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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some pics of Kenya's second largest city. Most Mombasa pics are of the old town that has been around for over a century but I will try and get pics of the new modern Mombasa and the international airport that has tons of flights from Europe. Nairobi may have it's skyscrapers but Mombasa is the place to relax. Looks like my pics did not post, if anyone can help please let me know how to post the pics...


South East Nine
40,873 Posts
** Mombasa Gallery **

Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya, lying on the Indian Ocean. It has a major port and an international airport. The city is the centre of the coastal tourism industry. The original Arabic name is Manbasa; in Kiswahili it is called Kisiwa Cha Mvita (or Mvita for short), which means "Island of War", due to the many changes in its ownership. The town is also the headquarters of Mombasa District which, like most other districts in Kenya, is named after its chief town.

The city has a population of around 900,000 inhabitants (1999 census: 665,018) and is located on Mombasa Island, which is separated from the mainland by two creeks; Tudor Creek and Kilindini Harbour. The island is connected to the mainland to the north by the Nyali Bridge, to the south by the Likoni Ferry and to the west by the Makupa Causeway, alongside which runs the Uganda Railway. The port serves both Kenya and countries of the interior, linking them to the Ocean. The town is also home to an airport.

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Park Development.

Sh500m plan to turn historic gardens into a pleasure park


Publication Date: 3/21/2007
An ambitious plan to turn the decrepit Mama Ngina drive in Mombasa into a modern recreational garden, complete with shopping arcades and other facilities, might be realised soon.

This follows the hosting by Mombasa of the prestigious World Cross Country championships starting this week.

The plan was first mooted by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) two years ago but nothing came of it until now.

The Government has just released over Sh10 million to the NMK to give the garden a face-lift. The coordinator of the Mama Ngina project, Dr Ahmed Yassin, paid tribute to the ongoing beautification of Mombasa for the athletics fete.

MAJOR FACELIFT: Some of the ongoing efforts to green and light up the gardens. “For the adventurous, a walk down the cliff into nearby caves is a must, letting the cool ocean water lap one’s feet. It’s a sensational experience.” Photos/LABAN WALLOGA.

He said hope had been rekindled that the garden’s historical and recreational value would not be lost. The name Mama Ngina, he added, is revered by Kenyans and the Government.

“The cross country event is a God-send. Plans to have the garden transformed into an international recreation and business facility might be realised soon,” he said.

More promises made

When top Government officials toured the area recently to assess the progress so far, more promises were made on sprucing up of the garden. It remains to be seen whether all that was said will come to pass.

Four permanent secretaries, Mr Gerishon Ikiara (Transport), Mrs Rebecca Nabutola (Tourism), Mrs Alice Mayaka (Heritage) and Mrs Rachael Dzombo (Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services) attended the tour. Government spokesman Alfred Mutua was also in the team. He promised a further Sh3 million to upgrade pavements and walkways at the park.

An inter-ministerial committee was proposed to look into further development of the park and sustain what has already been achieved.

Although the work being undertaken in beautification of Mombasa is minimal, compared to what is expected, there is a marked improvement in the town’s outlook.

Perched on a cliff

Previously, the situation was horrible. Shanty houses perched on a cliff overlooking Likoni channel were a new inclusion to the decay that was rapidly eating into the historic Mama Ngina Drive Park.

Oblivious of the dangers that lurk on the edge of the cliff, the families went about their life uninterrupted, occasionally watching big ships cruising into the Mombasa harbour through the Likoni channel.

It takes a keen eye to notice the houses that are partly hidden by a thicket and sandwiched by giant baobab trees.

Just a few meters away, as one entered or left the Likoni ferry, deafening noise emanating from matatus at the terminus welcomed one to the park.

Exhaust fumes mixed with dust from speeding matatus and other vehicles spread into the nearby open air restaurants, where patrons enjoyed their meals.

After filling their bellies with food, which was sold for as little as Sh10 a plate, some ill-mannered customers would take a stroll behind the baobab trees for short calls, sending an acrid smell to the nostrils of nearby patrons. For long, this was the normal pattern of life. A meal could be taken anywhere so long as it was affordable.

Despite the many years of neglect and wrangles between different groups that claimed ownership of the area, its breathtaking beauty and soothing sea breeze were ideal for relaxation.

Watch the sun set

Every evening, people visit the park for a stroll, or to while away the time as they watch the sun set against an azure ocean background.

Come Sunday and the scene is different. People start streaming in from as early as 10am. They stroll along the road while others sit under the baobab trees.

For the adventurous, a walk down the cliff into nearby caves is a must, letting the cool ocean water lap their feet. It is a sensational experience.

The NMK came up with a proposal for an ambitious multi-million project that would transform the park from its unkempt state to an exotic recreation and business enterprise. Ultimately, this will change the face of Mombasa town.

The project is a master-plan of landscaping and rehabilitation. It will create a new look to the pedestrian area, vehicular access and relaxing areas. Architect Kassim Omar says the design mirrors the typology of the Mombasa Old Town.

“We held a stake-holders workshop that brought together other groups with special interests — like the municipal council, National Environmental Management Authority, architects and engineers. The group took stock of the project and gave its valued opinion.

“We want to create at the Kilindini waterfront an organised centre that will provide a one-stop entertainment and shopping arcade. We will not evict vendors of madafu and crisps, but will give them a more organised and hygienic environment,” said the then Heritage minister, Mr Najib Balala. This was soon after the project’s masterplan was launched.

According to the estimates, the project will cost about Sh500 million. The first phase will comprise an integrated landscaping programme, children’s park, public toilets and shopping malls — at about Sh200 million.

When complete, the park will have an amphitheatre where artists can exhibit their skills — plays and dances. The audience will pay token fees for the entertainment.

Exhibits on display at the Old Law Courts, Mombasa, were really exotic.

“This is a project whose returns are guaranteed to ensure sustainability. Many financial institutions and donors will not have any reservation about it."

The exhibition gave the public a chance to view and comment on the project, as they are the main stakeholder. Players in the tourism industry praised the venture, but were sceptical on the Government’s commitment.

Keep park’s image intact

They were equally unsure whether the gains made in beautifying the town’s gardens, parks, pavements and round-abouts would be sustained after the cross-country championships.

The chairperson of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO), Ms Tasneem Adamji, said there was need for follow-up to ensure that the relevant agencies enforced the laws to keep the park’s image intact.

“It is good for the industry. This is not the first time that the private sector has contributed immensely towards uplifting the city’s image.

"But in many cases, there has been no one to take care of these projects after they achieve their initial purposes,” she said.

283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mombasa may be a great vacation city but it has disapointed in many other areas. The so called informal sector should be regulated and taxed so that the infrustructure can be improved. Another problem with Mombasa is the fact that the old buildings have been retained even when they are not historic buildings, the city looks run-down and in need of a major facelift. Nakuru is on the way back and Kisumu seems to have a plan to make itself a viable modern city but Mombasa remains a city with no real direction. I don't mind spending time in the many impressive hotels, restaurants and clubs but the average Mombasan's life can be improved by better planning.
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