The African Republic of Kenya is a vacation destination which should make it onto everyone’s bucket list. The tropical climate, wildlife, and the history are aspects which make any trip there simply unforgettable. The country has the best of both worlds, as it has a coast on the Indian Ocean, but also a large and diverse interior landscape.
Kenya is quite a large country, covering 220,000 square miles and home to over 40 million people. There are six main ethnic groups and other smaller ethnic groups which make up 15% of the population. 1% of the people residing in Kenya are non-African residents.
The country has a diverse topography and there are a number of low grasslands, called savannahs, which typically have lower temperatures than the tropical climates around the coasts. This colder temperature remains especially so near the country’s mountain: Mountain Kenya, which always has snow at its peak. In the warmer areas, Kenya has set aside land to grow coffee and tea – Kenya’s cash crops, which are some of the most successful agricultural areas on the whole continent.
Being on the equatorial line, Kenya can become quite humid, especially around Lake Victoria, the world’s largest fresh water lake, with temperatures reaching up to 95ºF in areas of low elevation, like Lodwar and Mandera. Because of this diversity, the country is home to a number of animal reserves and national parks. Particularly of interest to visitors are Amboseli National Park, East and West Tsavo National Park, Aberdares National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park and the renowned Maasai Mara. Also, large amounts of land are dedicated to preserving the natural habitats of indigenous creatures of all shapes and sizes, such as wildebeest and zebra.
Kenya is famously home to such a wide variety of animals that visitors should seriously consider taking part in a safari. These usually last a number of days and give visitors the opportunity to see what is known as the Big Five – the lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant and the leopard – in their natural habitat. Every year, between June and September, a phenomenon known as the annual animal migration occurs, where two million wildebeest travel a distance of around 1800 miles from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara, in the search for food. This phenomenon is such an interesting spectacle that it is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
Getting to see all the top spots in Kenya couldn’t be easier – just rent a car and off you go. Prices are very variable, with the local companies offering the most competitive rates. A lot of car hire services have to option of providing you with a driver as part of the service. although this will obviously cost more, it can be a great way to get around, if you’re less confident about driving, especially in Nairobi. A car with a driver (daytime only) can be found from as little as $45 per day. Sixt have operations in Nairobi, but local providers such as Kenya Cheap Car Hire usually have better rates. Here are some examples of cars available:
Once you get driving, it is important to make sure you follow the rules of the road.