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Kenya Travel Guide - Exploring This Rare Gem In East Africa

Kenya beckons tourists with its remarkable natural beauty, diverse ecosystems, and a rich cultural tapestry. You need this Kenya travel guide before you travel to this country.

Velma Battle
Dec 11, 20239662 Shares178918 Views
This Kenya travelguidewill be useful for tourists who want to visit this captivating country renowned for its diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, and abundant wildlife.
Located in East Africa, this country offers a unique blend of natural wonders and cultural experiences.
Not only that, Kenya is home to a rich tapestry of cultures, with over 40 ethnic groups.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the traditions of the Maasaiand Samburuand other communities, experiencing traditional dances, ceremonies, and crafts.
The capital city, Nairobi, also boasts museums and cultural centers that showcase Kenya’s heritage.

When To Travel To Kenya?

Worst:March to May
  • heavy rains
  • animals disperse
OK:October to December
  • light rains
  • cheap season
Best:January to March, July to September - migration time

Length Of Stay

Recommended:2 weeks (the minimum worthwhile stay)
Staying in a game park:5 days

Main Festivals

These are the two major festivalsin Kenya:
  • Independence Day(every December 12th)
  • Kenyatta Day, aka Mashujaa Day(every October 20th)

Activities

a. Walking and Hiking
  • Mount Kenyais a common target, as are the few walking wildlife parks.
  • Mt. Elgon(on the border of Kenya and Uganda) and Ngong Hillsare also good but less frequented hiking areas.
b. Watersports
These activities are available in varied and excellent locations:
  • windsurfing
  • snorkeling
  • scuba diving
c. Game Fishing
  • Travel to Malindi, a town in southeastern Kenya.
  • Go to the coastal city of Mombasa.
d. Recreational Aerial Activities
Ballooning and microlight travel available.
By the way, don’t expect your balloon flight to be quiet. The burner is bloody noisy!
e. White Water Rafting
You may try this activity in:
  • Athi River(Kenya’s second-longest river)
  • Galana River (part of the famous Athi-Galana-Sabaki River)

Star Rating

Below are ratings of some of the things that make up Kenya’s tourism, with 5 asterisks being the highest rating:
Architecture*
Beaches* * * * *
Landscape* * * *
Monuments*
Museums* * *
Nightlife and Clubbing* * *
Shopping and Souvenirs* *
Wildlife* * * * *
Here is another set of ratings (5 asterisks - highest rating) for miscellaneous things:
Local People* *
Food Quality and Variety* * *
Health Problems* *
Hotel Prices and Value* * *
Safety*
Value for Money* * * *
Walkability* * *

Towns

Some of the spectacular places in Kenya:
a. Nairobi
This would be a pleasant, lively, walkable town if not for the criminal element - particularly after dark.
A couple of good museums and the usual market, of course. You’d probably have to spend some time here anyway.
b. Lamu
A tiny, pretty little Arab town on the island of Lamu.
There are narrow carless streets in use by donkeys, traditional Muslim locals, neo-hippies, and affluent adventurers.
It’s adjacent to some great beaches.
The place is also so laid back, it’s almost horizontal.
c. Mombasa
It’s hot and humid here and stretches onto Mombasa Island.
It has a small, attractive old town but with a big history. Criminal rate is low.

Why Travel There?

Kenya’s national parks set the wild standard with a huge diversity and quantity of parks, animals, and great game lodges.
There’s a dramatic new private management system in the Masai (also spelled as Maasai) Mara, the country’s most famous park.
It will soon - hopefully - return it to its former glory.
The weather is usually sunny but not too hot; the mountains are over the moon; and there are several great beaches, too.

Downside

Violent crime is a fact of life in the big towns, especially Nairobi - sometimes mockingly referred to as “Nairobbery” - and areas near the Somali border are suspects, too.
Car-jacking is almost as popular as mugging. The police do little without substantial bribes.
The accepted way to travel is with a tour operator for two primary reasons:
a. to keep you away from the bad guys
b. to keep you near the good animals
This is fine but expensive. Flights to wildlife zones and accommodations at decent game lodges also command high rates.
As for healthconcerns, beware of getting malaria, the bad kind.
Local tribes like the Maasaican be sadly mercenary.
There’s also this running joke in Kenya about the condition of its roads:
What’s the difference between a Kenyan road and a cigarette? There’s more tar in a cigarette.- Kenyan joke among the locals

Where To Go?

You may check out these local tribes and wildlife:
a. Masai/Maasai Mara
This place is known for huge vehicles loaded with beasts of every description.
This used to be the world’s best wildlife experience, Things fell apart under the local council but are now back on track under a private management.
The Mara is still on the receiving end of the annual wildebeest migration that occurs from June through August. It can be the ultimate wildlife experience for some.
However, it can also mean a bad day’s drive from Nairobi or an expensive flight.
b. Samburu
Less visitors and more romance than the Mara, though slightly less visible wildlife, especially predators. It’s a day’s drive or flight.
c. Amboseli
A small park not far from Nairobi, with a backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro and plenty of big games.
It’s bound to be crowded - and it is.
d. Tsavo West
The most scenic of the parks. It has hills, a pretty oasis, and a mass of hippos and crocs.
e. Aberdare Range
This mountain range has a park.
It’s partly a rainforest, with good walking routes, great views, and awesome waterfalls. Sometimes the weather here is poor.
f. Nairobi National Park
Only minutes from the town center, it has numerous must-see creatures, except elephants.

Wildlife Walking

Find time to visit these attractions:
a. Mount Kenya National Park & Reserve
  • Africa’s second highest mountain (actually, it’s a volcano)
  • has rich alpine vegetation
b. Lake Bogoria
  • known for its hot springs
  • favorite hangout place of the greater kudu (kind of antelope)
c. Hell’s Gate National Park
  • a scenic gorge
  • plenty of wildlife
All of them are accessible by public transport from Nairobi.

Birds

For birdwatching, check out these places:
a. Kakamega Forest
A day’s travel from Nairobi and located west of Kenya, this tropical rainforest is buzzing with birds.
This forest, accessible on foot, is also home to monkeys and reptiles.
b. Flamingoes
They are often found in flocks in Lake Nakuru or Lake Bogoria but no guarantees.
Those lakes are approximately a three-hour drive from Nairobi.

Beaches

The Kenyan coastline along the Indian Ocean is adorned with stunning beaches and coral reefs.
a. Malindi
A big, busy beach resort with plenty of everything, except mosquitoes (they don’t fly well in sea breezes).
Good food, fishing, and windsurfing and some atmospheric ruins in the nearby village of Gede, south of Malindi.
b. Watamu
This coastal town has beautiful bays in a marine park good for snorkeling.
c. Diani Beachand Tiwi
South of Mombasa, Diani is palm-fringed and reef-protected beach (so, no sharks to worry about), with white sand.
North of Diani Beach is the town of Tiwi. The beach in Tiwi is less developed and sometimes has a seaweed overload situation.
Both beaches have a shortage of cheap accommodation.
May this simple Kenya travel guide help you with your travel plans.
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