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Kenya

When you think of Africa, you will probably think of acacia silhouetted against a-horizon stretching into eternity and abundant wildlife. But did you know that Kenya also has snow-capped mountains, a beautiful lush, palm-fringed coastline with white-sandy beaches and dense forests reminiscent of the continent’s heart? Kenya is a country of epic landforms and beautiful traditional people who bring soul and color to this wonderful land. It has such a diversity in landscapes that you can always find a fit with your own holiday preferences.

Highlights

We love Kenya as it surprises us every time. Below our picks of the best places to visit.

  1. Diani Beach - a beautiful 12 km silvery, palm shaded and reef fringed beach. There’s a good balance of places to stay, places to eat, sea- and land-based activities, and various spots to drink.
  2. Lamu Island - Lamu is a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island, a place whose history is as mysterious and fascinating as the winding streets of its medieval stone town. Here you see many influences from the Middle East. From the spices you can buy, the clothing people wear to the typical white houses and narrow streets. You can still see the marks of the Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport.
  3. Samburu National Park - this park is found in northern Kenya is one of the lesser-known parks. It is a little of the beaten track and not as touristy as some others. It is also one of the few parks where the chance of seeing the leopard is larger.
  4. Slum experience with Diddy in Nairobi -I met Diddy 1 year ago, a very friendly fellow who lives in one of the biggest slums in Africa. We joined him on a 2-hour tour through his neighborhood and it was such a special experience I would recommend it to anyone.
  5. Aberdare National Park - Aberdare National Park is lush green, with picturesque, steep forested ravines. It is different from the other national parks in Kenya. In the park you can find elephants, black rhinos, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, and many more. It is a perfect place for picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands.
  6. Mount Kenya area - tMount Kenya is the second-highest peak in Africa. It still has 12 remnant glaciers. On a clear day you can see its big brother Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Its alpine meadows; exotic vegetation; make the walk around the peaks one of the most beautiful expeditions in the East African mountains. There are three main trekking routes on Mount Kenya that approach the base of the technical climbing routes Point Lenana. There is also a Summit Circuit path that circumnavigates the whole mountain in a day or two's walking. The best time to go is between January and March. The highest rainfall occurs between late March and the middle of May, and slightly less between late October and mid December. Temperatures vary considerably with time of day and height. During day time the temperature varies between 5 to 15°C. Night time temperatures on the summit are well below freezing.

What to eat

Well, I have to admit, Kenyan food is not outstanding or comparable to any of the delicious cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, India or Japan. Nowadays you can find good restaurants that offer a large variety of food. Below are my favorites Kenyan dishes.

  1. Bajia - are slices potatoes or mashed potatoes in dough seasoned and deep-fried.
  2. Chapatti – the chapatti can be traced its origin from the influence of the Indian population. It is basically dough rolled out into a flat round circle after which it is fried on a skillet until crispy. Most Kenyans eat it together with some vegetables or meat. I really like it as a snack. They are a bit thicker than the Indian versions.
  3. Matoke - tthis is a very popular dish that not only belongs to Kenya, but is also favorite in other parts of Africa. The dish contains plantain bananas mixed with onions, garlic and tomatoes.
  4. Pilau - this is one of the Kenyan dishes that belong to the top of the list. It comprises of rice and meat flavored with cardamom, cloves, cumin and cinnamon. Originally it is native of Kenya’s coastal area.
  5. Kaimati- these remind me of the traditional ‘oliebollen’ of the Netherlands only then in a smaller version. Kaimati is a crunchy dumpling made out of dough topped with some sugar syrup. Quite Yummy!
  6. Ugali - Ugali is cornmeal paste that is one of the most common food staple. Frankly it doesn't really have a taste, but if you want to experience local life then this should be part of it and worth trying. Kenyans eat it together with some meat and boiled vegetables. It doesn’t have a lot of taste so you should definitely eat it with some saucy stew.

When to go

You can visit Kenya all year long. The months April until June are normally quite wet. October and November also have some short rains, but most of the day it is sunny. The most sunny and hot weather you will have from January until March. If you are coming for the big migration then the months July until October are the best months to visit.

What to know

Since August 2015 you can’t get a visa on arrival anymore. You should apply for your tourist visa upfront and online. The process is quite fast (1-3 working days) and is very straightforward. Just print it and take it with you. You can apply for the E-visa via E-citizen.



Top rated activities

Have dinner with Kombo and his family
€6,75 p.p.

Have dinner with Kombo and his family

Fumbini (near Kilifi), Kenya

Village walk and dinner with a view
€7,17 p.p.

Village walk and dinner with a view

Fumbini (near Kilifi), Kenya

Farm tour and delicious lunch
€16,88 p.p.

Farm tour and delicious lunch

Nairobi, Kenya

Kibera Slum tour
€21,93 p.p.

Kibera Slum Tour That Opens Your Mind

Nairobi, Kenya

Cycling trip Nairobi
€27,85 p.p.

Cycle through Swara Wildlife Plains

Nairobi, Kenya

Kenyan cooking class Nairobi
€12,66 p.p.

Kenyan cooking with Pam

Nairobi, Kenya

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