WE Arrive in the Ancient port of Mombasa. Built on a coral island facing
the turquiose blue waters of the Indian Ocean, sunbathing on the white
sand beaches,exploring the maze like streets of the Arab influenced old
town,shopping in old ancient bazaars full of wares brought in by dhows from
the Persian Gulf.in the evenings we found ourselves in the city's
...Winston Churchill, for instance was typically eloquent in 1908...
The aspect of Mombasa as she rises from the sea and clothes herself with foam and color
at the swift approach of the ship is alluring, even delicious.'
'But to approach all these charms, the traveller should arrive from the north'.
... Famous Horns in Mombasa...
...We took this train and really enjoyed it...the staff was kind and the
food was fine.....
The most scenic way to travel to Kenya's Coast through Tsavo National park. Dinner and breakfast are served on board and beddings are offered. Accommodation setting is two beds, and a sink in every cabin. A great and relaxed view of the coastal approach!!!
...Departure Time Arrival Time Days .....
Nairobi 19.00 Hrs
Mombasa 08.30 Hrs following day
Every Monday Wednesday and Friday
Mombasa 19.00 Hrs
Nairobi 09.00 Hrs following day
Every Tuesday Thursday and Sunday
the cost includes USD 20 for administration fee.
...The night train Mombasa-Nairobi -Mombasa is the best regular train in entire Africa. .....
The Train is well maintained, safe sleeping compartments, three-course dinner and English breakfast. Highly recommended. Try the sleeper train Journey which is Easy, comfortable at the lowest fares in East Africa Rail Travel
Train Check in Time - recommend from 6pm
Train Nairobi-Mombasa operates on Every Monday Wednesday and Friday
Train Mombasa -Nairobi Every Tuesday Thursday and Sunday
There is no bridge between Mombasa Island and south coast, instead the distance is served by ferries!! So we were to take one ..However, it broke down so we
had to take the local ferry with people,pigs, chickens, ducks..ha You name it..
Of course I was sure it would sink as we were packed in like herrings..But
We Really did get to the other side to the island..With My Eyes Closed!
...FORT JESUS. .....
...Fort Jesus Ruins . .....
We were able to visit fort Jesus which is
located on the edge of a coral ridge overlooking the entrance to the Old Port of Mombasa, it was built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596 to protect their trade route to India and their interests in East Africa. And was designed by an Italian architect, Giovanni Battista Cairati. Mombasa became Portugal’s main trading center along the East Coast of Africa.
...Fort Jesus Building and Cannons... The Plaque ...
We Liked Mombasa alot..except for the ants! ha...and
the kids trying to sell you everything and anything...Found some neat figures
and got a great tan!!!!
Before we left as I can't quite remember the Name
but we got to a casino in a hotel...and spent the rest of the night gambling
and eating..soooo much food was brought out chinese and very good or maybe
we were just hungry the casino was dark and dingy...with a ceiling fan..
but it was a neat experience! However, It might have been stupid walking
around in the very dark of night ..I REALLY WOULD NOT SUGGEST IT!!
Based in Shela village, on Lamu island, and a real Journeys by Design favourite, Peponi is a fabulous and very reasonably priced boutique hotel run by Lars and Carol Korschen, whose family house it has been for over 40 years.
Peponi Hotel's location allows unrivalled access to Shela's pristine beach, as well as to Shela village and to the Lamu town. No roads, no cars, the pace of life reduces literally to a slow walk, or indeed to sail by dhow. Behind the hotel sits a 14th century mosque, which, together with the shops and the houses, provides a focus for the community that is outside of the hotel.
Peponi, whose popularity has been largely determined by Lamu's international reputation, consists of a lounge, verandha, pool, bar and just 24 rooms of varying size. Consistently commented upon by guests, the ambience at Peponi is very much in keeping with Shela's laid back approach to everything from work to play.
The food is incredible. Served up inside or out, it is an experience in itself, and - whether European, Swahili or Sushi - is excellent, innovative and delicious. The service is equally good. And, frequented as much by locals as it is by guests, the bar and terrace epitomise's everything Peponi stands for: an experience that is intergrated, highly enjoyable, real.
All the en-suite rooms are sea facing. There are two classes of room - Standard and Superior. The Superior rooms are larger, have bigger verandhas, which come with swing hammocks. The decor is restrained, and the carefully chosen artefacts are generally locally sourced. The furniture - inside or on the verandha - is comfortable, and fits very well with the style of the room.
Activities include dhow trips, snorkeling, water sports and excursions into Shela, Lamu town and Takwa Ruins
The introduction of the Uganda Railroad stretching from Mombosa to Lake Victoria in 1901, left Lamu somewhat isolated.
Lamu is one the city-states founded by Arab travelers was located on the island just off the northern coast of modern Kenya, called Lamu. While there were certainly earlier settlements on the island, the present town site is not likely to be much older than the 14th century
Mombosa became the main seaport of the East African coast, relegating Lamu to a minor role as a small local harbor.
...People and there donkeys...
Lamu, Kenya's oldest living town, was one of the original Swahili settlements along East Africa coast. The port of Lamu is at least a thousand years.
Lamu's economy was based on slave trade until abolition in the year 1907
The Swahili culture and style of Lamu are a mix of East African, Omani, Yemeni, Indian, and some Portuguese and Victorian influences. Of all the old Swahili towns of East Africa, Lamu is one of the very few remaining intact.
...Lot's Of Donkey's On Lamu...
The town was founded in the 14th century and it contains many fine examples of Swahili architecture. The old city is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa".
Once a center for the slave trade, the population of Lamu is ethnically diverse. Lamu was on the main Arabian trading routes, The population is largely Muslim. Due to the narrowness of the streets,cars are not allowed in the city is easily explored by foot, bicycle, or, as many locals favour, donkey!!
.....Houses In Lamu.....
Lamu retains an almost entirely unspoiled 19th. Century appearance and lifestyle. and is the most
exotic place in Kenya , it is an island where the ancient Swahili culture is mostly unchanged
by incursions from the West or for that matter anywhere else.
There are several museums, including the Lamu Museum, home to the island's ceremonial horn (called siwa) there other museums that are dedicated to Swahili culture . Other buildings in Lamu town include
Donkey Sanctuary.. Since the island has no motor cars, transportation and other heavy work is done with the donkeys.
...This Figure Is Not Real But Wax!..In The Museum ...
There are some 2000-3000 working donkeys on the island. Dr. Elisabeth Svendsen of the The Donkey Sanctuary in England first visited Lamu in 1985. Worried by the conditions for the donkeys, the Sanctuary was opened in 1987. The Sanctuary provides treatment to all donkeys free of charge
Riyadha Mosque: Habib Salih, a Sharif with family connections to the Hadramaut, Yemen, settled on Lamu in the 1880s, and became a highly respected religious teacher.
Lamu Fort: Fumo Madi ibn Abi Bakr, the Sultan of Pate, started to build the fort on the seafront, to protect members of his unpopular government. He died in 1809, before the first storey of the fort was completed. The fort was completed by the early 1820's.
Habib Salih had great success gathering students around him and in 1900 the Riyadha Mosque was built. He introduced Habshi Maulidi, where his students sang verse passages accompanied by tambourines. After his death in 1935 his sons continued the Madrassa, which became one of the most prestigious centers for Islamic Studies in East Africa. The Mosque is the centre for the Maulidi Festival, which are held every year during the last week of the month of the Prophet´S birth. During this festival pilgrims from Sudan, Congo, Uganda, Zanzibar and Tanzania join the locals to sing the praise of Mohammad.
...We stayed at the Wonderful Peponi a small hotel on the island at the village of Sheila ...
Peponi is a small hotel on the exotic island of Lamu, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya, the very root of Swahili culture, which spread centuries ago down the East African Coast. The move of the Oman Sultan from Lamu to further off shore Zanzibar left Lamu dormant in a time warp for three hundred years. There is only one car on the island and the narrow streets of the old town are very much as they were...
Lamu Town, Island and Archipelago, all of the same name, lie 2 degrees south of the Equator along Kenya's coast. The archipelago is a chain of islands separated from the mainland by a narrow channel bordered with dense mangrove forest and protected from the Indian Ocean by coral reefs and large sand dunes.
Lamu Island has been a port of call for travellers for centuries. The many historical sites are proof of the area's long and rich history which, when combined with all the natural attraction of its tropical setting, make Lamu a wonderful place <to visit.
The streets of Lamu town are narrow, cool and quiet. They are surprisingly intimate spaces enclosed by massive stone buildings whose thick coral rag walls give the town its distinct colour and texture. In December 2001 Lamu Town became a world heritage site in order to protect the oldest inhabited Swahili settlement south of the Sahara.
Shela village where Peponi is located is 2 miles from Lamu Town. The origin of the village is unknown, but according to tradition it was settled by people from nearby Manda Island. In 1813 the famous "Battle of Shela" took place. This was an attempt by Pate Island, allied with the Mazrui clan from Oman, to subjugate Lamu. The attempt failed totally, and the defeat of Pate at Shela signalled the rise of Lamu as the leading power in the archipelago.
... Another Lovely View Of the Peponi Hotel ...
...Took A Dhow to the Beach Front of the Hotel ... Donkeys passing thru on the beach...
Peponi is still run by the Korschen family, who opened the hotel in 1967 and which still retains much of the character and charm that it had then. Small and personal, it is the perfect rest after a safari or a hide away holiday from modern life... However, It's been quite a while so I guess it has
changed some... most likely even Better! below find the link for the Peponi Hotel which is gorgeous!
PEPONI HOTEL LAMU ISLAND "
We found out later the couple who owned this hotel was the sister of one of my clients at the time here in Philadelphia, pa. USA.. I really don't know if they still own it.. As has been some time since I last saw her...However, It
was truly fantastic!
and had some really wonderful yummy dishes!
As we sat on the beach watching the old dhows go out to the reef, and guys diving for lobster, of course you can guess what was for dinner that evening.
The approach to the town is still by sea usually by old creaking diesel powered launches from the road head
at Mokowe or a jetty close to the light aircraft strip on Manda Island ,this
is how we arrived by Air..On a Tiny Little Air Strip.
...We Arrive By Small Plane ...
...Out To The SandBar Simply Paradise! ...
Many of the buildings facing the sea are pillared
or are in Arab/Swahili style and behind them is a maze of narrow streets no wider than the span of a donkey cart
(which is the only haulage vehicle in all of Lamu apart from the boats.
We just wandered through the streets, eating ice cream & yoghurt as the heat starts to shimmer on the the very dusty
After a Time in Lamu and Mombasa the cares of the world have entirely dissipated and the idea occurs of us cutting loose forever.
Flying out of this Scheherazade island was very painful--back to the real world wherever that might be!.
...More Photos in The Bush...
...Cute Monkey's in the Bush Promise they were not posing for the camera! ...
...Interesting Facts......Kikuyu Tribe
Having migrated to their current location about four centuries ago, the Kikuyu now make up Kenya’s largest ethnic group. The Kikuyu people spread rapidly throughout the Central Province and Kenya. The Kikuyu usually identify their land by the surrounding mountain ranges which they call Kirinyaga-the shining mountain. The Kikuyu are Bantu and actually came into Kenya during the Bantu migration. They include some families from all the surrounding people and can be identified with the Kamba, the Meru, the Embu and the Chuka. The Kikuyu tribe was originally founded by a man named Gikuyu. Kikuyu history says that the Kikuyu God, Ngai, took Gikuyu to the top of Kirinyaga and told him to stay and build his home there. He was also given his wife, Mumbi. Together, Mumbi and Gikuyu had nine daughters. There was actually a tenth daughter but the Kikuyu considered it to be bad luck to say the number ten. When counting they used to say “full nine” instead of ten. It was from the nine daughters that the nine (occaisionally a tenth) Kikuyu clans -Achera, Agachiku, Airimu, Ambui, Angare, Anjiru, Angui, Aithaga, and Aitherandu- were formed.
The Kikuyu rely heavily on agriculture. They grow bananas, sugarcane, arum lily, yams, beans, millet, maize, black beans and a variety of other vegetables. They also raise cattle, sheep, and goats. They use the hides from the cattle to make bedding, sandals, and carrying straps and they raise the goats and sheep to use for religious sacrifices and purification. In the Kikuyu culture boys and girls are raised very differently. The girls are raised to work in the farm and the boys usually work with the animals. The girls also have the responsibility of taking care of a baby brother or sister and also helping the mother out with household chores. In the Kikuyu culture family identity is carried on by naming the first boy after the father’s father and the second after the mother’s father. The same goes for the girls; the first is named after the father’s mother and the second after the mother’s mother. Following children are named after the brothers and sisters of the grandparents, starting with the oldest and working to the youngest. Along with the naming of the children was the belief that the deceased grandparent’s spirit, that the child was named after, would come in to the new child. This belief was lost with the increase in life-span because generally the grandparents are now still alive when the children are born.
...Maasai Elders and their Beautiful Women...
...Elephant In The Bush....Wart Hogs....
Giraffes are well adapted to a life in a savannah. They drink water when it is aivailable but can go weeks without it, they rely on morning dew and the water content of their food. Their very long necks are an adaption to feeding at high levels in the treetops. Their physical adaption, a long neck, does not only help them to graze but also helps them keep track of predators and it enables visual communication with other giraffe over several miles.
In the giraffe did not have a long neck it would be an easier pray for predators and it would not get as much food.
Similar to giraffes are elephants. They use long trunks to reach high tree-tops also.
...AFRICA TO BE CONT!! STAY TUNED...
... OUR JOURNEY TO ECUADOR ...
CHECK OUT TAJICAT'S PHOTO TRAVEL