Kenya

Nairobi and Mombasa

Nairobi

In the past one hundred years the capital of Kenya has greatly expanded. It is a modern city and a lively melting pot of cultures. The capital of Kenya was once no more than a train station on the railway line from Mombasa to Lake Victoria. The station was located near a river where the Maasai grazed their livestock, the Enkare Nyrobi. Subsequently, the city name transformed to "Nairobi". What is particularly striking about Nairobi (and actually the whole of Kenya) is that it is unique to see so many different cultures. Besides the Kenyan community (mostly Kikuyu), Somali's, Arabs, Europeans, Indians, Chinese and Pakistani brotherly live side by side. Another very special feature about Nairobi is that it borders the Nairobi National Park, easily visible if you arrive by plane. The capital of Kenya is one of the International centres of Africa, and with more than 3 million inhabitants it has inevitably different appearances. Unfortunately often more attention is paid to the lesser side as the slums (especially during the problems in early 2008), but it should definitely be mentioned that Nairobi is actually an interesting truly African city that cannot be missed during a visit to Kenya.

Fun excursions and activities in Nairobi:

White river rafting on the Tana River

The adventure starts with a 3 km stretch of easy class II and III white water, where there is plenty of opportunity to practice the paddle skills required to run the lower part of the river. A 6 km section follows with an hour or so of relaxation to view the abundance of bird life around. Cool off with a swim in the warm water. The final 7 km of river, back to the campsite starts with some easy class III waters where paddle commands are gone over again. It is now time for the 3 big rapids (class IV and V) with names like Captains Folly, Can of Worms,(taking its name from its four 90 degree bends in succession) and Sphincter Flexor. Subject to water levels we may be able to do some surfing in “fish eye” and then swim the next couple of smaller rapids. Numerous smaller rapids brings one on to the last big one – Spasm, a series of drops over ¾ km with a big surprise half way through. We reach the take out point/campsite about 4 to 5 hours after setting off, where a full barbeque lunch awaits us. Plenty of beer and soft drink included

The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

This special orphanage is located in the Nairobi National Park. It was started by David Sheldrick, and his wife, with an aim of Helping save the lives of orphaned Elephants and Rhinos who are ultimately released back into the wild. Calves orphaned by poaching are brought here; where the receive extremely specialized treatment, and one on one personal care 24 hours a day from highly dedicated staff who become surrogate mothers to the calves. The orphanage is open to visitors, from 11.00am to 12.00pm, which gives visitors an opportunity to see the elephants being fed and playing.

Out of Africa

This tour offers you a great experience with a visit to the museum of Karen Blixen, the Kazuri beads centre and the Giraffe Centre. You are picked up at the hotel around 2 and driven to the interesting historical Karen Blixen museum. The museum is based in the former home of Karen Blixen and here the film Out of Africa was filmed. The Kazuri Beads centre is a community centre where 200 women make the most beautiful jewellery and you can treat yourself to a great gift. At the Giraffe Centre you can meet de giraffes face to face standing on a platform you can feet and pet them.

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The park is located only 7 km from Nairobi city centre. The savannah ecosystem comprise of different vegetation types. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest. To the south are the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela migration corridor which are important wildlife dispersal areas during the rainy season. Man-made dams within the park have added a further habitat, favourable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biome.

Major wildlife attractions are the Black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffaloes, Giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, elands and diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded. Other attractions include the Ivory burning site Monument, Nairobi Safari Walk, the Orphanage and the walking trails at hippo pools.

Nairobi city tour

During this tour you will explore Nairobi and visit several important buildings such as the parliamentary building. Also you visit the National Museum, where magnificent paintings of animals and galleries can be seen. You will get an insight into the life of the ancient man and much information about the current population of Kenya and their struggle for independence. Also will you still visit the Snake Park.

Mombasa

The bustling city of Mombasa is located on the coast and is not to be compared with the business city Nairobi. Life here is at the relaxed pace of the Swahili people, and the climate is humid and warm. The ancient city of Mombasa is on a peninsula with a creek on both sides, Tudor and Kilindini. The traditional and interesting waterfront of the old city has been preserved. There is an Arab-Indian atmosphere in a maze of narrow streets and alleys (largely inaccessible to motorised traffic) with overhanging balconies and portals with interesting wooden carvings. At the Old Port you can still see the wonderful dhows (traditional Arabic sailing boat) carrying fruits and other goods from Lamu and Somalia. Fort Jesus, an impregnable historic feature in the old town was built in 1593 by the Portuguese as the ultimate, impenetrable fortress with walls of 25 meters high and 2.5 meters thick. Mombasa makes a great beginning or end to your Magical Kenya safari. Both north and south of Mombasa there are many beautiful beach resorts in all categories (for more information see the button “beaches").


MIRACLE TIP: To complete your itinerary, combine your beach stay with a day in Mombasa including a dinner cruise on a traditional Dhow on the Tudor Creek.



Fun excursions and activities in Mombasa:

Pilli Pipa Dhow excursion: For a dhow experience with that personal touch, this trip is a must-do. Limited numbers, personal service and little extras such as prescription snorkels will ensure you’re pampered from beginning to end. As you cruise through the waters around Wasini and Kisite Marine Park, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for snorkelling. And if it’s your first time, help is on hand to introduce you to the underwater world. As the day continues, you’ll be welcomed to Wasini Island to the sound of Swahili song before tucking into a seafood lunch. The afternoon is free to spend as you like – wonder round the local village or soak up some sun before returning to the mainland

Dhow Dinner Cruise:

Dining on one of the Tamarind Dhows is a really fun and luxurious way to spend an evening.

There are two of these authentic traditional Arab sailing boats, both of which have been completely refurbished as floating restaurants with every modern convenience on board.

This dinner cruise lasts about 4 hours and can be a wonderfully fun and romantic way to spend an evening, with plenty of room for live music and dancing after a delicious meal. The guests are offered a welcome "Dawa" cocktail before sailing towards Fort Jesus. The twinkling lights of Mombasa and the starlit skies provide idyllic surroundings for this enjoyable experience. A delicious, swahili style seafood dinner is meticulously prepared in front of the guests on the deck and the resident band on board offers a wide choice of dance music, from the latest hits to the golden oldies as the Dhow gently glides along.

City tour Mombasa

This short city tour is a good introduction to Mombasa. Visit the National Museum together with Fort Jesus and stroll through the narrow streets of the old town. You will drive passed several Indian temples and mosques. The tour ends at a traditional bazaar where you can shop to till you drop.

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