Most people’s first view of Kenya is flying in over the central Highlands, perhaps at dawn, on an overnight flight from London. Often arrival like this into Nairobi is quite spectacular with the sun rising from behind 17,000’ of Mount Kenya, just a few minutes before dropping down to land. Having passed through immigration and customs you might set off almost immediately on safari. Wildlife is what brings most travellers to this diverse and beautiful country; however it is the amazing people who you will discover that makes it so special. On a driving safari you will experience bumpy roads, richly green, damp highlands, arid and rocky wildernesses, immense plains, chilled evenings in the foothills of Mount Kenya and the humid exotic nights of Mombasa, all punctuated by the varied tribes and mostly rural communities plus city dwellers of Nairobi, Mombasa or Nakuru.
In the wilderness of Samburu Land in the north you can journey through the landscape of the Lion King, few people (but quite a lot of goats) and some of the rarest creatures on earth. Then see the millions of flamingos at Lake Baringo or Naivasha as you travel south down the Rift Valley to the vast plains and huge skies of the Masai Mara and all that comes with that place.
Maps courtesy of www.theodora.com/maps used with permission.
The bravest travellers will take the Lunatic Express from Nairobi down to Mombasa on the coast, dropping 6,000’ overnight arriving at East Africa’s largest port for a hearty breakfast. Then on to the Indian Ocean beaches to wash away the dust of your safari and be cooled by locally brewed Tusker beer.
Kenya has many problems; however, except for a small minority, they are peaceful welcoming folk who aspire to better lives as Kenya grows up. I’d call it an “adolescent” with energy and desire. With the help of T4A charities people in Kenya are being helped through this difficult period of development. In the long term they have the potential to be a great nation.