We love cruising and have been on fourteen cruises since I arrived in the US. These have included several cruises in the Caribbean as well as ones to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Mexican Riviera and the Yangtze river in China. Our last cruise was with my brother Peter and his family and it was on one of the largest cruise ships in the world…….the Carnival Dream which was 1000 feet in length, over 128,000 tons and accommodated more than 5000 passengers and crew!

Carnival Dream

Cruising is for me the ultimate relaxation and one can be as active or not as one chooses. There are multiple activities on board ranging from trivia and board games to pool side games as well as entertainment which is usually of the highest quality. Then, of course, there is the food which is usually excellent as well as having a cabin steward to make one’s bed and clean the cabin. Essentially all of one’s needs are taken care of and one also gets to visit exotic ports! What more can one ask for?

But this posting is about a very different type of experience on a couple of ships – far removed from today’s cruises. It was a ship that was used to provide basic transportation between India and Kenya. This was no cruise with all of the amenities I described above – though I have wondered on occasion whether my love for cruises is in any way related to the experiences recounted below.

The ships were operated by the British India Steam Navigation Company also known as the BI Line. There were several of these ships that plied the India to East Africa sea lanes. The better known ones were the Karanja, Amra, Kampala, State of Bombay, Muzzaffari and the Aronda! Most Indians who emigrated to East Africa from India from the 1930s’ to the 60s’ most likely arrived on one of these ships. All BI ships were named after places or areas where the company traded. One that I sailed on – the SS Amra – is named after a village east of Benares in Uttar Pradesh. Amra is also the name of a flowering tree that grows at high altitudes.

There were generally three classes of travel on these ships: there were a limited number of first class cabins usually occupied by Europeans (a term used in Kenya to describe anyone who was white), two grades of second class (2nd/A and 2nd/B) and the vast majority of the passengers were in deck class which was akin to multiple over-crowded dorms located in various parts of the ship.

I arrived in Mombasa in 1949 with my mother, my elder sister and brother on the SS Khandalla. I was three years old and remember nothing of that voyage. My father – who was already in Mombasa – told me that one of his lasting memories was the sight of us coming down the gangway at the port in Mombasa. My mother was carrying a bag in one hand and was holding on to my elder brother with the other hand. My sister was carrying me. My mother would always talk with horror about that voyage – apparently sea-sickness was rife and the overall conditions were horrendous.

Over a decade later a similar voyage on another of the BI ships was described as “full of six hundred vomiting Indian families fleeing East Africa because of the country’s (Kenya’s) upcoming independence”. So sea-sickness was very much part of the experience and some were hit harder than others especially if the seas were rough. It likely did not make things any easier for my mother given that she was traveling with three children. We all traveled deck class which was the least expensive method of travel – and the most crowded and least comfortable. Ventilation was poor and much depended on where within the deck one had a berth. Passengers to bring their own bedding since the ship would not provide it! There were common toilets and bathrooms …… just the most basic of amenities. It was essentially transportation and food! I believe the Khandalla was sold for salvage not long after that voyage.

But my most memorable voyages were on the SS Amra.

SS Amra

My parents were both teachers in Mombasa at the time and every four or five years, the British colonial administration – Kenya was then a British colony – would pay for transportation to India by ship. We were provided deck class tickets – for my parents and the family to voyage from Mombasa to Bombay (as it was then called before it became Mumbai). In December 1956, when I was ten years old, my parents and four children set sail for Bombay. My mother and younger brother who was then just two years old traveled second class to ease the inconvenience of having to travel deck class with a young child – after paying the difference to upgrade. My father, sisters and I traveled deck class.

The Amra was one of three ‘A’ class ships built for BI and was just over 8,000 tons. She was launched by Lady Willingdon on 29th April 1938 and sailed from London on 18th November on her delivery voyage to Calcutta to begin her brief career as a Burma mailship.

She was an immediate success on taking up the mail run at the end of 1938 but with her speed and extensive accommodation she was soon swept up into trooping duties, spending two periods in 1940 as a Personnel ship. In 1940 she was requisitioned as a hospital ship being converted at Bombay and seeing her first service between Somaliland and East and South Africa. In 1943 she moved into the Mediterranean, evacuating wounded from the Sicily and Salerno landings and was under constant German air attack despite being clearly marked and illuminated. She completed her service in September 1946.

The Amra’s post war service was as a passenger ship between East Africa and India. It was again modified and accommodated 45 first class, 110 second class, and well over 2000 deck class passengers! Consider this: an 8000 ton ship carrying well over 2100 passengers compared to the Carnival Dream which is over 128,000 tons and carries 5000 passengers and crew and one gets an idea of the crowded conditions and lack of amenities!

I was not quite 11 years old when I sailed on the Amra for the first time and being on board a ship for several days was about as exciting an experience as any for a kid brought up in Kenya. The voyage took between 8 and 10 days to complete depending on the conditions en route. The Amra was considered to be among the best of several ships that plied this route but that was not saying much given the standards of the other ships! There were lots of other kids in my age group for company and the whole experience of being on a ship was a novel one. There was Indian vegetarian food served in one restaurant …… more like a mess than a restaurant ….. where most of the Indian passengers would eat. I usually ate there mainly because the friends I made on board also ate there. There were servers who would go around with various types of food in large stainless steel buckets and ladle them on to the plates of the diners. My father ate at the non-vegetarian restaurant which was a rather more formal setting with waiter service, etc. I accompanied him at his insistence on one occasion. He also accompanied me on one occasion for vegetarian food but was clearly unimpressed with it. I suspect it was the chaotic atmosphere and the table manners of some of the passengers which turned him off even more so than the food.

It was on the Amra that I saw my first Hindi movie. It was a comedy called “Mastana” and I am not sure why I enjoyed it given that I did not understand Hindi. The movie was shown on the open deck with a make-shift screen and speakers that blared out! There were English movies also shown at various times in a similar setting.

Tombola, which is a game similar to Bingo, was another highlight of the activities in which many of the passengers participated.

I recall the Amra docking at Seychelles for a day where some passengers disembarked and a few people came on board. Kenya and, in fact East Africa, had a fairly sizable number of immigrants from the Seychelles. All through the voyage and especially near the Seychelles, one would witness all sorts of sea-life and especially flying fish.

Later in December of 1957, I returned alone to Mombasa by ship after a year in a boarding school in Bangalore, India – Bishop Cottons Boys School. It was a plan my parents conceived to educate me in India through high school and college – a plan that did not work out given that I returned to Kenya a year later! On this occasion I traveled by myself – a not quite 12 year old on board a ship for over a week by myself. Obviously it was a different era in that today, hardly any mode of transportation would allow a child to travel on his/her own without someone being responsible for the child. My parents thought that another family who were on board the ship would function as unofficial guardians but for whatever reason it did not happen. I did however travel second class and shared a cabin with three other Indian kids about my age – two were brothers. Once again I had a phenomenal time with even more leeway than when I traveled with my parents.

The Amra ended its sea-faring days after it arrived at Keelung, in Taipei on 2nd December 1965 for demolition. Her bell was later installed in the church at Sharjah shared by the Royal Air Force and the Trucial Oman Scouts.

Those voyages between Mombasa and India were memorable not just for me but also for many other Indians who lived in East Africa and traveled to and from India.

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80 Responses to “Voyages between Mombasa and Bombay – SS Khandalla and SS Amra”

  1. anver says:

    I travelled on the SS Amra – at first in 1955 on my return from UK via India. THEN AGAIN IN 1958 FOR MY ENGAGEMENT accompnied by my mother and then again in 1959 for my wedding returning back to Mombasa with Sara.

    By the standard of crise ships today it was a cargo ship

  2. Sotantar Sood says:

    My father,like most expatriates from India, would get a “long leave” of about 4 months every 5 years. We would travel to India during these long vacations – from Mombasa to Bombay by ship and then by train from Bombay to Punjab. Luckily, since I was a good student, taking such a long time off school was usually no problem, although I had a lot of catching up to do upon returning. I travelled to India 3 times during my childhood – in 1949, 1954 and finally in 1959. Of the first voyage, I have no memories. The last time, we travelled deck class on SS Amra – and it was great fun, despite the lack of amentities. The vegetarian food was Gujarati – a novelty for us Punjabis. I particularly remember the tea sweetened with condensed milk. I too saw a few movies on board – including “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe. I remember that this was considered particularly risque, but somehow, we were allowed to watch it.
    Simpler times, but fun – although I much prefer the luxury cruises of today!

  3. M Lynch says:

    I am wondering if there were any Indian Captains of this ship during that era. Or were there any Indians who held officer positions on the ship?

    I am given to understand that all the captains and officers were of British descent. Is this correct?

  4. anver says:

    Ofcourse no persons of colour could be put in charge of any ship let alone the ships of the British merchants. Dont forget we were ruled by a fascist British regime where apartheid and racism was kosher. Road diggers in UK were made transport engineers . That was the era of intence British brutality I hasve ever seen anywhere in the world and I am eighty today. I have seen millions of Africans slaughtered to try to creat a white empire like Australia. History was only written by conqurers and victims had no say in the matter.

  5. singh says:

    we want to travel from mombassa to mumbai,can u tell me what is the process n how we can get register ourself.we want the information plz help me

  6. Chetan R. says:

    Our family sailed from Mombasa to Bombay in early 1972 shortly after the Idi Amin incident in Uganda.If memory serves,the ship was called SS Haryana.Does anyone know about this ship? How can I obtain passanger list? Please email me at computer5t@gmail.com

  7. ggkreddy says:

    Quote me to travel from Mombai to Mombasa and return with sailing dates

  8. urmila says:

    Hi Chetan,

    I was a traveler on Haryana ship.Since last year, I have been trying to locate this ship. It seems like it has been salvaged or changed the name as there is no record of it on internet.

  9. TJ says:

    Chetan and Urmila, you may be interested in my latest posting. It has an image of Indians expelled from Uganda boarding the SS Haryana in Mombasa on their way to Bombay.

  10. Chetan R. says:

    Ms Urmila Patel,sorry for the late reply.Thanks for your reply.It is strange to meet fellow Haryana passanger!

    I am also trying to locate more information about this ship,but no luck.If Haryana ended its life at some ship-breaking yard,there is no record of it that can be seen on Web,or even a mention of it.

  11. s. sachania says:


  12. anver says:

    The BI ships that operated between Mombasa and Mumbai, via Sychelles were no comparison to the cruise ships now operating from Southampton. On the BI ships passengers of colour were treared worse than pigs and some fell sick and died. That was part of the British racist atrocities of the time – now swept under the carpet.

  13. My father was posted to the Indian Embassy Nairobi Kenya in 1965. We took the SS Haryana from Bombay to Mombassa and from Dar es Salaam back to Bombay via Seychelles in 1969. I still remember the color of the ocean deep blue black and the smell of salt water everywhere. We saw movies and played card games in the club. Still remember the 14 day journey, was one of the best in my life.

  14. Lal says:

    May i know how many days will it take for the following sailing in 1940s and 1950s
    1) from bombay to Karachi
    2) from Karachi to Seychelles
    3) from Seychelles to Mumbasa
    Thanks in advance.


  15. Anonymous says:

    we travelled from Dar Es Salaam to Porbander on SS Amra arriving in Porbander on 17th March 1964. I was 11 years old and vividly remember the 3rd Class travel. No vomiting for me; my sister and I used to sneak inot the Second Class cabin area.

  16. Mita Hans says:

    My father has written a book chronicling his life on 3 continents. The SS Amra makes an appearance when it carried him back to Mombasa from India. He wrote the book to help document the history of Asians in Africa covering the period from the building of the railroads to post-Idi Amin resettlement. The SS Nyanza also makes an appearance

  17. IBRAHIMLATIF says:

    HI,I am interested in passengers who traveled on the Karanja from Beira mozambique,Novemebr 1971,to go to Inda then following onto karachi.

    many thanks

  18. Hi, I have sailed as passenger of SS Kampala and SS Karanja from Beira, Portuguese East Africa to Bombay, India in 1960, 1961 and in 1974. One way was on SS Kampala and return was on SS Karanja. At that time my residence was in Blantyre, Nyasaland ( now Malawi). There was a steam railway from Blantyre to Beira in 1960s.

    I was a boy and a student when I undertook the sea journeys. It has given me real life education and opened up my understanding about religious studies from very early age. I recommend all students to go on long sea journeys in passenger ships to gain better education and understanding about life on earth.

    I had very interesting and memorable experience of life on the sea. I remember my real life experiences when I read novels and see movies about travels on the ship in the mid Ocean, such as Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the sea, Around the World in 80 Days, Raj Kapoor’s film Around the World in 8 Dollars, recent movies such as Noah.

    At first sight the ship appeared to me to be a world on it’s own, like an island, that is floating on the ocean. I saw that everything of the world was being loaded and carried on the ship, including motor cars, goods and merchandise for business, people of all cultures and backgrounds, household goods and chattels, travel luggage, many kinds of domestic animals, birds and fish and crates of so many things of the earth, building materials, engineering materials, laborers and everything that we find in towns and cities. Inside the ship there were shops, hospital, medical center, schools, police, traffic of pedestrians, hotels, restaurants, cinema halls, music halls.

    When the ship sailed into mid ocean, there was no land on sight, it was all water seen horizontally and I felt that we have left the old world and are now in a new world in an outer space. Here the only world where there was life was our ship.

    We enjoyed very good social life as new friends were made who belonged to different cultures and languages. We all felt as one community of the world regardless of race, religion and culture and as days passed we lived as a one big family in a world of our own.

    All the passengers respected the Captain of the ship and followed his guidance and instructions to us. In theory, if anyone disbelieved the Captain and disrespected him then there would be uprising and revolution which may cause damage to the ship and it would get flooded and then drown in the sea. Trouble makers and disbelievers are never allowed aboard a ship, if they are identified before the ship leaves the shore.

    Once the ship is in the mid ocean it is no longer under the control of a human being. It all depends on the mercy of God just the same as when the Airplane has gone in flight it is left to the mercy of God till it safely lands. In the ship, we suffered different moods and feelings, some of us were taken seriously ill from sea sickness, some were horrified at the sight of huge tidal waves that rocked the ship, some were terrified of bad and violent weather and darkness. When the engines had stopped and we were floating aimlessly for about a week till they were repaired, many of us feared death or getting lost in the wide ocean. These were the troubled experiences which taught us the truth and realities about God and religion.

    As more days passed on the ship, our own world and country, we started feeling the boredom and disinterest and sought something different, something new in life, something more exciting and more enjoyable. People started getting impatient and showing so much regrets and dissatisfaction as if their whole life has been wasted in this world for nothing. Everything seemed all the same everyday. Even the days and nights were all the same. More and more people started drinking alcohol and spending more time in music and entertainment. Then many people fell ill and our social life came to an end.

    When we saw land, everybody woke up and stood round about the ship for long hours, showing new interest and new hope in life. Many people left their cabins and lived on the deck to have their eyes fixed on the approaching lands as they magnified and grew bigger in sight till the sight of the sea was reduced. People refused to look back at the sea as in our hearts it seemed dark like the outer space that blinds our eyes.

    Finally, when we reached the disembarkation port everybody ran away with their goods and everything, and many didn’t even stop to say goodbye to their friends.

    When I remember these experiences I always think of the life of the world as being like a ship that is sailing in the mid Ocean. After all, our countries are all pieces of lands that are floating on a global ocean, each country is like a ship on it.

  19. kasim says:

    Hellow. Can provide me list people coming from india to south aftica ?

  20. kasim says:

    Hellow . Any body help me ? Provide me passenger list kampala/karanja ships . From india to south africa 1941 to 1046

  21. My wife and I wish to go to Mombasa from Mumbai by sea route during Dec/Jan. Please let us know about the passenger ships, duration of journey, stay at Mumbasa and cost.

  22. Anonymous says:

    very interesting read.. especially as l know my parents sailed out of India from Bombay and my brother has memories of how we all felt sea sick and it took days to reach Mombasa… thanks for stating what kind of ships were in function during those times… l like digging back into my fathers footsteps of how and when we sailed out of his homeland.. India…..

  23. Shehzadi Zeb Un Nisa says:

    A comment by a pseudomoslem (seems to be a Khoja), Mansoorali Ismail, brought in all kinds of arguments regarding God and Religion that I find irrelevant, to the issue as originated by the author of the topic. These kinds of notions and arguments of his are nothing but fanatical daydreams of this dude who is in favour of spreading occultism and mysticism that are very much prevallent in Islam. God and Religion in a steamer on the surface of the high seas equated to an aeroplane on the blue skies are perhaps the product of colour Blue that prevails in these both, one in liquid form and the other in gasseous form that have rendered this fellow to hallucinate between Religion and God.The thesis of someone else as depicted,wherein the guy has attempted to propagate God of Cristianity contrary to the tenets of this Allah of this pseudomoslem are worth some attention for some comparison to require.Ignoring all the three, i.e. Allah, Bhagwan and God,the non reaction of this girl in the aeroplane in the turbulent blue skies parable did really draw my attention when for her it was only her own father in whom she had total faith rejecting any religion that preached the existence of Allah, Bhagwan or God for her safety.Here the producer of the article goofed when he did not realise that the same sermon of his about God could have backfired on his face if he had ever attempted to divert her mind from the dogma of having total faith in her pilot Dad,in favor of Allah,Bhagwan or God,which she could have rejected blatently and perhaps even spat on the face of this brainshrinking Mufti:- Subject: Trip Home
    This is the kind of faith we all need!
    A pastor had been on a long flight between church conferences.
    The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: Fasten Your Seat Belts.
    Then, after a while, a calm voice said, “We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened.”As the pastor looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive.Later,the voice on the intercom said,”We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time.The turbulence is still ahead of us.”And then the storm broke.The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines.Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean.One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air;the next,it dropped as if it were about to crash.The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him.He said,”As I looked around the plane,I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed.Some were praying.The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.”Then,I suddenly saw a little girl.Apparently the storm meant nothing to her.She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat;she was reading a book and everything within her small world was calm and orderly.Sometimes she closed her eyes,then she would read again;then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world.When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid.” The minister could hardly believe his eyes.
    It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and the behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid. The child replied,
    “Cause my Daddy’s the pilot, and he’s taking me home.”

  24. Nurjahan Khamboo says:

    Do you know the Late Mr Khamboo? He was also travelling on this ship with his family.

  25. Zaibsday says:

    I was born on Karanja 24 November 1968.

  26. Kiran Pandit says:

    I traveled from Delhi to Bombay by train in May 1958 just when our summer vacations began. I was 7 years old. We went on SS ‘State of Bombay’. We had a part of our family in a cabin and the rest in the bunks. During the day we were on the decks and at night we took turns to be in the cabin.

    They showed B&W movies at night on the decks. KL Sehgal types!

    We returned in October in SS ‘Amra’ A faster ship but was not as comfortable as SS ‘State of Bombay’ The sea was also rough.

  27. Umesh Patel says:

    I returned from Bombay to Mombasa with my parents in 1956 when I was seven years old and remember the tombola and Hindi films on deck
    They had live bands and if you wanted to go to your cabins then there was lovely semicircular stair case
    We travelled by second class and the month of July had rough seas and some passengers never came out of the room due to sea sickness
    The journey took seven days and the entire fleet of. BI ships were of very high class standard
    Later in 1966 Intravelled to Bombay from Mombasa in third class via sycelles and Karachi
    The fare my father paid was 55 shillings at the time and exchange rate at that time was 20 shillings to a pound
    Very memorable journeys

  28. Umesh Patel says:

    I returned from Bombay to Mombasa with my parents in 1956 when I was seven years old and remember the tombola and Hindi films on deck
    They had live bands and if you wanted to go to your cabins then there was lovely semicircular stair case
    We travelled by second class and the month of July had rough seas and some passengers never came out of the room due to sea sickness
    The journey took seven days and the entire fleet of. BI ships were of very high class standard
    Later in 1966 Intravelled to Bombay from Mombasa in third class via sycelles and Karachi
    The fare my father paid was 55 shillings at the time and exchange rate at that time was 20 shillings to a pound
    Very memorable journeys

  29. […] and India. Most available evidence is from stories of different Indian communities, such as this person who was born on the ship in 1968 during the 10-day trip. There’s also this story of how apartheid rules affected the how passengers interacted and […]

  30. R. McKenzie says:

    Have just come across this website whilst listening to an Irishman, on RTE’s sailing programme called Seascapes, reminiscing about the voyage he made on the SS Amra to Bombay.

    I have read Anver’s reply to M Lynch made on the 23-10-2012. Sounds like Anver has a chip on his shoulder. So, he has seen millions of Africans slaughtered……? Really? He ought to be a world-leading historian in that case and write books on those millions slaughtered, but what a pity his standard of English would not do such books justice, and, moreover, gives credence to why all BI officers were whites, if that is his benchmark.

    Such rank bitterness does neither him nor any East Africans currently enjoying a far better standard of life than in either India or East Africa, any favours. Instead, it displays the sheer hypocrisy of calling the ‘Mzungu’ names, yet enjoying his country!

  31. Alish says:

    hey.. i wanna go to india by ship. is there any ship? pls let me know.
    my kenya’s number is 0791399678

  32. Pravesh says:


    Looking for passenger list – 1942 – S’S Karanja

  33. Pravesh says:

    Hi Katie,

    Are you South African ?

  34. sameer says:

    I am interested in going to India from mombasa by sea.anybody with information will be highly appreciated.my phone contact is +254728914062 and email is sameerismatkhan@yahoo.com

  35. Robert Lewis says:

    I worked on the Kampala in between 69/71, as an electrical officer, most officers were white, crew were Indian, Petty Officers a mix, as in all B.I. ships, a lot of my work took me on to passenger decks, there were no great overcrowding and everyone a big happy family. I also served on Gulf run ships and found the same on them.

  36. Pali ladher says:

    Hi.its great to know lots of people who traveled on the ss Amra,when we left Kenya in the 1963 my dad took us to Punjab for the first time on the ss Amra from port of Mombasa.it was amazing to sail through the Indian Ocean to Bombay,the Gujarat food was great and sleeping on the deck of the ss Amra for the duration of our 8 day that the ship took to reach the shore of India.we had great fun on the ship,throwing bottles over in to the sea ,I have good memories of the journey on the ss Amra as I was 14 when we departed for the country I was born,Kenya. And India was a foreign land to me,but the ship ss Amra will be always in my memories,my father was very good in keeping his paper of important documents in safe hands so I still have the disembarking card of ss Amra in my old passport. Those were the best days of my life….Pali Ladher.southampton.

  37. Abdul khamboo says:

    Travelled on the Karanja and Kampala early to mid 60s. Would love to see passenger lists for these liners

  38. Abdul khamboo says:

    Have a few photos on board these ships

  39. Tessa Ivory says:

    I have found this site. I travelled on Kampala with my husband and children, from Bombay to Seychelles, in August 1967 and the journey took us 8 days. We had the pleasure once again in November 1969 of a wonderful 3-week journey from Seychelles to Mombasa and then on to Durban via Dar-es-Salaam, Beira and Lourenco Marques.

  40. Tessa Ivory says:

    I have found this site. I travelled on Kampala with my husband and children, from Bombay to Seychelles, in August 1967 and the journey took us 8 days. We had the pleasure once again in November 1969 of a wonderful 3-week journey from Seychelles to Mombasa and then on to Durban via Dar-es-Salaam, Beira and Lourenco Marques.

    What rubbish Anver writes when he says the Indians were treated like pigs. I have photos of many of them on the decks which proves him wrong and I agree with R.McKenzie that Anver is a bitter man with a huge chip on his shoulder.

    We were befriended by one of the officers whom we knew as Adam and whose wife and sons were living in Bombay. I think he was the Chief Engineer and if he ever reads this I should love to hear from him.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I travelled in march 1963 on SS Amra from Mombasa to Bombay. I was only 8 years old and I remember the voyage vividly. We were in a cabin and we had to dress up for dinner and there was a band on board as well which played every night. We stopped enroute twice, once to lower a coffin containing a body of a person that had died on board and there was an African person pretending to be Tarzan (by making those loud Tarzan Ahh – ahh sounds) swimming near the ropes which were being used to lower that coffin. Second time was when we reached Seychelles and some folk were able to go the shore for the day. The weather conditions were perfect – and the voyage took just 8 days. I will always remember that trip with fondness as it was a special time for me and my parents.

  42. Mohtashim Shaikh says:

    Wold it not be nice to have a site dedicated to photos of our trips on these ships across the Indian Ocean. I remember one trip clearly. It was magical, romantic I was 6. My memory is full of the smells and aromas of the journey – smells in the godowns of mombasa harbour, coffee served in the morning with braekfast, smells from the holds and the varnished wood work in the galleys. Games on the deck, movies, arrival at the Schelles. Such romance never to be experienced again, a pity.

    In rememberence of those lovely ships Kampala, Amra, Bombay, Karanja.

  43. ABDUL KHAMBOO' says:

    Travelled on the Karanja and Kampala in the 1960’s.

    Does a log of passengers exist anywhere.

  44. IBRAHIM LATIF says:

    HI, I am looking for any passengers, or crew, captain of KARANJA, sailed from Beira to mozambique november 1971. trying o research incident which happened on this ship. many thanks. my email is chibsy77@hotmail.com

  45. IBRAHIM LATIF says:

    sorry, please read correction, looking fo people on karanja ship, november 1971 from Beira to India

  46. IBRAHIM LATIF says:

    to robert lewis, did you work on the KARANJA IN NOVEMBER 1971, pls get in touch, chibsy77@hotmail.com

  47. اغانى شعبى says:

    What’s up,I log on to your new stuff named “Voyages between Mombasa and Bombay – SS Khandalla and SS Amra « Rana’s Reflections, Ruminations & Recollections” like every week.Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up!

  48. Augustus says:

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  49. Dhansukhlal Premabhai Patel says:

    We travelled from Mombasa to Bombay in sept 1967
    Family of Five brother one sister & mum father passed
    Away in June 1967 so our family had leave for India

  50. Jayantilal Patel says:

    Are there any ships that travel from Mombasa – Seychelles – Mumbai now. I would love to make one journey again

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