Inside the hotel beach resort, which is marked by the rope, you'll be safe of any local intruders. The beach vendors never cross the line because they might be fined. There are security guys, all along the beach, who prevent the locals in annoying tourists inside the protected area. Moreover, there are also police officers hidden inside the hotel's beach area, armed with the K47.
Because of its liberal attitude towards western tourists, Kenya is exposed to a constant threats from various islamic terrorist groups.
Coral Beach is touristy resort with huge sandy beach over one kilometer long. The sand is of a very characteristic white color, same as the all other beach resorts I saw in Kenya. The water is skin-deep and you have to pass over coral riff, several hundreds of meters far from the seashore, to get to the deep water.
This is the look of the beach, very early in the morning, soon after the sun rising and it appears to be really spectacular. I made this pics on a very first day in Mombasa, we arrived by over night flight and came to the hotel resort at first dawn.
The part of the beach, next to the seashore, is allowed for the locals. It is where they can contact tourists offering souvenirs, fishing boats or safari tours. If you cross the line, which strictly separates the hotel beach resorts and public area, you can be exposed to endlessly anoying guys who are trying to sell everything what sell could be. The only way to stop them is by saying no, being rude, and never lag even for a second.
Bamburi is actually a big cement factory here in Mombasa and one of the biggest companies that offer work.
They dig out the coral that they need for making their cement.
About 30 years ago they decided to renaturalise their old quarries. For that they hired a swiss biologist, whose name was Haller.
Haller imported 29 trees from all over the world from which he thought they would be able to grow on a ground as bare and unfriendly as the coral quarrels. Only 2 were suitable. He began to grow them in big stile and it worked: their foliage would become the new earth for the next plants to come. Slowly a whole ecosystem evolved and now the "Bamburi Haller Park" looks like some sort of zoo or botanical park.
They never had problems with not having enough water, because the quarries went down to the ground water, that is why there are also many lakes around - and many fish in it.
Today we have the park for public, where you can go jogging, there is also a vita parcours (I didn?t even know until now that they also existed elsewhere) and very good facilities like toilets and changing rooms and showers. They have a butterfly pavillion there, too.
Then there is one part where they have the fish breeding, crocodile breeding, galapagos turtles, hippos (with feeding time at 4 p.m., a must sight) and other animals.
The Haller Bamburi Park is a steady progress. The further they dig, the bigger it will get with the time-
Mombasa is well known for its ancient buildings, extravagant art designs and curio shops that sell antique and popular Kenyan souvenirs. Old Town is best seen when explored by foot with an experienced guide, as the streets are too narrow to accommodate a large number of vehicles. The town’s inhabitants are mostly of Arab origin who’s forefathers once roamed the same streets of the town. Fort Jesus is located just a few steps away from where the town "starts", thus a complete tour of the fort and the “Old Town” can be done in a single day.
Everytime i visit Mombasa its the warm white sandy beaches that attracts me the most. if you love sun bathing then North coast is the ideal place for this. The hotels with different themes to suit all ages are located just a few yards from the sandy beaches with lots of entertainments. I reccomend this for all VT members who wants to enjoy a summer holiday.
There alot of activities that you can really enjoy doing take a nearby tour to Deep sea fishing of vibrant beautiful fishes, the experiences is unforgetable! I reccomend Giriama Beach hotel for this because of its elegant design surrounded by lush tropical gardens of coconut trees, unusual fan shaped travellers palms, vibrant blooms of hibiscus, bougainvilleas and frangipan. you immediately fall in love with the place!
Take a tour to see the old town and harbor of the city Mombasa.
Most guided tours will take you to the big tusks. They were used as a show off for important visitors, as the Queen.
(As you can see it is even then interesting, when it is raining :-) no, there isn´t always a river there. This was very temporary.
Also interesting is the big Bao Bab Tree. But if you have seen them in the wilderness, the one exemplar here looks somewhat ... lost.
The old town and the harbor are a definite "must-see". I loved the buildings and especially the richly decorated wooden doors in arab style.
Of course you will also have to visit a Jewelery shop and another souvenir shop (whether you want or not). At least they are not so insistent as the sellers you encounter on the road at ... say the Bao Bab tree. They just wait for easy tourists.
Take care what you take pictures of. You are not allowed to photograph military objects or people, bridges, official buildings... and in Mombasa a lot falls under these cathegories.
A lot of tours can be booked. Go and ask at your hotel there.
Kenyas beaches are white sand and are shadowed by many palms. Normally there is also a steady wind blowing.
This makes one easily forget how fast you can get sunburned here. The sun is strong and if your skin is cooled by the wind, you don´t feel how fast you get red.
In front of the beach (maybe 200 m out) is the reef, that breaks the incoming waves. It also makes a background noise you can hear day and night.
The water itself is very shallow and you can walk almost out to the reef when the tide is low.
It is a good idea to bring snorkel and mask and go exploring the sea in front of the hotel. It is still surprising how much you can see there: firefish, murray, etc.
There is at times quite a lot of seaweed in the water, so it can be a little icky if you want to go smimming.
Not to be confused with the Hindu temple in Neasden, London of the same name.
The hallmark of the Swaminarayan devotee is that he or she devoutly begins the day with puja and meditation, works or studies honestly and donates regular hours in serving others. No Stealing, No Adultery, No Alcohol, No Meat, No Impurity of body and mind - these are the five principal vows. Such moral purity and spiritual surety add a deeper brilliance to all the hundreds of social services performed for Better Life.
Take a visit to the Jain Temple. To enter you have to remove all leather so not a place that might attract bikers.
This really is a lovely temple. You can quite easily miss it, it is tucked away behind the main market in Mombasa just on the edge of the old town.
Fort Jesus is Mombasa’s biggest attraction as it dominates the harbor entrance. This Portuguese fortress was built in 1593 to fend off local enemies and foreign warships.
The remains of the fort provide an interesting tour back through history and a small museum features a variety of relics.
The entrance cost 800 Kenyan shillings for white people and 200 shillings for black people of any African country (September 2008). Yes, you read correct. This was what I was told by the staff. I can understand why tourists pay more than the local people. But this is not the same. A rich black business man shall pay less than a white student. This is a kind of discriminating I don't like.
We went for a day out to the Marineland park, the first part of our day was a trip out to sea by dhow, hopefully to see dolphins
the dolphins must have been having a day off because they were nowhere to be seen, but we saw some lovely views of the coastline
The Makupa Market is the largest market in Mombasa: the old market is inside a large building (the one in the picture) but all around it - along the streets of the surrounding area - there is still the rest of the market. It's located off Mwembe Tayari, which is roughly where the matatu and bus station is. The Makupa Market is a colourful place sellinga wide range of produce: fruit, meat, vegetables... but also khangas, shoes, pots... and anything else.
Crocodile Village is interesting, smelly, but interesting.
Here there is the most gigantic crocodile which had reputedly killed and eaten a tourist.
Please don't be like some idiots who were throwing stones just to annoy him. Let him enjoy his retirement in peace.
Feeding time will amaze you. The guys walk barefooted with buckets of, I presume offal and meat, through all these basking bodies throwing the meat as they go.
There is also a vantage point on the bridge where every afternoon the 'highlight' is a guy up a derrick feeding the crocs in the water below. It is quite scary to see how high they can jump to get the food and the fight that ensues once one gets a piece of meat.
Well worth a visit.
No, I didn't try the croc burgers in the cafe.