Kenya is a magical country with tourist destination points everywhere you turn; including my mother’s back yard.
From being the cradle land of mankind, being home to black panthers and having snowcapped mountains on the equator, a safari to Kenya is a must have item on one’s bucket list.
Among the many famous destinations for travellers, below are the must places to visit for any foreign or local wanting to experience the best Kenya has to offer.
Apart from being the capital of Kenya, the city of Nairobi boasts having a national park right within its heart. A ten minutes’ drive from the city center lays the Nairobi National park which is a must destination point for anyone in the city, whether for business or leisure purposes. The metropolitan sets a picture perfect background for the wide, open grass plains that host a variety of wildlife and over 400 bird species that call the park home. Here, visitors can see Kenya’s pride that includes cheetahs, lions, black rhino, gazelles, pigmy hippo, leopards, zebras, ostriches and alligators just to name a few.
While in the city, one can also visit the national museum, go hiking at Karura forest or Ngong hills, feed Rothschild’s giraffes at the Giraffe Center or bond with orphaned baby elephants and rhinos at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Check out the views of Nairobi from the iconic rooftop of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Located in the Great Rift Valley, Maasai Mara national reserve is considered Kenya’s top travel destination. One can witness the breath taking event of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles crossing the mighty Mara River and surviving the Nile crocodiles that reside in it during the Great Migration. The world renown event takes place between July to October and attracts thousands of international visitors.
At Maasai Mara, one can see the Big 5 all in their natural habitat, 450 bird species, giraffes and most wild animals in Kenya as the ecosystem in the Mara is perfect. Riding in a hot air balloon over the reserve affords one a bird’s eye view of the reserve and the life within it.
Lake Nakuru National Park.
Also locatedin the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National park is renowned for its bird population; especially the huge flocks of flamingos. There can be over a million flamingoes at a time that make the lake seem like its pink in color.
The park also hosts a variety of native African animals including giraffes, warthogs, impalas, buffalos, leopards, elands among many others. Game viewers can also spot herds of hippos in the northern part of the lake as well as the rhinos that call the park home.
Standing at a height of 5,199 meters, Mount Kenya is the tallest mountain in Kenya, the second tallest in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro and a designated World Heritage Site. It comprises of 3 peak points i. e. Batian, Nelion and Lenana ; which are best seen at dawn.
The mountain peaks are covered with snow, its slopes dense with montane and alpine vegetation and streams of clear fresh water flow from the mountain forests and water billions of Kenyan citizens.
The mountain sits in Mount Kenya National park. It is a habitat for over 130 bird species, elephants, mongoose, bushbucks, water buck, leopards, bongo and giant forest hog. Visitors to the site can enjoy various activities such as mountain climbing, camping, trekking and visiting the various caves in the park. A hike to the peak of the mountain is a bucket list item for millions of adventure seekers and leisure tourists.
The Coastal Islands
Lamu Island is Kenya’s oldest living town. It is a top travel destination by virtue of its age and character that it has maintained over the centuries. The town’s buildings are a replica of Arab architecture since the town was founded by Arab traders and prospered by slave trade. There are no roads on the island, but rather footpaths and alleys. Donkeys are common sights as they transport humans, goods and materials.
Malindi is yet another beautiful island on the coast of Kenya. Lined with extensive coral reefs, colorful fish and unending beaches, the island is quite a beauty. The Vasco da Gama pillar built by the Portuguese in 1498 is one of the oldest European monuments in the region and must see site in Malindi. One can also visit the Malindi Marine National park and Malindi Museum and enjoy viewing the vast marine life on the coastal island.
Snorkeling, scuba diving, kite surfing, dhow excursions, fishing are just but a few of the water activities that can be enjoyed on the clear waters in these islands.
Remember as you set off for your travels both local and overseas, travel with the peace of mind after getting a travel insurance cover. Accidents happen and more so when you are out exploring new areas and adventure activities, get a cover to protect you from personal injury, emergency medical expenses, loss or delay of baggage and travel connections. Start by getting a quote here
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