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Mombasa City Tour

Begin a walk through the second largest city in Kenya located on an island .it’s a steamy, tropical ,low-rise with asymmetrical streets, languid pace a diverse and intriguing population .it is mostly a Swahili town and women can be seen chattering dark bui-bui or wrapped in brilliant multicolored kanga. a walk through the streets of the old town up to the old port to see the dhows. The old town is a maze of narrow streets, mosque and crowded buildings, some with impressive carved or intricate balconies. Lunch then a visit to the baobab forest along Mama Gina drives, later visits the mackinon

market, elephant tusk,A visit to Mombasa would not be complete without a visit to the Elephant tusks. These were set up in 1952 to commemorate the visit to the town by Queen Elizabeth 2. The Elephant tusks write the letter ‘M’. There are four of these M’s around the city of Mombasa. Everybody can recognize Mombasa because of these Elephant tusks.and Indian temple, akamba wood craft at changamwe where you can see craftsmen at work and select your carvings .Before proceeding to fort Jesus museum built by the Portuguese at the end of the 16th century.

This is Mombasa’s biggest tourist attraction. The metre-thick coral walls make it an imposing edifice, despite being partially ruined. The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1593 to enforce their rule over the coastal Swahilis, but they rarely managed to hold onto it for long. It changed hands at least nine
times in bloody sieges between 1631 and 1875, finally falling under British control.

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After the entrance you will find a museum which contains ceramics, reflecting the variety of cultures that traded along the coast. When you look through the ‘windows’ you will have an amazing view over the beach and the harbour. With the sun on your head you will feel free and relax between the
old ruins.

At least we will make a walk into Old Town. You will ever remember this walk because of the old buildings, the different cultures you will see, the Muslims, the mosques.
The houses in old town are characteristic of coastal East African architecture, with ornately carved doors and window frames and fretwork balconies, designed to protect the modesty of the female inhabitants. I will show you around and during our walk I will guide you between the different cultures in this ‘old town’.

Also visit the Haller park where you may feed the giraffes, see the crocodiles and hippos feeding. This is private sanctuary owned and managed by Dr. Haller. The landscape
is attractive covered by casuarinas, bamboos and eucalyptus trees. The animals are harmless and feel as if in paradise because they have enough food and water. It’s a home to buffalos, eland antelopes, giraffes, water bucks, Oryx, snakes, crocodiles, hippos, tortoise and different types of birds’ species. Mombasa is an island covering an area of 20km2 and the second largest city in Kenya after Nairobi. It has a bridge to the north side (North coast), the ferry to the south (south coast) which ferries people to and from Mombasa city and to the west Causeway. Mombasa also has the largest and the most busy sea port in east and central Africa

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The largest town in the archipelago is the capital, Stone Town, located in the middle of the west coast of Unguja, the main island. The town was named for the coral stone buildings that were built there largely during the 19th century, on the site of a very old fishing village. There are over 16,000 people in the town today, and over 1,700 recorded buildings.
Tall houses line narrow alleyways set in a confusing maze radiating out from the centre towards the sea.The streets are too narrow for cars but not, unfortunately, for bicycles and even motorbikes, so be careful! Life is lived very much as it was in the past and the many mosques’ muezzin calls can be heard echoing above the narrow streets five times daily. The architecture is Arabic, which means the walls are very thick, the houses tall and with square and simple facades. Many of the buildings have a central courtyard going up through all the floors, giving ventilation.

Stone Town is one of the oldest living Swahili towns in East Africa. It’s unique winding, narrow streets are adorned with (some crumbling) beautiful buildings. Established by Arab slave and spice traders in the early 19th century, Stone Town is the cultural heart of Zanzibar. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site which has enabled some of the beautiful houses to get much needed renovation. It’s right on the Indian Ocean and faces Tanzania mainland and commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
Stone Town gets its name from the ornate houses built with local stone by Arab traders and slavers during the 19th Century. It is estimated that around 600,000 slaves were sold through Zanzibar between 1830-1863. In 1863 a treaty was signed to abolish slave-trade, agreed to by the British and the Omani Sultans that ruled Zanzibar at this time. Stone Town was also an important base used by many European explorers including David Livingstone. The ornate trellises and balconies on some of the buildings reflect this later European influence.

It may not have a particularly romantic name, but Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, little changed in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors – there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork. You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways.

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Most of the houses that can be seen today were built in the 19th century when Zanzibar was one of the most important trading centres in the Indian Ocean region. The coralline rock of Zanzibar was a good building material, but it is also easily eroded. This is evident by the large number of houses that are in a bad state of repair. Several buildings have already been renovated and the Stone Town Conservation Authority has been established to co-ordinate the restoration of the town to its original magnificence. Pictured opposite is a ‘before and after’ look at the restoration work done on the old dispensary As a result of sensible policy, nearly all of the major hotels built in Stone Town are housed in renovated buildings.

As you walk through the town, please remember that Stone Town is very much a real community, where real people live and work. It is not a museum piece or theme park created for tourists, and sensitivity should be shown to the local people.
If you want to learn more about Stone Town, there are various ways to do it. You can either wander through the narrow streets by yourself armed with a map, or you can embark on a tour with one of the local tour operators.

Kiswahili is a language that developed along the East African Coast and incorporates words from all the nations around the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. It was originally written in Arabic script to spell the words phonetically, until Edward Steere, the Bishop who oversaw the building of the Anglican Cathedral on the site of the old slave market, wrote an English-Swahili dictionary in the Roman alphabet.

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