Tag Archives: Mombasa

‘Tumaini’ – KiSwahili for ‘Hope’

If you look at the side of the blue truck container you can see the word ‘TUMAINI’ which in KiSwahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, means ‘Hope’. So who wrote it on a normal commercial truck and why?

Well, it’s a mix of the amazing African characteristics of positivity and optimism, partly a blend of religious metaphors of salvation and also a symbol of the daily struggle most face here.

Now have a look in the shadow of the truck between the wheel axles. Sitting quietly in the shade is the truck driver. He’s just getting on with fixing something in the cool at the hottest point of the day. He hopes to get it fixed. He hopes to get back on the road soon. He is Africa.

East African destination ideas

This is Mombasa harbour in the morning sun. It’s low tide and the locals come down to the beaches and swim, run and exercise. In the day they get a ‘boda boda’ taxi into to town for work or to see their mates. These are Chinese copies of CG125s; the local bike industry is increasingly dominated by Asian imports. They seem fine so far.

As destinations go Mombasa is a good one to finish at or, equally, a good waypoint. There’s an international port to ship your bike if required (enquire with Seaforth Shipping locally) and an international airport.

If you ride in or out then the road north will head through Nairobi’s urban jungle to the dry plains of Northern Kenya and then up through Ethiopia. Challenging riding with off road tracks, difficult navigation and limited fuel stops.

If you ride south then it’s black top highway into Tanzania and on. Perfect African riding.