Kenya by design

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Kenya expert and author Richard Trillo draws on his extensive experience to create a list of ideal destinations for you. Categories include: Kenya for first timers, Kenya for adventurers, Kenya for animal lovers, Kenya for families, Kenya for safari cognoscenti, Kenya for honeymooners, Kenya for those with a disability, and Kenya for those on a budget. 

Kenya62HR-NAKURU-shutterstock_104663762Kenya for first-timers
Kenya’s infrastructure and its mix of welcoming and diverse cultures and relatively habituated wildlife (hunting has been banned since 1977) make it a strong favourite as a first-time experience of Africa.

In your enthusiasm to get out and explore everything Kenya has to offer, don’t do what I did for many years and overlook Nairobi National Park. This is not Central Park or Wimbledon Common. Where most capitals would have suburbs and factories, Nairobi has more than 100 square kilometres of savannah, woodland and river margins, unfenced to the south and home to all the big wildlife (elephants excepted), including some of the best rhino-viewing opportunities anywhere. New places to stay – Nairobi Tented Camp and The Emakoko lodge – also offer convenient airport access.

There’s no doubt the wildlife panoramas of the Maasai Mara are some of Africa’s most spectacular, especially when the wildebeest migration passes through (usually July to October). Even out of this season, though, sightings of predators and grazers here are never less than superb. If you’re hoping for those iconic migration river-crossing scenes, give yourself a day or two extra. For a less crowded experience stay in one of the rich wildlife conservancies rather than the reserve itself, and drive in to visit the river crossings. Or take a chance on November or December, and you may be surprised to find hundreds of thousands of wildebeest still here.

If Kenya will be your first tropical beach visit, as well as your first safari, you can’t go wrong with Diani Beach for the best overall combination of sand, sea, activities and choice of hotels. It’s less developed than the coast north of Mombasa and there are some lovely gems – at both ends of the price spectrum – and they’re not all big resort-style places. The further south you go, the more privacy you’ll have on the beach. And if you want restaurants, beach bars and a bit of nightlife, they’re all available, as are water sports and diving, with lessons and gear available (though it’s worth taking your own snorkel and mask).

Just half an hour inland from Diani Beach, the forested Shimba Hills are another world. The rustic, wooden Shimba Lodge, overlooking a waterhole in the forest, offers an outstanding introduction to the equatorial jungle environment, with its multiple decks, an aerial walkway through the trees. Here there is an altogether different kind of nightlife, as bats, bushbabies, genets and exotic tropical moths storm the lodge, accompanied by a cacophonic cricket and frog chorus.

Kenya for animal lovers
If you’re the kind of wildlife enthusiast who simply adores animals and maybe even prefers them to people (whisper it), then Kenya has plenty of treats for you.

Nairobi’s David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org) Elephant Orphanage is a shining example of dedicated veterinary and conservation work rolled together. It has perfected painstaking techniques for rearing orphaned elephants and rhinos at its base in Nairobi National Park, which is open daily for an hour to all (11am–noon), allowing you to meet and photograph tiny pachyderms feeding and at play with their keepers. Foster an orphan ($50/year) and you can have a more private late afternoon visit when the elephants are bedding down for the night.

Everyone loves the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Giraffe Centre (www.giraffecenter.org). In the grounds of Giraffe Manor – a country house built after the style of a Scottish hunting lodge – it breeds the rare Rothschild giraffe, a dozen of which saunter around the estate and come to the visitor centre (open daily 9am–5.30pm) where you can look into those liquid eyes from a giraffe-level platform, feed them giraffe pellets and even receive a sticky “giraffe kiss”.

Close encounters of the furred kind are available at many of Kenya’s long-established safari camps. Rock and tree hyraxes scamper happily at many a hillside lodge, while at camps such as Satao in Tsavo East National Park and Severin in Tsavo West (both camps unfenced and deep in the bush), a wide variety of wildlife, including herds of impala and families of warthog, comes right into camp, where they sense predators are less prone to visit. Many camps have orphans – eland calves and cheetah cubs are not uncommon – while genets drape themselves above the bar in the evening and audacious hornbills hop from chair to chair at breakfast time.

For an unusual wildlife experience, join the Walking with Baboons project at Il Polei Group Ranch in Laikipia. The project, part of a long-term study by primatologists, introduces visitors to habituated baboon troops at close quarters during the course of an early morning or evening bush walk. You’ll learn about the importance of avoiding eye contact and the fascinating subtlety of baboon family and social life.

At the coast, sea turtle conservation projects on several beaches give  visitors the opportunity to leave the sun bed for an hour or two and learn about Kenya’s five marine turtles – all endangered. Several of the projects pay fishermen who accidentally net the reptiles, then treat them for any injuries before releasing them. The best place is the Turtle Rehab Centre at Watamu, where you can get involved by sponsoring turtles and – with luck in October or November – be out on the beach when the nests are hatching.

Kenya for families
Kenya is a top choice for family safaris: most camps and lodges welcome children and rely for part of their business on Nairobi families.

If you have energetic teenagers, they will love warrior training with the Maasai at Maji Moto Eco-Camp in the Mara region. This affordable, joint Slovenian-Maasai-owned camp, on a hillside just three hours drive from Nairobi, was a big hit with my 19-year old son. It has low-footprint dome tents on neat pitches, with outdoor showers supplied with hot water by donkey from the hot springs at the foot of the escarpment. Learn Maasai bush lore and tradition, then participate in dancing and singing. Best of all, split into teams, then take up your weapons (tough, rubbery plant shoots) and hurl them at each other amid much hilarity.

The Laikipia region has no shortage of high-end, family-friendly lodges, but Sabuk Lodge, where the Ewaso Nyiro river tumbles north, particularly appeals to older children with its delightfully quirky cottages perched above the gorge (toddlers would need constant supervision). Camel treks (from an hour or two to several days), tubing on the river and rock-jumping into it, and bush walks and game drives to watch the elephants and grazers of the region can all be organised.

The three Kicheche camps in the Masai Mara region – in the community-owned Olare Orok, Mara North and Mara Naboisho conservancies – are particularly suited to family safaris. You’ll know how keen your kids are on wildlife before you arrive, but you won’t know if they will want to go out on every game drive (especially in the chill of dawn). Therefore it’s wonderful to have the option of letting them stay in camp and go off with Maasai staff after breakfast – maybe to do a poo-and-print trail (tracking overnight animal movements around camp), to learn fire-making, spear-throwing and archery, or to catch butterflies (the Mara has more than half of Kenya’s 550 species).

The Indian Ocean coast is ideal for family beach holidays, with no shortage of activities and a safe lagoon of delightfully warm, clear water running along the inside of the coral reef running the length of the coastline, usually several hundred metres offshore. Choose a simple, family-friendly hotel, with a nice pool and good food, like the Driftwood Club in Malindi, or Ocean Sports in Watamu, or go for the all-singing, all-dancing, all-inclusive approach at the eco-friendly Turtle Bay Beach Club in Watamu or the much-loved Southern Palms on Diani Beach, with its giant pool.

HR-AMBOSELI-shutterstock_113469799Kenya for experienced safari-goers
If you’re a frequent safari-goer with visits to countries such as Botswana, Zambia or Tanzania inscribed in your memory, you may have always felt Kenya was a little too commercial, too easy and too mass-market. Think again.

For a visit to the Masai Mara region that bypasses the prospect of minibus safari vans and lodges, consider a safari-trek in the Loita Hills with Maasai guides. Setting off from the secluded Leleshwa Camp you walk into the Loita Forest, at an altitude of between 2000m and 2400m, with a donkey caravan to carry your luggage and go ahead to set up camp for the night. Abundant birdlife on the margins of the thick forest, interspersed with highland meadows and plenty of plains wildlife, including elephants, makes this a memorable hike.

For black rhinos and other rare species, including wild dogs (now making a comeback in Kenya), head for the rolling bush and former ranch lands of Laikipia. I took my brother to Kenya in 2012 on his first ever visit to Africa and within 48 hours of landing we’d seen an aardvark at El Karama and were watching wild dogs on the banks of the Ewaso Narok at Sosian – both firsts for me in more than 30 years of African travels. Sosian is a participant in wild dog research and the managers and guides at the comfortable, estancia-style Sosian Ranch House are skilled at tracking the collared individuals in the local pack.

Overlooked by package tours, Chyulu Hills National Park offers excellent wildlife (including some of Kenya’s wildest and most elusive black rhinos), inspiring scenery and a location just a few miles off the Mombasa Highway. You can fly by scheduled flight to the hills’ airstrip, or drive via the superb new Amboseli road. Two fine lodges offer contrasting inducements –  legendary safari pilot Richard Bonham’s Ol Donyo Lodge with its horse-riding and chic cottages with individual plunge pools, and passionate environmentalist Luca Belpietro’s Campi ya Kanzi, with its trailblazing commitment to the local Maasai community and activities ranging from hikes in the hill top cloud forest to game drives.

There is no lodge in Kenya as remote as Desert Rose, near the peaks of Mount Nyiru, south of Lake Turkana. Most visitors arrive by helicopter on the green lawns by the main house, or by charter flight to the airstrip on the plains. We drove up in a Land Rover – an experience that genuinely tested our nerves as we inched up in first gear along a track cut through solid rock, through majestic mountain landscapes. The get-away-from-it-all exclusivity of the lodge is belied by its wonderful relations with Mount Nyiru’s Samburu community, who frequently share their customary rituals and social events with guests.

Kenya on honeymoon
From the Great Rift Valley to the Indian Ocean, Kenya has romance running through it. The prospect of a honeymoon on safari, with or without overtones of Out of Africa, is one that appeals to many people.

The remote Ol Derikesi Group Ranch, on the southeast border of the Masai Mara Reserve, is the location of the magnificent Cottar’s 1920s Camp. Owned by one of the oldest safari families of the region, its vast tents are grandly furnished in Edwardian style and each attended by a personal butler. It makes a suitably sybaritic setting for the first few days of married life, and if you can drag yourselves out of bed for an early morning game drive, accompanied by one of the camp’s three gold-level safari guides, you’ll find this area is outstanding lion country and home to all the savannah wildlife of the region with the exception of rhinos.

Whatever you may think of the late Joy Adamson (famous misanthrope, serial seductress and foster mother of Elsa the lioness), never was a safari camp so aptly named as the utterly captivating Joy’s Camp in the Shaba National Reserve. Located on the site of one of her bush camps, Joy’s is set close to a marsh where buffalo wallow. The palatial and exquisitely beautiful Bedouin-style tents, and the welcoming pool across the green lawns, make it one of the most elegant camps in Kenya.

If I were honeymooning again, I’d choose the star beds at Il Ngwesi Eco Lodge, on a remote ridge in northern Kenya. The cottages No.5 and No.1 (the latter is closest to the waterhole, and the most private) have these wonderful beds, which are pulled out onto the deck so you sleep in the open, with just a mosquito net between you and the stars. From the small infinity pool on the dining terrace, you gaze across the valley onto a succession of wildlife visitors. Local Ilaikipiak Maasai staff run the lodge and all the proceeds support their community.

It can be hard to find just the right beach hotel, but choosing an owner-managed boutique lodge is a good start. Tijara Beach, a few minutes drive from the ferry south of Mombasa, really hits the spot, with beautifully private, well-spaced villas, and a virtually deserted beach (with caves), perfect for walks, beachcombing and snorkelling. A short drive away in the Shimba Hills, Kutazama is even smaller: just two luxurious, secluded private villas and a split-level infinity pool, all set in a gorgeous garden above the stunning Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary, with charming owner-hosts to look after your every need.

Kenya for adventurers
With its icy mountain peaks, searing northern deserts and dramatic Rift Valley scenery, Kenya offers huge scope for getting off the beaten track and making your own discoveries.

Four hours’ drive north of Isiolo, you climb into a cloud forest and reach the gate of Marsabit National Park. This mountain oasis in the desert is famous for sheltering big-tusked elephants. We also saw a lone hyena padding like a ghost through the trees, and a large copper-coloured cobra, its neck arching from a bush at the side of the track. You’re more likely, however, to see swooping eagles and dazzling butterflies – and possibly some forest buffalos. The vintage Marsabit Lodge offers no-frills bed and board by a tranquil crater lake.

If you drive across the Chalbi Desert from Marsabit you’ll reach the vast sickle-shaped expanse of Lake Turkana, home to the once notoriously bellicose fishing people of the same name. On its shores, each May, the Lake Turkana Festival takes place in the two-bit desert mission and trading post of Loyangalani. Under the auspices of the German Embassy and the National Museums of Kenya, ten northern tribes get together in a colourful weekend jamboree of song, dance and reconciliation. Photogenic, relaxed, strangely incongruous and warmly comical, there’s no other tribal festival like it in East Africa.

On the banks of Kenya’s biggest river, the Tana River Primate National Reserve is home to two of the country’s rarest monkeys – the crested mangabey and Tana River red colobus. A night at the research base among the tall forest trees on the riverbank makes a stunningly atmospheric stopover on the most direct but least-used route between Nairobi and Lamu. When we stayed here in 2012 there were two quite well equipped twin tents, but a forest giant crashed down in a storm one night and demolished one of them. And to think we were concerned about crocs and hippos…

The foothills of the Aberdare range begin in the northern suburbs of Nairobi, and the range creates a natural divide between the central highlands and the Great Rift Valley. Travelling over the Aberdare from Naivasha to Thika (or vice versa) you pass through untouched mountain jungle, with big-leafed trees, clumps of huge bamboo, chameleons and monkeys. It’s a challenge in a 4WD, requiring a full day, a power saw and a winch. Why the special kit? Because forest elephants knock trees down over the mountain track, rendering it all but impassable. Do the route on foot, with a mountain bike, or on a light trail bike, and you’ll get through.

Compared with the well-trodden trails up Kilimanjaro, climbing Mount Kenya by one of its less frequented routes is always an adventure. Make your way to Castle Forest Lodge at the start of the Kamweti trail on the southern slopes of this ancient and long extinct volcano. Sign up a porter for each hiker and he’ll carry your main bag and be your guide and motivator (US$20 per day would be a good wage). The last remaining wild bongos can be seen on this trail, as can elephants, buffalo and zebra, and the sci-fi-like giant herbs of the alpine zones. A new via ferrata cable-way helps you reach the icy summit of Point Lenana.

Kenya on a budget
It’s never a good idea to try to stretch your money too far, but Kenya can certainly be visited on a budget if you plan ahead and choose your itinerary carefully.

Most people treat the trip from Nairobi to Mombasa as a journey to be endured on a six-hour bus trip or an overnight train journey. Slow down, and you’ll find budget options left and right. Some, like the Sikh temple at Makindu (good rooms and meals by donation), can be visited on impulse. Others, like the luxury self-catering lodge at Umani Springs, in the Kibwezi Forest, need to be booked ahead. This stunning designer safari lodge has a full team of staff, including a great chef (bring all your own food and drinks), a beautiful spring-fed swimming pool, outdoor showers, swings under the trees, and wildlife that includes big pythons and an array of bird and insect life (£45 per person, minimum 4, maximum 10).

The first port of call outside Nairobi for many budget travellers is the backpacker’s paradise of Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley. There are multiple cheap places to stay on the wooded shores (I like Carnelly’s best: around £10 per person) and nearby Hell’s Gate National Park is ideal for low budgets. You can enter this picturesque park of cliffs and savannah on foot – or on a rented mountain bike available near the gate. Giraffe, zebras and gazelle are usually seen – together with sinister-looking secretary birds stalking through the grass. The Rift Valley Festival (rock and local sounds) bursts into life every July at Fisherman’s Camp.

If you’re on a strict budget, seeing the Masai Mara without breaking the bank is a much-discussed goal. The cheapest option is a bus from Nairobi to Narok, followed by a matatu to Sekenani, Talek or Ololaimutiek gate. You can camp with your own equipment for a few pounds a head or stay at a budget lodge or tented camp (around £30 to £50, including basic meals). While a limited amount of wildlife-viewing is possible on the access roads and around the gates, you’ll have to pay the daily fee of £50 as soon as you enter the reserve. If it all sounds like a budget-buster, consider just taking a matatu from Narok straight through the Mara conservancies to Migori, on the road between Kisumu and Tanzania, which will give you a flavour, and plenty of wildlife glimpses.

In the arid north, on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro, just outside Samburu National Reserve, the Umoja Women’s Camp Bandas offer a great alternative to the pricey safari camps and lodges of the reserve. Not only does your money (around £25 for two in the simple, en suite huts) go to support the Umoja women’s refuge run by charismatic Samburu campaigner Rebecca Lolosoli, but the spot is only a short walk from the transport connections in Archer’s Post, and perfect for arranging lifts. There are plenty of wildlife visitors to the camp, or you can rent the camp’s 4WD for game drives in the reserve.

The ultimate destination of many budget travellers is Lamu. A Swahili city-state dating back more than 1000 years, this island community with no roads and few motor vehicles is the perfect escape from modern life (without saying goodbye to the Internet, banana pancakes and mango smoothies). Dhow trips, lazy days on the beach, explorations through the old town’s alleys and long evenings on the waterfront make it a hard place to tear yourself away from.

Highlights

Lake Nakuru National Park An international RAMSAR site, the wetlands are famous for large concentrations of greater and lesser flamingos, white pelicans and Palaearctic migrants. One of the few Kenyan parks to be fenced in its entirety, Nakuru also forms a stronghold for endangered species such as Rothschild’s giraffe and black rhino. White rhino, waterbuck, impala and vervet monkeys are common, while leopards are occasionally seen.

Samburu National Reserve Samburu National Reserve and the surrounding community lands of Samburu are a haven for Somali ostriches, Grevy’s zebras, gerenuks, Beisa oryx and reticulated giraffes, together with fascinating birdlife. Large elephant families congregate on the Ewaso Ngiro river in the dry season. The adjacent national reserves of Buffalo Springs and Shaba only increase the area in which to roam.

Lake Victoria Divided between Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, Victoria is the second-largest lake in the world. Kenya’s section is dominated by the Winam Gulf, Kisumu being the main port, and the islands of Rusinga, Takawiri and Mfangano off Mbita Point. Fossils from the Miocene period litter Rusinga Island, while on Mfangano there are 18,000-year-old rock paintings by the Twa pygmies. The lake has a flourishing small-scale fishing industry, while sports fishermen are drawn by the trophy-size Nile perch.

Masai Mara Reserve Although justifiably famous for the wildebeest migration alone, particularly the dramatic crocodile-filled crossings of the Mara River, the Masai Mara has so very much more to offer the visitor. It brims with wildlife year-round, with big cats always playing a staring role (it’s no surprise the reserve has long been used for BBC’s Big Cat Diary). While its popularity has meant thousands more visit each year, exciting new conservancies on the reserve’s fringes, which have strict limits on guest numbers, ensure you can still get one-on-one time with the Mara’s epic wildlife.

Amboseli National Park Famous for its large elephant herds, which have been studied for over 40 years by the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, and a former hunting ground of Ernest Hemingway, Amboseli National Park and the surrounding Masai ranches lie in the lee of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. The marshes are home to chortling hippos and exotic birdlife, and there are gazelles, zebras and giraffes aplenty, together with clans of hyenas.

Chyulu Hills Ernest Hemingway’s “Green hills of Africa”, the volcanic Chyulu range is covered in verdant forest, volcanic vents and lava flows. Riding and walking are popular, with views of Kilimanjaro. For those interested in caving, Leviathan has the world’s fourth-longest lava tube system, with 12.5km of passages. Be sure to take a guide to get the most from a visit.

Mombasa A gateway island to the northern and southern beaches, Mombasa is a trading port and the second largest metropolis in Kenya. The Old Town, with its 13th-century Swahili heritage, and Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, is of key interest. Elsewhere in town you’ll find colourful markets and bazaars, Hindu temples and mosques. Diani Beach, some 30km south of the city, is a great option for a coastal retreat with its combination of sand, sea, activities and choice of hotels. It’s less developed than the coast north of Mombasa and there are some real gems.

Nairobi National Park Far from being a petite oasis in the city’s centre for a lunchtime picnic on some green grass, Nairobi National Park spreads over 10,000ha of savannah, woodland and river margins. Being unfenced to the south it is home to most of East Africa’s classic safari species (excluding elephants) and offers some of the best rhino-viewing opportunities anywhere. As of 2012 there are also great accommodation options within the park.

Lamu Lying off the north Kenyan coast, the Lamu archipelago comprises the islands of Lamu, Manda, Pate and Kiwayu. Lamu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates from the ninth century, with excellent examples of 19th-century merchant houses and a strong Swahili culture. The island offers visitors Swahili ruins, dhow trips, superb snorkeling and golden, dune-fringed beaches.

Lake Naivasha Fringed by fever tree forests, this scenic freshwater lake offers good facilities for all budgets and a fantastic range of activities. The lakeshore supports plenty of giraffe, hippo, antelope and varied birdlife. Nearby Hell’s Gate National Park gives you the chance to walk or cycle among buffalo, giraffe, zebra and various antelope (even the occasional cheetah or lion), while Mount Longonot National Park’s dramatic volcanic caldera is great for a day’s hike.

Mount Kenya Rising majestically through the clouds, the craggy peaks of Bation (5199m), Nelion (5188m) and Point Lenana (4985m) glisten with tropical ice. Nelion and Bation require technical climbing, but Point Lenana can be reached on foot via several routes. In 2012 the world’s highest via ferrata was launched on the more challenging sections to make the ascent to Point Lenana safer and more scenic. The scenery and flora are magnificent, ranging from thick forest to rich alpine meadows, giant lobelias and groundsel.

Laikipia Second to the Mara in game numbers, the Laikipia Plateau also boasts the highest concentration of endangered species – sitatunga antelope, Grevy’s zebra, black rhino and white rhino – in East Africa. Dozens of community and private conservancies blanket the plateau and work to show that humans can live sustainably with wildlife. The vast conservation movement was started in the early 1980s, when just over 2000ha of land was set aside for the Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary. That sanctuary eventually became the much larger Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in 1995, and it is still one of the leading lights in the region. In 2004 the Northern Ranchlands Trust was formed to develop resilient community conservancies, which transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources. Laikipia’s conservation and community efforts are an example for the rest of Africa.

Lake Turkana The Jade Sea is the largest of Kenya’s Rift Valley lakes, stretching from the Ethiopian border to the Suguta valley. Surrounded by arid scenery, the lake has a huge population of Nile crocodile, while enormous Nile perch attract the fishing fraternity. Sibiloi National Park, regarded as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ for its fossil discoveries at Koobi Fora, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Lake Turkana Festival each May in Loyangalani is a real eye opener.

Practical details to help with your planning
Language Kenya’s constitution allows for the use of both Kiswahili and English as official languages. Kiswahili is a coastal Bantu language that has become the lingua franca of East Africa. English, though not indigenous to the country, is spoken to a medium-to-high standard by most people working in the tourism industry. Over 40 other regional languages are spoken countrywide.
Time zone GMT+3
International dialling code +254
Visas Visas, though required by most nationalities, can be bought upon arrival at all land borders and international airports. A single-entry visa can be acquired upon entry to Kenya for US$50 or before travel from the Kenya UK High Commission in London for £30. More information is available at www.kenyahighcommission.net/visas.html
Health Proof of a yellow fever vaccination may be required when crossing into Kenya from Tanzania or elsewhere in Africa, but not when arriving from Europe or North America. Malaria is present in most parts of the country and prophylactic drugs are strongly recommended to all visitors. Bottled water is widely available and cheap.
Money The unit of currency is the Kenya shilling. Recent exchange rates were: UK£1=Ksh135, US$1=Ksh88 and €1=Ksh117. Foreign currency can be changed into Kenya shillings at any bank or bureau de change, though the latter often deal in cash only and decline to take traveller’s cheques. Visa and to a lesser extent MasterCard are accepted by many tourist hotels, and can also be used to draw local currency at ATMs in most towns and cities.
Safety Kenya is generally regarded to be very safe, with malaria forming by far the greatest threat to life and limb. As with any foreign travel, always check for the latest updates at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (www.fco.gov.uk).
Getting there Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport is East Africa’s leading hub and ranks among the busiest airports on the continent, handling up to four million passengers annually. Airlines offering scheduled flights to Nairobi include British Airways (www.ba.com), KLM (www.klm.com), Emirates (www.emirates.com), South African Airways (www.flysaa.com) and the national carrier Kenya Airways (www.kenya-airways.com).
Getting around Once in Nairobi, regular flights connect Wilson Airport (which is closer to the city centre than Kenyatta) to most destinations in Kenya. Much of the southwest quarter of the country is also easily explored by road, whether in a rented vehicle, on an organised safari, or using public transport. A sturdy 4WD is required for travel to Kenya’s more remote north.
Books Bradt’s Kenya Highlights by Philip Briggs (1st ed, 2010) is a great guide for people on organised safaris, while The Rough Guide to Kenya by Richard Trillo (10th ed, 2013) and Lonely Planet’s Kenya (8th ed, 2012) are great for independent travellers.

First published in Travel Kenya, a supplement of Travel Africa magazine, Issue 62

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