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Kenya Travel Guide

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Kenya Travel Guide

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Kenya should be on the bucket list of any traveller exploring Africa. The land of the Masai Mara, of the migrating wildlife and its fierce predators, of the endangered black Rhino and the huge African elephants, of the flamingoes and the other migratory birds. Africa is the last great wilderness where these creatures survive and Kenya is one of the best places to experience this

The experiences are not just restricted to wildlife. While the lone acacia silhouetted on the savannah against will catch your attention, the snow-capped mountains almost on the equator and within sight of harsh deserts and the Great Rift Valley that once threatened to tear the continent asunder makes for more profound memories of this great country within a even greater continent

Fast Facts

  • Capital : Nairobi
  • Religion : Majority Christians
  • Language : Swahili, English
  • Local Currency : Kenyan shilling
  • 1 USD = 108 Kenyan shilling (approx.)
  • Time Difference : GMT + 3 hrs

When to go

Kenya is a year-round destination, however it broadly follows four main seasons. January to March is hot and dry, then the climate becomes hot and wet with the arrival of the ‘long rains’ from April to June. This is followed by a warm and dry period from July to October, before the ‘short rains’ and warm and wet weather is observed in November and early December.The climate of Kenya varies by location, from mostly cool every day, to always warm/hot. The climate along the coast is tropical. This means rainfall and temperatures are higher throughout the year. At the coastal cities, Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi, the air changes from cool to hot, almost every day

Dry Season (January to March & July to October):

Generally, the best time to visit Kenya is in either of the two dry seasons, from January to March or July to October. Given the nature of the dry season, wildlife spotting is at its best at this time. Vegetation is sparser, making distance viewing a lot easier. Plus, the animals tend to gather around waterholes as well as rivers and lakes, so finding them is also much easier

Wet Season (April to June & November to December):

Kenya’s two rainy seasons, from April to June and November to December, aren’t considered great for wildlife viewing. However, the rains transform the country’s scenery with the landscape becoming lush and emerald green, making for some beautiful photography. Migratory birds are also present from September to April, so keen bird watchers shouldn’t be put off by the showers. As the wetter months also coincide with low tourism seasons, rates can drop for accommodation and tours, as well as the safari parks seeing much fewer crowds

Where to go

Masai Mara National Reserve

Situated in the southwest of Kenya, covering an area of 1 510 square km (583 square miles), the Masai Mara National Reserve is a land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains. The quintessential Masai Mara safari delivers many attractions, as the reserve is home to an excellent year-round concentration of game, including the more than two million wildebeest, zebras and other antelopes that make up the famous Great Migration. Lions and Cheetahs only add to the already fascinating wildlife encounters in this reserve

Lake Victoria

Passing through 3 African countries namely Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, Lake Victoria is the largest lake in the whole continent. It is one of the best places to visit in Kenya where one can find peace amidst its tranquil environment, and also explore the extensive variety of aquatic life which includes species like African helmeted turtles, variable mud turtles, Williams’ mud turtle, and 500 species of fish which include non-native fishes like African tetras, Cyprinids, air-breathing catfish, and bagrid catfish

Lake Naivasha

A haven for bird lovers, Lake Naivasha lies at the highest point of the Great Rift Valley and has been known to shrink considerably in times of extreme drought. More than 400 species of birds are spotted here, including African fish eagles. Hippos slosh in the water, and giraffes, zebra, buffalo, and eland graze around the edges of the lake. Just south of Lake Naivasha, the relatively affordable Hell's Gate National Park protects a wide variety of wildlife and offers excellent climbing opportunities with two extinct volcanoes and the red cliffs of Hell's Gate Gorge.

 

Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru National Park, is famous for its huge flocks of pink flamingos. It is also one of the Rift Valley soda lakes that comprises almost a third of the park's area. The park was established in 1961, and more than 450 species of birds have been recorded here, as well as a rich diversity of other wildlife. Lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos are just some of the animals you might see, and the landscapes range from sweeping grasslands bordering the lake to rocky cliffs and woodland.

Mount Kenya National Park

In the Central Highlands, east of the Great Rift Valley, Mount Kenya National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the country's namesake highest mountain at 5,199 meters and providing the rare sight of equatorial snow. Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, Mount Kenya is actually comprised of three glacier-cloaked peaks. The highest is Batian, although Nelion, the next highest, is a tougher climb. The lowest peak, Lenana, is considered the easiest climb, although unpredictable weather can pose challenges

 

Amboseli National Reserve

Amboseli National Reserve is one of Kenya's most popular tourist parks. The name "Amboseli" comes from a Maasai word meaning "salty dust," an apt description for the park's parched conditions. The reserve is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close. Other wildlife commonly spotted in the park includes big cats, such as lion and cheetah, as well as giraffe, impala, eland, waterbuck, gazelle, and more than 600 species of birds