Jill's African Adventure
* Rafting the Nile
* Murchison Falls
* A Day in The Life
* Hell's Gate
* Nairobi and Around (Part 2)
* Nairobi and Around (Part 1)
* A Dhow Trip From Lamu
* Watamu: Ruins, Monkeys, Shrews, and Jellyfish
* Hiking in Lushoto
* Changing E-mail Address
* The Problems of Itete
* Village Life
* Hanging Out in Dar
* Zanzibar - Music Festival & Prison Island
* Zanzibar (Jozani Forest & Jambiani)
* Zanzibar (Stone Town & Spice Tour)
* Future Plans
* Safari!!! (Part 7 - Mikumi Park)
* Safari!!! (Parts 5 & 6 -- Rodent and Itete)
April 05, 2005
About a week and a half ago I left Tanzania and arrived in Mombasa, Kenya. Kenya and Tanzania are very similar, but there are two things I've noticed that seem to be a lot different: 1) It seems way hotter in Kenya. The middle of the day is for doing nothing. I hate being out around noon 'cause its almost too hot to exist. This may have something to do with being really close to the equator. 2) The people in Kenya speak way more and much better English on average than in Tanzania. This contrast was most apparent just after crossing the border when I realized that all the store signs were in English. I'm not practicing my Swahili as much as I had planned.
Mombasa is a really pleasant city, although there is not a heck of a lot to do there. I needed to extend my Kenyan visa, however, and managed to arrive on the first day of the 4-day long Easter holiday, so I got to see a fair amount of it.
The first few days I mostly did errands -- a lot of laundry, going to the ATM (this only works in big cities generally and is kind of exciting), and going shopping for clothes. I had initially only brought 2 t-shirts with me and for anyone going on a multi-month trip I have some advice: find another way to make your pack lighter. Two shirts is not enough. I have now doubled my t-shirt inventory and it is so nice to be able to put on clean closthes.
I also discovered what may now be my favorite restaurant, Island Dishes, in the Mobasa old town. Its cheap, has quick service and tasty food. It specialized in Swahili cuisine which means lots of coconut milk sauces. Yum yum. It also had some wonderful rice cake which tastes like a spicy sort of coffee cake. Cardomom, I think.
The only really touristy thing in Mombasa are the ruins of an old Portuguese Fort called Fort Jesus. I wandered around the ruins for a little while, but truth be told they weren't all that exciting. Just outside of Mombasa things are a little more interesting. On my last day in Mombasa I went to a place called Haller Park. It had once been a cement plant, bu was converted into a wildlife reserve. I got to see lots of crocodiles, poisonous snakes (if you get bitten by a black mamba, you've got 10 minutes to get the antivenin or you're dead), a few hippos, and I got to feed a giraffe out of my hand. That was cool. It had a really long tounge and horsey teeth, but happily did not bite me. The giraffes nuzzle felt kind of soft.
Posted by Jillian on April 5, 2005 09:07 AM
Category: East Africa
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