Mombasa, Kenya

The final stop in Kenya before I left was Mombasa, Kenya’s second city. It’s a very different scene than Nairobi. It’s coastal, very Islamic, and you can feel the influence of the various cultures and occupiers that have passed through.

Because our time in Mombasa was short, we opted for a whirlwind day tour.

These metal tusks were erected to commemorate the visit of some crusty British royalty. Now they’re famous or something:

Because Mombasa is basically an island, ferries are necessary:

Tourist trappers:

Our tour guide took us to a spice shop. While it was kind of cheesy and I’m sure they got a cut, it was still pretty amazing. And yeah, the spices were awesome. Guess who scored some saffron at like 1/20 the price it costs in America?

Spice dude:

More of the market…want some french fries?

I didn’t know bananas grew upwards until I lived in Africa:

While this might appear funny, this sort of thing is dead serious in Africa:

Unfortunately, we failed our own personal pledge against diarrhea:

Our next stop was a large wood carving cooperative:

Check out the NGO produced information cards tacked up around the workshops:

Riding in minivans is awesome:

Next was the old port area:

Checking out the wildlife:

And lastly, Fort Jesus, an old and ultimately failed Portuguese attempt to control the Port of Mombasa. Check out the doors:

What’s with the brutal spikes? A popular technique for door-destroying was to use charging elephants. The spikes made that technique less than effective. This made Mia cry…why would they do something so mean to elephants?

Inside the fort:

Weaponry:

Testing our strength:

Right before the Portuguese lost the fort, the survivors dug a tunnel to the shore. A few actually managed to escape:

Creepy Portuguese graffiti:

Before the end of the day, we visited a special sort of zoo. I hate monkeys, but I think hippos hate them even more:

How’s this for a build-up? :

No joke:

Dude (lady?) totally loved the neckrub:

When you’re over 100 years old, I guess you learn to appreciate the simpler things.