March 1, 1978

Awoke at 07:00 after a good night's sleep in this pretty cottage. Found out that my twice recycled TMSC watch-calendar band could be thrown out, and missed one for the new month of March!
I washed in cold water before walking to the beach to do my first tar pollution profile of the day, EMP-90301 (listed in table at bottom of this page)
Since I was sweaty already after this simple task, I took a bath and shaved. Next, I took all my luggage to the car and repacked, setting aside a parcel to be mailed including a sleeping bag into which I stuffed the sheepskin.
At 09:00, I had breakfast and called the manageress of Across Africa Safaris to tell her I would be a few hours late returning the car, say by noon.
I settled my account of ks 68, including dinner, bed and breakfast and complimented the manager. Then I drove off to Mombasa [3,720,000 links on Google, 36.300 image on August 29, 2007], which was lying alluringly between mountains and forests and primitive huts.

Just before the bridge I turned left to the shore and took some shots of the fine bay before climbing down to the beach for the second profile, EMP 80301-02 (below).
Mombasa North Beach
This was opposite the harbor of Mombasa in surprisingly clear water.

Next, I crossed a pontoon bridge into town and turned left getting into successively narrower streets full of Arabs and Indians. When I thought I was in a cul-de-sac, I parked the car and walked to the coast, which consisted of a rather steep cliff here. So I went back, weathered an irate Indian driver of a V.W. bus who had parked behind me. I drove back into town which appeared way too full of souvenir shops and tourist traps. At the end of the island, I turned left toward the coast again and ended up on a glorious boulevard where I spied some beaches on the other side of the water. I stopped to buy two coconuts for ks 2 1/2, then drove on past a palace and a hospital where I parked and walked through some Byzantine rocks and caves, but no beach.

After this, I took a ks 4 ferry, paying with a ks 5 note. The collector professed to have no change, and I thought it was just a trick, but then the truckdriver behind me came over and handed me a single shilling! This ferry was fully loaded as were the trucks, and I enjoyed seeing the numerous children with white hands (on the inside) and rosy lips.
On the other side, I drove along the beach, noticed a children's home, many palm trees, as well as several English looking houses At the parking lot near a beacon, I sampled a small beach : EMP 80301-03, and then took my last sample, EMP 80301-04 at the end of a footpath going between some mangrove trees, at a relatively wide beach which looked clean but had quite some tar higher up the profile. I felt relieved having taken this last beach sample in South Mombasa, having collected some 15 profiles in Kenya, as compared with 10 in the Sudan and merely 2 in Jeddah.
There were many sandfleas in the decaying seaweed, and it was mid-noon, so I was sweaty once again and happy to drink the remaining coconut.
I drove back and remembered the directions the lady had given me, so I ended up near Kilindini Harbo(u)r on Kilindini Road and passed under the famous tusks ("It is an offence to stick stickers on tusks!").

photo credit: Jayanti Chotai

At 12:15 I reached the rental place, but the manageress was out for lunch and siesta till 2 pm. I left my car there and walked past the many closed shops and wide open day and night clubs with some repugnant pros. I had a home made milkshake and enquired about baskets since my leather Egyptian handbag was at the end of its useful career. I also stopped at a travel agency to book a flight by Air Zambia - which I would have to confirm in Nairobi, but which would only be available for Friday.
I had decided to take the train to Nairobi, till the thought occurred to me that I could ask if the rental agency would let me deliver the car in Nairobi... the Australian manageress said that "normally" they would not allow this, but after some bargaining and paying the final bill of some Ks 5,500 here, she allowed me to take the car (insured) to Nairobi, hurrah!

Although I had wanted to stay here for a day, I decided to tank up and continue: ks 80 once again...
Mombasa, 1943 . . .
In retrospect, I found out that by not even spending one night here, I had "one-upped" Ibn Batutu who spent a single night here in 1331!

I had one too many coconuts and started feeling sore in the stomach.
Fortunately, the road climbed along the railroad and it got emptier and cooler - I even felt some rain when I got close to the famous Tsavo West National Park. I decided to drive on to the town of Voi, where I got around 17:30 at dusk. I booked into a "modern" hotel for ks 43 for bed and breakfast. When I got to my room, there was no light, no water and later no food for dinner. Annoyed, I walked to a rough bar where I ordered some beer and a half but wholly tough chicken for ks 14, which i ate "by hand". Next to me there was a table of civilized but loud English speaking Kenyans, and we were served by two very fat and slow waitresses.
I walked back through town past a brewery annex nightclub, but I was too tired to investigate the combination. I climbed upstairs using a flashlight and rigged up my mosquito net and sprayed. Not much sleep, though, that night: till 07:00 they continued playing some Congolese music...

Let's not forget the promised tar-table:

Sample #
Location: Transect
L x W in ft
Tar Weight
in grams
grams per
square meter
grams per
meter coast
Hotel Coraldine
105 ft
x 5 ft
106.8 11.50 114.84
02 Bay north
of Mombasa
60 ft
x 3 ft
9.4 0.54 5.38
03 Mombasa:
Beach nr Beacon
parking lot
60 ft
x 3 ft
12.5 0.72 13.44
04 South Mombasa
175 ft
x 4 ft
312.0 4.64 251.61


Mombasa Island Streetmaps - Dr Jayanti Chotai's childhood memories of Mombasa
H.H. the Aga Khan in Mombasa, August 2007 - Miss Morality Mombasa: D.N.
do something - Travelteam Images of Mombasa - Tsavo NP (in Dutch)

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