Haller Park: Cost of the ticket: 1400 shillings per person.
Not far from the coast area, about 7 km from Jomo Kenyatta road, Haller Park, in its simplicity, is a pleasant first taste of safari..
Get there on a tuk tuk for the modest sum of 600 shillings, unless you can get it for less.
A long tree-lined street, where the sun’s rays only rarely make room between the toothed leaves of palm trees, leads to the park reception. Guys explain the first tour to do on your own, before being led by a guide to explore young albino crocodiles, hippos, antelopes and the snake.
A giant turtle, old 150 years, advances phlegmatically on his muscled pig’s feet, carrying with him his ultra centenarian, leathery armor.
Giraffes, more timidly, stand upright on their elegant necks. They seem to look proudly towards the horizon, offering their backs with indifference to all those who insistently urge them with intradental sounds to take the food they are offering them en masse.
Returning to the reception a young woman will take you to the serpentarium, with a short stop to see the albino crocodiles. It seems that their sex is determined by the environmental temperature of the moment of gestation (above 30 degrees the new unborn are female, below are males).
The serpentarium is mostly populated by cobras, giant pythons and other species of smaller but no less dangerous snakes.
Large hippos in the sun ooze from their generous sizes.
Crocodiles that seem to be in a sort of meditative paralysis, on the surface of the water, allow only their miners gaze to be seen.
To attract people, a show attendant dangles the limbs of a chicken on a rope overhanging the Crocodile tank, who take turns jumping to stock up on dinner, enforcing the law of the strongest … or the smartest.
On the way back, small grains fall from the trees and completely cover the path along the wood. If you pick them up from the ground they look like microscopic beehives.
Small long-legged insects swim in the ponds as beautiful flowers sprout among the broad leaves
in mid-water. And every green shape around speaks in silence.
Jomo Kenyatta beach:
From Haller Park: tuk tuk price: 100 shillings.
Not far from Haller Park, if you see a thousand Jesus magically walking on the water, that is the kilometer-long beach of Jomo Kenyatta, where in order to sink your limbs you have to go a long way.
The bay is so crowded and dotted with people that the sea is a rainbow-colored polka dot dress, and the mass of souls that spreads all over the shore and moves here and there, creates swirls of pale sand that you breathe along with the overwhelming breeze. advancing at sunset.
Your own wind-blown hair slaps your face, as if to save you from a state of total abandonment.
Walking, on all fours, on the sand that is sometimes muddy, sometimes exhaling miasma of sewer in the open (all part of the game) you come to follow like a hound the captivating rhythm coming from a bar with live music.
Stop here for a cool drink and make sure you get caught by the stage entertainers. Local dances propose lightning glute movements. But here the spirit is steeped in a general sense of ease, so much so that, if you turn around, the place is mostly frequented by “whites” accompanied by young women of color.
Young boys compete in races sinking their slender legs on the sand, others mount camels and a large group of swimmers embark on their wanderings towards the open sea where it is difficult to sink, with infinite supplies of black inflatable donuts, which you can see from afar dangle under your arm.
Entrance fee: 1200 shillings per person (possible to pay by credit card)
The Fort is not very big, even if it hides a story of its own. Before you can cross the threshold some guides will try to lead you with or without your approval. So if you think you don’t need it, kindly explain that you want to do it yourself. The skeleton of a fortress installed here by the Portuguese as a military base did not have an easy history.
Inside, the area is divided into several parts. The largest structure is the one where the rifles are kept. In front of it, lie the ruins of old chapels, a cistern and a well, for the exclusive use of ablution because of salt water. On the same line as these ruins, the backbones of a young whale lie under a piece of the fort’s walls, found in 1992 on a beach shore near Mombasa. The entire fortress is, with good reason, studded with old rust bronze cannons and on the other side, among the three points of interest on which to dwell, there is the Mazrui room: sit inside the modest room with a plan rectangular, where long benches with cushions will invite you to sit down to discuss with the ghosts of the then influential personalities, as was once done there, about affairs of public interest and, where needed, stop and pray.
Adjacent to the meeting room, a small structure contains the collection of Portuguese walls dating back to the seventeenth century, explanted and preserved here, of paintings in oxidized black and red coal, of unknown soldiers or sailors. The favorite protagonists are boats but also some animals and strange human figures. If you go out through the second door you find yourself near one of the doors of Omani manufacturing, (one of which is famous in Zanzibar) usually lovers of floral motifs. From each side you can see the sea or sit under the shade of a tree, watched over by the constant cawing of crows.
Entrance fee: 500 shillings per person (visit and some history).
Leaving the visit to Fort Jesus, as soon as you take the road to the old port, almost imperceptible if you do not open your eyes well, lies the oldest hotel in Mombasa, dating back to 1901 and now no longer in business. By the time we passed they were doing renovations.
The visit, which is not a real visit, is worthwhile only for the erudition and the good oratory of the Islamic Cicero placed as guardian at the entrance. If you give him access, he will range in history, in religion, and in politics, getting involved in the most disparate speeches with euphoric passion. In the visibly crumbling atrium, images of some influential political figures and some history of colonialism / protectorate are displayed.