If I asked you to imagine paradise, I am sure many of you would picture the perfect tropical beach – glistening waves gently lapping against shimmering white sand, glorious sunshine beaming down from pristine blue skies, not a cloud or a person in site.
Well now I’m going to make you jealous, because the above description pretty much sums up our recent holiday to Mombasa.
If you manage to make it to the Kenyan coastline then you will be rewarded with some of the most amazing beaches in the world. Prior to our trip we had been landlocked in Nairobi for about nine months and we were pretty desperate to get out of the city and to the coast.
We were staying at the very swish and all inclusive Serena Beach Resort and Spa, courtesy of Grandma Joan and Grandad Bill. The hotel is situated on Shanzu beach, 15 kilometres to the north of Mombasa, and boasts to be be one of most beautiful white-sand on the Indian Ocean – and it is – it really felt as if we’d walked into paradise.
Lottie, Leon and Frida playing in the sea and the Hotel pool
Some of the other Hotel REsidents – Monkey, crabs, spiDERS and Birds
I’m going to be honest, we spent most of our holiday at the beach resort – swimming, resting, having saunas, eating amazing food and generally chilling out. Although, we did venture into Mombasa, the whole idea of this holiday was a break away from the urban metropolis.
On the streets of Mombasa
So if you’ve got to this point in my blog post, you’re probably wondering why have I entitled this blog post Paradise (Lost) – well, it’s because of this…
This is Kibarani dumpsite.
Located at the gateway to the coastal city, before the Makupa causeway, along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, Kibarani is more than a blot on the landscape, it is the landscape.
I saw the dumpsite as we were on the way home from our tropical paradise holiday and were driving through the city to the SGR train station to catch our train home. Looking at this eyesore, with people walking on it, sifting through the waste for things they can use or sell, the juxtaposition of where we had stayed and what I could see before me left such a bitter taste in my mouth. Kibarani like the white beaches I wrote about at the start of my blog, seems to go on for miles and miles and as we drove past it I was struck dumb by the mountain of plastic and waste in front of me.
But apparently there is some good news, at the end of April Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho ordered for the closure of Kibarani dumpsite within 70 days. Whether he keeps to his word will be another story – but at least some action is being talked about and hopefully something will be done about Kibarani sooner rather than later.
The epic Paradise Lost, written by John Milton 1667, is about the Fall of Man and the stories of the rebellion and punishment of Satan and the creation of Adam and Eve. Milton declared that his aim in the poem was “to justify the ways of God to men.”