Existing Member?

Travels in the life of Laila

Eating it up in Mombasa

KENYA | Thursday, 1 November 2007 | Views [1598]

That is what I think I did the most during my week in Mombasa, eat! The food here, both local and east african is so good, and the fact that all the meat is halaal is a bonus even for an indifferent meat eater like me!

We also had quite a few friends and family to meet (as is usual with our family when you travel anywhere) so it felt like we did a whole lot of eating. Being taken out for dinner and lunch and then having full breakfast and dinner at a hotel takes it out of you...i still feel full 2 days after being back!

So for those of you who want to feel full with me...the food we ate was:

kebabs, chicken tikka, choosa chicken (god knows how it is different to other types of chicken but it is), sweetcorn curry, mogo (cassava), salads, all kinds of fresh fruit like mango, papaya, passion fruit, watermelon...steak! oh yeah i had steak TWICE - more than i eat it in a year! then the usual fillers like mambri, bhajia, etc. i am sure there is more but i will stop there as I feel a little ill just thinking about it!

Mombasa was a lot of fun mainly as i got to see my parents :-) and watch the dvd as much as i wanted thanks to the dvd player sent out with them. when i finally got sick of seeing everyone i sat out by the pool, swam in the sea...generally enjoyed the beach life.

Now not to be a snob but mombasa is not as exciting as a beach resort once you have done Zanzibar, the beaches are not as nice. Kenya is much more touristy and developed than tanzania and after travelling some of east africa and seeing the poorer parts, it was hard at times to be in a luxury resort and be surrounded by so much blatant tourism. i still managed to enjoy drinking madafu by the pool though! but seriously it did make me feel guilty after having seen such poverty. as lovely as the hotel was, i think i prefer the simple life!

It was also really interesting being in mombasa with my parents as its a town that holds a lot of memories for them both from their childhood...so i heard lots of stories about how they had visited when they were young and what the town, the port and the commerce meant to them, esp. my dad's family who had a shipping business for many years. it is amazing how much history and culture we have wrapped up in east africa, all of us indians. i am getting really interested in the history of indians in africa, and the politics of East Africa. A few books have stoked the fire...

An amazing book given to me by good friends who know my passion for reading, "The Zanzibar Chest" which describes the travels of a reuters journalist across Africa, as well as the history of his family in the continent. he talks a lot about Rwanda and Somalia and the general unrest, corruption and turbulence in so many African countries. Reading that after reading "A sunday at the pool in Kigali" (about the rwandan genocide) has left me feeling pretty depressed! Oh, I also read (thanks to my v well read aunt) a great book by MG Vassanji about Kenya and its independence / politics.

If anyone has any other good recommends please send them my way!

To cheer myself up I am now reading all about the Ismaili community - The throne of gold - the story of the aga khan. Its AMAZING - esp when on the first page the biographer talks about the 61 carat diamond ring the Aga Khan gave to one of his wives. I am still trying to get my head round how big that is.

So anyway i have done other stuff besides reading and eating! I got to see a cousin of my mum's who we haven't seen since i was 3- she almost fell off her chair when she realised its been 27 years (and i am 30) - i felt v flattered! (and paid her off). It was great for her and my mum to connect after so long. And i also saw a childhood friend of mine from london who has now settled in mombasa so that was really nice to catch up.

We also went to tsavo for 2 days which was fun. i was really keen to show my parents what safari is like. because obviously i havent had my fill of animals. We went to Tsavo East which on reflection I don't think is as good as I have heard Tsavo West is meant to be - but we had hotel and time constraints. I was a little gutted as the emblem for Tsavo W is a leopard..which means there are loads there. It's the only animal I haven't seen yet but I am determined not to get competitive about it, I can always come back to Africa for that. We saw a lot of game and the Hotel was set on stilts above the trees which was amazing. We had elephants passing under the rooms to get to the watering hole around the Lodge. There was a waterway right under the main lodge and we were lucky to have a whole heard of elephants come and drink right under where we were sitting! It's funny but no matter how many animals you see...each time it is still incredible.

Other than that I just spent the week catching up with my parents. It was a really nice week. They left on Sunday (which turned into Monday as their Kenya Airways flight was cancelled!) and are now back in chilly Britain.

Laila xxx

Tags: adventures



Travel Answers about Kenya

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.