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Exploring Downtown Mombasa Before Diving in the Pool and Riding a Camel

There were lizards all over the resort. I thought it was cool, but Najwa seemed to think they were baby-eating snakes.







Our second full day took us downtown Mombasa, right in the heart of city. It’s not as zen as the resort.

If you go to Mombasa and don’t visit the tusks, it’s like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower. So, we visited the tusks. The tusks were built to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Mombasa in 1952, as they [the tusks, not Margaret] lay directly on the path from the port to the town. Though they’re elephant tusks, no elephants were harmed in putting up the tusks. They’re made out of aluminum. The tusks also were positioned to be shaped like an “M” as in Mombasa.


The famous tusks of Mombasa


Just took this picture because of the cool bikes.

Recycling is common in Kenya. Not specifically because Kenyans have embraced going green that seriously, but they’re resourceful and not going to let a good jug go to waste. These jugs are for sale. Mzee told me the caveat about buying these jugs you see for sale on the side of the street is that they once may have been used to store toxic materials.



Needless to say that we didn’t eat at this eatery. Or even consider it.


There truly is an innovative and “yes we can” spirit in the city.


Rising out of the scrappy look and feel of downtown Mombasa are modern, sleek skyscrapers.


Nduku restocking her jewelry box.


The architecture screams “colonialism was here”


At one of the markets, there are rows of vendors hawking wares. Just behind them looks like years of refuse just piling up.


The market


Coke has a very strong presence here. I just have no idea how this slogan is supposed to make me feel.


March 2013 is election month. Until then, they’re campaigning by any means necessary.


Nawal Centre, Mombasa, Kenya


In case you thought the shawls were factory-made, this guy is literally spinning yarn, making shawls right before your eyes.


A quick glance around the market while the ladies shop for shawls.


As crowded as it was, people rubbing against people, here comes a tuk-tuk.




If you see “Chemist,” it’s a pharmacy.


Najwa glad we’re out the sun for a moment

Mombasa is the name of the entire area, but for the most part, Mombasa is an island. There are bridges connecting it to the north side and leading back to Nairobi, but going to south coast, you have to take a ferry. It’s free if you’re going by foot but will cost you if you’re crossing with your car.


These tusks and the anchor can be found in a traffic circle [aka roundabout] at the port where thousands of containers are shipped in and shipped out daily.


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