Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Mombasa- the hub of business and culture of Kenya!




Mombasa , the best white sand beach in Kenya
 Mombasa is the second biggest city of Kenya and the oldest trade route that connects India and African hinterlands. My journey started from Nakuru and it took almost 10 hours by road to reach Mombasa. It was a hectic one but I was truly excited to have a detailed view of the changing topography across the width of the country. Mombasa is connected to Nairobi by air, road ways. The national highway is too good and provided with distant petrol pumps and eateries, rest houses whatever needed for a traveler’s refreshment.


We halted at the Hindu temple at Makindu, which is a holy shrine where the devotees stop to bow down to the Sikh God, have lunch and again start for journey. While I reached the port city of Mombasa it was almost dawn. The view of the Port Reiz was truly wonderful, especially when the sodium vapor lit city dazzled at midnight. We crossed the Niyali Bridge to reach our hotel where the best of hospitality services was waiting for us. Mombasa is a very popular destination for the European people and the hotel rooms seem to have cent percent occupancy during the peak hours. There are series of hotels near the beach which will cost you almost (350- 500) $ per day to get a full day package for a family of 3-4 members including entertainment. In fact the best of the hotels are always competing to give the best marketing package and hospitality to the esteemed guest. It’s the right place to get yourself pampered……….sun, sand and seclusion.



Sun, sand , seclusion ........and hospitality!

Beach activities are truly awesome. In fact you may have series of entertaining activities on the water and beach. People play beach volley ball, camel riding while some like to have a stroll on the white sand and pen down some awesome experiences. If you are a lover of sun then you may sun bathe the whole day enjoying the sun to play on your tanned skin. Water activities like swimming, water skiing, yachting, speed boat drive are truly popular. One has the full right to bargain with the agents before enjoying these awesome experiences. The most interesting is the coral island situated on the Indian Ocean. This place gets submerged under the sea during high tide. The best time to plan a visit is during the low tide when you can take a stroll among the coral reefs. Mombasa has the best of the views of fishing area. Perhaps it has the best of the colorful fishing. It’s a great experience to feed the fishes. If you are good at swimming then scuba diving can be a very interesting activity. 2 – 3 hours of ride in the speed boat along with scuba diving facility will cost you almost 2000KSH. The white sand and the blue ocean will pamper your senses and it’s the worst part to say goodbye to the ocean after a full day activity.


Coral reef island, Mombasa.




Sea Urchin



Glass bottom speed boats




Visitors enjoying scuba diving

We stepped for a city tour the next day. We saw prominent sites like the lighthouse, Fort Jesus, old port, age old parts of the city which showed Arabic influence as depicted clearly on the structures of the building. Some buildings were as old as 500 years which speaks of the proud history of Mombasa. We had a view of the old port which is as old as a century. We had tasted the traditional Arabic bread at one of the oldest eatery in old Mombasa. Port was one of the oldest ones of the world and spice trading being one of the oldest professions. I felt like experiencing history while standing at the harbor. We had a view of the railway line connecting Kenya and Uganda. The dominance of Muslim culture is quite prominent in Mombasa and there are many non Kiswahili speaking people at large who had come and settled down at Kenya for ages.

Fort Jesus


Portuguese soldier resting in his grave.


We had a view of the Fort Jesus which has a historic site. The guide told us about the history and explained the Portuguese and Arabic influence on the country. How the country was invaded by both the races and how the language Kiswahili came into being was explained in a nice way to us. Fort Jesus bears glimpses of the archeology, painting, architecture and engineering which are evident from the reminiscences. The government of Kenya has put up the best of the efforts to conserve the proud history of the country inside fort Jesus.


Club house of Mombasa

It was a Sunday evening and we had good ‘Mugo chips’ and ‘sweet coconut water’ near the seaside. Modern Mombasa is the epitome of business, culture and a learning centre. The presence of golf course, clubs , shopping complex , multiplex bears the fact that Mombasa was the epitome of business n development in the past and present as well. Many businessmen from around the world want to invest in Mombasa till day as it’s a hub for profitable business. It was nice watching the cosmopolitan crowd enjoying the sweet sea breeze on the weekend. We returned to the hotel, enjoyed the mouth watering dinner. The hotel management arranged for a special entertainment after 9: 30 pm when Masai dance was performed by a group of artists, almost everybody danced on the tunes.

Masai dance at hotel premises

The next day we set to visit Malindi which is a town of historic importance situated about 120 kms from the city of Mombasa. I took us about 1.5 hrs to reach Malindi. Malindi is basically a place which has experienced the dominance of foreign power in Kenya. Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese traveler had signed a contract with the Malindi authorities in 1498 and had hired a guide for a voyage to India. The coral pillar build by him stands the test of time. Malindi was established as a port and a stop that served as the resting spot between India and Kenya. The town even bears resemblances of Chinese visit during the 14th century which is evident from the paintings. There are many traditional buildings situated here which speaks of various invasions in pre historic times and the foreign invasions which influenced the culture of Kenya. Kenya was treated as the gateway to Africa and other Western countries from centuries back. It was a nice experience to feel as if I was standing amid history experiencing the rich culture of Kenyan heritage and why it’s called ‘the gateway to Africa’.


Water skiing activity...truly fun!

Whenever opportunity strikes I will surely visit Mombasa for its hospitality, rich culture and the friendly nature of the people staying there.







 

2 comments:

  1. I am also planing to visit Mombasa in September, but it will be a working trip. I hope to have to have at least few hours to vist the places so have described so well! The pictures are very nice.

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