© Paul Joynson Hicks / age fotostock
Kenya in pictures - Mombasa and the coastline
In brief +
FCO travel update: the FCO advises against all but essential travel to within 60km of the Somali border (including Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island), to Garissa district and to low income areas of Nairobi, including all township or slum areas. The FCO also advises taking extra care and be vigilant, particularly in public places and when travelling around between March and May 2013 as General and Presidential elections and a presidential run-off vote occur. Monitor local media carefully and seek local advice. Avoid all demonstrations or large gatherings whether political in nature or not.
An excellent safari destination, Kenya is the land of great predators and the Masai people. In existence since the 17th century, it maintains its traditional way of life. The country is famous for its wildlife and landscape, from the lakes of the Rift valley to the Tsavo plains. Its capital, Nairobi, is the popular point of departure for a trip to the animal reserves. As for Mombasa, its colonial influences add a certain charm to the city. Both the southern and northern beaches enjoy warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Kenya is a safari country. It is needless to say, then, that there are several tour-operators who accompany tourists on visits of the Kenyan outback every year. That being said, the competition is tough, so pay attention to the quality of the services and the safety of the transportation methods, whether it be a jeep, train, plane, etc. Contact a tour operator who really knows the destination for advice. Trips to the reserves by road are generally done in mini buses or on 4x4s. If you decide to rent a car, it is recommended that you travel short stretches at a time since the roads aren't always in the best condition. In town, opt to travel by taxi rather than by 'matau', which are overcrowded and not exactly safe mini buses that serve as public transport.
If you are going to Kenya to see the animals, avoid the rainy season and the period around it. Opt instead for the dry season, when many of the animals gather around pools of water. We recommend taking along a guide on your discovery of the parks and reserves, especially of Masaï Mara. Even if it sometimes allowed, try to avoid going off-roading as much as possible, so as not to disturb the vegetation. The different animal parks can only be visited with a right of entry, which serves to improve the conditions of the infrastructures and provide visitors with the experience they are expecting. The price varies from year to year.
If you have the possibility of going to the north-west of the country towards Eldoret, try visiting the small village of Iten on the high plateaus. An exceptional panorama of the Rift Valley awaits you here. Before colonisation, the Masaï were one of the most prosperous and respected tribes in the Horn of Africa. Although they have now virtually become a tourist attraction around the reserves, they still deserve the highest respect. The best way to show this to them is by seeking their permission before taking snapshots, and don't forget to smile.
Think Kenya and think of the amazing array of wildlife and the endless, dramatic landscapes. However, this East African country also boasts its fair share of beautiful beaches, particularly on the Mombasa coastline; from Kilifi and Galu, to Tiwi and the star attraction Diani. Whether you're looking for ...
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