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The east African Republic of Kenya spans an area almost the size of France.

It has a population of some 38 million and is home to a wide range of wildlife reserves.

Before independence in 1963, Kenya was a protectorate known as British East Africa. Before that however also the Portuguese, Germans and Omani Arabs had held significant interests in the area.

We arrived late 1979, but little did we realize that Kenya had just undergone a major political transition, during which President Arap Moi had firmly established himself in power through elections.

Located at the coast of the Indian Ocean and just 4° below the Equator, the pleasant climate of Mombasa has contributed to its popularity as a tourist destination.

The history of Mombasa, however, goes way back to at least the 1100s. Its location has over time made it an important trading post and called on by famous seafarers like Portuguese Vasco de Gama and Chinese Cheng He.

Gold, ivory, spices, coconuts, millet and innumerous other major commodities were traded in or exported from its port.

Mombasa itself is located on an island access to which to this day is by some simple ferries and a railroad. The popular beach resorts are not located on the island itself but on the beaches north and south of the city.

We were looking for a place to spend a much need long weekend away from the daily hardships of expat life in Egypt back in the early 1980s.

Best choices were Athens and Rome, but also then the Palestinians ruined that through indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians in those cities.

We therefore turned our eyes south and chose a beach resort near Mombasa.

We stopped over in Nairobi (back then there was no international airport at Mombasa) for the night and took Coconut Airways to Mombasa next morning.

The resort was paradise on earth. Food was superb, service was great and accommodation reasonable. The waters of the Indian Ocean were warm, clear and clean.

Half a day was spent on a safari into one of the nearby wildlife reserves, with innumerous sightings of animals like giraffe, buffalo, antelope, baboon, water hog, just to mention a few.

We visited Mombasa in 1979. At that time tourism here was only in its infancy and we had most of the beaches and facilities to ourselves, to which the photos testify.

Locals were still pushing out their catamarans from the white sand beaches to go fishing in the early morning.

Entertainment was still rather "genuine" and not totally professionalized. The safari bus had abundant space and the guide had plenty of time to talk to us.

Local trades people would not constantly push their trinkets on to you all over the beach as seen all too often today.

The resort truly lived up to its purpose: rest and recreation.

No regrets. I would go back anytime and I would believe that so would Annette.

All of the photos on this page are my own. My camera was not very sophisticated, so I excuse the relatively poor quality of some of the pictures.


Own photos taken late 1979
Display program inspired by Matteo Bicocchi and BT

No other similar photo albums are available

Deserved holiday 1979

Blue sky, white sand beaches and coconut palm trees -the essence of a wonderful vacation for North Europeans

After a six month stay in Egypt's brownish stone desert the lush landscape of Kenya was a welcome sight from the inbound airplane

To our surprise, Mombasa (Moi) airport was brand new and had only been in operation for a couple of months when we arrived

Not exactly a busy airport -this is the actual aircraft in which we arrived from Cairo, Egypt

Mombasa international airport was so new that many locals would still journey there just to watch the activities

Note the great hat !!

Only access to Mombasa island and city was by local ferry

After a short flight on Coconut Airways from Nairobi to Moi Airport at Mombasa we finally arrived at the destination: A wonderful seaside resort

Time for some RnR on the balcony

The view was soothing for eyes used to a brown stone desert

Annette enjoying the ocean view

Local fishermen use catamarans

We couldn't travel to Kenya and then miss out on a safari tour.

We had a great opportunity to see a lot of wildlife in their natural environment. Here are some buffalos.

A water hog hiding in the thicket.

I didn't have a telelense, so the photos might be a little grainy.


The Kenyan plains are vast

Mombassa is close to the Equator, so we were not spared a tropical shower or two

Enjoying the warm, clear, clean ocean

Also I dipped my little feet i the ocean waves

The beach was puckered with "caves" where crab were awaiting goodies washed in with the tide

Fallen coconuts could be had for the picking everywhere -they were good too

And there are many more on their way

The monkeys were pretty bold

Let's end this journey with some 'picture perfect' sceneries

Wish you were here ...