Kenya Travel Destinations & Suggested Accommodation


Kenya is bisected from the North to South by the Great Rift Valley and from East to West by the equator.  The Kenyan landscape covers a great range of terrain, stretching from sea level at the coast up to 5199m on the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kenya.  This is one of the most geographically diverse countries on earth with vast expanses of savannah, highland rangers, equatorial rainforest, extinct volcanoes, a series of fresh water and soda lakes, alphone glaciers, arid deserts and tropical beaches, all within the borders of a single country.  The great diversity of habitat is equalled by a remarkable variety of species of fauna and flora.  These include large grazing herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle, large mammals such as elephants, buffalo and rhinoceros, and a range of predators including lion, leopard  and cheetah.  Kenya's world famous wildlife is protected in 48 National Parks, Reserves and Marine parks, as well as many private sanctuaries and game ranches and therefore Kenya has always viewed its wildlife as a national treasure.  Therefore this diverse country offers many rewards for not only the first-time traveller, but also the seasoned safari traveller.  Not only does Kenya have magnificent wildlife, but also excellent accommodations, palm-fringed beaches and a warm and friendly population that will await all guests.   An infinite landscape of varying climates, Kenya is punctuated by two distinct rainy seasons from April to May and late November to December.

Kenya's fascinating cultural history stretches back over 4.5 million years, with some of the earliest known evidence of early man uncovered on the shores of Lake Turkana.  Over 42 individual cultures now call kenya home including a wide range of nomadic and sedentary tribal groups.  The Kenyan coast has long been a centre of trade, and the blend of African and Arab cultures created the 19th century Kenya was settled by the British, who built a railway 1000kms into the wilderness from the Coast to the waters of Lake Victoria.  Completed in 1901, the railway was an epic undertaking it became a vital lifeline, bringing the new capital Nairobi and the lakeside port of Kisumu to life.Kenya became independent in 1963 and attained its public status in December 1964.  Today this is a peaceful, magical destination offering the visitors an unparalleled variety of travel option.  No other country can offer the visitors as much as Kenya can.

Nairobi


Nairobi is the city at the heart of Kenya and the primary gateway to the vast game reserves and national parks of East Africa. The name Nairobi comes from the Masai words enkarenyarobe meaning sweet water, as this area was a watering hole for the Masai and their cattle. One of the largest cities between Cairo and Johannesburg, Nairobi is cosmopolitan, lively and interesting. The city center is modern and prosperous and the services are well organized and efficient. Places of interest include Kenya National Museum, Snake Farm, Nairobi National Park, Railway Museum, National Archives, McMillian Memorial Library, Parliament House, Kenyatta Conference Centre, Karen Blixen Museum, Kiambethu Farm, Langata Giraffe Centre & Bird Sanctuary. There are also many colorful markets to explore as well as the famed Carnivore Restaurant.
Nairobi

Aberdare National Park


The Aberdares is a range of mountains to the west of Mount Kenya in the central highlands region and is one of Kenya's only virgin forests. The Kikuyu call these mountains Nyandarua (drying hide) and they were the home to guerilla fighters during the struggle for independence. Today the mountains are home to leopard, bongo, buffalo and elephant and the lower lying areas are the territory of the lion, serval cat and even bushbucks. Aberdare National Park is known for its tree hotels and the thrill of night game viewing. Deep ravines cut through forested slopes and animals venture down at night to waterholes situated next to these hotels.
Aberdare National Park

Amboseli National Park


Amboseli is equally famous for its big game as well as its views of Mount Kilimanjaro. This park is one of the best places in Kenya to view large herds of elephant and buffalo as well as lion, cheetah, giraffe and plains game. The scenic landscape is dominated by the sparkling, majestic snowcap of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak at 19,340 feet.

Within Amboseli National Park, you will find the Cynthia Moss Elephant Research Center which has been instrumental in our ability to understand and, ultimately, to help save these magnificent beasts. A wild region where the pastoral Masai and their cattle can be seen living in harmony with nature, Amboseli is a rich introduction to Kenya.
Amboseli National Park

The Great Rift Valley & The Lakes


The Great Rift Valley is one of the most dramatic features of the planet, stretching some 3600 miles from the Dead Sea in Jordan to Mozambique in the south. In Kenya, the Rift Valley starts at Lake Turkana in the north and crosses the center of the country to Lake Natron just across the southern border into Tanzania. It is up to 60 miles wide in places and features cliffs, escarpments, rivers and arid plains, which support an amazing diversity of fauna and flora. The Rift Valley's system of deep freshwater lakes includes Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Lake Baringo. Lake Nakuru is known for its stunning pink vision as millions of flamingos congregate to feed in the alkaline waters. Visitors to this area will be taken with the beauty of the fever trees and the richness of the wildlife, which includes a rhino sanctuary. Lake Naivasha is home to over 400 species of birds, which are drawn to the papyrus reeds that line its shores. Lake Baringo, to the north, is also rich in bird life and other aquatic animals, such as hippo and crocodile.

Lake Nakuru National Park


Lake Nakuru National Park lies in Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province. The ecosystem comprises of the lake, surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. The park supports a wide ecological diversity with Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds being the major attractions of the area. The ecosystem provides for about 56 different species of mammals including the white rhino and buffaloes and a variety of terrestrial birds numbering nearly 450 species.
Lake Nakuru National Park

Masai Mara National Reserve


Rich in game and birds, the Masai Mara is the scene of the spectacular annual migration of wildebeest and zebra, when millions of animals follow the unbroken cycle of survival as they move between Tanzania and Kenya in search of fresh grasses. The sight of more than a million of these creatures moving as a great mass across the savannah is one of the most breathtaking sights in nature. Visitors to the Masai Mara from August through September are certain to see the great herds of wildebeest and zebra. From the Rift Valley escarpment, to the rolling plains and the groves of woodlands, the Masai Mara is a vast and varied landscape. The Mara River bisects this great reserve and provides a rich habitat along its banks. And everywhere, the seemingly endless herds of animals live out their daily lives to the rhythm of nature. The Mara, host to lion, cheetah, hippo, elephant, leopard, buffalo, warthog and giraffe, to name a few, holds splendor and surprises within its boundaries. The visitor is sure to see why the Masai Mara is Kenya's most famous, and favored, park.
Masai Mara National Reserve

Tsavo National Park (East & West)


Tsavo was opened in 1948 as the first of Kenya's wildlife reserves. Located halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa, the park is divided into two sections, West (“Land of Lava, Springs and Man-eaters”) and East Tsavo National Parks. Together with adjacent Chyulu Hills National Park, they cover an area of 8,217 square miles. Considered one of the world's premier bio-diverse microcosms, Tsavo is the largest park in Kenya. The alternately hilly, rocky and flat landscape is dotted with giant baobab trees and the desert rose. Along the riverbanks you find a thriving animal population in and around the acacias and raffia palms. This area is famous as the home of the 'red' elephants - colored by the park's red dust. Game here is quite varied including ostrich, gazelle, giraffe and zebra accompanied by the predatory cats, as well as 500 species of birds.
Tsavo National Park

Samburu National Reserve


In the semi-desert bush country of the northern frontier are Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba Game Reserves. These three reserves lie 325 kilometers from Nairobi in hot and arid fringes of the vast northern region of Kenya. The reserves are within the lands of the colorful Samburu tribe, relatives of the famed Masai. Furthermore, this region is noted for the unique species that live here, such as the Grevy's zebra, gerenuk and reticulated giraffe. Some of these species are so well adapted to the dry area that they can go for long periods of time without water, surviving only on moisture obtained through their food. The UasoNyiro River runs through the park and guarantees an abundance of wildlife the year around. It is also not uncommon to see a hundred different species of birds throughout the park. The rugged splendor of this region is accented by the colorful dress and beauty of the Samburu tribe. These nomadic people allow a glimpse into their way of life and how they have adapted to this mysterious and adventurous region.
Samburu National Reserve

Central Highlands


The Central Highlands lie to the north of Kenya and include two national parks, Mount Kenya and the Aberdares, forming an eastern boundary to the Rift Valley. It is a very densely populated area, being fertile and well watered. This is also the heartland of the Kikuyu people who make up the largest tribal group in Kenya. Mount Kenya rises to a height of 5200 meters. Above the 3200 meter contour, it forms a biosphere reserve. The mountain consists of three principal zones: the rocky peak with its crown of glaciers, tarns and snowfields; the alpine zone with its distinctive giant vegetation; and the vast gentle slopes covered in upland forest and bamboo jungle. These differing environments provide opportunities for all levels of adventurers from leisurely bush walks, to more rigorous hikes as well as serious outfitted climbs. The area around Mount Kenya is also accessible to those wishing to explore its alpine peaks. Wildlife is still common here and many private reserves and sanctuaries are found in this area. The famous Mount Kenya Safari Club is located at the foot of Mount Kenya and offers a variety of activities.

Mount Kenya National Park


Mt. Kenya National Park is about 175km from Nairobi, located to the east of the Great Rift Valley.  The ecosystem lies in Central and Eastern provinces of Kenya.  At 5,199m the mountain is the second highest peak in Africa. Mt. Kenya is an important water tower in the country. It provides water for about 50% of the country’s population and produces 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.   UNESCO inscribed Mount Kenya as a World Heritage Site.  Its described as one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa with its rugged glacier-clad summits, Afro-alpine moorlands and diverse forests that illustrate outstanding ecological processes.
Mount Kenya National Park

Nairobi National Park


Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The park is located only 7 km from Nairobi city centre. The savannah ecosystem comprise of different vegetation types. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest.  To the south are the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela migration corridor which are important wildlife dispersal areas during the rain season. Man-made dams within the park have added a further habitat, favourable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biome. Major wildlife attractions are the Black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffaloes, Giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, elands and diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded.  Other attractions include the Ivory burning site Monument, Nairobi Safari Walk, the Orphanage and the walking trails at hippo pools.
Nairobi National Park

Kakamega Forest National Reserve


Kakamega Forest National Reserve, situated in the Lake Victoria basin, about 50km north of Kisumu city, was opened in 1985 and is 418 Kms from Nairobi covering an area of 240 Sq. Kms.  It is the only tropical rainforest in Kenya, left over from past millennia when dense rain forest stretched from West Africa, across Central Africa and into the highland areas on the west and eastern walls of the Great Rift Valley.  For bird and butterfly watchers, this is the place to visit.  The forest is home to over 400 species of butterflies, about 300 bird species and 27 species of snakes. The park also supports more than 350 species of trees and 7 primate species including the endangered DeBrazza monkey, black and white colobus monkey and vervet monkey. The Potto (the world's slowest mammal on earth), duikers and Dik diks are also found in Kakamega Forest National Reserve.
Kakamega Forest National Reserve

Kisumu Impala Sanctuary


Kisumu Impala Sancturary is located 355km North of Nairobi and is 3km from Kisumu near Hippo Point.  The Sanctuary, grassland and woodlands ecosystem is located about 3km from Kisumu city. The ecosystem hosts leopards, hyena, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. It also provides grazing lands for Hippos, habitat for numerous small mammals including the threatened Sitatunga, and supports a variety of reptiles and birds species.
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary

Mombasa


Mombasa is Kenya's second largest - and oldest - city, with a history that dates back nearly 2,000 years. Mombasa is located on Mombasa Island and has been an important trade and port city since its first estimated origins.  It is a mystical mixture of the ancient and the modern with a cosmopolitan population of African, European, Arab and Asian. The old town is a maze of narrow streets and pedestrian lanes lined with quaint shuttered houses and open fronted shops, a delightful mix of architectural styles, and Hindu and Muslim temples nestle comfortably beside Christian churches.  The smell of spices is always present. Dominating the entrance to the Dhow harbor and overlooking the old town is Fort Jesus built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. A museum in the fort displays antiques from the length of the Kenyan coast, and is always open to visitors. The main tourist attraction is undoubtedly its spectacular beaches, lapped by warm, crystal clear waters.  These sandy white beaches stretch out along the coast on both sides of the city, but south is Diani Beach, which is one of the most popular resort towns just 30km from the city.  Diani Beach stretches for 25km down the southern Kenyan coast, much of which is protected by coral reefs.  This stretch of coast is perfect for kite surfers, swimming, snorkelers and divers.  Alternatively there is the traditional dhows, which can take guests on a sailing trip along the coast, where they might spot a pod of dolphins.

Lamu


As Kenya's oldest living town, Lamu has a rich and colorful history. Lamu is a town, an island and an archipelago. The physical appearance and character of the town have changed little over the centuries. The architecture of the houses and buildings dates back to the 18th century. The villages of Shela and Matondoni, Lamu Fort, the Swahili House Museum, and the Donkey Sanctuary should also be included on every traveler's itinerary. Today, Lamu offers an excellent opportunity to experience an ancient and fascinating town, inhabited by friendly and colorful people as well as the sea, beaches, antiquities, marine life and nearby islands. Take a dawn swim on the world's most beautiful beach, explore the shipyards of nearby Matandoni, shop in Lamu Town or plunge into crystalline waters to scuba or snorkel.
Lamu



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