Kenya is a great introduction to Africa, and I highly recommend it for people who want to get a taste of the continent. A lot of people also tend to come here for mission trips, and it’s a good place to do so. It’s poor but safe, and developed enough to have what you need. Safari’s also bring you here, but I would just make sure that the season is right. It can be a great experience year round, but best certain times of the year. I would aim to come here for the great migration, dry season was okay, but not the best safari I have been on.
Nairobi (Spent 1 day here, this was about right)
Nairobi is a typical African capital, crowded, but there are some pretty awesome spots just south of the capital. Definitely take the time to check out the Elephant Sanctuary and Giraffe Sanctuary. They’re pretty awesome, and will only take a few hours. So, it’s pretty perfect if you have anything more than an 8 hour layover. The traffic is horrendous, and depending on the day, could take a couple of hours into the city, but thankfully, since these two places are a little south, you may shave some of that time off.
The city has some nice hotels and restaurants, and is a good place to do business (I think I just went to the nicest hotel here and ate at the buffet because no one stopped me. So, if you want a free and safe meal then I would give that a shot). Other than that, not much else to see as a tourist. I felt content with jut a long day here.
This is a giraffe sanctuary where they rescue endangered giraffes and protect them from poachers. They are killed not for value, but often when poachers hunt elephants for ivory, they kill giraffes for food. I don’t know why they can’t just get the meat from the elephants, but they’re terrible people anyways, so we shouldn’t be surprised.
This is a very dedicated employee that decided to feed the giraffe with food from his mouth. He thought that in doing so I would follow suit, but in reality I just wanted the picture…
This is at the elephant sanctuary in Nairobi. This is where they save baby elephants whose mothers’ have been killed by poachers. They release them back into the wild at like age 2-3, but even then there were something like 15 baby elephants there. I’m not very keen on being sentimental, but these guys were pretty cute.
This is to show you how close we got to be to the elephants. Also, the little girl in the bottom left of the picture was adorable, and had the funniest reactions to the elephants.
Elephants playing in the mud
Dumbo! I got to touch him after this picture, he came right up to me.
Mombasa (I’ve spent 4 days here but 2 is good)
Mombasa is a nice beach resort town in south east Kenya. The beach is soft, the water is great, and the hotels are nice but cheap. That said, there will be a lot of people trying to sell you stuff, and it can be slightly risky for your bags. So, most tourists just end up staying on hotel grounds. You can walk from hotel to hotel pretty easily, they don’t often stop tourists, but it is a bit of a hassle.
Try Dawa when you go to a bar, it’s good and will knock you on your ass, so just be careful.
This is the beach right outside my hotel. The hotel below was around $100/night I believe.
The outside of my hotel
Pictures of the beach and my hotel room:
Me on the beach, excuse the hair, it had been a couple of days since a proper shower…
The outside of my hotel
Tsavo National Park (Spent 2 days here, its about right, just do it the right time of year)
A few hours drive outside of Mombasa I went on safari in Tsavo, within eyesight of Kilimanjaro (or Mt. Kenya, my guide might have just tried to make me happy…). I saw some animals and stayed at this camp that was nicer than most hotels I’ve ever been to. You eat lunch and dinner with elephants, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, hippos, gazelle, and other animals I’ve never seen without a fence. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful. I got to see cheetahs and a few lions the next day, but I think eating lunch looking over the watering hole was my favorite.
My room and the campsite we stayed at:
Country-level of difficulty – 6/10Africa