Wildlife safaris are the force behind Kenya's tourism. Animal lovers will have a gala time in the Eastern African county as over 40 national parks are nature reserves are dotted in the nation. Owing to its diverse and dramatic landscapes and the sheer number of animals and birds from different kinds of species makes Kenya one of the favourite safari destinations in the planet.
Kick-start the journey by heading out to the capital of Kenya - Nairobi. It is often regarded as the gateway for several different kinds of luscious and verdant national parks.Spend some time at the Nairobi National Park. It protects and cares for over 50 rhinos - who are also critically endangered animals. Glimpses of other animals such as lions, gazelles, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, warthogs, buffaloes and more than 400 types of birds can also be seen.
Another incredible place to visit in Nairobi is the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust - orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program. The aim is to take care of abandoned elephants and rhinos and then let these animals back into the wild after they have been nursed back to health. Do visit the Giraffe Centre in the capital city where visitors will be given the opportunity to interact with endangered Rothschild's giraffes. Owing to a raised platform, both adults and kids can enjoy these adorable animals at eye-level and also get photo-ops with them.
One of the must-see attractions in Kenya is Massai Mara. It is renowned to be one of the planet's most incredible game reserves. The park is popular for the Great Migration when hoardes of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson's gazelle move to and from the Serengeti in Tanzania, from July to October. Next to the Tanzania border at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, lies a relatively small park known as Amboseli National Park. It is popular for being the finest destination in Africa to catch glimpses of free-ranging elephants. Other fine national parks that are well worth the visit are Tsavo national park, Hell's Gate National Park and Samburi National Park.
Spend some time at Lake Nakuru - a very shallow lake in central Kenya. Due to the presence of algae, huge amounts of lesser flamingos are spotted. It is one of Kenya's top attractions. Do take a trip to Lamu island - part of the country's Lamu Archipelago. It is relatively unexplored thus unspoilt. There are no roads as well, just alleyways and footpaths. So if you wish for some quiet and peace, then Lamu island is the ideal destination for you.
Beach-a-holics will flock towards Malinidi, a popular beach resort and is home to extensive coral reefs and pristine beaches. Do indulge in activities such as sufring, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing and other water sports. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the imposing and magnificent snow-covered peaks of Mount Kenya, highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro.
When it comes to shopping, one of the best markets in the country is Nairobi's central market. This colourful bazaar is brimming with over 100 stalls with quintessential local items. Be sure to pick up some souvenirs such as African items, batiks and wooden carvings of animals. Masai items like beaded jewellery or the unique red-checked blankets draped by all Masai men are also excellent goods to be purchased. As for cuisine, do try out local delicacies such as Nyama Choma (barbecued meat usually accompanied with a spicy tomato relish) or Kachumbari (spicy tomato relish served with meat).
The stay options in Kenya are abundant with the best luxury hotels or cheap accommodations/apartments being available for tourists who can choose which kind they prefer based on their budget.
The climate of Kenya differs from region to region. So the 'best time to visit' depends on the place you want to go to. For game enthusiasts, the ideal time is January-February, since that is when the animals flock into water-holes.