A trip to Kenya is a guaranteed adventure. It has captured the imagination of explorers and nature lovers for hundreds of years. Today it’s known for successful conservation programmes that have helped its wildlife bounce back from near extinction.
Kenya is a friendly and easily accessible way to fall in love with majestic East Africa. Big cats, fascinating tribal cultures and stunning landscapes will have you hooked.
What to do
Kenya is a fantastic holiday for nature and animal lovers. From diving in crystal clear waters on coral reefs to the famous safaris in the Masai Mara savannah, Kenya is one of the most diverse countries in the world.
Head to Kakamega Forest near Uganda for rich rainforest and prime birdwatching territory or watch monkeys play at Lake Naivasha (where Born Free was based).
Discover the country’s Arabic and Swahili heritage in Mombasa on the Indian Ocean and take a boat tour round the ancient harbour at sunset. Or just gaze upon our ancient past at the Great Rift Valley, where the earth plunges 2,000 metres to a flat-bottomed valley.
Where to stay
For an overnight stay in Nairobi, the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel is a luxurious colonial-style experience. Chill out in the relaxing Serena Beach Resort in Mombasa, for a perfect way to end a safari holiday. And there are endless safari options – from large-scale lodges to seriously deluxe private camps.
For a luxurious glamping safari experience inside the Masai Mara park, try Kempinski Olare Mara, where ‘tents’ come with wooden floors and four-poster beds. Mara River Lodge is a mid-range lodge that overlooks a river full of basking hippos.
What to eat
If you’re in Nairobi you can’t miss a meal at Carnivore, a famous barbequed meat restaurant that serves up camel and crocodile as well as pork and beef. It’s all carved right at your table.
Sample Kenyan fish curry in Mombasa at legendary restaurant boat The Moorings. Tamarind combines Kenyan seafood with its tandoori oven to delicious effect. Most safari camps serve an international menu come meal-time.
A safari trip will often have transfers and charter planes built into the itinerary so check what your holiday includes. Domestic airlines’ twin-prop planes fly regularly from Nairobi or you can charter one. Public transport and the rail network are best avoided.
When to go
Avoid October to December, which have monsoon-style rain, but outside those months Kenya is sunny most days. Due to its vastly different terrains, from ice at the top of Mount Kenya to sweltering heat on the Masai Mara plains, pack clothes suitable for the type of holiday you’ve booked.
Three things we like
Something we don’t like
All the jabs beforehand. Yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitus A and B, rabies, meningitis and tetanus vaccines are recommended before a visit. You should also take anti-malaria medication, which often needs to start a week or two before you go. Check with your GP.
Kenya isn’t just about adventures on land. North of coastal city Mombasa, discover fantastic diving in protected coral reefs and lagoons or swim with wild dolphins at Kisiti Marine Park.
It’s a great country to golf in and cheaper than Europe or the States. Course locations range from fertile tea plantations in the east to the Great Rift Valley, one of the most interesting geological sites in the world.
The Langata Giraffe Centre near Nairobi is home to a family of Rothschild giraffes. You can get up close and feed them and take a stroll round the nature sanctuary there.
Travelling with family
Compared with other African countries that offer safaris, Kenya is set up well for children, though it is best to choose a tour that is for families. The Masai Mara is a perfect destination as the wildebeest migration falls in school holidays, so there will be plenty to see.
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