Hear about places to visit in Kenya as the Amateur Traveler talks to Shane Dallas from TheTravelCamel.com about his adopted country.
Shane says of Kenya, “Kenya is quite an amazing place. It has a lot to offer people. It is the home of the Grear Migration which occurs between July and October every year. That’s when 2 million animals cross from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Mara in Kenya. It is the same ecosystem just the name of the park changes at the border. It’s also got amazing food, a lot of influences from the Middle East, also from India, and from the local traditional food so that the food is truly outstanding. The people are very friendly. Kenyans are some of the funniest, wittiest people I have ever met. There is a sense of Africa in Kenya.”
Shane has been living in Kenya since 2015. He traveled the world from 2012 to 2015 and ended up settling down in Nairobi, Kenya.
Shane lays out an itinerary that starts with a couple of nights in Nairobi before you head of to a game drive and then ending with some downtime at the coast in Mombasa or Lamu at “some of the finest beaches you will ever see”. We talk about some of the best parks for a Kenya Safari.
In Nairobi, Shane recommends not staying downtown or the West Lands where you will just fight traffic to get to the tourist sites. Instead, stay in a hotel out near the airport. He recommends starting at the Giraffe Center first thing in the morning at 9 am. “If you are really game you can put a piece of giraffe food in your mouth and it will kiss you as it takes it out of your mouth with that long tongue”. Also nearby is one of the most respected wildlife foundations in Africa, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is only open in the morning. Then you can visit the Karen Blixen House from “Out of Africa”.
If you don’t have time to get out for a game drive then you can visit the Nairobi National Park which you will fly over when you land at the international airport. You can even safely picnic in this park as it has no elephants.
If you visit the Maasai Mara to see the Great Migration, Shane recommends you visit one of the conservancies in the area (a private game park). In the conservancy, you can do a night drive and will have fewer other vehicles in the park with you, although you will pay more to stay a conservancy.
Samburu National Reserve is known for its elephant population. Shane says, “I have been there I have seen a leopard.”
Ol Pejeta Conservancy has a high rhino population and is one of the best places in Kenya to see one of these very endangered animals.
A lot of people skip or stop briefly at Mount Kenya which is the second-highest peak in Africa. Some people prefer hiking Mount Kenya to hiking Kilimanjaro. Shane recommends a stop at the Serena Mountain Lodge which is built by a watering hole. You can put in a wake-up call to be woken up if specific animals come to the watering hole.
Shane lastly recommends the combination of Amboseli National Park and Tsavo West National Park which have the iconic view of the savannah with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. In Amboseli, you can do a camel safari. Camels apparently get along well with the giraffes.
Shane recommends coming during the Great Migration. Don’t come in April which is the rainy season. If you come between Christmas and Easter you will pay a premium.
Along the way, we talk about Swahili and give you some guidelines for how to choose the right safari such that you spend less and get the best experience. Listen to this episode if you are looking for tips to plan a world-class safari experience.
This episode is sponsored by MyTravelCreditCard.com. Find our personal recommendations for which travel credit cards to use.
Tsavo West National Park
Samburu National Reserve
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Karen Blixen Museum
Out of Africa (film)
Nairobi National Park
Serena Mountain Lodge
Amboseli National Park
West Gate Community Conservancy
African Safari Guide
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