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A tuk-tuk in old town mombasa

Apart from the beautiful expansive coastal line, luxurious resorts, and swaying palm trees, Mombasa is also dotted with small colourful three-wheeled vehicles that have almost become an emblem of the region, Aptly named for the rough “tuk-tuk-tuk”

sound of their single-stroke motors. These ubiquitous Tuk-Tuks can be spotted in almost every tourist postcard picture of Mombasa. Taking a wild ride in one of these sputtering three-wheelers is a thrilling experience by itself, an adventure that is not to be missed, and for most first-timers, there is a good chance you will get taken for a “ride” by the smooth-talking driver.

riding in Tuk-Tuks in Mombasa

Although riding Tuk-Tuks in Mombasa can be described as more chaotic than comfortable by most visitors, it’s a fun, convenient, and affordable way of getting around for residents and tourists alike!
Here is everything you need to know about this local rite of passage for the next time you visit the Pwani region.
Despite varying in design from country to country, tuk-tuks have been around for a few decades and are still a popular mode

of transport in other areas (including Europe, Africa, and South America) that has been around for longer than you’d imagine. Rickshaws even appear in comics such as Tintin and Blue Lotus when the adventurous journalist and his dog Milu visit Shanghai in 1934.
The ones found in Kenya mainly have a sitting capacity of three passengers, but just like a taxi, mostly boards one passenger at a time and come with additional space at the back that is allocated for luggage. They are also equipped with a dropdown

riding in Tuk-Tuks in Mombasa
Image by @kapturedbyabbas instagram

side flap for the rainy days which is otherwise rolled up most of the time to allow for a breezy experience as you zoom around the city.

How do the locals use Tuk-Tuks?

Preferred for their compact size and swift manoeuvrability, tuk-tuks make getting about Mombasa easier. Their ability to negotiate tight corners, and park almost anywhere, is perhaps the main reason why the locals favour them over the regular taxis and are mostly used for either transportation or delivery. In the early mornings or evenings, you’ll find them near the bus stops or ‘STAGE’ where, rather than operating on a private-hire basis they function as shared vehicles, running up and down a pre-determined route.

How to take a tuk-tuk in Mombasa?

Here are a few to help make the unforgettable experience a smooth sail.

Pricing

riding in Tuk-Tuks in Mombasa

Find out the local rates before hailing a tuk-tuk.
Most locals are friendly and ready to help, just ask anyone and they will gladly tell you the approximate if not the exact price for your ride or go digital with the now common Tuk-tuk hailing apps available for both android and IOS users. Popular taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt in Kenya have the option of Tuk-Tuks, just download and enter your location and destination and it will give you the exact price for your journey.

Bargain

Always agree on the price of your ride before you get into the tuk-tuk and expect to haggle – your driver will likely quote an initially overpriced fare, anticipating that you will knock him or her down to at least some degree. Most tuk-tuks will start charging at about 50 shillings for a short ride, which is also the standard cost for most places around the town.

Avoid

Hailing a passing tuk-tuk on the street — major thoroughfares are better — is often cheaper than approaching drivers who have parked in front of tourist places or shopping centres all day.

Say the name of the place, instead of the street name.

Most Tuk Tuk drivers in Mombasado not know the street names and addresses but know how to get to famous destinations.

riding in Tuk-Tuks in Mombasa

 To make things easier write down or memorize the name of the building or tourist attraction, give them the name of the place you want to go to, not their address.

Safety: What to remember when riding in a tuk-tuk in Mombasa

While the tuk-tuks are normally safe, it’s also advisable to take care of your belongings while you’re on board.
Tuk-tuks don’t have seat belts; you ride at your own risk!

Riding Tuk-tuk in Mombasa is fun

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride while chatting with the driver. You might learn a thing or two about the area, also keep an eye on the funny sayings and the colourful artwork at the back of the other tuk-tuks and matatus.

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hiking at mt kasigau

Mt Kasigau together with two other massifs (the Dawida massif and the Sagalla massif) are known as Taita hills. A mountain range located in the Taita-Taveta County in south-eastern Kenya. Taita Hills, are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains and one of the Biodiversity Hot Spot areas of the world.

The Formation Of Taita Hills

Just like the other Eastern Arc mountains, Taita hills were formed one hundred million years ago. These hills were once an extensive lush rainforest but during the cooler and drier period, some ten million years ago the lowland forests converted to savanna leaving the mountain ranges as “islands” where the tropical forests continued to flourish to date.

Hiking Mt Kasigau

Steeply rising to an elevation of 1,640 meters above the Taru desert, mount Kasigau makes for a fulfilling moderate hike that can be conquered in about 6-8 hours, depending on the hiker’s fitness level.
The mountain has two peaks – the lower peak and the upper peak. Both peaks offer stunning views of the surrounding areas, including Mt Kilimanjaro at a distance and Tsavo west

The Ecology of Kasigau

As the paths slope up, you’ll pass through scrambling hills with large gneiss stones scattered all over. You’ll also notice the environmental and vegetation changes with the rise of altitude. At the bottom, the vegetation is of dry woodland with several trees scattered around and gets scarcer up to about 1000 meters. From there, the vegetation gets greener and denser while the trees get smaller in size. After 1300 meters the trees start getting taller as you go up. You’ll also notice the abundance of ferns, moss, and thick tall trees. Towards the peak, the trees get smaller and quickly change to conifers.

Floral & Fauna of Taita Hills

The Taita Hills are home to various floral and fauna species some of which are endemic to Taita hills.
Endemic species include birds:(the Taita Thrush, Taita Apalis, Taita falcon, The Taita White-eye and Taita fiscal) amphibians:(Sagala caecilian)
Non-bird biodiversity: The tree Memecylon greenwayi is endemic to Mt Kasigau.

The Roads to Mt Kasigau

Though not tarmacked the roads to the Kasigau are very accessible. It’s advisable to use a well-raised 4WD vehicle.

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Whispers Café

Off the bustling streets and alleyways of Lamu’s Old Town, Whispers Café is a well-hidden gem. An oasis amid Lamu’s old town hustle and bustle. A small cozy garden at the back where tourists can rest and recharge. It’s owned by a friendly Aussie lady who’s been living in Lamu for more than 30 years.

Whispers Café offers tasty homemade desserts, snacks, finely blended healthy smoothies, fresh juices, coffee, and more.

The garden at the back is shaded with beautiful vines running on the walls, flowers, and trees. It connects to Baraka Gallery where you’ll find a collection of unique pieces from across Africa including carving, masks, wall hangings, jewellery among others.

More

  • Family friendly
  • Good coffee
  • Mid- range budget

Contact

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The Mpunguti and Kisite which jointly gained its status as a Marine Reserve and a Park in 1978, actually consists of the inner and outer Mpunguti Islands and Kisite Island. Kisite covers 11 sq. km while Mpunguti Reserve covers 28 sq km. The Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park is situated about 100 km from Mombasa and is accessible by boat from Shimoni – a small fishing village in Kwale district close to the border of Tanzania.

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park

From Shimoni to the reefs in Kisite-Mpunguti it’s a 4-8 km boat ride and on the way you pass beautiful and unspoiled Wasini Island. Due to visibility, depth, wind and waves – it is preferable to arrive at the reef for snorkelling around low tide. The exact time of the high and low tides varies every day so it’s a good idea to check the tide time tables at the hotel before booking a dhow trip to Kiste-Mpunguti.
The dhows anchor at the edge of the reefs at depths between 4 and 8m. From here you will have to swim forth and back to the reef, but the dhows should carry safety jackets and other floating devices to support the less experienced swimmers. After a couple of hours of snorkelling an excellent seafood lunch can be had – either on the boat or on Wasini island, depending on which company you book with. If the wind and tide permits, the dhows usually return to Shimoni by sail in the afternoon. In Shimoni there is an opportunity to visit the old slave caves where thousands of slaves from the inland where being held captive.

Marine Life in Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

There are currently around 250 varieties of marine fishes, and over 40 varieties of coral species documented in Kisite-Mpunguti marine park. The area offers excellent opportunities for diving and snorkelling and some of the marine species include parrotfish, trigger fish, moray eels, butterfly fish, angelfish, groupers, wrasses, scorpionfish, pufferfish, damselfish, rays and snappers. You can see green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles and dolphins.
Dolphins visit the marine park almost on a daily basis and it’s possible to jump in from an engine powered boat and take a swim with the dolphins for a limited amount of time.

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski

At Shimoni caves and Nyuli reef large marine life is always seen and sharks and stingrays are common sights. Also there are chances to spot humpback whales and whale sharks in Kisite-Mpunguti between August and October.
Corals like staghorn, brain, mushroom, lilac-blue, and lavender coral present great photo taking opportunities and the colourful beauty of the coral, complimented by the large number of yellow and red tuna and snappers are virtually unmatched.
Fishing is not allowed in the marine park but deep sea fishing lovers can travel further out into to the Pemba channel to catch large barracudas, marlin, sailfish and kingfish.

If you are not much into diving or snorkelling, we still recommend going on a tour to Kisite-Mpunguti because the surroundings are so beautiful and despite being a bit costly, it is wonderful to spend a day on the sea and maybe see some dolphins playing in the Indian Oceans deep blue waters.

Practical guidance

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
Photo © Mikkel Alexander Grabowski
  • Booking a trip to Kisite-Mpunguti marine park can be done at some of the larger hotels along the (south) coast and they will provide transportation to Shimoni by bus and from there you will board on the dhow to reach the marine park. You can save a bit of money by booking with someone on the beach but chances are they are not authorized.
  • If you book with one of the dhow tours, the crew will provide you with a mask and snorkel of fairly good quality (fins are discouraged as they might harm the corals), but if you want to be sure to have equipment that fits you well, you might consider bringing your own.
  • A camera and maybe binoculars would be great to bring with you on the boat and when you snorkel or dive,
  • If you haven’t yet become acclimatized to the scorching African sun, the ultraviolet exposure from a whole day on the sea in the tropics can give severe sunburns that can ruin the rest of your holiday. Therefore you should bring a hat, sunglasses, some sunscreen with high UV protection factor and light clothes to shield exposed body parts from the sun. Also some medicine to prevent sea sickness can come in handy while on the boat as the sea can sometimes get rough.

Activities to be enjoyed at Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park

Diving, sunbathing, snorkelling, Bird watching, camping.

What to take with you

Footwear, e.g. sandals or flip flops (to protect your feet from the reef) T-shirts (to protect your body from sunburn)
Snorkel, mask, fins, all of which are available for hire Camera, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent Friends Plenty of drinking water

Best time to visit.

The best time to visit the Kisite-Mpunguti marine park depends on the activities, budget and the interest of each tourist. From June to December is perfect for observing Humpback whales as they migrate. For anglers’ enthusiasts, the period from August to October is excellent. For scuba divers and snorkelers, from October to March is the best time to enjoy marine life. For those traveling on budget or seeking a quiet time the low seasons will be more preferable.

PLEASE RESPECT THE MARINE WILDLIFE CODE

Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park
© Mikkel Alexander Grabowski
  • Check local weather and sea conditions before entering the reserve.
    Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything under water.
  • Do not damage or remove the coral, it’s a living organism which takes many years to form, and is host to many rare and endangered species.
  • Do not remove shells, star fish or any other sea Flora or Fauna. not only is it illegal but also it can seriously disrupts the eco system and some marine life is dangerous. The areas outside the park and reserves are threatened by excessive shell collection. Empty shell provides home for hermit crabs and some fish.
  • Do not buy shells and other marine animals products as souvenirs as this encourage further plundering of reefs
  • Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastics waste with jelly fish and they die if they eat it.
  • Hand feeding fish is discouraged. It disrupts normal feeding pattern.
  • Hook and line fishing is allowed in marine reserves but prohibited.
  • Support traditional coastal livelihoods and industries, and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people in their habitat without asking for their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress decently.
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Wild Waters

by admin

Located on Links Road, Nyali, wild waters park features a full day of fun for the entire family – whether you take a thrilling plunge down the water slides, or just relax and float around the lazy river… there is something for everyone.
With over 15 adult and kids slides, wild waters also has  a water play station, a Raindance Arena, a variety of amusement and air rides, and bumper cars. In addition, we have a scrumptious food court selling cuisines from around the world, and an excellent bar.

Contact: info@wildwaterskenya.com / 0726 337000

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Mamba Village Centre

by admin

Located in Nyali Mamba Village Centre is a very popular tourist attraction among resident and tourists. It combines wildlife farming, conservation and environment friendly quarry.

Features

Crocodile Farm: 

The Centre is the largest crocodile farm in Africa and is home to over 10,000 Crocodiles. It is also home to the BIG DADDY, the oldest crocodile in the farm who is over 100 years old. The farm also has a Snake park, Horse Riding, Botanical Garden, Museum, Fish farm & Aquarium.

Croco Villa Restaurant: 

The restaurant offers a magnificent view of the crocodile farm while enjoy a crocodile Steak which is a delicacy among the many visitors that visit the Restaurant.

Apartments & Accommodation: 

The farm has Exclusive Apartments that have all the amenities ensure that your stay feels like ”home away from home”

Snake Park: 

Mamba Village Centre has a snake park witch houses varies snake species  including the  Eastern-stripe bellied sand snake ,the Central African rock python among others. Visitors are allowed to  take photos with some of the non – venomous snakes.

Botanical Garden: 

The Botanical garden is home to a variety of plant species, mostly tropical plant species. We have provided tags with all relevant information regarding each plant species.

Camping and picnic grounds: 

There’s is a picnic and  a camping site for more private time.

Contacts: 0726 747529

Send message: info@mambavillagecentre.com

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