I am thinking of going to Kenya for 2 weeks at the end of December.
While I have never been to Africa I wanted to know other people opinions and recommendations. I am a bit worried as I am not a very experienced traveller and Africa has a reputation for being a bit dangerous, but the cultural contrast between UK and Africa is too much to miss.
Any advice or information appreicated.
I could write a thesis on reasons to visit Kenya. And on the back of a postage stamp I could write the reasons not to visit Kenya.
Kenya is a truly magnificent country and what's more is that it borders a couple of other truly magnificent countries so don't limit yourself to one place.
If you like nature, you're going to adore Kenya; and I don't just mean in the game parks. The abundance of amazing birdlife that can be seen in the city parks or people's back gardens is overwhelming. And then there's the national parks...
If you're really nervous about visiting Kenya send me a Person Mail (PM) and I'll give you the name of a place to stay in Nairobi for a day or two that will blow your mind and introduce you slowly to the country. I only found it a few weeks back and I've already vowed never to stay anywhere else again.
But do start planning, it's the journey and experience of a lifetime.
Feel free to PM me and ask specific questions.
I absolutely agree with Zaksame!! There is no reason to be afraid of Africa! I travelled alone (and I am a woman) in Africa for 8 months and I never felt in danger. But do not neglect the antimalaria prevention, it is a must.
You will never be wrong with vacations Kenya. Holidays are just made the way they were meant to be. welcome to Kenya!!
Hi! I holidayed in Kenya 6 years back on a conventional tourist package holiday (never again! I ended up spending 3 weeks with the village across the road and discovereed the traditional African life is far more exciting, inspirational and educational)
I was taking my daughter who was then 11 months old and obviously was petrified of taking her to such a different culture. I studied and studied Africa and most of what I read scared me to death - the insects, the heat, the danger areas, the robberies/muggings... I got so spooked that I gave my neighbours my plane tickets and told them they could go!!
However, my husband managed to get them back and managed to persuade me to go.. and I reluctantly got on the plane. Although it was a culture shock at first, I absolutely fell in love with the country, the people and the way of life. My daughter was completely unfazed by the heat and only I got bitten by Mozzies and it wasn't toooo bad! The danger areas I'd read about were no more dangerous than anywhere else and it was just a case of following the advice of the locals and being sensible. The people will make you feel like the most popular and adored person on the planet and although it's definately a genuine kindness and friendliness, you will get a few of your 'new friends' then asking you for cash for 'sick relatives' or other 'emergencies'.
I've held a passion for Africa in my heart ever since and vowed to return one day (but never again as a tourist). And now, I'm going backpacking for the first time ever as a 36 year old lass in August (exploring Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha and Nairobi) .... with my daughter who's now 7.
No way would I be going backpacking with a little girl in tow if I thought we'd be in danger. Even if I meet a risky or emergency situation or meet one dodgy person, I know there'll be 100 African people with good hearts nearby that would make sure we're ok!
All I'd say is just be ready for the begging! It's relentless and makes you feel terrible because it's impossible to help everyone!
Pity you're not going in August but I'll let you know if I find anything new of use to you while I'm out there!
December is always a peak season in Kenya and i would advice booking early to avoid disappointments especially if you are planning to visit the coastol area. Since you have 2 weeks i would suggest starting your Safari in Samburu-Lake Nakuru-Masai Mara-Amboseli-Tsavo-Mombasa.
When it comes to security, avoid being alone in streets, avoid asking directions in streets and if you have to, ask from hotels, restaurants or shops.