Travel

My Mombasa visit

Hello friends! Before I start with my next topic – When, Where & Who pays what? I would love to share with you that we were in Mombasa last month & here are some of my best clicks. For those who have not been to Mombasa, here some information about my 2nd home to be:) and some of my best shots. Hope you will love the place as much as I do and plan your visit soon….

Mombasa is Kenya’s second largest city, and it is a cultural and economic centre, strategically located on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Mombasa Island is split from the mainland by Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour. Nyali Bridge, Likoni Ferry and Makupa Causeway connect this island to the mainland, in different sides. Mombasa’s culture today still exhibits that of its past. Historical ruins like Forte Jesus de Mombaça (Fort Jesus), an historic Portugese fort, and the Old Town are attractions influenced by Mombasa’s trade culture, with many examples of Portuguese and Islamic architecture. Below are few attractions in North and South of this city, which you can visit during your safari.

Starting at the North Coast of Mombasa, we have:

Nyali – Nyali is a lavish neighbourhood located north of the island, and connected to it by Nyali Bridge. This posh area has a range of opulent villas and resorts, shopping malls, restaurants and banks. Popular hotels in Nyali are Reef Hotel Mombasa, Prideinn Hotel Nyali and Nyali International Beach Hotel. Nyali Beach is the most interesting attraction in this area. It is an expansive stretch of unpolluted sand, fringed by mature palm trees.

Bamburi – This town is situated along the Mombasa – Malindi Road. This town has a public beach known as Pirates. Another popular attraction is Haller Park, which is a reclaimed quarry with a variety of animal and plant species.

Shanzu – Shanzu Beach is one of the pristine spots to enjoy a beach safari. Shanzu Town is along the Mombasa-Malindi Highway.  Noteworthy hotels in Shanzu Beach include the lavish Serena Beach Resort and Spa, Eden Beach Resort & Spa and The Shaza.

Mtwapa – Mtwapa is just 15km north of the town of Mombasa. The town comes alive at night. Mtwapa has a wide range of resorts and cottages such as Jumuia Beach Resort Kanamai, Emrald Flamingo Beach Resort and Coconut Breeze Hotel.

South Coast of Mombasa, we have:

Diani Beach – This award winning beach has the longest stretch of white sand along the Kenyan coast. Ocean front resorts and villas such as Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa and the Sands at Nomad afford guests uninterrupted beach access.

Weather – Mombasa has a tropical wet and dry climate. The amount of rainfall essentially depends on the season. The rainiest months are April and May, while rainfall is minimal between January and February.

How to get in:

Moi International Airport serves the city of Mombasa. It is located in Port Reitz area, also known locally as Chaani area on the mainland metropolitan area. Flights to Nairobi and other Kenyan, European and Middle Eastern destinations depart from the airport. Besides Mombasa and Nairobi is well connected by chartered flights operated via Wilson airport.

Various mode of transportation:

Mombasa has a railway station. Kenya Railways operates overnight passenger trains from Mombasa to Nairobi, though the service is less extensive than it used to be.

Driving in Mombasa is straightforward and the majority of the roads are tarmacked. Main roads include Jomo Kenyatta Avenue, Digo Road, Nyerere Road, Nkurumah Road, Moi Avenue, Mama Ngina Drive, Barack Obama Road, Nairobi Highway and Nyali Road.

Highways connect Mombasa to Nairobi, Dar es Salaam while northward road link to Malindi and Lamu, which also extends towards the border with Somalia.

Within Mombasa, most local people use matatus (mini-buses) which are extremely common in Kenya, to move around the city and its suburbs. The tuk-tuk—a motor vehicle with three wheels—is widely used as transport around the city and its suburbs. No more than three passengers may be carried. A boda-boda is originally a bicycle taxi. Especially in cities, the bicycles are more and more replaced by motorbikes. Moving from one part to the city to another is quick with these “bikes”. Ideally use them for distances below 20km as they can be noisy. On the plus side they are quite airy and allow you to take in the scenary as you go by.

Mombasa’s port is the largest in Kenya, with 19 deep water berths with two additional berths nearing completion and two oil terminals. Rail connects the port to the interior. There is little or no scheduled passenger service. International cruise ships frequent the port.

There is no bridge between Mombasa Island and south coast, instead the distance is served by ferries operated by the Kenya Ferry Service from Kilindini and Mtongwe to Likoni in the south coast of Mombasa. In 1994, a ferry serving Mtongwe route sank and 270 or more perished.

As a result of the major build-up of more luxurious hotels in South Coast and a lack of a direct bridge linking the South Coast to the North Coast, visiting tourists have the option of flying directly into the South Coast airstrip using the domestic airline, Air Kenya.

Some To Do’s:

Old Town located around Ft. Jesus, this historic district has mostly been converted into souvenir shops and restaurants. A nice place to explore on a Sunday when much of the city is closed down.

Colobus Trust nature walks and conservation volunteering at Diani Beach.

Mtwapa Creek is a place to visit on Mombasa’s North Coast. An Indian Ocean inlet with some small marinas and beautiful tropical vegetation. Very famous for bird watching, mountain bike tours around the creek, and starting point for deep sea fishing trips. Mtwapa is also famous in Mombasa for its clubs and active nightlife. To get here from the city center, take a matatu from Digo road.

Nyali Theatre featuring Hollywood and Bollywood new releases, with bowling alley, casino, and Italian Restaurant. Have some Indian bhelpuri, while you’re there.

Kinazini Funzi Dhow Safaris, (1 hr south of Mombasa off main Tanzania Rd, bus transport from all beach hotels included). Visit unspoilt Funzi Island via Dhow (traditional Arab sailing ship), explore Ramisi River Mangroves by canoe for crocs and lots of bird life up close, bathe on a magical sandbank in the Indian Ocean, feast on a lobster and seafood BBQ on Robinson Crusoe Island. 

Haller Park (Bamburi Nature Trail), East Side of Links Road just North of Nyali. Small zoo that feels like a park. Animals include giraffes, hippos, monkeys, and a reptile house. Guides speak English, Spanish, French and other languages. Watch out for the monkeys. They are numerous and appear friendly but do occasionally bite.

Avicennia Island is unbeatable. Kayak silently through submerged mangrove forests; swim & sunbathe in the emerald waters of the Funzi Sandbar, enjoy a sumptuous seafood barbeque meal served at a delightful wooden banda (open structure, beach house, or shelter, sheltered from the elements).

Go-Kart, Mombasa’s motor sport arena – a place to chill with your friends and thrill with your kids. Whether you’re a budding Schumacher or a first-time driver, Mombasa Go-Karting has the experience and technical know-how to put you on the right track. There is a viewing veranda located in the bar and you can order food from the bar whilst you are watching the action on the track. 

Shimba Hills National Park: the approximately 30km south of Mombasa situated National Park is mountainous with lush tropical vegetation. This makes it particularly attractive as most other well-known national parks of Kenya have steppe-like vegetation. The main attractions include the elephant habitat, the stocks of antelopes, the waterfall, the Mwaluganje forest and the many vantage points of the fabulous landscape.

Enjoy the famous night life of Mombasa. The night life and entertainment in Mombasa is broad and offers something for every taste. Many bars, pubs and nightclubs in many price ranges offer something for every taste and budget. From local bars to exclusive lounge bar, everything is available. In the city center there are numerous coffee shops, small pubs and bars as well as some small to medium sized clubs. Nightlife “special kind” is mainly found in the village Mtwapa, north of Mombasa. Its called “the village that never sleeps”.

Maasai Mara National Reserve – My first visit – Awesome!!!

Maasai Mara (Masai Mara) is situated in south-west Kenya and is one of Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserves. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible and most spectacular eco-systems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing eco-system. Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. Add the conservancies and the area is at least twice the size. It hosts over 95 species of mammals and over 570 recorded species of birds. This is the World Cup of Wildlife, and together with the Serengeti National Park there is no better place to witness the BEST WILDLIFE VIEWING IN THE WORLD!.

Wildebeest migration: Make sure you have your safari book planned out that includes the Maasai Mara. I am sure you have heard the wildebeest migration is nothing short of amazing. It is one of the things you have do add to your bucket list. Best time to be in Kenya for it is JULY – OCTOBER.

Accommodation: There is a wide selection of places to stay in and around the Maasai Mara and the conservancies surrounding it. The conservancies surrounding the Maasai Mara have restricted number of vehicles allowing a more private game viewing of wildlife.

Distance: It’s about 270 km from the capital Nairobi City and takes about 4-5 hours by road or 40-45 minutes by flight. The road is great for the most part. there is a section from Narok town to Sekenani Gate that is dirt road but fairly good. The other road through Lemek and Aitong town is not good at all and very bumpy.

Best Time To Visit: With the wildebeest migration in JULY – OCTOBER, this is the best time to see this incredible movement of animals. Although it is not guaranteed that the wildebeest get to Maasai Mara, it has yet to let us down. Also, December to February are great times as it is dryer and good for the Big Cats.

NOTE: The Maasai Mara is an all year round destination with the big cats, and all the big game still in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem.

Get out:

Transport to get out of Mombasa include regional flights and Bus coaches. Apart from Mombasa beaches, other tourist destinations in East Africa are Tanzania Game parks and beach resorts in Mombasa Island. Tanzania game parks are rich in wildlife species and beauty scenery on its wilderness savanna. This game parks are National parks, game reserves and conservation areas. Some famous National parks are Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, mount Kilimanjaro, Ruaha, Selous game reserve, mikumi and Ngorongoro conservation area. These are among wildlife safari destinations recommended in Africa. Mountain climbing, walking safaris, bird watching and photographic safaris.

Get out of Mombasa is through bus transport and regional flights. Bus from Mombasa to Moshi Tanzania and Arusha are available and organized.

Get out of Mombasa by flight is through Kenya airways, Precision Air and Regional Air. Booking flight tickets is easier and flight tickets are also cheap.

Most wildlife safaris are organized in Arusha and begin in Arusha city while Mount kilimanjaro climbing trips begin in Moshi, Tanzania. Moshi is a tourist town located at Kilimanjaro slopes and kilimanjaro trekking adventures begin here.

After enjoying Mombasa beach holidays, some travelers want to experience to climb highest mountain in Africa with 5 ecological climatic zones.

So, I hope you must have enjoyed reading about My Mombasa city and seeing these pictures and now a thought has definitely passed by your mind that you should visit this place. Is’nt it!! Will come back with my next topic as promised earlier on my Wedding – Subject: When, Where & Who pays what?        Till then, take care & God bless!

 

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Categories: Travel

51 replies »

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