We welcome you with the warm Swahili greeting "karibu", which simply means "welcome". Kenya is a paradise as far as tourism and wildlife is concerned. Very few countries can rival Kenya when it comes to the variety of flora and fauna. Those who have seen the movie "Out of Africa" will appreciate the beauty and the variety that we are talking about. Sample our variety, our hospitality and the first class accommodation that the country offers and, without doubt, you will come back for more. Here is something to wet your appetite. "Karibu Kenya" and, as they say: “Kenya Hakuna Matata”, or:" in Kenya you will have no worries".
Come to Kenya and be sure that you will enjoy the sunshine of the capital city, Nairobi, and a variety of wild animals a stones-throw away at the Nairobi National Park the very day you land at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport. Those who choose to fly directly to Mombasa, the gateway to East Africa and the second largest city, will discover that it has plenty of sea and beautiful beaches. Scuba diving or just swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean will entice the tourist to want to come back again. The cities of Nairobi and Mombasa enjoy wonderful weather throughout the year.
Kenya is a tourist paradise with plenty to offer to those wanting a variety of tour packages. Find out what we have to offer. A safari in Kenya can start with a journey through the lush Highlands, where Mount Kenya stands sentry over all. Coffee and tea plantations line the road, small grass-thatched villages dot the fields, colourfully garbed women trudge along your route and small boys tend herds of goats and sheep. On the wide-open rolling grasslands of the Maasai Mara, you see a wide variety of animals as well as the proud Maasai people. In Nairobi you experience a vibrant and growing city - a mosaic of many races and cultures. Shops of every kind sell almost anything you want, from safari clothing, gemstones and jewellery, to Akamba woodcarvings, beadwork, Kiondo baskets, printed fabrics and many other local handicrafts. The markets are fun to visit and bargains abound. In fact, bargaining is a way of life, so don't be shy!
The restaurants in Kenya are splendid, and you should taste our “nyama choma” (roasted meat), either at the Carnivore or at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi. The game meat is great and the variety is plenty. Try also crocodile meat at Mamba Village in Mombasa or at the Carnivore.
A safari in Kenya encompasses more than just game viewing. Kenya is a land not only of magnificent wildlife but also of amazing landscapes, beautiful lakes, a tropical coastline, strong ethnic traditions, hospitality and artistry. "Jambo Karibu”, soft, warm voices greet you in Swahili like old friends everywhere in this friendly country. The distinct regions in Kenya vary in geographical configuration, habitats and unique species. Your Kenyan experience will definitely leave you with a lasting impression and desire to return.
Samburu National Reserve
Unique to this arid landscape are gerenuk, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, Gravy’s zebra and dik-dik. Crocodiles line the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River, where families of hippos have established residency. Elephant can be sighted, as well as leopard, lion, oryx and the cheetah. There are plentiful herds of various antelope, including Grant and Thompson's gazelles.
Maasai Mara National Park
The most famous of Kenya's national parks, the Maasai Mara caps the northern end of the Serengeti Plain. The Mara River, a natural boundary between Kenya and Tanzania, sets the stage for the bi-annual migration spectacle of wildebeest and zebra herds. Lions reside in large prides, and the ability to observe them at close range astonishes most first-time visitors. Early morning balloon rides are available over the seemingly endless plains, followed by a champagne brunch and game drive.
Aberdare’s National Park
This small reserve comprises mostly forest, and much of the Aberdare mountain range lies within its borders. The park is well known for sightings of elephant, rhino, hyena, baboon, buffalo, lion, and several varieties of antelope, genet cat and bush baby. The excitement begins at sunset, as the animals venture to the floodlit salt licks and water holes.
Amboseli National Park
In the heart of Maasai land, this park offers extraordinary views of Mount Kilimanjaro a few kilometres away in Tanzania. The park is best known for its large elephant population. Also sighted here are baboon, herds of buffalo, giraffe, ostrich, lion, cheetah and impala. The swamps provide superb habitats for many species of birds.
Tsavo West National Park
Extensive semi-arid plains dominate this park, with over 60 species of mammals having been sighted here, including elephant and buffalo. Mzima Springs, a geological wonder of water seeping through volcanic rock to form clear pools lushly surrounded with greenery, is the highlight of the park. Here you can walk down to an underwater viewing platform in the hope of observing hippos while velvet monkeys greet you.
The Great Rift Valley
One of the wonders of the world, it contains the planet’s largest concentration of flamingos, the seven great lakes of Kenya and overwhelmingly dramatic scenery. The Valley is actually the effect of a massive fracture-line below the earth’s surface, and runs several kilometres from Lake Baikal in Ukraine in the north to Mozambique in the south.
In Kenya, the Rift Valley is so deep and sharply defined that it can be seen clearly from space! The Valley is about 50 km wide, and as deep as 3,000 meters in the Central Highlands. Volcanic activity on the floor of the fault occurred as recently as 1966, when Ol Donyo Lengai (near Naivasha) erupted. Longonot, Suswa and the Caldera of Menengai Crater are other volcanic sites. From the rim of Menengai Crater extends the panorama of the Northern Rift and a dozen hill ranges, which include the Mau and Aberdare’s Ranges, the Tugen Hills, the precipitous Elgeyo-Marakwet Escarpment, the Matthews Range and the Cherenganis, which collectively offer the finest hill scenery in Kenya.
Nakuru National Park
Close to Lake Nakuru is the first black rhino sanctuary, constructed as part of the government plan to save the rhino from extinction. A few kilometres north of Nakuru lie the dramatic hot Sulphur Springs of Lake Bogoria, described by an early explorer as having "the most beautiful view in Africa”. This is another haunt for both flamingos and large numbers of the greater kudu - the largest and most beautiful of the spiral-horned antelope.
At Lake Nakuru, more than a million pink flamingos and other waterfowl may be seen feeding on the abundant algae. The alkaline Lake Nakuru shares its name with the park that surrounds it. There is a good possibility of spotting the leopard. Rhinos can be observed here as well as large populations of baboons and waterbuck. This is the only park in which the Rothschild giraffe can be found. Lake Nakuru is world famous for, and was made a National Park to protect, its stunning flocks of lesser flamingo that literally turn its shores pink. Its bird life is world-renowned: a beacon for leading ornithologists, scientists and wildlife filmmakers. The park spans an attractive range of wooded and bush grassland around the lake, offering wide ecological diversity, from lake water and woodland to the rocky escarpment and ridges.
Notable game within the lake includes hippos and clawless otters. On the shores roam the waterbuck, Boor’s Reedbuck and zebra. The woodlands and forest are now home to both black and white rhino. In 1987, only two black rhinos remained, following the ravages of poaching. By creating a rhino sanctuary within the Park and reintroducing a breeding herd from Laikipia, the Kenya Wildlife Service has now successfully re-established rhinos in the park.
Game viewing is relatively easy: buffalo, leopard, lion, Rothschild's giraffe, white and black Columbus monkey are plentiful in the forest. The bush lands offer eland, steenbok, impala, Chandler's Reedbuck and dik-dik, whilst rock hyrax and klipspringer occupy the cliffs and escarpment.
drop is a series of magnificent scarps of 2,500 meters to the Kerio Valley, which is the start of a desert journey to the Jade Sea, or Lake Turkana, which is one of the strings of seven lakes of the Rift Valley. Lake Turkana is the biggest of Kenya's lakes, and contains, within its 6,405 km² area, a reserve for Africa's largest concentration of crocodiles. This is an angler’s paradise with its large numbers of tilapia [striped perch), catfish and Nile perch.
Lake Baringo, a freshwater lake, is the northernmost of the lakes located in Kenya's Rift Valley. Activities here are water–oriented, and include boat trips and fishing. Camelback rides are available, and it is possible to visit with members of the Njemp tribe. On the island in the middle of the lake are gushing hot sulphur springs surrounded by exquisite desert roses. Over 400 species of birds have been identified here. Closer to Nairobi, at the southern end, is Lake Naivasha, the highest and purest of the Rift Valley lakes, with teeming bird life and a large resident hippo population. Naivasha is a fertile area where a wide variety of horticultural produce is grown for export, and where three of Kenya's newly developed vineyards are situated.
At 5,200 meters, the mountain is a dramatic backdrop for the manicured lawns and beautiful gardens of the Mount Kenya Safari Club. A stop here provides a rest and an opportunity to luxuriate at the health club. Tennis, golf, horseback riding and swimming are available. On the premises is a wonderful animal orphanage that allows close contact with several species.
Its main entertainment centres include: Bomas of Kenya, with exhibitions of African traditional dances; the Karen Blixen Museum, the house where Karen Blixen from "Out of Africa " fame lived; the National Museum, famous for the Leakey pre-historic discoveries and tribal artefacts; Utamaduni, an upmarket craft centre in Langata; Kazuri Beads, original ceramics in the suburb of Karen; and the Craft Market and Undugu Co-op store in the Westlands area.
Nairobi National Park (113 km²) is located only ten kilometres southwest of Nairobi city centre. Though the area was part of the Great Southern Game Reserve of Kenya, created in 1889, it remained a grazing ground for the Maasai and Somali herdsmen. The Park was established by proclamation on 16th December 1946, thus becoming the first national park to be established in East Africa. The great variety of habitats offers suitable living conditions to a great number of different animals. Of the big five, leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino and elephant, only the latter is missing.
The population of many of the grazers, especially wildebeest, Coke’s hartebeest (kongoni), eland and zebra, occasionally followed by lion and hyena, undergo seasonal migrations southwards through the Kitengela Game Conservation Area. Even when most of the migratory animals are away, the park is rich with resident populations of buffalo, Maasai giraffe, black rhino, eland, impala, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, common and Defassa waterbuck, hippo, warthog, Olive baboon, monkeys and the attendant carnivores - lion, spotted hyena, cheetah, jackal, bat-eared fox and many smaller carnivores. Birds are plentiful, with the commonest resident bird species being the secretary, martial, crown and tawny birds. Others are bateleur, guinea fowl, yellow-necked spur fowl, francolin, quail, mouse bird, Maasai ostrich, crested crane, Koori bustard, ground hornbill, European white stork and many others.
A self-guided nature trail along the Athi River, which forms the Southern Park boundary, provides the visitors with an opportunity to watch hippo, crocodile, monkeys and a great variety of birds. The importance of Nairobi National Park lies in its great variety of animals to be seen (over 100 species of mammals and 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park), the ease of seeing them and the nearness of the park to the city.
Nowhere else in the world can a visitor see such a great variety of mammals and birds existing in the wild so close to a large city. This closeness to the city means that even business visitors on a quick trip or visiting dignitaries with limited time can get at least a glimpse of Kenya’s outstanding wildlife splendour, most notable being the park’s large prides of lion, cheetah and the rhino. It is also an easily accessible recreation area for people living in the city. Tourists will be delighted with the variety available and the ease of reach. Day trips can easily be arranged with guided tours. Nairobi is full of reputable tour agents/operators.
Kenya is a beautiful country with a lot of sunshine and beautiful beaches. The beach resorts south of Mombasa town are dominated by Diani Beach, a large stretch of sand over ten kilometres long and fringed by a calm blue ocean. The Jadini forest adjoining the beach is a favourite haunt for leopard, Columbus monkeys, baboons and a great variety of forest birds. Other beach resorts along the coast include Likoni Beach, just across from the Likoni ferry, and Shimoni Beach, almost on the Kenya-Tanzania border.
Kenya's second largest city is a tropical centre par excellence: steamy, lazy but ready, at any moment, to burst into colourful life. All around, there are superb beaches that are the backdrop for one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, rated in the top three (with Australia's Barrier Reef and the Red Sea) by experienced divers. With even the most limited equipment, easily hired almost anywhere, you can enter another world. The most spectacular sections are far to the south.
Mombasa Island is connected to the mainland to the west by causeways, to the north by the Nyali Bridge, and to the south by the Likoni ferry. At its most appealing heart is Old Town, a maze of lanes, mosques and cramped elderly houses sloping gently down to the once busy dhow harbour. Fort Jesus, an impressive reminder of Mombasa’s complicated past, still overlooks the Old Town, from where it once guarded the harbours’ entrance. It is now a national monument and museum.
Many recreational activities are organized by hotels along the South coast for the enjoyment of the visitors. These include water-skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkelling and deep-sea fishing. Mombasa is also a cheap place to buy the fabrics the coast is famous for. Check out the latest khanga (also known as leso) designs in Biashara Street. Some of the home-produced patterns are so good they are beginning to make an impact worldwide! Biashara Street houses shops selling household goods, bags, mats, baskets and several other locally made items. On Moi Avenue, you will see the more expensive boutiques, electronics shops, shoe shops, bookshops and offices. The Old Town is devoted to gift and curio shops, and the emporiums are overwhelmingly luxurious in their display.
Huge elephant tusks stand at the entrance to the city's commercial area and seem to invite you to enter. Not far from the tusks is the Uhuru Fountain, one of the main symbols of African Independence. Constructed in the shape of the African continent, it is decorated with bright colours and the Mombasa coat of arms. At the Old Port, small boats and dhows are still seen sailing the waters around Mombasa. As the largest port of Kenya, Mombasa exports to other countries items such as coffee, tea, pyrethrum and sisal. Some of her imports include oil, bicycles, shoes, cars and metals. Visit the famous "Lango la Papa" street and test the variety of fish or just sip kahawa murwa and halwa safi from Malindi. Mombasa has many thriving businesses and factories. You can buy beautiful carvings and other works of art, jewellery and clothing. Its factories produce cans, soap, paraffin, paint, sugar, flour, glass, paper bags and cement.
The weather pattern is that January and February are hot and dry, while from March to May it is hot and wet (the long rains). From June till October the climate is warm and dry, while from November to December, Mombasa experiences the "short rains".
The main tourist seasons tie in with the rainfall patterns: the most popular periods are December and January, July and August. July and August are probably the best months overall for game viewing. October through January are the months with the clearest seas for goggling, particulary November.
Shimoni, about 120 kilometres from Mombasa, is the gateway to the adjoining Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park (28 km²) and Reserve, as well as the main centre for the fishing industries along the South coast. As you sail to the Marine Park, you will see dolphins play with your boat. From there you may visit the Wasini Island to see its unique moon-like landscapes.
The Shimba Hills National Reserve, 40 kilometres from Mombasa, is near the South coast holiday resorts. It stands at an altitude of 300 - 400 metres and consists of rolling hills of grasslands, alternating with beautiful patches of equatorial rain forest remnants. It was established in 1968 for the protection of the last breeding herd of sable antelope in the country. The reserve offers a cool change from the coastal heat, and panoramic views of the ocean to the south and the Usambara and Pare mountains across the border to Tanzania.
Animals found in the Reserve include elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, red duiker, bushbuck, bush duiker, suni, blue monkey, black and white Columbus, servile cat and black-faced velvet monkeys. Birds are plentiful with common species like hawk eagle, crested guinea fowl, hornbill, turaco, barbet, honey guide, woodpecker, flycatcher, shrike, oriole, sunbird and many others.
The North coast
70 km of sun-drenched beaches fringed with palms stretch between Mombasa Island and Kilifi. The New Nyali Bridge across Tudor Creek links the Island with the beach resorts, which stretch northwards along the coast. Ahead from the bridge is the Nyali Estate, which offers a sports club, golf course and some of the finest hotels along the north coast.
The North coast is also the home to many famous five-star hotels such as the Nyali Beach Hotel, Whitesands, Serena and Mombasa Continental Resort, among others.
A private wildlife and forest conservation sanctuary established by Bamburi Cement Company, Bamburi Quarry Farm, forms the first in a chain of attractions along the north coast. The sanctuary is established on a depression left when the company quarried the coral limestone for the manufacture of cement. A Swiss agronomist, Rene Haller, helped the company to rehabilitate the devastated environment by establishing strands of forests, shrubs, vineyard, citrus trees, mangoes, bananas and glades, alive with various species of wildlife and ponds of fish where tilapia and other fish species are grown and bred.
The Kipepeo Aquarium, constructed by Monsieur Allard, compliments the Bamburi Quarry Farm. Here, beautiful coral gardens, shells and coral fish are on display. About 8 kilometres from Mombasa town and opposite Hotel Continental is the Mombasa Marine National Park (10 sq. km), and further on in Kilifi District, the beautiful Kilifi Creek provides prolific bird life with the carmine bee-eater dominating the scene. Water sports include a 15-minute circular flight around the creek by sea plane - a memorable experience for the visitors.
The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve, a preserved remnant of indigenous coastal forest at the Kilifi-Watamu area, famous for its indigenous rubber trees, avifauna and butterfly life, is not to be missed. It is the only place in the country where the rare Alders duiker and the golden ramped elephant still live. Unique bird species include Sokoke pipit and Sokoke Scopes’s owl.
Visitors interested in touring the remote North Coast and Lamu Island will proceed on the Malindi-Lamu road, which crosses Sabaki River. On the way, they may stop at Karawa to see Formosa Bay - the largest beach on the East African coast - with its sand dunes. Further on, before Garsen, is the Tana River Delta with green riverine forests, which support large numbers of water birds and are famous breeding grounds for herons.
The Gede villages on the seaward side, off the main Malindi Road and a short distance before Watamu, house Kenya’s most important monument, the Gede or Gedi Ruins. They are about 20 km south of Malindi town. These ruins represent an Islamic civilization city, which disappeared mysteriously about three hundred years ago. The ruins were gazetted as a monument in 1927 and became a National Park, now a National Museum, in 1948. The Great Mosque and parts of the King’s Palace and other city houses have been restored, well-preserved and signposted with well-maintained trails, for the benefit and enjoyment of the visitors who can now view them with admirable ease.
From Gede village, one travels for about 8 kilometres to Watamu village, beyond which is the Watamu Marine National Park, established in 1968 for the preservation of the coral reef resources. About 19 kilometres north of Watamu lies Malindi town, the former port of call for ships sailing in the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope. Its seven kilometres’ long curving beach is ideal for surfing during the monsoon in July and August, and a favourite haunt for visitors. The town’s coast offers excellent facilities for deep-sea fishing where sports fishermen have caught some of the largest fish in Africa. The best time for big game fishing is from end of September to the end of April.