Last update: 05th of January 2004
Sea Horse Hotel
In the morning at 6:45 o'clock, in Europe it is 2 hours earlier, we arrived at Mombassa. Out of the airplane and into the open halls the airport. The damp sultriness and the strange smell of the salt in air reminded me somehow of Jeddah in the "winter time".
Here we first first have to manage the entry formalities, means visa for 50 Euro. So far I could do it in such a way that the forms for filling in were already delivered in the plane. Not with the ASC (African Safari Club). Filling in happens in airport. With the filled in note into the passport we move to the Imigration, where the entry visa is stamped into the passport.
Subsequently, the suit-cases gotten and to the customs. For sure, we do not have to declare anything, only the video camera must be registered in the passport, similarly as in Egypt. With our luggage cart we move out of the Airport. Here we experience on the basis of a list that we are accommodated in the Sea Horse. That was the hook at the special offer, it was so-called Jokerhotels, i.e. one does not know before, where one stays overnight. Since according to catalog all hotels should have at least 4 stars, we did not regard that as problem.
The airport of Mombassa - photograph forbidden;)
By means of the parking lot, under substantial protection from willing luggage carriers, do I already look so weak that I do not can push suit-cases, we reach our bus.
Everywhere that we hear that nationalusually greeting "Jambo". Only when it continues to departure to the hotel, one does not know. Here one is advised well, to the nationalusual speed "pole, pole" (calmly, calmly) to accustom.
Then, after a long while, we have in between 8 o'clock local time and we are still dressed for Vienna with 2.5 degrees and not for Mombasa with approximately 36 degrees. We will be transported with the bus, our luggage will be directly brought with a truck.
Through the roads of Mombasa we drive on the coastal road direction north. Passing by poor villages and cities.
Everywhere the nationalusual garbage disposal is to be seen. The garbage is gathered on a large heap, if the heap is large enough, the garbage disposal in form of a lighter or a match comes and at once the garbage is beamed away (Beam me up Scotty). One can smell that everywhere.
The picture beneath shows one of the hospitals, I don't know. At least the building is made out of bricks or concrete and not in a way, similar to the framework construction in the dark ages, only no bars, they use here branches and what is between them, obviously cow shit.
Outside of the villages one sees the meagre agriculture. Enormous sisal fields, between them isolated a few cattle and again and again ape bread trees, the national trees of Kenya, which are partly over 1,000 years old.
The journey continues and the road is an experience. One has the impression, the bitumen serves only to make a connection between 2 neighbouring impact holes.
After about one hour we reach Kifili, leave the road and drive still approximately 1 km on Dirttracks, until we finally reach our hotel, the Sea Horse.
Here the tourist Officer Willi expects us.
The rooms are distributed, we receive No. 12 from approx. 40 little houses and the information that at 11:00 o'clock an information meeting for us will be in the dining room.
A short check, whether the luggage is already there, negatively, therefore without a shower to the breakfast.
The breakfast was not so good, the toast was already plentifully strangely, the jam with small flies scattered and the coffee actually by the sort rat poison.
Thus fast eaten and again looked after the luggage. Still nothing arrived.
The dining room is, as actually everything, what we saw during our Kenya trip, is outward open, the roof structure from a wood stand work with a covering from palm leaves.
The dormer-ventilators are likewise open and apparently serve the better ventilation.
At 11 o'clock then the information meeting. Main participants are the hotel manager Ricky and the tourist Officer Willi. Actually we would have had to become already sceptical, when Willi could not remember the name of the manager, but he smiled always so nice. Later it was then clear to us that he concerned with his smile only an idiotic grind.
Apart from the general information about the hotel and country and characteristics we experience also that the 2-day-Safari is only a One-day-safari, with journey by airplane on the previous evening, on the next day Safari and return trip with the Safaribus.
In view of the fact that the Sea Horse is approximately 60 km far away from Mombasa, one can do nearly nothing here, we decided to book over on 3-Tage Safari.
Since the luggage is still not here, we make a small walk around by the plant.
The pool is to be seen next door. Looks really large, but I tried here once as a travel catalogue photographer and used a 28 wide angle. Up to the bridge there is only approximately 11 meters.
Everywhere on the area stand 10 - 15 meters high palmtrees. Beautifully to regard however an enormous disadvantage. Occasionally ripe, from time to time times also unripe, coconuts fall down. Two times they fell down only two to three meters beside us, even directly in front of our hut.
If it does not rain coconuts, then one must count on it to be killed by falling down palm leaves.
It is actually only a question of the time, when the first dead one in this hotel is to be deplored, which not at the meal but at the consequences of the coconuts died.
Also our luggage arrived finite. Before unpacking and having a fresh shower there however still another small are problem we have to overcome. The suit-case serves an ant population as new homeland. A friendly lady of the rezeption and a box insect spray created remedy.
Here the advantage of Rimova suit-cases, the edges are realy close, therefore there were no ants within the suit-case.
After showering and moving a small nap and then off to the lunch.
The Lunch was in the form of Buffet. Salads, different sorts of meat, supplements and fruits are present. Unfortunately the taste is missing with everything.
Only advantage is that the beer of the barrel and water is free when eating, bottled beer costs additionally.
Oh, one needs no money within the plant, each beverage, each liable to pay, the extra costs are handled by receipt vouchers and everything is paid at the end of the vacation. Exchange in national currency is done at the Cashier. Strange is only the exchangerate, while the official rate of exchange is above 90 Shilling for one Euro, one gets with the Cashier 83.50 Shilling.
The ASC must finally earn something.
After the meal then to Willi. I managed it somehow to explain to him that we our want to upgrade our already booked Safari to the 3-days-Safari Tsavo Royal Classic. He promises, everything will go into order and I shall inquire in 30 minutes again.
In the meantime briefly into our "hut" looked, the defective fan is repaired, makes however now such a noise, which could arouse even dead ones.
Thus again to the rezeption and lodges a complaint. Subsequently, again to Willi. Asking however grinding HE looks at me. I ask, what is the status now with the Safari. Sure, tomorrow evening the Safari starts. No, our upgrade. Willi rummages around on his desk. He finds also our note sometime. Sure, everything is alright, tomorrow early at 4:00 o'clock waking and then departure to the Safari, which one was it?
I suppress my internal desire to kill him and explain to him "Tsavo Royal", explained to him that we must pay 105 Euro extra plus 42 Euro park entrance fee for the additional days. We somehow become then "commercialunited" and I nevertheless still praise ourselves internally that I controlled myself and not hit into his grinning face. Will happen for sure tomorrow, if the Safari does not take place.
Derss code at dinner, is expected, against the prospect statement "Come as you are" with long trousers and shirt for gents and corresponding clothes for women. Who did not want to believe this, was sent back and had to change.
Unfortunately the Dinner was not better than the Lunch and we resigned ourself already a for a one-week-diet.
The local beer, by the way, tasted good.
Since early rising is announced tomorrow, is time to go to bed. The fan makes still noise like a starting helicopter and we decided not to pay for the air conditioning system, 64 Euro for the week, day by day is not not possible, even if one is not there.
This price strategy is more than strange to require in tropical areas money for the air conditioning system.
A small reward is the sunset at the Kifili River.
Good night until tomorrow.
© Ulrich Hoffmann 2004