Kenya test

An African country packed with deserts, mountains, wildlife and beaches, Kenya offers endless reasons to visit. Many tourists favour the beach resorts fronting the Indian Ocean, while others come to climb Mount Kenya, enjoy a safari or hot-air balloon ride at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, or to marvel at the Kakamega Rainforest and the aptly named Great Rift Valley.

For many visitors, it has long been the wildlife attractions of Kenya that continue to prove the biggest tourism magnet for the country. A number of popular Kenyan national parks and reserves provide the chance to experience wild African animals in their native surroundings, with elephants, giraffes, leopards, lions and zebras usually being particular favourites, together with the renowned migrating wildebeest. Others choose to snorkel at the Malindi Marine National Park, where exceptional tropical coral reefs await.

Place to Visit in Kenya
Amboseli National Park: Amboseli National Park extends across 392 sq kilometres (151 sq miles) of grassland and swamps at the foot of Mountain Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. It was designated as a national park in 1948 and remains one of Africa’s best known game spotting locations. Park residents include baboons, lions, cheetah, black rhino, wilderbeest and elephants. As well as game viewing, hiking and camping, bird watching and camela safaris are also popular and visitors can learn about the culture and way of life of the indeginous Maasai population through homestead visits and lectures. More adventurous travelers can arrange to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a local guide.

Bomas of Kenya: At this cultural centre, a short distance outside Nairobi’s city centre, you can see displays of traditional dancing and explore mock-ups of traditional village homes. Visit www.bomasofkenya.co.ke for more information.

Mount Kenya National Park: Mount Kenya, which is an extinct volcano sitting on the Equator is Africa’s second highest mountain and stands at 5,199m (17,058 ft) above sea level. Opened as a National Park in 1949, the mountain has been revered by local inhabitants for generations and is the official home of ‘Ngai’ the Kikuyu tribes Supreme Being. The snow peak of the volcano was first sighted by an outsider in 1849- the missionary Johann Ludwig Krapf- although the ida that there could be snow on the Equator was not believed until the British geographer Halford John Mackinder reached the summit in 1899. The park itself, which covers an area of 600 sq km (232 sq miles), offers exotic mountain scenery, starting with upland forest near the bottom and progressing to mountain forest, bamboo forests and glacier peaks. A wide variety of wildlife inhabits the park, some unique to it, including Sykes and Colombus monkeys, buffalos, elephants, black rhino, leopards, the elusive Bongo antelopes and giant forest hogs. It is also home to many species of birds such as the giant kingfisher, olive pigeons and red-fronted parrots. Visit www.mck.or.ke for more information.

Nairobi’s Museum: Browse the ethnographic and archaeological exhibits at the National Museum or visit the Karen Blixen, which occupies a farmhouse made famous by the author’s book, Out of Africa.

Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage: Watch baby elephants paly at this important sanctuary, where orphaned and abandoned elephants are hand reared before being re-released back into the wild. See www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org.

Deep Sea Fishing: Try your hand at deep sea fishing, which is at its best along the Kenyan coast between April and July. Sailfish, marlin, swordfish, kingfish, barracuda and tuna are all in abundance.

Tamarind Dhow Cruise: Spend an evening afloat on a romantic dhow (traditional Arab sailing boat), feasting on delicious seafood dinner and watching the moon rise over Mombasa’s old harbor. Visit www.tamarinddhow.com for more information.

Feed Giraffes: At the Langata Giraffe Center near Nairobi, you can feed the resident Rothschild giraffes from a giraffe high tower, visit a bird sanctuary or follow a nature trail. Visit www.giraffecenter.org for more information.

Great Rift Valley: Take in the sweeping views from the road between Nairobi and Naivasha. Here the 2,000m(6,560 ft) high escarpment wall plunge to the flat bottomed valley floor below, which is dotted by a small string of volcanoes and brackish soda lakes.

Hot Air Ballooning: Float over herds of game in the Masai Mara National Reserve. The hour long trip sets off at dawn and ends with a champagne breakfast. Almost all the lodges in the reserve offer this experience.

Masai Mara National Reserve: Opened in 1974, the Masai Mara National Reserve is the most popular game reserve in Kenya. Managed by the Maasai tribe, the area is named after the group of people who first migrated to South Kenya from the Nile Valley in the mid 17th century. The Maasai herdsmen are nomadic people. The reserve, which occupies a 320 kilometre (124 square mile) chunk of the famous Serengeti plains, is inhabited by many of Africa’s most popular wild animals, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, leopards, black rhinos and hippos. There are also over 500 resident birds in the park including ostrich, lark, sunbird and 57 species of birds prey. The area is famous for rolling grassland and for the Mara River, which runs through the reserve form north to south. It is also the place for one of nature’s best spectacles- the annual migration from the dry plains of Tanzania of thousands of wildebeest crossing crocodile infested waters in order to reach more fertile grazing land.

 Ice Skating: East Africa’s first ice- skating facility, the Solar Ice Rink at the Panari Sky Center in Nairobi, can accommodate 200 skaters and measures 1,400 sq m (15,000 sq ft).

Laikipia Plateau: Discover a recent conservation success where former farmland has been opened as a game sanctuary and stocked with the Big Five namely: elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard. The old farmsteads have been converted into delightful, luxurious accommodation. For more information visit www.laikipia.org.

 Lake Nakuru National Park: Witness thousands of flamingos fringing the edge of the lake in pink. It is also one of Kenya’s best rhino sanctuaries and you may spot a leopard in the giant yellowwood acacia trees.

Lamu Island: Lamu Town is an old Swahili city with many historic mosques and fine old Arab houses with impressive carved wooden doors: highlights include Lamu Museum, the Swahili House Museum and the Fortress.

Mombasa: Enjoy the city’s Arab flavor in the Old Town with its narrow, crowded streets, watch the sailing dhows in the old Harbour and catch the sound and light show at Fort Jesus, now a Museum.

Biashara Street is a great place to buy kikoi and khanga cloths. Makupa Market, off Mwembe Tayari is the main city market. Souvenir shoppers should also head for Bombolulu workshops and Cultural Village, where disabled men and women produce high quality leatherwork, jewellery and other crafts.

Go scuba- diving, snorkeling, sailing, waterskiing, swimming and surfing on Kenya’s Coral Coast: Bamburi, Kikambala, Kilifi, Malindi, Nyali.

Nairobi National Park: You can spot a full range of savannah animals at this National Park, only 8km (5 miles) from the Nairobi city centre. Kenya’s first national park, today it still looks much as it did in the early.

KENYA EVENTS