Get an exotic taste of Kenya as I visually give you a tour from the east coast of Mombasa to the north east coast of Malindi. Along the shores of the Indian Ocean and everywhere in between. Plus, some random facts and mini history lessons to help you understand the islands and towns of Kenya a little more.
The Landmark of the city, known as “Pembe Mbili” aluminum elephant tusks that were commissioned in remembrance of Princess Margaret’s visit to Mombasa in 1956 on Moi Avenue, Mombasa
With heritage of African, Arabic, and colonial European descent it is the home of diversity. Enriched with mixed religions, cultures, and people . The metropolitan area is known for its flair of architecture, history, and tradition. From its charismatic homes, enchanting old towns, breath taking beach fronts, rich aroma of spices and to the vibrant coloured garments. Meet the Dubai of Kenya, Mombasa! With a population of 1.3 million it is the second largest city of the country. The island is a vibrant world of rich culture awaiting your discovery.
Fort Jesus, was built shaped like a man and initially occupied by the Portuguese in early 1590s. Designed by Italian architect, Giovanni Baptista Cairato. Its goal was to protect the Old Port of Mombasa when ruled under the Portuguese. Through time it became influenced by many people including those of African, Arab, Turkish, Persian, and European decent. However it was largely controlled by the Arab, Swahili, and English.
Among being a shield for the Portuguese in the 16th century, it was attacked and later directly governed by Omani Arabs in the 17th century. They marked their occupancy with additional structures, and engraved Islamic scriptures. Moving forward it was also used as a prison by the British in the 18th to 19th century as they colonized Kenya . Thus, how Kenya became diversified with various cultures throughout history.
Centuries later as Kenya became independent the military architectural structure maintains its authenticity as it is preserved, protected, and recognized as a museum. As of 2011 is it considered a World Heritage site under UNESCO (United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization).
Fort Jesus, Mombasa. (2015). In World Heritage Convention – United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Retrieved December 23, 2015, from http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1295
Streets of Mombasa
The narrow streets of Mombasa are flooded with individual vehicles, lorry trucks, and the craziest public transit. The local public transit are found in the form of privately owned vehicles. One being “tuk tuks”, three wheeled rickshaws and the other matatu’s, minibuses. Both tend to be decorated with tacky stickers of sayings, lyrics, artists, or celebrities from pop culture in order to lure riders.
An evening with family at Yuls Restaurant on Bambori Beach in Nyali Mombasa, Kenya
Afternoon spent with friends at Sai Rock Hotel on Bamburi Beach in Nyali Mombasa, Kenya
Appreciate the sparkling Indian Ocean on the coastal beaches of Mombasa. Luxuriate in the laid back atmosphere while soaking up in the sun. Have some fun at the beach, participate in water sports, take a camel ride along the shore line, spend a day or weekend at hotel resorts or simply lounge on the sand.
Foods of Mombasa
Freshly made, cooked and fried, the streets of Mombasa are filled with individual food vendors, and restaurants selling your favourite Swahili dishes. From delicious street food, luxuries seafood, and yummy home cooked meals you can get it all!
Kilifi, Kilifi County
Weekend family getaway at my Uncle H’s farm. Ten acre’s of continuous plants growing all the veggies you can think of plus with your favourite tropical fruits!
Sitting on Gosha River, Kilifi county is roughly 56 km away from the town of Mombasa. Home of PWANI (Coast) University, and formerly known for milling cashew nuts from the 1930s to the 1990s. Within the last decade the small county has drastically grown economically, and socially with a growth in businesses and population.
Bofa Beach, Kilifi
What an immaculate scene, with tropical plants and flowers, tall palm trees, soft golden white sand and water blue as jewels – simply breathe taking . An afternoon spent at the beach with family. By far the cleanest and most beautiful one I have been to! It was so private as well, we were pretty much the only ones there. One thing I extremely regret was not going to the beaches more often, Inshallah next time!
Scene’s from a Mombasa – Malindi road trip
Driving from Mombasa you pass through major towns such as Mtwapa and Kilifi, till you reach Malindi. You come across small villages along with various mosques, schools and shops. The Mombasa-Malindi highway is a one-way road with a driving speed limit of 80 kmph.
Day to Night,
The town of Malindi is similar to Mombasa in terms of its culture, and diversity. With a population of approximately 210,000 it is a much smaller town . In comparison to Mombasa, it is more calm, has far less traffic and slightly underdeveloped. However, it has a higher tourism rate (currently low) mainly Italians.
The Pillar, is Malindi’s biggest landmark and most famous monument. In the late 1490s, Portuguese explorer, Vasco Da Gamma connected with Malindi authorities to sign a trade agreement along with a guide for his journey to India. To show his appreciation for the warm welcoming he received from the town ruler he erected a coral pillar. As the town was ruled by the Arabs, it had African and Indian traders living as locals. The Portuguese developed a trading post which became a resting spot to and from India, Malindi instantly gained success and luxury. Sadly as the Portuguese moved their main base to Mombasa by 1600s the town of Malindi gradually lost its business market and its economy declined drastically.
Around the city of Malindi
This is a glimpse of My Africa from the Swahili cultural perspective. Unfortunately, I did not make it to visit some historical sites within the towns. Due to safety reasons I was unable to capture as many photos as I would have liked of the lifestyle, culture, and atmosphere in Kenya. Thus, why I credited photographs from friends and online sources. I hope I was able to paint the picture of Kenya and the lifestyle within. Feel free to check out my post titled “Summer 2015 Adventures” with a summary of my summer away, including my time in Kenya!
Peace and Love,