From mighty Kilimanjaro to the Great Migration of the Masai Mara and the beaches of Mombasa, here are 5 of the most stunning destinations to visit in Kenya.
Located in the heart of central Kenya, this giant edifice rises to 5,199mts above sea level, making it the tallest mountain in Kenya and the second largest in Africa. This ancient volcano has been eroded by ice for thousands of years to produce incredible chasms, jagged peaks, and waterfalls. It definitely presents a worthy challenge to all avid climbers. There are several different routes ranging from a relatively easy hike to a challenging climb – accompanied by trained and capable guides.
But Mount Kenya is not just about the climb and the incredible views, or the varied geological formations, glaciers and diverse vegetation; the Mount Kenya National Park is home to an amazing diversity of wildlife and includes some unusual and rare species such as Water buck, Tree Hyrax, several Monkeys and Baboons as well as Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo and many more.
This spectacular geological wonder of the world encompasses a wealth of attractions that you just have to see! The Valley is home to around 12 volcanoes and 7 lakes, enough to thrill even the most jaded traveller! There is a great concentration of game parks, lodges and hotels, making this the ideal place for an incredible Kenyan Safari. One of the major attractions here is Lake Nakuru, famous for the Flamingos and a great place for bird watching.
Moving further up you can explore Lake Bogoria, Kenya’s version of the Yellowstone Park, with geysers that regularly erupt sending columns of water 5mts into the air. Then there is marvellous Lake Turkana, the largest permanent desert lake in the world, and probably the most unique of the Kenyan lakes. You have to see it to appreciate its special beauty.
From lakes to gorges! Movie buffs will recognize the setting for the Lion King and Lara Croft movies when they visit Hell’s Gate National Park to explore the awe-inspiring Ol Njorowa gorge. This 24km ravine is lined with sheer cliff faces and a thermal-spring fed river which runs along its floor – there are also several hot and cold waterfalls en-route!
The energetic could have a go at climbing Mount Longonot, which is gentle enough for any moderately fit person to climb. With endless attractions to enjoy, there is never a dull moment in the Great Rift Valley.
Nicknamed the “Land of the Giants”, Amboseli is where you will come face to face with the largest land animal, the African Elephant, as they leisurely graze on the plains with stunning Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop! The rest of the Big Five are also at home here and you will get to see Lions, Buffalo, Leopard and the critically endangered Black Rhino.
The flat and low-lying nature of the landscape ensures that you get a perfectly unobstructed view of the animals, which ensures great game viewing and marvellous photo opportunities. Amboseli is also good for bird watching, with over 400 species of birds to keep the Birders happily ticking off their check-list,
The Park is situated in a dry area which receives very little rain; however, streams from Mount Kilimanjaro surface through the porous soil of the park and create an oasis of swampy wetlands, and it is this stark contrast between the lush green of the park and the dry and dusty surroundings that gives the park its startling beauty.
The view of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world is what great postcards are made of; get your stunning photos of the mountain at dawn and dusk, when the clouds have lifted and the mountain is at its best.
Mombasa is Kenya’s second largest city and is a great place to go for some fun in the sun before or after your Kenyan Safari. History buffs will enjoy exploring the historical sites such as the Gedi ruins and Fort Jesus, while those who just want to relax and soak up the African sun will have several powdery white beaches to choose from, where the warm azure waters of the Indian ocean are just waiting to entice you in. The gently lapping waters and palm tree-lined beaches are a stunning setting for relaxation. For those who enjoy exploring below the surface, there is an excellent off-shore reef running the full length of the Kenyan coast where you can snorkel and scuba dive from a traditional dhow, or you can visit the Matamu Marine Park to see a huge diversity of marine life.
Whether you are travelling in style or on a shoe-string budget, the Mombasa experience promises to be a memorable addition to your Kenyan itinerary.
The home of the New Seventh Wonder of the World, the Great Wildebeest Migration, the astounding Masai Mara Game Reserve undoubtedly deserves to be at number one! The reserve has rightfully earned its place as the most visited destination in Kenya. The Mara is the embodiment of what a Safari is all about! The grasslands spreading over thousands of kilometres, the prides of Lion lying under the trees, the herds of Elephant silently trekking and a sighting or two of a Rhino or Buffalo – this is life on a Mara Safari!
The reserve is home to all the Big Five and numerous other species of wildlife including many birds. Of course, the star attraction of the Mara is the Great Migration, where you get to see the millions of Wildebeest as they make their way from the Serengeti in Tanzania, across the Mara River to the Kenyan side. A stunning way to get an aerial perspective of this spectacle of nature is to go on a hot air balloon ride over the Mara, which will give you an idea of the scale of this reserve.
There are plenty of Lodges and Hotels both in and around the reserve which ensure that you experience a perfect blend of the best of both worlds – un-rivalled game viewing with luxury accommodation to pamper you at the end of the day.