Kenya has become increasingly popular with foreign tourists, due to its incredible variety of attractions. Safari, wildlife, endless white sand beaches and beautiful coral reefs, snowy mountains, forests and lakes… Kenya is the ultimate destination for both adventure-lovers and those searching for a relaxing holiday.
Some of the best national parks in Africa are found in Kenya and this has contributed to Kenya’s growth as one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. The most popular national parks are Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park with peak season from July to August and December to January. The Mount Elgon National Park comes in third (with the third highest mountain in Africa) and Saiwa Swamp National Park comes in a close fourth.
Surprisingly, Kenya’s coastal region plays an essential part in attracting tourists. For much of the ninth century, the region was inhabited by Arabs leading to the emergence of the Swahili culture, a vibrant mix of African, Arab, Indian and indigenous cultures. We recommend watching a Taarab show, which highlights the seductive Afro-Arab-Indian culture. In addition, Kenya has over 500 kilometres of sandy beaches with excellent hotels. Mombasa coastal town or Lamu island are two of the most popular.
Another popular thing to do is trekking the adventurous Mount Kenya at nearly 5,000 metres above sea level. This represents an easy and unforgettable trek for adventure lovers.
While you are in Kenya, something else you simply cannot miss is the opportunity to visit a tribal village, especially the Masai, the Samburu and Turkana communities where people still maintain a traditional lifestyle. You may approach them and participate in some of their ceremonies and traditional dances, learn more about their lifestyles or take tea. Some communities also offer the possibility to stay overnight.
One of the greatest experiences found in Kenya occurs between September and October every year on the southern plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, bordering the neighbouring Serengeti National Park. Here, nearly a million wildebeest gather on the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania, to make the treacherous river crossing into the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. This wondrous journey is a fascinating migration and people who have watched it live, often say that it is one of the most unforgettable experiences of their lives.
The endless plains of East Africa are the ideal home for millions of wildebeest. Over 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle populate the Masai Mara National Park, migrating nearly two thousand kilometres in search of food.
Another unforgettable experience at Masai Mara is soaring high above the park on a peaceful hot air balloon ride searching out grazing animals on the plains below. Hot air balloon excursions usually get started early in the morning so you can enjoy the sunrise over the Kenyan plains and watch the animals as they are active before the heat of the day. The flight is followed by a light champagne breakfast. Prices range from approximately $400 USD per person.
As you pass through the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi on your way in or out of the country, take a minute to explore this cosmopolitan city. Just outside the city is Nairobi National Park, making it one of the few capital cities in the world where you can go from modern civilisation to the jungle in a short thirty-minute drive.
Finally, Kenya offers great possibilities for snorkelling and scuba diving fanatics. The coral reefs found at the Watamu National Park are ideal havens for exotic fish (fishing is prohibited) and small whale sharks as well as beautiful multi-coloured coral.