When it comes to Safari, one of the most conspicuous locations in Africa is Kenya. It is a country located in the Eastern part of Africa with immediate neighbors being Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda and Rwanda. The country leads in East and Central Africa when it comes to living standards and levels of education.
In spite of the fact that Kenya is home to over 40 ethnic communities who have their diverse cultural differences, the people in this great nation are very proud and patriotic of their country, which is largely attributed to the struggle they endured to gain independence (‘’Uhuru’’ in Swahili). This may come as a surprise to many visitors given the fact that, only one community (the semi-nomadic Maasai) is the most conspicuous.
Kenyan weather varies from one area to the next though the country is warm most time of the year. For example, the coastal region experiences hot and humid weather while the inland is a little cooler and mild but quite dry as you head to the northeastern side of the country. However, there are times when temperatures hit a low especially at night and in the morning.
Nairobi as a Tourist Destination
Nairobi is the largest city in Kenya and also the country’s capital city. It is located at a high altitude area making it colder especially during the months of June all the way to August. During such times, it is normal for temperatures to hit a single digit unit. (Celsius). Did you know that Nairobi has a National park that is located a stone throw from the city center? Nairobi also has an animal orphanage where the most vulnerable young ones are well taken care of before they’re reintroduced to the wild.
The months of April to June experience long rains in most parts of the country while short rains are experienced from October all the way to December. The common pattern observed during the rainy season is a heavy downpour that mostly occurs in the afternoon and late evening. It is imperative to put this into consideration prior to planning your Safari.
When is the best time to visit Kenya?
This is purely dependent on what you wish to accomplish during your trip. For example, if you want to enjoy seeing the historical annual wildebeest migration, then plan to be in the country between the months of June and September.
Being the most preferred Safari destination in East Africa means that, visitors here get to see almost all animals that exist on planet earth. The country is home to over 40 national parks, reserves and private conservancies that are well laid out in different locations. Here, visitors have the opportunity of sighting all the Big Five including the African Elephant and the king of the jungle.
The good part is that, the country has a well laid infrastructure that makes wildlife safaris in the jungle more enjoyable. Whether it’s by use of a jeep or a light aircraft, movements are easy here and visitors need not worry on how they will crisscross from their rooms in the safari lodges or tented camps to a game drive in a different park.
Kenya offers a taste of both worlds when it comes to traveling budgets. For example, instead of hiring a five star travel company for a game drive, visitors may opt to use the services of a guide from the local community for a walking or hiking safari.
Some of the best places to visit in Kenya
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city lies two of the oldest National parks in the country, these are the Tsavo East and Tsavo West Parks. Not so far away is the renowned Amboseli National Park, one of the major homes to the African elephants. It’s also a good location for viewing Mount Kilimanjaro.
As you head to the Western side from Nairobi lies the Great Rift Valley. This is a vast location home to a number of natural wonders including Lake Nakuru National Park and the most common National Reserve in East and Central Africa, the Maasai Mara.
If you want to brave the hot weather in the far away Northern part of Nairobi, you may head to the arid-like area in Samburu known as the Samburu-Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
This is a protected area and home to the rare Grant’s zebra and the endangered Grevy’s zebra. It is believed the reserve attracts more than 365 species of birds. Nearby are other great places for adventure like the private conservancies of the Laikipia Plateau and the Meru National Park located within Mount Kenya (good for sighting elephants).
Delving deeper in the North is one of the remotest areas in Kenya but a spectacular Safari location; this is home to Lake Turkana. Lake Turkana is famed for being the world’s largest permanent desert lake. Its water is also highly alkaline. From Turkana you may drive down to the southwest part that takes you to Lake Victoria; a place that is synonymous with fishing which make the area busy most time of the year.
Kenya’s Coast and it’s pristine beaches
Do you love sun bathing? If yes then you may want to savor the coastal part of Kenya. Here, you will be greeted by long miles of beaches that seem to have no end. Areas around Mombasa and Malindi are ideal for an enjoyable beach tour and if you love sampling culture then Lamu is rich in cultural activities with the ancient Swahili ports in the area a testimony to this. Lamu was named by UNESCO as a historical site that has managed to maintain the culture of its peoples for centuries.
As we conclude, it is important to note that, although Kenya is a relatively safe place for both locals and visitors, it’s always important to take a few precautionary measures especially when walking alone in unfamiliar areas. Avoid walking with large amounts of cash or expensive items like cameras, watches and jewelry. The best way to remain safe is to avoid walking unaccompanied.
With the above measures, you will be guaranteed of an enjoyable trip to this part of the world.