If you have a stopover in Nairobi, you won’t be able to do much in the free shop and airport lounges. Without bringing your valuables, take advantage of that time to do some nearby activities. One of the places worth visiting is Mamba Village in Mombasa, the largest crocodile farm in Africa. You will be able to take some pictures with baby crocodiles in your arms, see how they feed the big ones, feed the ostriches, take a photo with the turtles and meet the snakes. You can also, if you wish, take a horse or a camel ride.
The facilities have a restaurant with exotic dishes on their menu, made with crocodile, ostrich and zebra meat. The beaches of Mombasa are also very nice if you want to take a bath. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit in your hand luggage!
Crocodiles in their natural environment are very dangerous, they can attack you if you are swimming, fishing or walking on the shore of a lake, lagoon or saltwater beach where they live, especially if you disturb them. They prefer small prey such as dogs or children, so in places where crocodiles are living, extreme care must be taken: do not camp in their habitat, don’t attract them with food and stay away from the baby crocodiles if you don’t want to be the prey of their mothers. They live in rivers, lagoons and wetlands, some species also live in salty waters. They feed on crabs, insects and frogs when they are small and on fish, reptiles, water birds and mammals when they grow up. Some species also eat molluscs and crustaceans. They grasp prey with their strong jaws and sharp teeth, dragging it underwater until the animal drowned. They cannot chew, so they cut the prey by shaking it and tearing it apart with their teeth. Incredibly new teeth grow to replace the ones that are broken or lost. They are very fast (they run at 17 km per hour), especially to cover short stretches of 4 or 5 meters, so it’s better not to get close enough, the selfie with the crocodile is not a good idea.
As they are cold-blooded animals, during the day they take advantage of the heat of the sun to do their digestion, while at night they seek the residual heat of the waters. As their nostrils and eyes are located in the superior part of their heads, they can breathe and see while almost totally submerged, this also helps them for camouflage. Crocodiles do not usually feed daily, but every seven days. They don’t go hunting, they wait for their victims to appear, who normally visit the river to drink some water. Their lungs are so large that they can stay more than an hour without breathing underwater. They can live up to 100 years and are oviparous, burying their eggs in nests that they cover with sticks and branches.
The species of crocodile that we can find in Mamba Village are the Nile Crocodiles, some of them measure more than 6 meters and weigh 750 kg. They are second in size after the Marine Crocodiles, which live in both fresh and salty waters. The skin of these prehistoric animals -that have been living on the planet for millions of years- is in demand for the manufacture of boots, wallets, belts and other accessories, which puts their survival at risk. Currently, they are protected, their hunting is prohibited in most countries and some organizations such as Mamba Village facilitates the conditions for their reproduction.