“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Twitter you’ll know I recently went to Kenya to visit my family. Whilst I was there, I went to Mombasa to see a friend who moved there after getting married last year. K and I went to her wedding in Mombasa last year so this wasn’t my first time here, however I did experience a lot of firsts. First time travelling alone, which I shared in my last post. First time taking a train in Kenya, or any other African country for that matter. First time going to a spa in any country, and so much more.
It was a memorable trip for me and I wanted to share the things I did whilst I was there.
Usually I’d take a 1-hour flight from Nairobi to Mombasa but this time I took the new SGR train which was introduced last year. I’d never been on a train in Kenya before so I thought why not experience it whilst I’m here. With my suitcases and lunch in hand I took an Uber from my uncles home to catch my 9:00am train at Nairobi Terminus.
For the first 2 hours of my journey I caught up on some much needed sleep and spent the other 3 gazing out of the window. The SGR runs through the Tsavo National Park before reaching its final destination, Mombasa so I had the pleasure of seeing animals, villages and agriculture go by from the comfort of my seat. From monkeys and zebras to farms and Masai villages, the view was amazing. Not bad for £6 (700ksh)!
Once I landed in Mombasa Terminus my friends’ driver was waiting for me at the entrance. You bet I was feeling bad and boujee as he took my bags and walked me to the car. But I probably looked more bad than boujee after a 5-hour train ride. We arrived at my friends house 30 minutes later and the screams of joy began as we were finally reunited! She gave me a tour of her fabulous home whilst her lovely maid took my stuff to the guest room. First a driver, now a maid? My girl was living lavishly in Mombasa. I could go on and on about how amazing her new life is but I’m trying to watch my word count. But to sum it up she has a driver, a maid, a cook, a beautiful home, a lovely husband and on top of that she wakes up to this view ever morning.
It’s still sinking in.
The Beach & Yuls Restaurant
Whilst her cook prepared dinner, we made our way to a hotel on the beach to meet her friends and go for a little walk. Honestly I’ve never felt softer sand in my life! As we strolled along the beach, the light breeze kept us cool in the hot temperatures and the view of the sun setting over the beach was amazing. Ah take me back! We even saw a lady having her maternity shoot on the beach! It was truly a beautiful place to be.
Along the beach there’s a restaurant called Yules which although I didn’t go to this time, it will always be in my places to go list. The venue offers water sports, food, ice cream and nightlife right on the beach. K and I had dinner here on our final night in Mombasa last year where we had a fillet Mignon for the first time. I now understand the hype; it was so good! And did I mention the beach view? I can’t wait to go back!
The next day we went to Nguuni Nature sanctuary which is home to giraffes, ostriches and a variety of birds. Seeing them however proved to be a little difficult for us. We arrived just in time for the sunset but unfortunately the giraffes had already gone away from the feeding area and the ostriches were hiding somewhere. Lucky for my friend’s persistence (and a little bribing), the gate keeper managed to bring the giraffes to us but we weren’t able to feed them as the food had already finished. We took some cute pictures though and the sunset was so worth the hassle! We’ll feed the giraffes next time and hopefully see the ostriches too.
We decided to pamper ourselves by getting a spa treatment the next day at the Maisha Spa in Serena Beach Hotel. Now, I’d never been to a spa before, not even in London, so I was excited for the experience. We booked a full body massage which lasted about 1 hour and to be honest it was a bit of a painful 1 hour for me. The masseuse was really working every knot and though I let out a few (silent) moans of pain, my moans of pain may have been interpreted differently by the masseuse. It wasn’t all bad though. Once the massage was over I did feel lighter and wasn’t in any pain at all surprisingly. The head massage was glorious, best part of the massage! The girls thoroughly enjoyed their session so guess it was just me. I now know to request a lighter handed massage next time.
The spa it’s self is really beautiful and tranquil and the staff are friendly too so I have no idea why I was scared to say go easy on me. They gave us a complementary soft drink as part of our treatment whilst we took some Instagram worthy pictures. Do it for the gram!
After an intense but relaxing massage, we headed to the Boko Boko Porini Restaurant. The Porini Restaurant is known for its mix of traditional coastal food and Seychellois spices. From ugali and chapatti to their beef stew and famous Porini Chicken with tamarind juice, everything there was finger licking good. I’m salivating as we speak! We had to order an hour before we arrived as they usually take a long time to prepare the food but it was worth the wait. believe me, the picture does not do it justice. To top it off, the restaurant is amidst a tropical garden and home to two giant Aldabra tortoises. Unfortunately, they were hiding under some trees when we arrived due to the rain so guess I’ll have to wait till next time to see them properly.
On my final day in Mombasa my friend took us to Misono for some authentic Japanese food. The only Japanese restaurant I’d been to before was Benihana in London and to be honest Misono was miles better. From the atmosphere and the food, to the cute chef that prepared our food in front of us in the open plan seating area. Everything was perfect! The variety in the set menu was so tasty and filling we all struggled to finish the last dish. If you follow me on Snapchat, you’d know the struggle. Misano set the bar high for Japanese restaurants.
And that was it! My trip to Mombasa was short but very sweet. It was wonderful seeing my friend and spending some quality time with her discovering Mombasa. I can’t wait to go back to Kenya and see what else it has to offer.
I hope this post has given you some ideas on places to go in Mombasa and encouraged you to discover your own land beyond the touristy things.
If you’ve been to any of these places or know of some more places to visit in Mombasa please feel free to leave them in comment section below.
Stay tuned for the next post.