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EAST AFRICA PHOTOS - Dec 2004 - Jan 2005
Provided By: Jaffer Manek FCCA FCEA
Director, Affilica International

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   Travel notes and photos - 14 Dec 2004 to 30 January 2005 plane delay.


Nice view of Mwenba Island. The Aga Khan has a hotel there, the only inhabitants. The fan-like area is the reef with tidal movement and very exotic fish and sea creatures. The blue bit between the land and the island is 600 meters deep! Three weeks after, I crossed that with a friend in an "Ungarao" - the dug-out canoe with a triangular sail and went snorkeling at the right hand side of the reef and snorkeled and walked on the reef at low tide, discovering and inspecting a variety of sea creatures.

Mombasa has not changed. Ndia Koo (Main Road) near Fort Jesus and surrounding streets are block paved from European Union funding. The old streets are looking much better.

Mombasa is less hot and humid compared to Zanzibar.

The Mombasa Kiswahili is different, example:
Zanzibar: Mimi na omba soda moja. (I request a soda - omba can also mean beg)
Mombasa: Letiya soda moja. (Bring a soda)
You can see it is ordering in Mombasa whereas it is requesting in Zanzibar.

The famous tusks on Moi Avenue

A restaurant at Diani Beach, south of Mombasa. It is less congested here than in Bamburi

Yesterday, with friends I went on the Tamarind Restaurant boat dinner cruise in the creek. It was a wonderful experience. Since I spoke Zanzibari style Kiswahili with the crew, they gave me extra Malindi halwa and charged the local price, not the double tourist price.

The boat at the end of the pier on the creek.
Photo taken from the restaurant on the side of the hill.
It is owned by a Kenyan of English origins, third or fourth generation there and speaks fluent Swahili.

Previous day I bought Victoria (tangy fruit) and ate it with salt and red chili powder. Also, I found zambaraho (Jamboora) and scoffed them. And sweet mangoes, Ambay. Also, got a packet of Booya (red like raspberry, sweet and tangy taste). Also, had madafs. And mishkaki and swahili fish curry at Yul's restaurant in Bambury, the best swahili coconut fish curry so far.

Bamburi at low tide, avoiding sea-urchins and strong sunshine

Having steak pieces on spike at Yul's Restaurant, lower them onto 400 degrees hot slab of stone.
But suddenly the inzees arrive. Trying to shoo them off.

Vipingo: the locals must break journey here on the road half way from Mombasa to Malindi.
Mishkaki at the world famous Vipingo Tea Centre is a must; but the phone was not working.

If you look closely, you can see the barbeque metal skewers are really bicycle spokes.
How many miles do they have to be on the bicycle wheel before they are ready for this purpose?
True recycling here! But the mishkaki tastes excellent with mandazi and tangawizi drink. :-)

At "Ocean Sport Hotel", Watamu Bay, some tourists go deep-sea fishing early in the morning.
This man caught a "sail fish". He said it was in the sea after the land had disappeared from view.

Sun rise at Watamu Bay

Yours truly on an Indian style sofa-bed

Next door is Hemingway's hotel, a five star establishment with prices to match.
Popular with white Kenyans from the Kenyan Highlands.

An Indian sofa-bed at Hemingway's

The old KSI mosque at Lamu seafront. When was it built? 1870?
One of the earliest KSI mosques, older than Zanzibar KSI mosque.
No KSI of Indian origin live or go to this mosque, but it has many local worshipers

Prayers done in full view of the sea after the seafront roadway.
And sea breeze too.

Lamu alley parallel to the seafront walkway. People on donkeys rush past in these alleys.
Smells of open gutters and donkey droppings.

At a Lamu corner shop selling groceries, kikapu (straw bags) and sigiri (charcoal stove)

Stayed on second floor left hand windows. Low tide here. Drains empty here also and go past the boats

Lamu seafront walkway with donkeys doing freight transport and passenger transport

View of Lamu side from Shella Island, 20 minutes by boat from Lamu

Returning to Lamu on the hotel's small motor boat

Mon Jan 17, 2005 7:51 pm

I flew into Zanzibar from Mombasa airport. It felt good to be back to Zanzibar - Shangani suburb. It felt like coming back home.

I have been away for two weeks. I was in Bamburi, hired a car and so travelled into Mombasa town and around. Found fruits to eat, mbooya, victoria, zambaraho (Jamboora), embay (mangoes) and red dhizzy (red bananas).

Some of the old roads, including Ndia Ku, in old Mombasa are being paved with pavers. Paid by EU (European Union) funding, that is me as a tax payer in EU. So, those historic few streets around Fort Jesus are looking better although they need to do something about the open drains.

Moobins (mishkaki on the street pavement) is closed because the family is gone to do their Hajj. I was disappointed.

One evening a friend of mine and I drove to Light-House, parked our car and walked to the big baobab tree to eat madafoo and charcoal baked mohogo. We were waiting to see the sun go down. A VW combi drove slowly past, with its roof raised up. 4 to 5 muzungus were standing upright with their faces out looking at the people at Light-House. I now know what giraffes feel when they are visited by tourists! :-)

Mombasa is the same, no changes. A few cases of shop robbery and petty crime. Bustling city baking in 33 degrees centigrade.

Last Saturday (15 Jan), there was a mild earthquake in Zanzibar at 8.15 am, for about 20 seconds. Buildings trembled and people poured out on streets. No damage heard of so far.

Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:59 am

I took a 6 hour bus from Lamu via Malindi to Mombasa and caught a flight from there to Zanzibar. The first half of the bus journey was bone-juddering, as the road did not have tarmac. I saw a group of hippos doing a swim dance in a water pool. The countryside there has giraffe, buffalo and baboons but from the bus I saw only a large baboon apparently doing "bus spotting" while sitting under the shade of a road-side tree. The bus drove past at about 50 miles per hour but I could almost swear it had a note pad to write down the number plate of our bus!

On Sunday 16, Jan, I booked the flight in Lamu but their computer was off-line and so I could not get a confirmation number. The computer showed there were four seats available. In Mombasa they said the plane was full - 19 seater and one flight only per day. I waited around for three hours and then got the stand by ticket and had to hurry on-board in 15 minutes. Phew!

In Zanzibar, this is my third day going through my emails. I had 2,500 junk emails to delete. I lost at least one software order for GBP 150 - lost sales because I could not supply it fast enough. I have had meetings with a prominent accountancy firm in Zanzibar who wants to join Affilica. I have a finalisation meeting on Saturday, as Friday is Hajj Eid holiday. Also, he wants me to do audit lecturing as a joint venture, in March or April. Also, I have ripped out Yellow pages listing of accountants in Nairobi to do a mail shot. In Watamu, I have got friendly with the hotel management and am taking an advert in their local community magazine. Through them I hope to connect with the white professionals and businesses based in Kenya highlands and Nairobi as they congregate in Watamu.

The owner of the Italian ice-cream parlor on the beach in stone town has become friendly with me. The family (mother, father, daughter) want to sell up and they asked me if I can find them a buyer. Interested in taking residence and ice-cream + restaurant in Zanzibar? I introduced our Swaziland member to a Dar es Salaam corporate law practice I met on my way in. So, there is a lot of business networking happening with me.

Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:10 pm

Last evening, I saw the sunset from an Italian pizza - ice cream shop on the beach in stone town, near Serena Hotel. It was the best sunset I saw in Zanzibar so far. It was cloudy with white cotton ball clouds, but then when the sun got low, the cloud made a large gap to reveal a large orange ball that slowly sank over the horizon while the dhows with triangular sails criss-crossed the placid sea. It was picture post-card stuff but I had not taken my camera with me! I chatted to the Italian owners, the wife, husband and their daughter.

Just now (Thursday afternoon), there was a power cut while I wrote this email. So, someone from the Internet cafe (without the coffee) ran out, put petrol in their generator and after four minutes the electric came on again. Power cuts happen at any time day or night.





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Last updated January  2008 Copyright Mahmood Fazal 2005 - All Rights Reserved Created By Husain Fazal