Mombasa was called “The Gates of Africa” by Winston Churchill back in 1908. He described this ancient port city as “…the outlet of all the countries that lap the Victoria and Albert lakes and the headwaters of the Nile”. The elephant tusk-like ceremonial arch was built for Queen Elizabeth II’s visit in 1952.
The city lies on a coral island linked by causeways to the mainland. What a mixture of cultures: African, Portuguese, Arab and Indian.
Some shopping venues are not for the faint of heart.
…you wouldn’t want to drive here either!
We walked about on the main street in the morning and then took a bus trip outside of the city in the afternoon. From the bus we caught a glimpse of some school kids outside a “library” (?).
How about stopping at this roadside café?
We arrived at Bombolulu and Haller Park. First, a dance demonstration – yes, that’s me demonstrating an African dance with my partner.
Bombolulu is an entire community for the rehabilitation of the disabled. Part of their support and therapy comes from making and selling their own handicrafts. Website: www.apdkbombolulu.com.
Children of the disabled live here with their parents.
The second part of our tour was in Haller Park. We got there at 3pm, just in time to feed the giraffes! Yup, they lick feed out of your hand with those long, fast, salvia-covered tongues!
Haller Park is a rehabilitated giant limestone quarry. Swiss agronomist Rene Haller planted trees and within 20 years the quarry could produce commercial timber. An entire ecosystem now thrives there and is home to giraffes, giant tortoises, water bucks, eland, oryx, crocodiles, snakes and…..
….hippos. They don’t forage for food in the daytime, but they came out of the water for piles of feed pellets.
A Vervet monkey poses watchfully.
Nursing mama monkeys and babies – they liked having their picture taken as we left Haller Park. Mombasa was our last port before our 7 days at sea as we sail east and north to India.