Kenya: The Ultimate Safari Adventure

A giraffe ambles across the savannah framed perfectly by an orange setting sun. Thousands of wildebeest stampede across the Mara River during the Great Migration. Fishermen in wooden boats bring in today’s catch on stunning white-sand beaches. Kenya has everything you need for an unforgettable travel adventure. Get packing, memories await.

Essentials

  • Language: Kiswahili and English are both official languages, but numerous indigenous languages are also spoken.
  • Currency: The official currency is Kenyan shillings where 1 USD is approximately 100 KES.
  • Climate: The weather is typically warm all year, though it is more tropical along coast and arid in the interior.
  • Transportation: Most safari operators will arrange private roundtrip transportation for you, but you can also use Uber in Nairobi and the train to get from Nairobi to Mombasa.
  • Risks: Follow typical travel precautions and keep an eye on the news, don’t flash your valuables, wear sunblock and bug spray and drink bottled water.

 

Must-see Destinations

For Wildlife:

  • Amboseli National Park: For countless elephants roaming against a backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, check out this park on your way from Nairobi to the coast.
  • Great Rift Valley, Serengeti and Maasai Mara: The wildlife viewing here is like no other region in the world. Get your binoculars and cameras ready, you’re going to want to capture it all.
  • Lake Nakuru: This smaller park is worth a visit in January or February when the flamingos flock here.
  • David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: Want to see baby elephants learn to walk and drink out of giant bottles? This elephant orphanage does good work. Visiting hours are limited so check the website before you go.

 

For a Unique Adventure:

  • Lounge on Beautiful Beaches: Mombasa is the hub for exploring the coast but venture beyond to Diani, Kilifi or Watamu for a more serene experience. Eat fresh seafood, learn to kitesurf or just relax on the pristine beaches staring at the clear turquoise sea.
  • Explore Lamu Island: Whether you travel overland or fly, your voyage to Lamu will be half the fun. This tiny Muslim island is welcoming and has delicious food.
  • Climb Mount Kenya: At 17,000 feet, climbing this mountain is just as much of an accomplishment as reaching the peak of that other famous mountain down in Tanzania.
  • Feed Giraffes at Nairobi Giraffe Center: Want to kiss a giraffe? This is your chance.

Packing Tips

  • Clothes: Lightweight fabrics will be your friend during the hot days but be sure to bring something warm for the evening when it cools down.
  • Shoes: Make sure your shoes are comfortable and appropriate for the activities you have planned.
  • When in doubt, dress modestly by covering your shoulders and knees. This is especially important in Muslim areas or villages.
  • Bring at least one city outfit. You don’t want to be enjoying Nairobi’s culinary scene in your safari gear.

With so much adventure in one country it may be hard to decide what to do. The beauty of travel in Kenya though is no matter what you do, it will be a trip of a lifetime. Don’t worry too much about packing. Just remember “hakuna matata” – it really does mean “no worries.” Safari njema!