Kenya: First Time Travel Tips

Kenya: First Time Travel Tips

Written By: Sofia

What comes to mind when you think about Kenya? This East African country is one of the most popular destinations, thanks to vast number of nature reserves and national parks. For many, a trip to Africa means enjoying a safari to see some of the world’s most beautiful creatures -- and Kenya is one of the best places to go to see nearly every animal you can imagine on the African continent.

While there are so many things to see and do in Kenya, one of the largest aspects of tourism is related to the wildlife tours and safaris. All types of transportation is designated for these safaris -- we’re talking about light aircraft, buses and even the iconic jeeps which seems to be so quintessentially safari. During my last visit to Kenya, which was over a year ago, I just had to reserve a spot on one of the amazing wildlife safaris which took myself and others to tented camps that spanned hundreds of miles.

HEAD OUT ON A SAFARI

A safari is truly one of the must-see activities if you’re coming to Kenya, but it isn’t for everybody. If you don’t do well in the outdoors or you don’t like getting up close with nature, then you might want to start with a shorter safari closer to a city.

While Kenya is very popular for tourists in the realm of safaris, that’s not all this country has to offer. There are plenty of cultural activities and points of interest in Nairobi, which is the capital city of Kenya -- it’s also the largest city and located on the Nairobi River.

Here are some first time travel tips if you plan on visiting Kenya and you have never been. Many times, traveling abroad you learn some of the basics, in addition to doing your own research before visiting a new country. Some of these tips might sound self-explanatory, but trust me, better safe than sorry and safety is always number one. While Kenya has had its fair share of political controversy and crime, just like any other country you visit, it’s always better to be prepared and observant of the things going on around you.

BE AWARE!

For example, bag snatching is one of the most common occurrences in large public areas, particularly in the transit stations and airports. Don’t wear any of your flashy possessions and always hold your luggage close to you. Some areas of Nairobi in particular are higher in crime, but chances are you won’t be around those areas if you’re just passing through. One of the best ways to travel to a new country such as Kenya is to go with the travel group or be accompanied by a host. These local hosts can help steer you in the right direction and give you plenty of important safety tips for your trip. Also, this might be common sense to most, don’t walk around alone at night or carry around a large sum of money.

Take time while you are in Kenya to visit some of the animal centers and wildlife reserves. Some of my favorite places to go to see these magnificent animals in a more intimate setting include the Nairobi Giraffe Centre. Of course, there are also historic places to visit or just destinations that give you a complete immersive experience in Kenyan culture.

DINE ON LOCAL FLAVORS

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you will note that I have mentioned many times that when I am traveling abroad I always try to find foods that I can’t eat at home. In Kenya, it’s not that hard to find unique dishes! One of my favorite places to eat is at The Carnivore, which is located in Nairobi and features a slow roasted meat dish called nyama choma. If you take a safari and spend a few days out in the wilderness, you will also have an opportunity to try this simple dish, which is made over an open fire. There are also deliciously spiced vegetarian options made with coconut oil and ginger to create a unique curry flavor profile. Depending on where you visit, you’ll notice that the food choices are relevant to the geographical location – if you’re closer to the coast of the Indian Ocean you’ll end up with more seafood dishes featuring crab and lobster.

If you’re limited on time or you just need a push in the right direction, the Meru National Park is one of the most popular places to go and features a good variety of amazing wildlife. If your sole purpose to visiting Kenya is to go on a safari, then I highly recommend you visiting this national park.

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Countries: Kenya
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