Travel Advice & Tips For Well Planned Holidays In Kenya

For most western visitors, holidays in Kenya can essentially be summed up in a single word – safari. But this popular perception does injustice to a wonderfully diverse and fascinating land with 39 million people made up of 40 tribes and communities. Not to mention an array of exotic attractions and vacation activities.

But it would perhaps be better to do this step by step, and start with some travel planning about the best time to visit, how to get there and which destinations therein to plan for. The when is the easiest part, and the answer is Aug-Sept, when the wildebeest migrate from Masai Mara to the Serengeti. It is a truly earth-shaking spectacle and no one visiting anywhere in the vicinity should miss it.

Getting there is of course, a big deal. There is no other viable option for Western tourists to enter the country except to catch a flight, unless entering via neighboring countries like Tanzania, Ethiopia or Uganda. There are three major airports, one each in Nairobi (the capital), Mombasa and Eldoret, that are well serviced by many of the biggest airline carriers in the world.

Moving around within the country is slightly more stressful, since there are only a handful of towns (such as Mombasa, Kisumu or Lamu) that have airports with daily flights from Nairobi. The rest of the country has to be reached by road, which means taking a coach or a matatu (mini bus) or car rentals. The safety factor calls for restricting travel between destinations to daylight hours.

Speaking of destinations, there are three main tourist attractions that are a must for holidays in Kenya. The first is the aforementioned migration at Masai Mara, and the second one is Lake Victoria. Visitors will need to get to Kisumu to enjoy the second largest freshwater lake in the world, and the many surrounding attractions like Impala Park and Hippo Point.

An good option for holidays in Kenya is a beach vacation in Mombasa. This coastal city is the largest port in East Africa, and the country’s biggest tourist destination. Mombasa offers soft and sandy white beaches and coral reefs, not to mention a lot of beach bars and water sports activities. Those who want to enjoy nature have plenty of choices too, including bird watching and mountain climbing.

Besides these three main choices, there are a host of other themed vacation possibilities, like sports or golf vacations and adventure travel other than wildlife safaris. One of these options is the climb up to the mount which gives the country its name – Mt. Kenya. It is a national park, and the challenge for visitors is in the hard treks up the second tallest mountain in Africa.

The one which is best for the ordinary traveler is a 3-5 day trek up almost 5000m to Point Lenana. This has to be done in a group, and travelers will need to catch a plane from Nairobi out to Nanyuki and then cover the rest of the trip by road. Note that holidays in Kenya don’t involve that much of a culture shock, because they’re all quite familiar with Western tourists coming and going all the time.

One comment

December 23, 2015
What an awesome article!

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