very beautiful and most attractive in whole of Kenya. Great majority of the girls are slim and pretty much tall. It is not rare case to see a couple where gir/woman is taller than boy/man.
Dunno weather to put it as awarning or usefull notice, but most of the girls are very interesting for the whites.
The Mombasa slums
There are several huge areas with slums in the outskirts of the town, this one is in the northern part of Mombasa, along the road which lead to Bamburi and Shanzu where the tourist resorts are situated. This people live in a very bad and degrading conditions for a man kind, and great majority of them are jobless. Those who have small shops in this area barelly can repay their sold goods or services.
Must be very frustrating living in such a conditions, without running water, bathrooms, electricity, gas, tv-sets...., but most of all without regular and every day food supply. There is lot of criminality, prostitution, and all kind of sickness inside of this communities.
It is strongly recommended for whites to avoid this slums, because even the other locals avoid them.
Cats in the Hotels
Many hotels have their own cat colonies. As one is told right in the beginning, they should not be fed. They have a job to do, which they will not, if they get lazy. They are here to catch the mice and rats. If they don’t the snakes will come to do that.
But don’t worry, the cats are quite good looked after. The ones in our hotel are being fed once a day. My guess is, that they are also being neutered. The ones that belong to the hotel are recognized by the missing top piece of one of their ears.
I thought it always interesting how the cats and the monkeys interact with each other. Mostly they tend to ignore each other, but sometimes, well ... (screech, mrow, ...)
Tipping is a good idea as the wages, if the locals are actually working, are laughable by Western standards.
You won't always get change in money, you may be offered sweets or a twist of sugar.
Always but always haggle, start with a third of the asking price and work from there.
Be careful, I went to Akunda Village with a bag of sweets, I wasn't being lady bountiful I promise you, I love kids, but was completely swamped. I think every child in the village knew there was this little blonde woman with sweeties. Bless their hearts, one popped the sweet into his mouth without taking the paper off first.
I am so accustomed to seeing the kids crunching sweets, but these were solemnly sucked, inspected, put back into their mouths, sucked some more etc. etc.
Get out and meet and mingle with the local people.
Get out a meet the people. It's an experience that you'll never forget.
Met a few muslim friends. I had to get use to eating with my fingers instead of a knife and fork.
Excellent exprience that I'll never forget.
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Do go to a Massi village and...
Do go to a Massi village and say Jambo to everyone, that means hello.
Do tip waiters and cleaners and staff at the hotel they get a very small wage and if they give good service depend on tips to get by.Do not waive around large amounts of money. Or go walking after dark it is not safe ether near the hotel or in the bush.
Mombasa is mainly Muslem
The muslem tradition of wearing Abayas is very prevalent although there are many women who wear western dress.
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