For a country of its size, Kenya sure packs
a lot in: mountains and deserts, colourful tribal culture, beaches and
coral reefs, and some of Africa’s best wildlife attractions. In fact, to
say Kenya is
in microcosm would not be stretching the point. There are a million
different reasons to come here, and picking just one is nigh impossible.
Stunning landscapes set the scene, from Kakamega’s rainforests to Indian
Ocean beaches by way of Mt Kenya National Park; the rolling grasslands
of the Masai Mara to searing deserts on the shores of the Jade Sea; with
The Rift Valley, home to Hell's Gate
National Park, cleaving a massive
gash through it all.
Wildlife safaris have been the mainstay of
Kenya’s tourism for decades, and several Kenyan parks, like Tsavo
are among the best places in Africa
to see lions, elephants, leopards and the famous wildebeest migration.
Kenya rates as one of the top five bird-watching destinations in the
world; other activities for outdoor enthusiasts include trekking the
glacial ridges of Mt Kenya, ballooning over the Masai Mara, snorkelling
at the Marine
in Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast, and much more besides. Kenya's
biggest city, Nairobi, with the
baddest of reputations, is sidestepped by many visitors, but, in
fairness, has an interesting urban appeal with its cafes and nightlife.
The people, too, represent a wide
cross-section of everything that is contemporary Africa,
and everyday life brings together traditional tribes and urban families;
ancient customs and modern sensibilities. Swapping the latest political
gossip with the switched-on locals is just one more small pleasure that
comes with the culture.