Awesome Southern African cities you should visit in 2023 (Part 1)

๐Ÿ’•Hey you! Part 2 coming soon!๐Ÿ’•

If there is such a thing as winning the lottery, having a get-rich-quick scheme go as planned or I just happen to afford it, I want to visit North America, Europe, Canada and my absolute favorite, Australia but the way I see it, these will remain dreams for now, but, thanks to bloggers, TV and indeed all the places I have seen and appreciated these places through. Imagine if these channels were never available.

Today I especially woke up with a dire need to share Southern African cities I have come to love and hopefully encourage someone out there to consider adding these cities to their bucket list and even if it ends up being a dream, it’s free to dream, right?

By all means do try out:

1) Livingstone (Zambia)

Let’s say you happen to be on the Southern part of the continent of Africa on Zambian soil and not made it to Livingstone, then you haven’t lived. I think at this moment, Livingstone is tired of having me. This is a place you will find African dancers communicating to you, appreciating and welcoming you through dance. Feel free to tag along and enjoy the rhythms of Africa.

I have done Livingstone sometimes just to get soaked by the splashes from the mighty Victoria Falls. I want no one to disturb me when am spending time with her. You will want to enjoy your awesome moment with her after all she is one of the natural wonders of the world! I love Livingstone! Never a dull moment here. If it’s not the falls you wanna be at, do the Zambezi river, all in one town! This river is like the fourth longest river in Africa.

You will enjoy lots of activities done on this river. Many other activities will make your visit to Livingstone memorable like the nerve-wracking, adrenaline-boosting lion interaction. Most of all, if you are a foodie like I am, you don’t want too many restrictions when it comes to food so enjoy tasty crocodile at some restaurants here but I highly recommend Zambezi Cafe. Yu-m-mmmy!

2) Walvis Bay (Namibia)

This is a port town on the coasts of Namibia. It is said to be the second largest city in Namibia and the largest coastal city in the country. You will enjoy being in Walvis Bay as there are lots of boating and cruise companies to help you enjoy the Atlantic ocean and all that you can do there. Wanna enjoy the Atlantic ocean on African soil? Choose Walvis Bay. The cruise agency I highly recommend is the Laramon Tours which changed its name to Catamaran Charters. They offer variety of cruises suitable for all ocean lovers.

Walvis Bay is known for its varying birdlife for all those birders out there. Bucket list this place for all good hotels near the Atlantic ocean like Protea Hotel where you could enjoy your meals and stays with beautiful views.

3) Cape Town (South Africa)

I was amazed at how beautiful this city looks at night from where I stood. I was quite stunned. Coastal cities happen to be my favorite for some reason. Unlike other cities I have toured in my own style, I love that Cape Town offers city tours and the well known company offering these tours is the City Sightseeing red bus which is the hop on and hop off kind of touring. This absolutely gives you the opportunity to see Cape Town, Seapoint area in style enjoying the views of the Table mountain, Cape Wheel, Nobel Square and a boat cruise tour near the harbor area.

Sunsets in Cape Town are beautiful. It pays off to have a long beach walk and get rewarded with an amazing sunset. For your travel sustainable, clean accomodation, I recommend Mojo hotel in Seapoint right next to where the Atlantic and Indian ocean meet.

4) Dar es salaam (Tanzania)

We celebrate Tanzania because of its beautiful city of Dar es salaam. Everytime I have been here, I always find that this city gives me a whole new vibe. Its beautiful beaches could be well appreciated from pleasure resorts like Azure Boutique Resort. I wanted a quiet moment at the beach and didn’t want a public beach. It was only me, the ocean, the birds and this moment I will not forget. I knew that though Dar es salaam is such a loud town, I would enjoy the coastal town by trying out a private beach.

The market place in Kariakoo, I loved! I went round, shop after shop and all sorts of things by the market place are sold and I even took time to ask what some of this stuff was. I especially enjoyed taking a personal tour round the town center area and Mbezi area using their mode of transport I was enjoying to use because we don’t have these kinds back home. Try Dar es salaam for lots more other activities I did not do. Because it’s on the east side of Africa, you will love the sunrise in this town and you know what else caught my attention? Coconuts! Coconuts! Coconuts!

5) Swakopmund (Namibia)

This beautiful city full of awesome scenery is found on the Western part of the country. The beauty with this town is how you can enjoy the best of two worlds, the desert and indeed the coast right in one space! How amazing can it get?!

I had way too much choice here. Took a walk down the road from the place I lodged at and bumped into a tour company right in the desert area called Desert Explorers.

Looking at camels then quad bikes, the adrenaline in me picked the bikes. You will appreciate the dunes using these tours. I was there for hours and would have loved to be there longer!

๐Ÿ’•Hey you! Part 2 coming soon!๐Ÿ’•

The 9 things you must do in Mombasa as a solo traveller in 2023

When you think of visiting Africa to get the feel of it, one of the first countries that will cross your mind is Kenya.It is the epitome of Africa. Maybe at this moment, you are planning on doing Kenya or perhaps you even recently got here. You will surely love the Africa it really is. We all wanna visit Kenya for different reasons be it for work, projects, sport, politics whatever…., the fact is, there is that one day you will be up to planning what to do there.

Though this is a thought that could come from a local person as well, the tourist would have to get more knowledge on what this place has to offer. What activities can you do that may involve money (but not always) and still make your stay in Mombasa worth while, well spent and enough reason to wanna tell a story to someone like am doing?

About Mombasa

Mombasa is a coastal city in Kenya along the Indian Ocean. It has been said to be the second largest city in Kenya. This town is one of the coastal touristic spots in Kenya and I discovered it is super rich in history!!

Now that you are here or still thinking to be, not all your days can or should be planned. Sometimes we leave room for spontaneity. The day you choose to just go by a plan, do remember to jot down some of the activities you could do whilst in Mombasa and these are based on what I personally did. Some activities are totally free but some would cost just a few bucks.

1. Take a free ferry

Yes you heard me!! Free! This is a ferry you would enjoy free of charge for a good 10 to 15 minutes and there are a number of trips made in a day. Mombasa being on an island is the reason to enjoy Likoni Ferry which serves Mombasa and Likoni. You will find ferries carrying both road and foot traffic. These ferries are operated by Kenya Ferry Services. It is completely free as a passenger but there is a cost for vehicles, motorcycles, trucks etc. I used this ferry for a necessary move but I must confess because we don’t have a beach in Zambia (what I hate about landlocked countries), I sometimes used this ferry for the fun of it.

2. Enjoy some tennis at Mbaraki Sports Club

Sorry to be specific here but you could actually play other kinds of sport here by making either prior arrangements or just popping up and joining in. This gives you the opportunity to mingle with and get closer to the real Kenya through associating with the locals. I had so much fun having tennis tournaments with the local kids I met at Mbaraki Sports Club.

3. Spend time with camels at Diani Beach

I chose to spend some time at Diani Beach just because a camel is one animal I saw last when I was little…at a zoo and I really did not like the reaction I got from it because I tried getting it’s attention by calling out but it didn’t even bother to look or even move. My impression was camels are not that friendly and my opinions of camels changed when I visited Diani Beach.

To enjoy these camel rides just have about 5 to 10 bucks on you and I guess you could pay more if you keep increasing your hours on its back. I was happy to have met a camel that reciprocated my love unlike the one in my childhood. Laban was his name and my regret is not packing some apples or bananas before this trip. I really don’t know what sort of menu Laban has but I should have shown him a bit of appreciation for taking advantage of him.

4. Hike and hydrate on the beaches while picking shells

I know that heat levels in my country Zambia can be quite high and unbearable but not to the extent I found the heat in Kenya! As you enjoy this overdose of Vitamin D, cool off with some coconut water sold almost everywhere at the beaches and in town.Take a hike on the beach enjoying all the lovely views and you could even make them longer!My favourite of them all is to add to my shell collection!

5. Spend time with locals on the Shelly Beaches

Beaches do differ in vibe and while others are touristic, others aren’t. I must say Shelly beach is a beach you will find locals. I did spend time surveying it but I must say I met many wonderful locals there and ate lots of good local food. Try this place out!

6. Do shopping malls

I don’t know about you but I do like me some shopping! Don’t you? You could shop hop and enjoy some treats. Next to street food, the cheaper places to get your meals from are supermarkets and I recommend Naivas which came in handy when I didn’t have to do restaurant food.

7. See some of the cool landmarks of Mombasa (Pembe Za Ndovu)

Some of the other activities I involved myself in were to get to know my immediate environment and appreciate cool landmarks like the Pembe Za Ndovu or Pembe Mbili monument which is so highly valued and is a story for another day………This monument is a set of elephant tusks you should never leave Mombasa without showing some love to. If it means a lot to the Kenyans, it should be appreciated by tourists. A good 10 minutes was enough love for them.

8. Grace Fort Jesus with a visit

I was here for a tour that I feel in my heart did not really end probably because of time. This fort is the pride of Mombasa and is so rich in history which explains my need to go back because I did not finish reading articles displayed in the museum but if it so happens that I don’t go back, I must say it was amazing to still see this fort. I learnt quite a lot here.

9. Admire the Old Town

Old Town is on the South of Mombasa and I was amazed by the historical buildings that date way back in time and history says it was the main centre for trade between Africa and the Arab world. It was amazing to see in this place the first hotel in Kenya and just walking around In this town made me feel I used a time machine to go back in time

Would I visit Fort Jesus again?(Part 2)

The answer to this question is a simple “yes!” because as things are at the moment, I wanted to read many of the information posters and boards standing and stuck in the museum at this fort but because of time……I couldn’t. Like I mentioned in the previous blog post about Fort Jesus, the place was dripping with history content unlike the Old Fort of Zanzibar that I don’t quite remember spotting a big museum at. Fort Jesus of Kenya had so much in it that shows that there is a lot of past to be treasured.

The few hours I spent in the museum got me to the realisation that a picture is truly worth a thousand words.This is so because I looked around the museum on my own for some of the amazing ancient figures that were there but also sort the help of a guide to explain some facts on other figures.

Some of the cool old stuff I saw at the museum, though junkie looking, did have lots of history attached to them. Like say this antique below which am pretty sure I have seen in some homes here in Zambia, could just be a chair…..but this chair was a state chair used in the 17th century and made In India in a Portuguese style.

It was used by the last up holders of independence  who was the Sheik of Siyu (Bwana Mataka Bin Mubarak Al- famau) and his son Sheik Muhammed. ‘Siyu’ is a location in Kenya and ”Sheikh” was in the Arabic sense an elderly man with a position of leadership and yes, that is a full name. Cool chair!

‘You know what? This treasure chest looks like my jewellery box back home……,” I thought to myself as I continued to explore Fort Jesus museum. It was a Persian chest dating as far back as the 13th century. Like wow! Hopefully it continues to be preserved in many more years.

I looked ahead and noticed some place near the left side of the museum as you get in. The label Mombasa Wreck Excavation caught my attention but what was this place trying to showcase?

All I saw was some structure that looked like a diver. It sounds like divers find really cool stuff under water, huh….? This local diver must have been doing his own thing when he ”bang!”found some ship of 38 metres going by a cool name Santo Antonio de Tanna. His adventure (thanks to him) has led many to learn about this ship that sunk and some man going by the name of Dr James Kirkman directed a small excavation which later on led to a survey done on the wreck site. Cool stuff if you ask me.

Time was running out and I had to be out of this place so in wanting to do a quick exit, I bumped into some cool structures of what I think were figures of Arab ,Portuguese or Indian people because of the kind of dressing. For these ones, all I wanted was to stand next to them.

Whales! Ever seen a 48 foot long creature? Maybe you have but I haven’t. It’s good I saw the remains because imagining one in motion will take up lots of my energy.

So basically you will find a skeleton of a humpback whale on display here, the remains ofย  a Portuguese sailor, some cool old Mombasa doors which remind me of Zanzibarian doors and something that looked like it was a make believe human thing to be placed in a corn field to chase away unwanted ‘visitors’ from the field.

What can I say except another visit is in order so that I get to read in detail what I couldn’t because of rushing to leave. Do try this place out by all means.

Would I tour Fort Jesus again?(Part 1)

Into the heart of the fort itself

Given a chance and money, there are lots of places one would love to view whilst travelling.My time in Mombasa was not planned for. It was more of, ”I will see and enjoy whatever is in Mombasa.” Plus, I needed just a change of scenery to clear my head from being that busy high school teacher who never easily gets free time.

I usually do countdowns towards the end of a school term because of a dire need to unwind in places far from home.Talk about the power of change of scenery! It was my first trip to Kenya and not in the slightest do I regret being in Mombasa. You can’t separate Mombasa from Fort Jesus which is a tourist attraction in this old town of Mombasa that is dated ancient. Where are all the historians?

Counting down to term break๐Ÿฅด

Getting there

As usual, this depends on where you are in Mombasa. And am thinking you are in the heart of Mombasa so getting to Nkurumah road should not be a problem. I took a boda boda (motorcycle) to the Fort. This didn’t take too long.

Now of course being a non resident, do not expect to pay the same price as the locals would and this is usually the case when it comes to tourist attractions unlike other things like taxi fares, groceries and what not. No discrimination fee here lol! Fort Jesus will cost you just about 10 dollars or so.

Historically speaking, what about Fort Jesus?

I have shared before how I am not a history geek nor am I geeky in general but at least I know why my history results in school weren’t that appealing. I am a hands on kind of person and not having enough school trips in history class back in the day could be the reason but it’s never too late to appreciate history the way I would have loved to. But then again am thinking, how much was it gonna cost to learn about Europe all the way from Africa the hands on kind of way! Lol! Pricey, right?

I discovered that this fort was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century on the coastline near Old Town, Mombasa. It was designed by an Italian architect Jao Batista Cairato and built as a refuge place for those Portuguese that lived on the coastal areas.

It has been said that this fort was built in the shape of a man when viewed from the air that is and later on after a series of its capture and recapture, was under the British rule converted into a prison. In the 20th century, it was declared a national park and later on UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. It turns out that in this day and age, Fort Jesus is one of the most visited places in Mombasa, Kenya. But will I tour Fort Jesus again?

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