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Zebras along Mombasa Highway in Kenya

300 Miles of Kenya’s Countryside from Nairobi to Mombasa

Just as soon as we were recovered from 16 hours of traveling with a restless child, we were back on the road for a 6-7 hour road trip to Mombasa. Mombasa is Kenya’s second largest city, a resort town on the coast. The road there, Mombasa Highway, is a highway that you want to traverse before the sun goes down. Freaks don’t come out at night on Mombasa Highway; bandits do.

We rented a minivan, piled in nine deep and hit the road. With Nairobi in our rear view, I was looking forward to see Kenya’s countryside. How does the country look away from the hustle and bustle of the city? How do people live away from the skyscrapers and matatus [I’ll explain them later in this post]? How are we going to last with two two-year-olds who seem to like each other one moment and fighting the next?



As we left the city, it became obvious that development is sparse, few and far between, or non-existent at all. And that makes for a beautiful countryside.


A rainbow appears after a short yet heavy rain

Baobob Tree

The baobob tree is a common and “different-looking” tree found in arid areas

Clouds on a mountain


Clouds over Africa


This (and every other photo above) looks much, much more interesting in person.

How the people live in the countryside amaze me. I’m sure there are many people with normal homes, but there sure are a bunch of people living in rudimentary homes. Homes went from modern, concrete apartment buildings to tiny dwellings built of whatever can be salvaged from tree branches, hardened mud and a ton of corrugated tin. If that.

Mud Homes

Shack Homes







As you get closer to Mombasa, the tribes there build mud huts with grass/straw roofs. They’re actually cool-looking, exotic to me, but thinking about what it’s like living in one, well, I’m glad we’re driving to a resort hotel.


And the retail options aren’t too glitzy either. Unlike in America, all along this “highway” are buildings, structures, homes, literally right up to the road. There are also speed bumps all along the way as you get to the towns straddling the road. People come out to the cars hawking goods , everything from freshly-picked fruits and vegetables to live chickens.

Street vendors along Mombasa Highway in Kenya

Street Hawkers Along Mombasa Highway in Kenya

Street Hawkers Along Mombasa Highway in Kenya

These street hawkers come out every time you enter a new town. We got bananas for virtually nothing in American dollars.

Man selling chickens in Kenya

This guy was selling live chickens. Around $8-$10 each.

Ngokomi Market on Mombasa Highway in Kenya

Ngokomi Market along Mombasa Highway

Maungu Hotel in Kenya

Maungu Highway Hotel

Speed bumps along Mombasa Highway

Speed bumps on a highway? Virtually impossible to see at night.
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