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Tropical Paradise in the Indian Ocean

Aug 17, 2007
Mombasa is an island connected to the mainland by ferries and bridges. The town over looks a wide harbour, where commercial shipping mingles with traditional sailing dhows.

At the waters edge is Fort Jesus, an imposing fort that stands watch over the harbour. The high gun turrets, battlements and underground passages of this 16th Century Fort were the centre of a historic struggle for control of the Kenya coast between the Portuguese army and the Shirazi Arabs. This war was waged around Mombasa over hundreds of years and countless battles, and the Fort stands as a testament to this tumultuous past.

After Fort Jesus it is a visit to the Old Town which is only a short walk away. The old town has many buildings with carved doors and window frames which are characteristic of East African coastal architecture. The air here is always heavy with the scent of spices. Women wearing the traditional bui bui fill the narrow streets and busy markets. The woman and men also wear the bright coloured khanga and kikoy their traditional coastal costume.

At the old port you can watch the traditional sailing dhows being loaded and unloaded with nothing more than human muscle power.

Mombasa is a tropical paradise of palm fringed white sand beaches on the south coastline of Kenya. The turquoise water of the Indian Ocean has beautiful coral reefs. The offshore reefs are alive with myriad fish, dolphins, sea turtles and coral. Both outer and inner reef walls offer world class diving with spectacular coral gardens and drop offs. The Kilifi Creek break the beaches with its azure waters and is a popular port of call for the international yachting circuit.

The Beach Boys sell goods along the Mombasa coast can be persistent

North Mombasa coastline is a world of natural beauty and history.

The beaches of Kikambala, Shanzu, Vipingo, and Nyali are home to a wide range of World Class resorts with fine cuisine and services.

Shanzu and Nyali beaches are lovely but can be plagued with seaweed, which can turn the sea into soup.

The city is full of markets that have been operating in the same way for hundreds of years. These markets give visitors a genuine taste of Mombasan life. Item to buy in Mombassa s markets are hand crafted wooden furniture, sculpture and brightly coloured Khanga cloths that men and women all over the eastern coast of Africa wear both as clothing and as head wrappings.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for Car Rentals The Car Hire Specialist. and is a writer for The Holiday Rentals Site
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