PLACES TO VISIT IN KENYA
Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the top tourist attractions in Kenya and the country’s most popular game park. Each year the Masai Mara National Reserve is visited by thousands of tourists who come here to watch the exceptional population of game and the annual migration of zebra and wildebeest. The “Great Migration” takes place every year from July to October when millions of wildebeest and zebra migrate from the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is a relatively small park located close to the Tanzania border at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants. Other attractions of the Amboseli National Park include opportunities to meet the Maasai people and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Lake Nakuru is a very shallow lake in central Kenya. The lake’s abundance of algae attracts vast quantities of lesser flamingos, sometimes more than one million at once. Often called the greatest bird spectacle on earth, the flamingos are one of Kenya’s top attractions. Sadly, in recent years the number of flamingos at Lake Nakuru has been decreasing, due to environmental degradation and pollution.
Tsavo National Park
Tsavo is the largest national park in Kenya and one of the largest in the world. Due to its size the park was divided into Tsavo West and Tsavo East. The Tsavo West has spectacular scenery with a rolling volcanic landscape while Tsavo East has more open savannah than its western sibling. Tsavo National Park is the ideal destination in Kenya for people who seek solitude and privacy as well as the chance to explore the wilderness.
Lamu Island is a part of Kenya’s Lamu Archipelago, and has managed to stay unspoiled and untouched by the mass tourism that has hit much of Kenya’s coastline. As the oldest living town in Kenya, Lamu Town has retained all the charm and character built up over centuries. There are no roads on Lamu Island, just alleyways and footpaths, and therefore, there are few motorized vehicles on the island. Residents move about on foot or by boat, and donkeys are used to transport goods and materials.
ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK
Picturesque, steep forested ravines and open moorland characterise the Aberdare National Park. The park provides a habitat for elephants, black rhinos, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, buffalos, warthogs and bushbucks among others. Rare sightings include those of the Giant Forest hog, bongo, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, African civet cat and the blue duiker. Visitors can indulge in picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sparrow hawks, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK
Samburu National Reserve is situated at the southeastern corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is bordered to the south by Ewaso Nyiro River, which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
The reserve covers an area of 165 Km² and is located around 345Km from Nairobi.
Available games (and chances of seeing )
The reserve is reach in wildlife with fame for abundance in rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (Also referred as Samburu Special). The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as the Lion, Leopard and Cheetah are an important attraction (Kamunyak the Miracle Lioness that adapted the baby Oryx is a resident in the reserve). Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded. Birds of the arid northern bush country are augmented by a number of riverine forest species. Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are species of global conservation concern and they both utilize the reserve. Five species categorized as vulnerable have recorded in the reserve. These are African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle and the Yellow-billed Ox-pecker. Critically endangered species under CITIES – Pancake tortoise (malacochersus tornieri) is found in the reserve.
As one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa after Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, this reserve is rich in flora and fauna and hosts the highest density of African elephant in Kenya. Other animal species found in the area are Sable antelope, elephant shrew, bushy tailed mongoose and other small mammals like fruit bats. The forest is an important bird area and is endowed with forest birdlife while the grasslands hold localized species such as red-necked-Spur fowl, Croaking Cisticola and Zanzibar Red Bishop. The scenic Sheldrick Falls and the dense Mwaluganje Forest are also found here along with four campsites.
Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak is regarded as the realm of Ngai, god of the local Kikuyu people. Traditionally, all Kikuyu home were built to face this sacred peak. They call it Kirinyaga, or place of light.
The mountain is an awe-inspiring sight. Its ragged series of peaks are crowned with snow, and its slopes are thick with forest. The mountain is best seen at dawn, when the days early light silhouettes its impressive summit high over the surrounding plains.
While the 5199 meter summit is a difficult technical climb, the lesser peak of Point Lenana (4985m) can be easily reached by any fit trekker. This trek takes between 3 and 5 days, through a fascinating world of forests, wildlife, and unique montane vegetation including pod carpus and groundsel, and finally one of the world’s rarest sights, equatorial snow.
For those who don’t want to climb the Mountain, now is a good time to learn about exercises for climbers for this expedition. The cool highlands that surround its base are well worth a visit. The forests are ideal for game viewing, and there are crystal clear mountain streams that abound with Trout….
Getting there – Main road access to Mount Kenya is via Nanyuki or Naro Moru, both easily accessed from Nairobi by bus/matatu or private transport. Some trekkers and climbers access the mountain from Chogoria. There is an airstrip in Nanyuki with both scheduled and charter flights available. Many trekking companies can organize transfers from Nairobi to Mt. Kenya. See the Trekking, Mountain Climbing and Safaris and Tours sections for details.
Getting around – Hotels in Nanyuki and Naro Moru can organize transfers to the gates of Mt. Kenya National Park.
Climbing Gear- Mount Kenya is a fascinating place to visit. But you do need the right gear to assist you in the climb. For instance, you need the best shoes to climb through the harsh terrain as you approach the peak. You also need to have proper clothing, jackets for the cold, etc.
Located on the northern side of Nakuru is the single largest surviving volcanic crater in the world. The Menengai Crater is an extinct volcano that offers striking views of Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria and the crater itself.
It is believed that the crater is a historic ground for a battle between different clans from the Maasai community who fought for grazing land and pastures on the slopes of the Rift Valley. For photography lovers, 8 km to the top of the crater, beautiful pink and blue colors of Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria become clearer and can make excellent pictures under a brisk sunset.
Activities: Hiking, trekking, biking, camping, picnicking at strategic campsites, and photography
LORD EAGERTON CASTLE NJORO
Lord Egerton Castle is a house styled like a fortress located 14 km outside Nakuru, Kenya. The foundation was laid in 1938 by Maurice Egerton, 4th Baron Egerton. The architect was Albert Brown. Construction continued until 1954.Lord Egerton Castle front view
The castle has 52 rooms. Among them:
- dance hall with electric organ
- dark chamber for developing photos
- entrance hall
- master bedrooms
- study rooms
- wine cellar
The Gedi ruins are one of Kenya’s great mysteries. Set in an idyllic location on the Indian Ocean, and buried deep in a lush forest, the town was thought to have been founded in the early 13th-century, although hard evidence eludes most scientists. But what has really baffled researchers is the well-established town’s mysterious abandonment and incredible development.
Left standing today are numerous coral-brick houses, a palace as well as an impressive mosque. However, it is not only the quality of the ruins that amazes visitors but the advanced nature of the settlement. Gedi was in many ways, a very advanced city with streets, running water and flushing toilets.
Correcting the assumption that Africa was far behind the rest of the world before colonialism, Gedi was a cosmopolitan urban setting, and archeologists have found Ming Chinese vases, Venetian glass as well as other artifacts from all over the world. This potpourri of history is clear evidence that the Muslim inhabitants of the coastal Kenyan town traded heavily with cultures outside their own, and developed an incredible world that has now been deeply decomposed by tropical forests.
Excavation has occurred since 1948, and the entire area is protected as a national park in Kenya.
Know Before You Go
Head north from Mombasa towards Malindi, Gedi is 65 miles north of Mombasa and about 10 miles south of Malindi.