Kenya is a nature lover’s paradise. This African country is known for its safari rides and the amazing variety of game you can see. From the majestic African lion to the mighty elephant. Kenya is home to many of Africa’s big five and much much more. Not only are there plenty of large and impressive animals, but also there are hundreds of birds you can enjoy. Explore a sea of pink in the flamingo colonies. Or simply go bird watching. There is no end to the birds you can see on your trip.
If you just want to relax, there are plenty of amazing white sandy beaches you can enjoy. The warm Indian Ocean is a joy to swim in and the ever present sunshine will make for an amazing day at the beach if you wish. Kenya is an amazing country with plenty to offer. Relaxation, adventure and cultural exploration. I have curated a few things you might enjoy on your trip. As always, there is a never ending supply of things to do in this beautiful country. So, if you would like a few more options, feel free to do your own research in addition to checking out my post.
Before You Jet Off
As always, I like to start my travel guides off with a few things you should know before visiting the respective countries. From boosters to what you might need to pack. There is a lot to know about each country before you go. But it is important to do your research before you go. As we have found out. There are some places such as ‘Madagascar’ which have local taboos or cultural laws which change from region to region.
As such, any country you go to, please be respectful of the customs, cultures and rules there. It is only right to respect people and their way of life. I do not cover all the topics in my blogs. So if you are interested in visiting these countries, please do additional research.
Vaccines & Boosters
I have included this kind of section in my blogs a few times now. But there are quite a few African countries which have mandatory vaccinations which you must have. Yellow fever is one of those mandatory vaccinations. Usually you must have a certificate proving that you have had the vaccination. There are, however, a lot of shots that are recommended. In my opinion, you should get them all. The payoff far outweighs the risks, in my opinion, and covid-19 has proved that I think. A few of the shots that are recommended are as follows:
- Hepatitis A
In addition to being aware of the water you drink or come in contact with. If you need to be prepared for mosquitoes. Malaria is an ever present threat in African countries. As such, I recommend, having bug spray with you , sleeping under nets if you can, and any other protection you can afford against this malicious insect. As always, none of this is meant to scare you. However, it is better to know what to expect and how you can prepare to avoid the worst-case scenario.
The Climate & What to Pack
Kenya has two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. The dry season is roughly from December to March and the rainy season starts in April through to July. Depending on when you go, you will need slightly different articles of clothing. However, because the equator runs through the country, the climate is temperate. This means that even in the rainy season it is never very cold.
Obviously, for safaris you will need to wear muted colours like khakis. Brown or olive colors, as brighter colors may scare the game. You should also choose comfortable clothing as the drives may be long and you will be wearing them for a few hours.
General clothing items you may need could be as follows:
- Lightweight shirt or blouse, cotton would be a good choice as it will keep you cooler.
- Shorts or lightweight trousers such as jeans, shirts, skirts or even cargo pants.
- Comfortable shoes such as hiking boots, sandals or any others you find comfortable.
- Light jacket such as a hoodie or other thin jacket
- Rain coat, in the rainy season you will need this to keep you dry in the rain.
- Accessories, a hat for the sun, sunglasses
It is up to you to decide what to bring. I recommend packing light and taking comfortable clothes with you. It is a hot country and if you want to go on safari rides you will not be dressing up but rather blending in. Comfortable and loose clothes will be the most helpful to you in these instances. Two things you should bring on any outing are water and Chapstick. Not articles of clothing but these two things will save you out in the heat.
Try Some of Kenya’s Traditional Foods
No holiday would be complete without trying at least a few traditional foods from that country. Kenya has many delicious and unique foods that you should certainly try out on your adventures. I have curated a few foods that you should try on your holiday. I will not bore you any longer with my ramblings. So without further ado, here are three foods you have to try in Kenya.
This is one of the most famous delicacies in Kenya as well as several other East African countries. Kaimati are delectable, crunchy dumplings covered in a sugary sweet syrup. They are a great snack and are a great starter to any meal or just a light snack with your coffee or tea. Overall these are a must try snack on your Kenyan adventure.
Kuku Wa Kupaka
If you want a delicious chicken stew like dish. The kuku wa kupaka is the dish for you. It is especially popular in the coastal parts of Kenya. This stew is made up of chicken, cooked in a spicy sauce with tomato and coconut milk. It makes for a hearty and flavourful meal that you simply have to try. To add to the flavour it is recommended that you garnish the meal with coriander and serve it with hot chapatis.
This one may not be for everyone. If you are adverse to blood sausages this is not a food for you. Mutura is a sausage made up of goat blood, meat, garlic, ginger, coriander and piri-piri chillies. It is then boiled and placed on a grill for the best flavour. If you are brave enough to try this delicious Kenyan food. You will not be disappointed. The meat is tender and the flavour is truly spectacular.
Explore the Wondrous City of Nairobi
Nairobi, Kenya is a fantastic place to start your adventures. Not only is the city itself bustling with a rich and diverse culture. But also there are a lot of things in and around the ciy to keep you busy. From national parks to animal sanctuaries and museums. There is something for everyone to enjoy. I have outlined a few activities and places that are within the city or a short trip away from it. As always there is plenty to explore. I have selected some of the more popular and personally interesting things I thought you all might enjoy.
If there are more things you would like to do do not hesitate to do your own research and add to your travel plans. The best adventures are ones that are tailored to us personally. So get out there and write your own adventure story.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National park is Kenya’s first national park and is only about 7 kilometres from the bustling city of Nairobi itself. This nature reserve has a plethora of animals such as rhino, lions, zebra, elephant and over 400 species of birds. Nairobi National Park is also a part of a rhino sanctuary so you may get to experience this beautiful animal up close and personal. It is also a famous ivory burning site. Back in 1989 the president of the country ignited over 12 tons of elephant tusks and rhino horns. This boosted the country’s conservation image and even today this place has a monument marking the historical significance.
If you are an animal lover you will love the Nairobi National Park. With safari walks and drives you are almost certain to see some of the majestic animals it has to offer. The walks are picturesque and take you around an area known as hippo pools which is a well known home of the creature it is named after.
Check Out the Orphan Elephant Sanctuary
At the main gates of the Nairobi National Park there is an orphan elephant sanctuary known as ‘The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’. You could visit the national park and the sanctuary on the same day but I recommend doing them on different days to truly enjoy what each place holds. The foundation is the work of Daphne Sheldrick in 1977 and was in memory of her husband David. A former warden at the Tsavo East National Park.
This centre cares for young abandoned or orphaned elephants and rhinos with the aim of releasing them back into the wild one day. What makes this sanctuary really worth your time is the fact that the money you pay to visit it is used to support the project. A fun thing you could do is adopt one of these amazing animals. Donating money to a particular animal and receiving updates is a great way to help support the organisation as well.
The Giraffe Centre
Also near the Nairobi National Park is the ‘Giraffe Centre’. Home of the few ‘Rothschild’s Giraffes left in Kenya. This centre is a non profit place and is on the grounds of a guest house known as ‘Giraffe Manor’. The main reason this centre exists is to conserve and protect these magnificent creatures as well as educating people about conservation. Visitors will be stood on raised platforms which will allow them to feed the Rothschild’s Giraffes while looking them in the eye.
If you are going to Kenya for your vacation this year you simply have to stop by the giraffe centre. It is unique and utterly amazing to experience. Not to mention is a photographer dream. Taking snapshots with these giraffes and even feeding them will not be something you regret.
Karura Forest Reserve
If you want to enjoy the beauty of nature near the city of Nairobi you are in luck. Karura Forest is a picturesque oasis just a few kilometres from the city centre. Not only is this forest beautiful but it is also one of the largest urban forests in the world. A natural marvel in itself. You can enjoy long walks, beautiful waterfalls and maybe even a few monkeys on your travels. Within the forest you can enjoy the serenity of Lily Lake or even bike ride on some of the popular well marked trails. It is certainly a peaceful escape from the city and one I highly recommend for anyone that loves nature and the flora and fauna it holds.
The Karen Blixen Museum
One of Nairobi’s most famous attractions is a museum known as ‘The Karen Blixen Museum’. Nestled in the foot of the Ngong Hills is the former home of Karen Blixen. The renowned author of ‘Out of Africa’. This famous author’s home is now a museum in her honour. Between the years of 1917 and 1931 Karen ran a coffee plantation. Today you can explore her colonial farmhouse and her land. This is a great place to go if you are interested in Kenyan history or simply this famous author.
Climb Mount Kenya
Cousin to the great Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kenya is not as large and not as popular to climb. However the stunning wildlife and picturesque scenery are truly something to behold. Once you reach the top of the treacherous volcanic peaks the view will steal your breath away. The savannah and vista are truly a sight to behold.
There should be several guides to the top of Mount Kenya so plan accordingly. I must of course mention that you should pack appropriate and comfortable footwear and clothes to keep you cool. Along with the basics it is important that you bring plenty of water to drink and protect yourself from the sun. So please bring sunblock, hats and sunglasses. There is nothing worse than a vacation spoiled because of too much sun.
The Great Migration in the Maasai Mara
If you plan your vacation just right you may be able to see one of the greatest natural phenomena on the planet. The Great Migration. It usually takes place in the dry season which can run anywhere between June and October. But with over 2 millions animals travelling from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara Reserve is truly a wondrous spectacle. Thousands of zebras, wildebeest, eland and gazelle make the trip to the Mara River. Not for the joy of it but because the water in the Serengeti dries up and their herds must move or face death.
The natural wonder of the world is certainly something that has to be on your bucket list. Luckily for you there are a great many companies that offer tours during this season. I know it is a dream of mine to see the great migration and I hope to tick it off my own list one day. But if I can inspire you to go and check it out I will have done my job.
See the Home of the Famous Lioness Elsa
Not everyone will know about Joy Adamson and her famous lioness Elsa. But as a child growing up in South Africa I learned a lot about her and her achievements in reintroducing a take lion into the wild. Kenya’s Meru National Park is the home of her famous lioness Elsa. This park was once a thriving safe haven for all manner of animals but in the years of Elsa’s death the park was overrun by poachers. A lot of the animals were nearly wiped out as a result.
Recently things have gotten better and the park is thriving again. If you choose to explore this famous park you may see a lot of different animals. Lions, Grevy’s Zebras. Elephants and a whole host of other magnificent creatures. I really recommend checking out this park and perhaps learning a little about its history. It is truly an interesting story and there are several films based on Elsa and her story.
This lake is Africa’s fourth largest and most saline lake. It is a desolate but amazing location to experience yourself. It is located in the arid desert region of the Kenyan Rift Valley. Lake Turkana is also known as Lake Rudolf. This name comes from the late 19th century when the European visitors named the lake after an Austrian Prince. Lake Turkana is a vast but shallow body of water but it is home to many animals and migratory birds. It is really something you need to experience. With the deadly Nile Crocodile and hippos calling it home it is certain not to bore you.
I know it is obvious. But I must reiterate that you do not get too close to the water’s edge or swim in the water. The aforementioned deadly Nial Crocodile paroles these waters. Searching for its next meal. So please exercise caution when you are visiting this great lake.
Meet the Maasai
Experiencing the culture and the people of a country is a great way to immerse yourself in the customs of the country. Kenya is home to a culturally diverse nation. But the Maasai are one of the famous inhabitants of Kenya. They travelled from Sudan through different African countries to arrive in Kenya during the 15th century. There are villages you can explore on your Kenyan travels. As always I must insist that if you want to do this. Act responsibly and respectfully. Of course I want you to have fun and enjoy yourself. However, respecting the culture and people is a very important part of travel.
That’s All for Today
That is all for today dear readers. I hope that I inspired you to explore the wonders of Kenya. There are truly so many unique experiences to enjoy in this beautiful country. From the many creatures of the land and air. To the friendly and amazing people. The country itself is alive with hope and possibility. It is a place you simply have to visit at least once in your life.
If you liked this week’s article please check out some of my other work. I have been working on a series of African Country travel guides. If you liked this article you might like some of my others. Such as any of the following:
I hope you enjoyed learning about the beautiful country of Kenya and I hope I have inspired you to take the plunge and visit this country. Africa is truly a culturally diverse and magnificent continent. Each country has its own wonders. Now go and plan your next adventure. We are each in charge of our own stores so make yours a good one. Take care.