Kenya lies in the east with an Indian Ocean coastline and offers the full African experience no matter how high your expectations are. The landscape ranges from beautiful golden beaches to desert, rainforest to grasslands, and mountains to rolling plains, the drama of the terrain perfectly enhanced by the colourful people that inhabit these natural wonders, tribal culture abounds, as do cosmopolitan cities that strongly contrast with the pockets of poverty that exist in this still developing nation.
The flora and fauna of this beautiful land are both dramatic and wild, perfectly in keeping with the surrounding landscape, opportunities to see the world famous wildebeest migrate across the National parks offer a once in a lifetime experience that will excite even the most jaded of travellers.
Staying on a private game reserve offers a safe option for those that want to experience the beauty of the wildlife without feeling compromised, many are owned by those committed to the conservation of the creatures that roam the reserves, Olerai House at Lake Naivasha is easily accessed from Nairobi and is owned by the founder of ‘Save The Elephants’.
If you wish to support a charitable organisation that recognises the struggle of the people as well as the wildlife then a stay at ‘Lewa Wildlife Conservacy’ in the North of Kenya will be perfect for you, the non profit making ideology supports the local community providing schools for thousands of Kenyan children; the camp itself comprises of luxury thatched tents and guides with amazing local knowledge.
Tamarind restaurant in Nairobi is recognised as being one of the country’s best seafood restaurants, fresh crab, lobster and huge prawns are flown in daily from the coast, the extensive menu makes use of the Kenyan bounty with sauces such as hibiscus dressing and tamarind mayonnaise featuring; this is a restaurant well worth visiting.
Dining on the go is popular and Kenya (Nairobi in particular) has a huge street food culture, these stalls are usually safe, particularly if they have a fast turnover of food – be sure to try the local samosas and grilled maize with chilli, finished off with a mango from one of the many fruit stands.
A wildlife safari has to be top of the ‘to do’ list, however these do range in cost and quality – the key is to do your research and to decide which animals you really want to see, whether it is the endangered rhinos or the migration of the wildebeest the choice of safari location will impact your experience.
Although the main attraction of Kenya is always going to be the safaris, there is more to this country than just the wildlife; the beaches alongside Malindi Marine National Park are very popular with scuba divers with its reefs and schools of brightly coloured fish, just another aspect of Kenya that is well worth exploring.
Depending on what it is that you wish to take from your Kenyan experience will have a bearing on when you decide to visit, animal safaris and particularly the migration is at its peak during the months of July to September, the days are usually sunny although a chill can set in during the evenings and early mornings.
The warmest months are those of February to March which is perfect for those wishing to escape the British winter to the golden beaches and coral reefs of the coastal regions, although by the end of March the rainy season is beginning which will generally last until late June.