Kenya

Special thanks to Savannah Kunovsky for the recommendations and pictures. 

Kenya sits on the East African coastline of the Indian Ocean. It’s diverse ecosystem includes the savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and majestic mountain highlands. It's also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. From Nairobi, the capital, you can take a safari through the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park,  where there are amazing views of Tanzania's 5,895m high Mt. Kilimanjaro.

LAMU

Things to Do

If you want to explore coastal cities in Kenya, you'll fly into Lamu. Lamu is on Lamu Island, which is part of the Lamu Archipelagop. This city is amazing because you can take boats everywhere, fascinating architecture, amazing seafood, and beautiful beaches. Spend your time wandering, shopping, or on the water.

Places to Stay

Banana House and Wellness Center, Forodhani House, Kizingoni Beach Kabanas, Msafini Hotel, and The Majilis Resort all have beautiful views and are great for relaxing in the Shella neighborhood. Stick to this area for AirBnb as well. 

General Tips

Lamu is a fairly conservative place. Bikinis on the beach are fine, but when walking around town you should be covered. 

DIANI

Things to Do

This is a very chill Kenyan beach party town.  It is located 30 kilometres south of Mombasa, and has been voted Africa's leading beach destination for the third time running since 2015. Palm trees & palapas line this trendy white-sand resort area with clear water & nearby eateries.

Swim with dolphins: Depending on where you're staying, your hotel can help you book through a tour, or, many recommend Wasini Dolphin Tours. Because really, this totally amazing!

Places to Eat

Ali Barbour’s Cave RestaurantSituated 10 meters below ground in an ancient, naturally sculptured coral cave open to the sky. The restaurant serves international cuisine specializing in seafood.  Great drinks, awesome experience. 

Places to Drink

Forty Thieves Beach Bar & Bistro: Great bar to go hang out during the day. Fun place to grab a fun cocktail and enjoy a sunny day.

You can also just wander around the beach and look for a place with a chill vibe - live music isn't too hard to find. 

NAIROBI

Things to Do

Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras and lions. Next to it is a well-regarded elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Nairobi is also often used as a jumping-off point for safari trips elsewhere in Kenya.

Airbnb now offers experiences through their site, and you can book a great walking tour of downtown this way.

Hang out at the Giraffe Conservation Center:  Right next to elephant orphanage and worth visiting both!

Explore the Karura Forest: A great place to walk around or rent a bike. Make sure to stop at the river cafe for delicious bites.

Nairobi National Park: Leave early in the morning and go see animals start their day, any driver can take you there.

Shop at the Maasi Market: Check for the location (here) of a colorful daily market to get a multitude of African art pieces

Visit an Elephant Orphanage: Learn about the efforts to preserve the at-risk African elephant population. This conservation center is working hard to help baby elephants who were separated from their mothers, often because of poaching or disease.

Safari: Generally you leave from Nairobi for a safari experience, and fly in and out of Wilson. You can spend as little as 2 days or as much as 5 weeks depending on the tour. You'll spend the days driving through the grassland looking for the big game animals of Africa! Be prepare to sit a lot, but if you have the patience it is an incredible experience. We recommend Maasai Mara Park during migration season. Typically the resort fee includes all activities and tips for your guides. 

Other awesome parks:

Tsavo: 12k elephants in this park, huge animals and great place to see diverse animals.

Marsabit: Volcanoes and crater lakes.

Samburu: Don’t go in the summer, it's too hot, otherwise it's great. Interesting culture.

Places to Eat

Cedars: Lebanese food, romantic space, upscale. Fun for a special night.

Chowpaty: Delicious Indian cuisine with lots of vegetarian options.

Diamond Plaza: Perfect spot to shop for quick and authentic Indian food on the cheap. Live like a local and enjoy this community epicenter.

Java: Coffee shop and quick bite spot, perfect for breakfast or lunch on the go. This is a chain restaurant so there are many all over the city.

Le Grenier a Pan: French bakery with delicious pastries and treats. With warm and genuine decoration, traditional ovens, and beautiful things on display, try their famous traditional crusty baguette.

Kenyan foods to try:

Ugali: Corn meal. Eaten with most meals.

Chapati: Because of the big Indian influence in Kenya this is great place to try it – this is the Indian dish with a Kenya twist.

Mandazi: Donut without frosting, a breakfast pastry.

Nyama Choma: Kenya's unofficial national dish – often made with goat meat.

Local Beer: Tusker

Places to Drink

J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen: Tea lights, wooden decor, and trendy drinks. Live music almost every day.

Brew Bistro: They brew their own hand-crafted beer on site.

Places to Stay

Nairobi offers a wide range of places to stay – from urban to rustic – you just choose the kind of experience you want! If you choose to stay in the city center, many of the activities are on the outskirts of the central area.  Some of the notable  neighborhoods include Lavington, Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Hurlingham, Valley Arcade, Thompson Estate, and Maziwa.  Alternatively, if you’re only going to the giraffe center, the elephant orphanage and Nairobi National Park you can stay in Karen.

Transportation

Uber: When you order, you need to call the driver to confirm immediately and say “Hello, are you coming?” …If they give you a hard time, tell them to either arrive quickly or you will cancel the ride.  There is sometimes a back-and-forth but this is how it’s done in Kenya.

 

Matatus: These are privately owned minibuses, although pick-up trucks and estate cars were in the past pressed into service as share taxis.  As of 2014, there are more than 20,000 individual matatu in Kenya. They are local colorful buses, and an experience in and of itself.

Safety: Take Ubers between locations - walking is fine in some selected areas but definitely avoid walking at night.  Most of the time everything in Nairobi is fine, but if you do choose to walk at night, or have an encounter in the day time, with a less than pleasant individual (getting mugged or harassed), it is almost always about material items - and is best to give them your goods.  The most likely negative experiences happen in the central business district.  When walking around, don’t have large cameras or expensive items in plain sight. 

 

Don’t drink tap water – stick with bottled water.

General Tips

WATAMU

Things to Do

The Italian influence on this beautiful beach is unlike anywhere else in the world. This gorgeous costal city is not to be missed.

Enjoy the gorgeous beaches!

Bio-ken Snake Park: There are two snake parks - make sure to go to this one. If you would like to see the most insanely BIG snakes that found in Kenya and surrounding countries, this is the spot.

Take a glass bottom boat tour: Take this out to the reef to snorkel and enjoy the gorgeous crystal blue water.

Papa Remo: Go into this (or another hotel) on the beach if you are not staying there, enjoy the beach chairs and order a meal by the seaside!

Water spots: Kiteboarding, boating, and more are all offered.

Where to Stay

Airbnb will be your best bet and do not be disappointed if they aren’t right on the beach. Otherwise, there are hotels right on the beach.

Diani

Shompole Conservancy

Crab Shack, Watamu

Climbing with Blue Sky, Hell’s Gate National Park

 Crab Shack, Watamu

Shompole Conservancy

Naivasha

  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon
  • White YouTube Icon

©2018 by The Travelogue.