Category Archives: East Africa

Must-Visit National Parks in Kenya

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Come and experience the beauty of nature at its wildest best in the jungles of Kenya. These lush jungles have fascinating landscapes and are home to plenty of exotic birds and animals. Much of Kenya’s famed wilderness is recognised and protected as national parks and reserves.

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In fact, there are so many of them that it gets difficult for travellers to pick the best ones to visit. So, we have listed some the most highly recommended national parks and reserves in Kenya.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

One of the most popular and often considered to be one of the best national parks is the Maasai Mara National Reserve at Narok County in Kenya. The reserve offers excellent wildlife safari experiences across the country. Experience the thrills of spotting the Big Five; rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards, and buffalo. And, if you visit between the months of July and October, you can get lucky enough to see the incredible annual migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra in search of greener pastures.

Lake Nakuru National Park

A spectacle in its own right, the Lake Nakuru National Park is a haven for bird watchers. The park’s famous shallow alkaline soda waters of Lake Nakuru is home to thousands of pearl-white pelicans, pink flamingos, and more than 400 species of birds. Travellers are often awe-struck by the picturesque surroundings of the park – the lake, waterfalls, and majestic cliffs. The park is accessible year-round and is home to exotic animals including white rhino, giraffe, lion, hippo, warthog, and ostrich.

Amboseli National Park

Enjoy picture-perfect views of the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru from the stunning Amboseli National Park, which is located in Kajiado County, Kenya. The park is famous for being home to some of the largest elephants in the country. Apart from gigantic elephants, the park is also inhabited by hippo, cheetah, leopard, and over 50 species of mammals and 400 species of birds.

Nairobi National Park

Explore the amazing Nairobi National Park located near Kenya’s busy capital city of Nairobi. The park is considered to be an important black rhino sanctuary and is inhabited by more than 400 species of birds. The well-maintained walking trails and picnic spots keep visitors entertained. Wildlife safaris are also great fun here and you can easily spot rhinos, giraffes, buffalos, zebras, and wildebeests.

Mount Kenya National Park

Adventure lovers should head for the Mount Kenya National Park, which is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site. Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa. Explore the park to spot some rare species of animals and birds and to experience the pristine beauty of its lakes, mineral springs, glaciers, snow-capped peaks, and forests. The park offers amazing opportunities for hiking and mountain climbing.

Interesting Activities for an Enjoyable Holiday in Kenya

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Experience the best of nature and adventure at one place – the East African country of Kenya. Have a thrilling time on wildlife safaris across its lush jungles or trek tall mountain ranges.

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Discover the secrets of the Great Rift Valley, climb the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya, go trout-fishing in pristine waters and explore caves, natural geysers, and hot springs at Hell’s Gate National Park. Take a look to know more about some of the popular activities of Kenya.

Exotic Wildlife Safaris

Enjoy thrilling wildlife safaris at the jungles and nature reserves of this country. Get amazed watching throngs of wildebeest and zebra migrate over land, during the Great Migration in Maasai Mara, see playful wild elephants at Amboseli, and dabble in some bird watching at Lake Nakuru. Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and Tsavo East offer some of the best wildlife safaris across the country.

Water adventures

You can enjoy snorkelling and scuba-diving in its coastal waters to explore the abundant underwater life there, including vibrant fish and extensive coral reefs. More adventurous souls will enjoy white water rafting and kayaking in the waters of Tana River, while bird watchers will have an unforgettable time spotting birds, hiking, and camping at the Ndere Island National Park. One may also simply sit back and relax on the beaches. The best places to experience Kenya’s blissful beaches are the Mombasa, Diani, and Malindi or Kilifi.

How About a Snake Safari?

Talking of wildlife adventures, how about going on the unusual snake safari? It may not sound great to all, but Kenya is actually a great place to spot snakes and there are tourists who opt for these safaris. So, get an overload of adrenaline rush as you chase and spot some of these slimy creatures, as Kenya is home to over 100 species of snakes. There are local operators who organise these snake safaris to spot pythons, boomslangs, puff adders, cobras, and mambas across the country.

Explore the Cultural Side

Visit the multicultural Mombasa city for a glimpse into the country’s rich historical side and its vibrant modern culture. Mombasa city’s culture has been influenced by the British, Portuguese, Arab, Indian, and Asian immigrants and this reflects in its architecture and cuisine. Explore the16th-century Fort Jesus and the quaint streets of Old Town, which reflect ancient Swahili-type houses and souvenir shops. Or else, discover the urban side with its cinemas, Mombasa Go-Kart, and plenty of restaurants.

Hike Mount Kenya

The challenging Mount Kenya trek is something that becomes a major part of many itineraries. Mount Kenya is considered to be the second-highest peak across Africa. The trek will take you across some stunning sceneries of the surroundings and some fantastic glimpses of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro.

A Quick Travel Guide to Kenya

What’s the first word that comes to your mind when we say ‘Kenya’? Safari, isn’t it? This gorgeous land is known for its jaw-dropping wilderness that is absolutely mesmerising. Nature lovers will undoubtedly love this experience. Nevertheless, people should not limit themselves to this feature of the country only. Kenya offers a lot more than that! In this article, we’ll be focusing on relevant travel tips. They are listed below.

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Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit Kenya is from June to September when there’s slight rainfall and the temperature is at its lowest. Those planning to visit during the months of February and March should be aware of the fact that the weather will be relatively hotter and more humid. However, if one wishes to observe the wildebeest migration, this is a good time.

Items to Carry

Apart from passport, one should carry camera, comfortable and strong shoes, sunscreen, repellent, binoculars, toiletries, credit & debit cards, tablet, vaccination documents, flashlight, medical kit, insurance documents, and sunglasses. These small but significant items will be highly useful.

Health

Anti-malarial medication is strongly suggested! No vaccinations are actually required for entry into Kenya, except for individuals who are coming from countries where yellow fever is widespread. Yellow fever vaccination is a must for such visitors! This vaccination is also mandatory for people travelling in the outskirts of urban areas. Tap water is not fit for drinking. Accordingly, mineral water is served at lodges.

Safety

Tourists can stay away from possible dangers by firmly following necessary precautions. There is strict security at airports and noticeable policing at public spots. The military is highly active in volatile regions.

Things to Eat and Drink

Foodies ought to taste well-liked Kenyan dishes such as Irio, Pilau, Matoke, Bajia, and Githeri. They are unique and delicious. The national beverage is chai – tea. Milk, water, sugar, and tea leaves are brought to the boil in a kettle and served when it’s steaming hot. For tasting the best prepared tea, one must head to the coastal areas. Needless to say, alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, and juices are available too.

Money, Banking Facilities and ATMs

The national currency of Kenya is Kenyan shilling. Currently, as per an online source, 1 US Dollar approximately equals 101 Kenyan Shilling. For payments in restaurants, bars, and other eateries, local currency is extensively used. Major destinations have banking facilities and ATMs. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.

Tipping

Although, not mandatory, tipping for good service is appreciable. Travellers need to keep in mind that popular hotels add service charge onto the bill. City restaurants and bars may or may not include this. Therefore, customers have to pay special attention and do what they feel is apt for the situation.

The Wonders of Kenya beyond Wildlife

The first thing that strikes one’s mind when the word ‘Kenya’ is mentioned is its diverse wildlife and jungle safaris. True, but the country also offers a host of other activities and attractions.

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In fact, Kenya, the home of the brave Zulu warriors, boasts a rich cultural history. Discover some of the best experiences you can look forward to.

A Day in the Masaai village

It is the perfect way to experience the traditional lifestyle of the Masaai tribe and their culture. You can stay in the village and explore health centres, co-operatives and other interesting things. The natives still follow a pastoral way of life and have not been completely touched by modernity. The main highlight of a village experience is the famous warrior dance performed in full tribal wear.

The Beach Experience

Kenya has miles and miles of beautiful beaches as it is flanked on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and on the other by the Indian Ocean. You can walk along the sandy beaches or just lie down and watch the Sun set over the horizon. The Diani beach, with its beautiful resorts is one such place which offers a fantastic experience. Wasini Island is pretty near to Diani and lets you immerse in a fun filled experience with dolphins and also lets you feast upon a variety of sea food at the popular restaurants here.

Hiking at Mount Kenya

Africa’s second highest peak will leave you with fond memories as you hike up to the top witnessing the beautiful ecology of the place. The expedition will take you through beautiful landscapes. You can ascend the peak from a choice of three routes, each with its unique profile and varying range of difficulty.

Live the Thrill

Kenya offers a wide array of adventure sports. It is in fact, among the best places for Kite surfing, due to its favourable wind conditions. A couple of highly popular places for windsurfing are Watamu and Diani. Sky diving, windsurfing, kayaking and paragliding are some of the other sports on offer at many places. Horse riding through the woods is also a fun-filled pursuit.

Five Challenging Suspension Bridges in the World

Do you have a fascination for heights? If yes, you would definitely like to check out our list of suspension bridges. Let us also tell you that these bridges are for the strong hearted and people suffering from heart problems or acrophobia should visit only after medical consultation. These dizzying bridges are located in high altitudes and may cause convulsions or seizures. Up for the challenge? So what are you waiting for? Grab your tickets for any of the 5 destinations we have mentioned below.

Titlis Cliff Walk Bridge, Switzerland

Known as Europe’s highest suspension bridge, the Titlis Cliff Walk Bridge is situated on Mount Titlis in the Alps and is 3,000 metres high. Although it looks scary, it has been especially designed to withstand extreme winds and snow storms. The views are simply spellbinding.

Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia

Situated in Kedah, Malaysia, this pedestrian bridge is around 700 metres high and was opened in 2004. The sad part is that it has been inaccessible since 2014.

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However, we could not help omitting it from the list as it is one of the most challenging suspension bridges in the world. We hope it opens once again.

Canopy Walk, Ghana

Canopy Walk is situated in Kakum National Park, Ghana and is the only canopy walkway in all of Africa’s national parks.

It was made by connecting several treetops and is used to watch the endangered animals such as Diana monkey and forest elephants without disturbing them.

Millau Viaduct, France

Millau Viaduct, which is said to be taller than the Eiffel tower is the world’s highest bridge to be used as a thoroughfare.

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Millau Viaduct by David Jones / CC BY

It has the A7F motorway, which connects the two cities of Montpellier and Paris and is often admired as the world’s most impressive engineering wonders of all times.

Royal Gorge Bridge, USA

The Royal Gorge Bridge situated in Colorado, USA was known as the world’s highest bridge till 2001, until it was replaced by Millau Viaduct.

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Royal Gorge Bridge by Wasif Malik/ CC BY

The bridge is a part of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, which is famed for its different rides and adventure sports. Zip-lining and Royal Rush Sky coaster are especially popular here. The park is also home to a zoo which is ideal for family outings.

Top 3 Things to Do In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, the largest city and the capital of Ethiopia, is situated in the gorgeous highlands of the country.

Addis-Ababa

With a rich historical significance, lively markets, friendly and courteous people and delicious food, Addis Ababa has become one of the top holiday destinations for leisure travellers, family holidaymakers and honeymooners. Take a look at three of the must-do experiences in the city.

Stroll around Addis Mercato

Addis Mercato is among the largest open-air markets in the entire continent. The whole marketplace is abuzz with noise and activity, and the shops here sell a variety of stuff, such as clothes, mouth-watering food and souvenirs. It is a lovely place to spend some strolling around even if you have no intention of buying anything. Tourists are advised to be careful in the market, especially when it is crowded as the pickpockets are common in the area.

Visit St. George’s Cathedral and Museum

St. George’s Cathedral is one of the most revered places of worship in the city. The complex is situated on the hill-top and overlooks the Menelik II square. There is a museum situated beside the cathedral. The museum holds many brilliant artefacts such as Ethiopian crosses, clothing and religious writing. Inside the cathedral you will find magnificent paintings depicting the scenes from the Ethiopian history and the Bible.

Enjoy Ethiopian Food

Do try out local Ethiopian dishes during you tour of Addis Ababa. Injera, which is a spongy soft pancake made from teff flour, is a big hit with tourists. Various types of curries, meat and vegetables are eaten with injera. Also, make sure you enjoy the delicious Ethiopian coffee, locally known as buna. One of the best places to have injera and other delicious Ethiopian dishes is in Yod Abyssinia restaurant, whereas for a lip-smacking cup of Ethiopian coffee, you can visit Yeshi Buna Cafe.

Things to Experience in Kenya apart from Wildlife Safaris

Kenya is known worldwide for its rich wildlife. People from all around the world book tickets to the country to experience jungle safaris. True, Kenya is well known for its jungles.

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However, there are many more things to experience in Kenya apart from wildlife safaris. Have a look at the top 3 draws in Kenya other than wildlife safaris.

Sanganna for White Water Rafting

If you like adventure, one of the most exciting things to do in Kenya, is white water rafting on the river Sanganna. The sense of adventure during white water rafting is unique and you need to experience it firsthand in order to completely understand the intensity of the thrill and adventure. The lush green surroundings near the river make the experience all the more memorable.  Kenyans consider the place to be a “westernised” site, as you will see more foreigners than natives here. The grades of the rapids range from 3 to 5. There is also a camping site and lush lawns to rest in after the rafting session.

Kitulini Hill, Kamba Land for a Strange Experience

Kitulini Hill in Kamba land is known for something really strange. There is a road on the downhill which apparently works against the law of gravity. This peculiar discovery was first made by a British settler who had parked his car on that specific part of the road, without locking the gears. When he returned, he was shocked to see that the car, instead of rolling down, had moved 50 metres uphill.

Diani for Skydiving

If you have a love for the heights, head to Diani Beach for an exhilarating skydiving experience.  The place is perfect for skydiving and for learning how to skydive. The thrill of freefalling is an unforgettable experience. You will be assisted by an instructor who will teach you the proper way to skydive and you will be jumping from a plane airborne at a height of more than 10,000 feet above the ground. People who have breathing problems or heart problems should refrain from joining the programme.

A Quick Introduction to Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain, is one of the most popular destinations for wildlife enthusiasts, trekkers, hikers, climbers and adventure seekers.

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Because of its distinctive climate and ecosystem, UNESCO has included Mount Kenya in the list of the World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. Mount Kenya National Park is situated on this mountain.

How to get there

The mountain, about 175 kilometres from Nairobi is easily accessible. There is a road at the base of the mountain which winds its way to the top and covers all the major towns such as Nanyuki, Maro Moru, Embu and Meru. The closest airport is the Laikipa Airport.

Weather conditions

The mountain witnesses a unique climate because of its geography and altitude. At higher altitudes, the weather becomes windy, cold and misty. The flora life is mostly alpine and sub-alpine, moorlands and tundra with a few bamboo forests. You will be able to experience the gradual change in the vegetation as you start descending the mountain because of the change in the temperature and altitude.

Attractions and Highlights

Being the second highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kenya witnesses a large number of tourists every year, which also includes adventure enthusiasts. The National Park is home to various unique and unusual species of plants which makes the area seem all the more intriguing and mysterious; as if from a science fiction film. There are several attractions for regular visitors, apart from the adventure-seekers, such as cave exploration, camping, hiking and forest exploration.

Accommodation Options

Serena Mountain Lodge, located on one of the lower slopes of the mountain is the perfect place for base camp. The lodge has been hoisted on stilts and offers perfect views of the wildlife. The accommodation options are available in suites designed like mountain cabins. You can also choose to take guided tours and hikes in the forest or go fishing.

Top 3 African Adventure Destinations to Plan Holidays

Do you often dream climbing a lofty mountain? Do the sudden calls of wild animals fascinate you? Or does the captivating world under water entice you? If it’s a ‘yes’ for any of the above mentioned queries, Africa is perhaps the ideal place to head to!

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Featuring vast deserts, dense rain forests, soaring mountains and tumbling waterfall; Africa promises a wonderful holiday experience to adrenal junkies boarding flights to the destination. Besides, the opportunity to witness the exotic wild species from East and South Africa at a close proximity set thousands of adventure enthusiasts on a mad scramble for flights to many destinations in this continent. Let’s check out top three amazing countries in Africa which are sure to give flights to your fancies!

Kenya

Kenya and wildlife safari are synonymous! Home to Africa’s Big Five, the country remains one of the best places for Safari in Africa. A safari in Kenya offers a chance to encounter the Big Five as well as other species of the animal kingdom while travelling through the dense forests and the open savannas. NairobiNational Park and Masai Mara are the top two reasons that play a vital role in the sale of air tickets to this East African country.

South Africa

Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa remains a priority for many wildlife enthusiasts looking for deals on flights for holidays in Africa. Founded in 1931, this third largest nature reserve of South Africa houses more than five hundred elephants. Apart from these huge mammals, this park boasts cape buffalos, dung beetles, hyenas, and African penguins; and a glimpse of this rich wilderness is being worth to the cost of flights to South Africa.

Tanzania

Walk High and Sleep Low! If this is what you follow while travelling, a trek to Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro would be a great experience! Located in East Africa, this 19,336 feet high snow covered peak is considered as world’s tallest walkable mountain. This six day trek will take the hikers from different climate zone and one does not need to be an expert to climb the summit.

White Water Rafting: Another Tantalizing Reason to book Tickets to Nairobi

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya is crammed with wild bush-land, gushing rivers and modish wonders of the contemporary world which sets people on a quest for flights to the destination. Amongst many adventure sports on offer for holidaymakers visiting the city, white water rafting is one of the most popular outdoor adventure activities that top the ‘must-do activities list’ of global visitors arriving in Africa. Here is a quick smattering on this thrilling activity that has been triggering the sale of air tickets to Nairobi.

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Sagana (Tana)

Rafting in River Tana is most appropriate for the beginners as it offers a perfect blend of calm water and countless bird life, radiating splendid scenic scenery. The total stretch of the river is over 6 kilometres but the total rafting length is 3 kilometres in which class 2 and 3 rapids can be encountered. Travellers partaking in this exhilarating water sport can also mix the rafting experience with cliff jumping at a 30ft water fall or swim in the devil’s toilet bowl. Surfing is also a popular pick that visitors can indulge in for relishing a whale of a time.

River Mathioya

River Mathioya is one of the hardest rafting rivers not only in Kenya but in Africa as well with a length of over of 22 kilometres. The water in the river is much noisy and is packed with action offering an adrenaline rush for sports enthusiasts partaking in the activity. Although, the water level remains fairly even during the rainy seasons, grade four and five rapids are much common here. Only visitors with enough rafting experience are allowed to raft here ensuring utmost safety of the holidaymakers.

Athi River

White water rafting in river Athi is amongst the best white water rafting in Africa that offers a fun-packed holiday experience to the travellers visiting the country. This is also the second largest river of Kenya which passes through the Tsavo National Park with over 80 Kilometres allowing visitors to have a close glimpse of wild animals in their natural habitats. Rafting on this route is very tough as it takes up to 3 days and 3 nights to cover the entire stretch of water.