Traveling is a favorite pastime for many people around the world and it is probably one of the most popular ones as well. After all, there is nothing better than going to a new place and experiencing a different culture and lifestyle while having the chance to see many beautiful and interesting things that you have never seen before.
In recent years, several African countries have become a touristic hot spot which should not come as a surprise since there are many wonders one can see and explore there.
One such place is Kenya, a country in East Africa, special for its dramatically diverse and contrasting nature and way of life. There is definitely a lot one can discover and enjoy, so let’s take a look at what it has to offer and why exactly it is one of the must-visit places this year.
1. Great Climate All Year Round
Kenya’s climate is warm all year long since it lies just across the equator. With sunny days and chillier mornings and nights, the weather is generally favorable for any kind of activity. This also means that you can plan your travel whenever it is most convenient and you will always be greeted with an equally lovely climate.
2. Experience the Wildlife
The country has no shortage of national parks and reserves and a vast variety of wild animals. Whether you prefer early mornings or late evenings, you will surely be able to have an amazing time watching the animals in their natural habitat.
The Masai Mara offers you a chance to get a closer look at the wildlife and is an optimal destination for a safari. Besides the so-called Big 5 (elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino) you will also have a chance to see some unusual species. Prepare to be blown away by the picturesque breathtaking landscape as well.
If you do not have a lot of time to visit some of the bigger, more significant parks, the Nairobi National Park is just 15 minutes away from the capital city.
3. The Coastline
The 140-mile long coastline is easily accessible and perfect for people who enjoy any type of activity in the water. There are many sandy beaches to pick from packed with fun offers such as snorkeling and scuba diving. What might be interesting to know is that the second largest coral reef is located in the country and is known as the Kenyan Barrier Reef.
4. Easy Access
You will need a visa to enter the country and we all know how complicated and stressful getting one can be at times. However, authorities have introduced the e-visa system in 2015, meaning that you will be able to get one online as opposed to having to fill out traditional paper ones.
All you need is a valid passport and at least one blank page on it, as well as a return ticket. The application process is also quite painless since all you have to do is submit a form, make your payment, and download the e-visa PDF.
This will not only help you save money but time at the airport too. If you would like to learn more about this, you can click here.
5. Versatile Accommodation
Since there are a lot of tourists all year round, there are many great, comfortable accommodation options one can enjoy. While traditional hotels are available in major cities, something a bit more interesting is being able to stay in National Park lodges if you wish to be surrounded by nature and wildlife or in beach resorts if you wish to enjoy the beautiful coastal view and relax even more.
6. The Culture and The People
Kenyans are known to be extremely friendly, hospitable, and willing to help. Generally, they welcome you with open arms and eagerly share the passion they have for their beautiful homeland. Do not shy away from meeting them and feel free to greet, talk, and get to know them too.
You can also have a truly impactful cultural experience since the tribes are hospitable as well and have no problems mingling with tourists. Get a first-hand and personal taste of the Kenyan heritage by visiting some of the many tribes such as the Swahili, Maasai, Pokot, Samburu, El Molo, and many others.
7. Abundant Historical Sites
There are so many historical sites one can visit with the Gedi Ruins, Fort Jesus, and Shimoni Slave Caves being just some of them.
Northeast of Mombasa, you will find Lamu Old Town on the small island of Lamu, possibly the oldest inhabited settlement in Kenya, dating back all the way to the 12th century.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, there you will be able to find homes influenced by European, Arab, and Indian architectural styles but so evidently built with the Swahili technique. Go back in time by visiting this charming little town.
8. Mount Kenya National Park
The national park is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also encompasses the highest mountain, Mount Kenya, and has an enormously diverse plant and wildlife. What is interesting to note is that the scenery constantly changes from snow-topped mountains, alpine and bamboo forests, to glaciers, mineral springs, and lakes.
The national park is also a great place to enjoy hiking and there are several peaks with varying difficulties one can climb as well.
9. The Food
Fresh produce is very popular in the country and the ingredients used in Kenyan cuisine are usually cheap, easily used, and fresh. Through local ingredients and native spices, you will be able to taste a balance of different flavors influenced by a variety of cultures.
Some of the most common ingredients include cornmeal, rice, beans, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, beef, fish, pineapples, mangoes, bananas, and many more. Some of the best traditional dishes include Ugali, Pilau, Kenyan Chapati, Mukimo, and many others.
Great weather, breathtaking natural beauty, exciting wildlife, historical sights, amazing beaches, and urban cities, there is something for everyone, no matter their preference. Perhaps this is the reason why Kenya is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, so consider adding this culturally rich country on to bucket list and think about visiting it at least once in your lifetime.