"Welcome to Paradise" Mombasa Island by bobby13

Mombasa Island Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 25 photos

First Impressions

When visiting Kenya please be prepared to face poverty, its a fact of life some people will always be more fortunate then others or worse off for that matter. Also some children you see begging are encouraged by peers to beg as its easy and quick money.

When you land at Moi International Airport in Mombasa the first thing you notice is the Deteriorating infrastructure, it gets more evident as you leave the airport for your hotel.

Poverty, corruption and pollution is everywhere, don't worry things get better when you arrive at your hotel, especially when you step onto the beach.

Majority of the hotel staff are very friendly and helpful, if you are staying at bamburi beach I recommend you take a walk along the beach and visit the rest of the hotels, be prepared to be hasseled by beach traders along the way.

The marine life at bamburi beach is okay, if you enjoy snorkelling then I strongly suggest you visit malindi/watamu marine park. The beaches in watamu are beautiful and much cleaner than bamburi, majority are also private so no beach traders.

Mombasa is quite close to Tsavo National Park so make sure you go on Safari. All the shops and tours available at your hotel are 30% to 50% more expensive than tour operators & shops outside. I booked my safari with my hotel because its safer, the tour operator is not going to go bust overnight, they have well maintained vehicles, experienced drivers and more importantly the hotel will adhere to health & safety regulations and Insurance liabilities.

Things to be aware off:

I visit Kenya every year, and pretty much have seen both the good and evil side of Kenya.

Rule 1: Keep your belongings safe at all times, don't wear anything expensive from clothes to jewelrey outside the hotels.

Rule 2: Never argue with a theif, just hand over your belongings, they will shot or stab you without a doubt. happens a lot in Nairobi, less in mombasa.

Rule 3: Never accept a drink or food from a stranger at the bar or nightclub, its mostly like drugged. Don't buy drugs Kenyan Authoritys are very strict, also AIDS virus in mombasa is extremely high due to prostitution, 3 in 5 girls are HIV+

Rule 4: Avoid ice in your drink and salads unless the hotel or restuarant specifies it uses UV filtered water.

Rule 5: Do not walk of the beaten track, if you are not robbed by muggers you have a good chance of getting attacked from the wildlife.

Finally if you are going on safari make sure you carry the following:

1. Toilet rolls
2. Wet wipes
3. Small Torch
4. Insect repelent
5. Water
6.Choclate bar

Why? well last year i was on safari we were right next to a pride of lions, when we had a puncture. For obvious reasons the driver was reluctant to come out of the vehicle to fix the tyre.

The driver used the on-board radio for help, we had to wait for 2 hours in the heat till help arrived. With water and choclate atleast you won't dehydrate or go hungary, and both wet wipes & toilet roll can come in handy for nature calls in the wild!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly staff, beautiful beaches, excellent food, breathe taking scenery
  • Cons:Poverty, crime, poor infrastructure and insecurity
  • In a nutshell:Its relaxing, exciting and unforgetable experience
  • Last visit to Mombasa Island: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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