If stretches of wildlife, lake lands and mountain highlands excite you, then seriously consider visiting Kenya during this vacation. Lying just off the coast of Indian Ocean, below Somalia, Kenya is a refreshing break from the hustle bustle of city life. A perfect getaway for back to the wild experience, Kenya has at least 40 sanctuaries and national parks across its width. Among the most famous tourist destinations in Kenya are Maasai Mara, Nairobi, Naivasha, and Amboseli, all of which are spoken about in detail below.
Places to visit in Kenya
Maasai Mara is one of Kenya’s most famous national reserves. This is where you’ll get to see most of the lions and cheetahs, and at least a few of the one million wild beasts that migrate into the region every year. Some of these include rhinos, elephants, giraffes, and wild buffaloes. You can even spot hippopotamuses and crocodiles in the Mara River. Among birds, ostriches, eagles, storks and vultures are common sightings. Tip: Do try and go for a hot balloon safari early in the morning to witness sunrise from mid-air.
Nairobi is not only the most populated city in Kenya, but the largest in all of Africa. The name itself derives from a Maasai word that transliterates into ‘cool waters’ referring to the city’s origin as a swamp area. Nairobi has a few national parks that are popular for their zebra, cheetah and giraffe sightings. The Elephant Orphanage just outside the city is home to elephant and rhino calves that have been orphaned by poaching. The Mamba Village is well known for its crocodiles and ostriches. Tip: For some fun in the water, add the Tana River rafting experience into the itinerary.
Naivasha is a small market town to the north-west of Nairobi, and is a part of the Great Rift Valley. The Lake Naivasha is just about two hours away from Nairobi by bus or matutu as it is known locally. You can take a boat ride amongst hippopotamuses here. However, Naivasha derives its name from the Maasai word for rough waters, so go only if the locals advise that the time is right. From here you can also visit the Hell’s Gate National Park and the Crescent Island where you’ll find deer. Tip: To go around Naivasha, rent a bike. You can literally ride amongst giraffes, impalas and zebras!
The national park of Amboseli is one of the largest in Kenya, spreading across some thirty-nine thousand hectares. Amboseli is particularly well known for sightings of large herds of elephants. Tip: Try to witness trout fishing at night!
Things to do in Kenya
A game drive is what makes a wildlife safari in Kenya so exciting. They take you in small carts and drive you around the reserves where you can see wild animals in their natural habitat doing things they naturally do. Almost all the national parks in Kenya have game drives but make sure you have a good guide who can give you the most amount of information on Kenyan wildlife.
Camping in the wildlife is another experience you should not miss when visiting Africa. Some of the best places within Kenya to pitch your tent at are Mamba Village, Camp Carnelley’s, Hell’s Gate Gorge, and Rapids Camp.