It’s impossible to be bored while staying in Nairobi. Give the city a chance, and you’ll quickly see how it is continuing to earn a reputation as being one of Africa’s most interesting, exciting, and energetic cities. It is the beating heart of Kenya, and it also continues to be the launching point of choice for explorations into the rest of the country.
From its five-star hotels dotted around the city centre, to its action-packed nightlife spots, to its numerous art galleries and museums, golf courses, curio markets, and of course, the Nairobi National Park, which is literally just a few minutes outside the city, and where you can see many of Africa’s greatest animals like lions, rhino, zebra, and giraffe – Nairobi is a place filled to the brim with things to see and do for the modern-day traveller.
But Nairobi is also the travel gateway to the rest of the country. And it is from here that you can launch off to explore some of Kenya’s best-known destinations… Maasai Mara National Reserve: The Maasai Mara reserve, long with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, are world famous for their Maasai lions, African leopards and Tanzanian cheetahs, as well as the spectacular annual migration of zebra, gazelle, and wildebeest that takes place every year from July to October.
Kenya’s coastal town of Mombasa offers a set of world-class luxury hotels, white sand and palm fringed beaches, the historical Old Town and it’s Fort Jesus, fantastic seafood, excellent diving, and a very welcoming ‘Jambo-Jambo’ Lake Nakuru National Park’s pink flamingoes atmosphere. (The catchy Kenyan folk song Jambo Jambo, which can be translated to ‘Hello Hello’, is also a traditional Swahili greeting, and you’ll hear variations of it being played wherever you go around town).
Amboseli National Reserve:
Amboseli National Reserve forms the core of a huge 8 000 square kilometer ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border, which makes for some of the greatest wildlife and birdlife viewing in the world. It’s also where you can get a good view of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just over the border, in Tanzania.
Lamu Town is the small, historic town on Lamu Island, which is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Originally founded in the late 1300s it is Kenya’s oldest, continually inhabited town and now also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It also happens to be home to some very interesting historical buildings – including over 20 mosques.
Mount Kenya National Park:
At 5 199 metres, Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in the county and the second-highest in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro. It contains a multitude of ridges and peaks, and although it straddles the equator, it is high enough to receive significant snowfall. The Mount Kenya National Park itself was established in 1949 to preserve its floral and animal life, which you can explore while trekking along the mountain’s lower slopes, or up to the popular Point Lenana peak. (The main summits are the Batian and Nelion peaks, which can only be accessed by means of technical climbing via a variety of rock or ice routes).
Tsavo National Park:
Tsavo is another Kenyan classic. It has vast herds of elephant, as well as rhino, buffalo, lion, leopards, hippo, crocodile, and various antelope species. There’s also around 500 recorded species of birds here. Samburu National Reserve: Due to the Uaso Nyiro River running right through the reserve, Samburu tends to attract a massive diversity of wildlife, including large numbers of Nile crocodile that can be seen lazing around the river.
Lake Nakuru National Park:
This place is a bird watcher’s paradise, with the highlight being the vast numbers of beautiful pink flamingos – sometimes numbering in their millions – that are attracted to the lake every year. Malindi: Malindi is about a two-hour drive north along the coastline from Mombasa. It’s a charming little historic coastal town with gorgeous beaches and extensive coral reefs just offshore.
Hell’s Gate National Park:
Hell’s Gate National Park is around a two-and-a-half hour drive north-west of Nairobi, and gets its name from a dramatic, natural break in a section of the park’s rocky cliffs. What makes it unique compared to many of Kenya’s other wildlife parks, is that you’re allowed to walk or cycle around the park without a guide. But, while travelling around Kenya, you also get the feeling that the country is like one great big wildlife destination. And you begin to realise that wherever you happen to find yourself, you’re never far from some of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth.
Oman Air flies you four times a week to Nairobi from 27th March 2017. Book Now!