Bird watching in Kakamega Forest
Located near the Ugandan boarder, this rainforest is arguably the prime bird watching site in Kenya. It has dozens of different forest species found nowhere else in the country. It offers shady forest paths and plentiful monkeys.
Amboseli National Park
At the base of the snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro is the Amboseli National Park. It is home lions, hippos, wildebeests, gazelles and cheetahs. The most common animal is the elephant. This national park is also known for its wide variety of bird species that can be watched from the nearby communities.
This extinct volcano is the second highest mountain in Africa, standing at approximately 4,986 m (16,358ft). It is a tourist site for mountain hikers and for those who wish to spend time on the forested lower slopes below the ice-capped peak.
It is also the home of Ngai, the Kikuyu tribe’s Supreme Being. The 600 sq. km (232 sq. mile) park supports a mix of mountain forest, bamboo forest and glacial peaks. A wide variety of wildlife includes Sykes monkey, buffalo, elephant, bongo antelopes and giant forest hog.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park located 8km (5 miles) from the city Centre is Kenya’s oldest national park. Today it still looks much as it did in the early photographs – wild, undulating pasture – and supports most of East Africa’s best known wildlife including lions, rhinos, giraffes, buffalo and zebra (but no elephants). It is easily the best bang for the buck for one who does not have either the time or the money to take the trip to the other parks in the country. The Bomas of Kenya are just a kilometre from the Park’s main entrance.
Kenya’s coral coast
Juggle between swimming, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, water skiing, and snorkeling. It is home to many exotic resorts like Kikambala, Kilifi, Nyali, Bamburi, Watamu and Malindi. Do not miss the dazzling white sands of Sarova and Diani beach.
Lamu Old Town
This is the oldest Swahili settlement in East Africa. Has many historic mosques and beautiful old Arab architecture with impressive carved wooden doors, glassware and artifacts. It is located on an offshore island close to the Somali boarder housing a Swahili fortress.
Langata Giraffe Centre
Located on the outskirts of Nairobi, the Langata Giraffe Centre provides you with an amazing experience of feeding the giraffes off your palms from a giraffe-height tower. You can also visit a bird sanctuary or follow a nature trail. The Rothschild’s giraffe can only be seen in few specialized confinements in Uganda and Kenya after having been listed as endangered by the IUCN.
Rift Valley (below)
You can enjoy a breath taking view of the Rift Valley side of the road between Nairobi and Naivasha. The 2,000meter (6,560ft) high escarpment walls plunge to the flat-bottomed valley below, which is dotted by a small string of volcanoes and soda lakes.
Mount Longonot (above, in the distance)
This is a volcanic mountain with a crater lake located in the Rift Valley. Different tree species and birds can be seen along the way.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Set in the Rift Valley, this park is dominated by a lake whose edges are frequently home to hundreds of thousands of shimmering pink flamingos. It is also one of Kenya’s best rhino sanctuaries, supporting high concentrations of both black and white rhino. You may spot a leopard in the giant yellow wood acacia trees.
Souvenir shopping in Mombasa
Biashara Street is a great place to buy kikoi and khanga cloths. You can also visit Makupa Market off Mwembe Tayari which is the main city market. Serious souvenir shoppers should head for the Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Village, where disabled men and women produce high-quality leatherwork, jewelry and other crafts.
Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
Located near the border of Nairobi National Park, this is a sanctuary where orphaned elephants and rhinos are hand reared before being released back into the wild.
Jump aboard a dhow
The dhow, a traditional Arab sailing boat, offers a memorable experience as you feast on a delicious seafood dinner, watching the moon rise over Mombasa’s old harbor.
Stay a night at Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated a short distance from the Nairobi Mombasa Highway, this small private sanctuary bordering the vast Tsavo National Park doubles as a luxury hotel and well-positioned hideout overlooking a waterhole that frequently attracts aggregations of a hundred or more elephants.
Try your hand at deep-sea fishing, which is at its best along the Kenyan coast between July and April. Sailfish, marlin, swordfish, kingfish, barracuda and tuna are all abundant. Malindi and Watamu are the main coastal angling centres.
Enjoy the city’s Swahili flavor in the Old Town with its narrow crowded streets while watching the sailing dhows in the Old Harbor. Catch the sound and light show at Fort Jesus, which was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century and is now a museum.
Built by the Portuguese built in 1593, Fort Jesus (left) sits at the entrance to the harbour. It was designed as a defence against attacks from the sea, of which there were many in its history.
Old Mombasa homes take one back hundreds of years, with ornate doors and verandahs and an almost overwhelming sense of history.
Masai Mara National Reserve
This is Kenya’s most popular game park. It is an extension of Tanzania’s Serengeti plains. Famous for the annual wildebeest migration and the dramatic crossing of the crocodile–infested Mara River, Masai Mara is also home to cheetahs, lions and leopards.
Nairobi national museum
Situated within a walking distance of the city Centre, the museum has an extensive archive of Kenya’s history and artifacts. The Karen Blixen Museum, made famous by the book & movie Out of Africa, is located in a farmhouse a short drive from downtown Nairobi.
This is a conservation success where former farmland has been opened up as game sanctuaries and stocked with big game including the Big Five: elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard. The old farmsteads have been converted into delightful and luxurious accommodation.
Experience local culture at Bomas of Kenya
Situated a short distance outside Nairobi city center, the Bomas of Kenya is a cultural site that features replicas of different traditional Kenyan homesteads. There is a there an amphitheater in which many Kenyan traditional dances are presented by highly skilled performers, dressed in very colorful dress. This is an indispensable stop for the visitor and local resident alike.
Replicas of traditional homes.
Where to stay in Kenya
Kenya a large inventory of hotels to meet every taste and pocket. For further information, contact the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers.
Enjoy Kenya’s national dish popularly known as Nyamachoma- a form of charcoal grilled beef or goat meat. It is often served with accompaniments of your choice, which may include avocado, raw tomatoes sliced together with onions, green vegetables, and mingled white flour locally called Ugali. It is a very popular food item found in authentic Kenyan restaurants and pubs and usually enjoyed in company of friends over a popular social brand beer – Tusker, creating a strong bond between the nationals.
In Kenya any time is teatime and most enjoyed form is chai, which comprises of tea with milk and sugar. It is served for breakfast, at mealtimes and also during Kenya’s regular teatime. Clearly, Kenya culture embraces many different cultural influences: teatime is a custom borrowed from the British colonial past and the Chai style of cooking tea originated in India.
The official currency is the Kenya Shilling. Currency denominations are KSh1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of KSh 40, 20, 10, 5, 50cts, 10cts and 5cts. Foreign currency is readily exchangeable in banks, bureau de change or authorized hotels. Credit cards are widely acceptable in most established hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants with the exception of travellers’ cheque, which were banned. Most banks in Kenya are equipped with ATMs and credit card facilities and these are also increasingly being installed at petrol fuelling stations. There are no restrictions on the foreign exchange you may bring into the country but you will need to get a letter of authorization if you wish to take more than Ksh. 500,000/- out of the country.
Banking halls in Nairobi and other major towns open from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. on Saturday. In Mombasa and coastal areas banking halls close an hour earlier.
Business hours are generally 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. closing for an hour over lunch (1-2 p.m.)