Discount Hotels in Kenya : Nairobi
Big game safaris, spectacular vast expanses, and brightly feathered adornments are among the imagery conjured up when the country ofKenya is brought to mind. It is from the Swahili language that we find the word ?safari?, meaning journey, and which is exemplified best by the annual mass migration of millions of wildebeests on the Maasai Mara. The magnitude of this impressive event is reason enough to visitKenya, but why not take advantage of some of the other pleasures and sights available. Often times referred to as the 'cradle of humanity', this East African country promises extreme adventure and the opportunity to explore some of the world?s best wildlife parks, beaches, coral reefs, and landscapes.
Kenya is found on Africa?s east coast bisected by the equator. Neighbouring countries include Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. The coastline faces the Indian Ocean while the vast waters of Lake Victoria are shared with the country?s western and southern neighbours. The Rift Valley and the Central Highlands area are characterised byKenya's most spectacular scenery. The humid coastal region includes the Tana River estuary and a string of pretty nice beaches. WesternKenya incorporates the fertile fringes of Lake Victoria and, with the southern part of the country, some prime wildlife parks. The vast, arid northern region is whereKenya is at its wildest and most untouched by the modern world.
Suffice to say, an incredible host of wildlife and a complex, diverse flora await visitors toKenya. Then there?s the people?there are more than 70 tribal groups among the Africans inKenya and though distinctions between many of them are blurred due to the advance of western cultural values, the first question asked when twoKenyans meet is: ?What tribe are you from?? A fairly recent development, especially among the younger generation, is the emergence of a new language known as Sheng. It is a mixture of Swahili and English spiced with a few others languages.
Popular activities in the great outdoors include trekking and MtKenya tops the list offering a range of routes. Getting to one of its higher peaks, Point Lenana requires no climbing skills whatsoever. Less trampled hiking options include Mt Elgon on the Ugandan border, or the Ngong Hills near Nairobi (bring an armed escort).Kenya is celebrated for its game-fishing opportunities off the coast around Malindi. White-water rafting is becoming increasingly popular especially on the spine-chilling Athi/Galana River. Drifting silently over the Mara and Serengeti aboard a hot air balloon is proposed by several lodges in the Masai Mara National Reserve offering ballooning adventures. Around coastal towns such as Malindi and the Lamu Archipelago, there are plenty of water sport activities to be enjoyed such as diving, windsurfing and basking on the beach.
On the urban side of the scale, this isKenya?s hip, happening hub of human activity. It is a thriving cosmopolitan city with a lively and interesting ambiance. The core of the city is compact, easy to get around in and a great place to plug into the modern African lifestyle. It?s also a great place to get mugged if you are not cautious, so don?t wear expensive jewellery or carry large amounts of cash on your person especially at night.Nairobi has history and artefacts galore in some very classy museums. Wander about the city parks if you are interested in viewing rhinos, snakes and giraffes.
Looking for that perfect photo opportunity? Head to the Amboseli National Park (392 sq. km.) and snap a shot of a herd of elephants making their way sedately across the grassy plains, with Tanzania's Mt Kilimanjaro in the background. An African clichA~(c) to be sure but a great personal photo nonetheless.
Lamu is the place Time forgot cloaked in medieval romance. With an almost exclusively Muslim population,Kenya's remote and self-contained oldest living town has changed little in appearance or character over the centuries. This was once a hustling bustling port town but is now a wonderfully relaxed holiday destination. No other Swahili town, with possible exception of Zanzibar, can offer such a cultural feast of uncorrupted traditional style and architecture ? that is if you can ignore the TV aerials.
This is the most popular wildlife park inKenya and for good reason. It teems with wildlife and is joined to the vast Serengeti plains. Few visitors toKenya ever miss roaming at least part of its vast open savannah grasslands - or leaping out of the way of the annual wildebeest stampede. On the western border of the park is the spectacular Esoit Olooloo (Siria) Escarpment where the concentrations of wildlife are the greatest. Large prides of lions are seen in everywhere. A host of other wild animals are also present in great numbers such as elephants, buffaloes, zebras, antelopes and hippos.
This is the largest and most important port on the coast of East Africa. Mombasa is hot, steamy and imbued with a historical essence dating back to the 12th century. The city sprawls over Mombasa Island which is connected to the mainland both north and south of the city. A Muslim stronghold for centuries, it was attacked and destroyed by the Portuguese on numerous occasions starting in 1505 when it was burnt to the ground. It was quickly rebuilt only to be reduced to rubble again by an embattled Mombasan ruler during the long fight against the Portuguese. Mombasa's Old Town is testament to this turbulent era.
This park contains the moors and high forests of the 60 km-long Kinangop plateau. Only rarely does this area see safari companies let alone individual travellers. That said if you are willing to brave the inclement weather, this remote and formidably dense forest is well worth the effort. The park boasts a variety of fauna, flora and vistas which you won't find elsewhere except, perhaps, on MtKenya. There are also the dramatic Gura Falls which drop a full 300m, as well as alpine moors, and the chance of seeing a black leopard, elephant, rhino or bongo (spiral-horned antelope).
Just outside Nakuru, this site rose to prominence in 1937 when Louis Leakey started looking around for signs of ancient life. The digs, which continued right up to the 1980s, indicate three settlements existed here, the earliest possibly 3000 years ago and the most recent about 200 to 300 years ago. The large collection of items found in the burial pits on and around the hill include a real mystery - six Indian coins, one of them 500 years old, two of them dating from 1918 and 1919!
Kakamega is a superb eco sanctuary of virgin tropical rainforest in the heart of an intensively cultivated agricultural area of WesternKenya. Home to a huge variety of birds and animals, it is well worth the minimal effort required to get there. The forest area of the reserve is where you'll find a number of primate species including the red-tailed monkey, black& white colobus monkey and the blue monkey. The Forest Department maintains a superb rest house here and some excellent guides are available for hire.
Because the area is covered in dense forests, you won't see much wildlife unless you spend quite some time here and one of the best places to do that is camping at Lake Paradise. This crater-like lake is aptly named. It is an enchanting place for roughing it and few camp sites inKenya can rival it for scenery and tranquility. While they might be obscured by the vegetation, this northern park is home toKenya's larger mammals including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, warthogs, zebras, giraffes, hyenas and gazelles. With a little luck and a bit of patience you might come away with a great snap or two.