06 février 2014

Kenya's Coast

We started our trip towards the eastern coast of Kenya with a train ride from Nairobi to Mombasa. Both Gen and I are fervent enthusiasts of this mode of transportation as it allows much more comfort than any other and is a great way to take in the landscape. We managed to book ourselves two first class tickets on this overnight train, which, on top of providing us with our private cabin with two big bunk beds, also entitled us to dinner and breakfast. Ok, the train was a bit old and broke down a few times on the way, but it just meant that we had double the time to spot a few elephants in the distance and wave at the kids following us at walking pace. Anyway, we're on vacation, it's not like we had to be anywhere else fast!

The Kenyan coast is different in many ways from the central highlands, most noticeably with the weather. Whilst in the highlands the climate was temperate, in the lower altitude of the coast it becomes very hot and humid. It seemed that the temperature stayed above 30 even at night! Another apparent change is the Arabic and Indian influence. It is obvious in the way people dress, their food, which is much more spicy and flavourful than inland and the hundred of mosques simultaneously singing prayers at 4:30 in the morning. 

Mombasa in itself is a big and noisy city, so we didn't spend too much time there, except to enjoy getting lost in the small laneways of the old town. Soon after, we were traveling north on the coast passing a string of fancy resorts on white sandy beaches where rich locals and foreigners come to forget that they are in Africa. Definitely not for us.

Our first stop along the way was in Kilifi, a town by a creek with a few fishermen. By the way, did you know that a creek is a salted waterway caused by the sea coming inland? We visited the Swahili ruins of Mnarani and a reptile sanctuary that rescue poisonous snakes from people's homes and relocate them in the wild.

Our next stop after that was not far from Watamu, where we stayed at a very nice eco-camp on Mida Creek. There, we enjoyed a very educational walk with a guide amongst the mangroves and learned about the ecosystem over there. We also used this place as a base to visit the Gede ruins, another abandoned Swahili town.
Gen in first class. 
Fisherman's boat in Kilifi Creek. 
Kilifi reptile centre.
Gede Swahili ruins

2 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit...

T'as réussi à uploader ton post! Bravo! C'était définitivement la journée David et Geneviève aujourd'hui. Imaginez-vous donc qu'on a aussi reçu votre carte postale de girafes ce PM. Merci!!! Et non, on ne sera jamais cutes comme des girafes, mais après quelques années, on apprend à faire son deuil. lol
On vous aime,

Jeremy Teen a dit...

What a friendly tortoise! I hope it wasn't dinner....though if it was I would be rather jealous.