Konza Technology City

As you crawl along the Nairobi–Mombasa road 64km southeast of the capital, there's little to suggest that the fenced plains south of the road could be one of the most exciting hi-tech developments in Kenya over the coming years.

Konza Technology City is an ambitious plan that will see massive development that the Kenyan government describes as 'where African silicon savannah begins'. The plan is for a hub of software businesses, call centres and even manufacturing companies on a site that an early feasibility study suggested should form the basis for a new city – Konza Technopolis – that would have a population of at least 200,000 people and include a science park, convention centre, shopping centres, hotels, schools, a university and even a hospital.

The projected cost of this 'Silicon Savannah' is around US$15 billion, with an estimated 200,000 jobs created here. It's supposed to be up and running by 2030 and construction of the first building began in November 2016.

For more information, visit www.konzacity.go.ke.

The Mother of All Traffic Jams

If you've ever driven along the Nairobi–Mombasa road, you'll be familiar with the endless procession of trucks and the times when you wonder whether you'll ever reach your destination at all. That's pretty standard for this road, but some days are, it seems, worse than others.

On 24 April 2016, for example, a truck overturned in heavy rains and traffic was unable to move for up to 12 hours. But it was six months earlier, in mid-November 2015, that things got really bad. Amid heavy rains, a section of the road near Taru, around halfway between Voi and Mombasa, was gridlocked for three days. The problem was compounded by trucks trying to go around the obstruction (or 'overlapping' in local parlance) and then becoming bogged in deep mud. Mombasa was effectively cut off from the Kenyan interior by land, impacting upon food supplies, business meetings and, of course, tourist itineraries.

Just one more reason to take the new Nairobi–Mombasa railway.

Books About Southeastern Kenya

  • Through Masai Land (1895), Joseph Thomson
  • The Man-Eaters of Tsavo (1907), John Henry Patterson
  • The Lunatic Express (1971), Charles Miller
  • Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family (2000), Cynthia Moss
  • Ghosts of Tsavo (2002), Philip Caputo