Sunset in Lamu
Sunset in Lamu

The undisputed gem of the Kenyan coast is Lamu and her sister islands in the Lamu archipelago. Lamu town is the most perfect example of a historical Swahili city in the world. A warren of rounded houses, airy courtyards shaded by palm streets, cafes serving steaming chapattis and cups of milky tea, inhabited by women in rustling black full-length robes and men riding donkeys, all overlaid with an omnipresent smell of spice – Lamu is hard not to love.

Lamu Island is a relaxed island and life is somewhat similar to that of Stone Town Zanzibar. The Island has many small villages amidst the coconut trees and it has the most beautiful beaches in Kenya and Africa. Old Town is the main attraction of Lamu. There are many narrow streets, and people cannot access them by cars. Visitors often walk or use donkeys to move from one point to another. It is hard not to be charmed by Lamu and the experiences of laughing with locals, strolling on the beach, and exploring Old Town stay with a person forever. Some small islands near Lamu that are accessible by dhows are Pate, Kiwayu, Manda, and Siyu.

Top things to do:

Visit to Manda Island

Manda is a quiet lattice of dune and mangroves a short hop and jump across from Shela. The appealing long beach facing Lamu is backed by a couple of places to stay and several huge private villas. Beyond the beach, traditional life continues unabated in a local fishing village, and a small Orma settlement looks after a Shela-based green turtle conservation project that visitors can take part in. And if you take a dhow or speedboat to the Takwa ruins, particularly atmospheric around sunset, you can visualise a once- great city that once dominated this peaceful backwater. Manda Island is a must visit and it is one of the best spots to watch the sunset while sipping on some cocktails.

Stay in a Swahili Beach house

When you visit this island, be sure to check different accommodation options and try something in Shela Village. The houses have unique Swahili inspired décor that is such a breath of fresh air. The furniture is also fascinating. In Old Town, you will also get to see how people live. You will see children playing, locals doing their laundry and cooking, and residents will always be very welcoming.

Walking on the beach

The beaches are so beautiful and strolling a few kilometers south of Lamu is a great experience. Shela beach is fantastic, and you can swim and attend one of the local yoga or cooking lessons.

Walking along the narrow streets exploring the Old town

Walking the labyrinth of narrow streets or riding a donkey is an unforgettable experience. The architecture of the place is also awe-inspiring, and the town is a UNESCO world heritage site. The houses have large wooden doors, balconies, and verandas.

 Trying the authentic Swahili Cuisine

Make sure to try different Swahili food. Try pilau, biryani, curry, coconut rice, and seafood. Sip on some coconut water too. There are also many restaurants to try local food and fresh juices.

Cultural visits to Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, Donkey Sanctuary and the Swahili House Museum

Visit the Lamu Museum if you want to delve deeper into culture and history. Other cultural attractions are the Lamu Fort, Donkey Sanctuary, and the Swahili House Museum. Lamu has some religious and cultural festivals too, so if you are around when they are happening, make sure to attend one.

Sailing on a dhow

On the harbor, you will meet with many locals who ask to take people on dhows, and some of the activities are surfing and snorkeling. Sailing in a traditional dhow with incredible views on the horizon is a must do. You are sure to make new friends on the journey too.

Mombasa
Elephant Tusks in Mombasa City

Mombasa, a melting pot of languages and cultures from all sides of the Indian Ocean, waits like an exotic dessert for travelers who make it to Kenya’s coastline. Having more in common with Dakar or Dar es Salaam than Nairobi, Mombasa’s blend of India, Arabia and Africa can be intoxicating, and many visitors find themselves seduced by East Africa’s biggest and most cosmopolitan port despite its grime and sleaze, which somehow only adds to the place’s considerable charm.

Mombasa has a long history the traces can be found from the writings of the 16th century. Many traders did attempt to enforce their governance on the town due to its advantageously central location, where Arab influence is felt prominently till date.

The town of Mombasa remained the center of the Arab trade in ivory and slaves from the 8th to the 16th century. It is known that Arab traders sailed down around to the coast of Kenya from the first century AD who continued to build trade along the ports of Mombasa and Lamu.

Portuguese also had their influence on the port that changed the face of the land by burning it almost three times. It is believed that Vasco da Gama was the first known European to visit Mombasa, whose purpose of exploration was to spread the Christian faith to further expand Portugal’s trading area.

Mombasa became Portugal’s main trading centre of spices, cotton and coffee, where Fort Jesus was constructed. The Fort served as the major center for trading goods that protected the Portuguese from conflicts with locals the remains of which still attracts a great deal of tourists and visitors. As slavery was highly practiced during that era, the local slaves were exchanged for goods. Until 1698, the Portuguese controlled the city, but soon the Omani Arabs took over the charge.

Finally, the British took control of Mombasa in 1895, wherein the British East African Protectorate was established. It came under British administration in 1895 and was the capital of the East Africa Protectorate until 1907. Mombasa became a municipality in 1928 and assumed council status in 1959.

An exotic paradise in the African tropics is what comes to mind when people think of Mombasa. The cosmopolitan tourist hub is filled with lots of fun-filled activities and boasts amazing sites that guarantee you will never get bored. It is no wonder that hundreds of visitors grace its shores each year and leave with delightful tales to tell. Here are some amazing things you can do and see in Mombasa:

Visit the Beach

Lapped by the Indian Ocean, Mombasa has an amazing shoreline with white sandy beaches stretched out from the South to the North Coast, readily accessible to all. They say life’s at ease with the ocean breeze, spending time watching the ocean can be very therapeutic, especially when you know you have the beach at your disposal any time you need to seek solace.

A walk around Old Town

The historic Old Town of Mombasa is located just off Fort Jesus and sprawls over 180 acres (40.5 hectares). The tiny streets are lined with old buildings featuring ornately carved wood and architecture that is a blend of the influences of Arabic, Asian, European, and African cultures.

Located in the Old Town is the Old Port of Mombasa where merchant dhows (traditional sailing boats) from Arabia, Persia, India, and Somalia once graced its docks, making it not only a melting pot of cultures but also an integral part of the trade along the ancient maritime Silk Route. While wandering through the streets of the Old Town, stop by one of the many antique stores or sample some Swahili cuisine.

Visit Haller Park

Formerly known as Bamburi Nature Trail, Haller Park is a hit with bird enthusiasts and animal lovers. Take your family over and explore wildlife exhibitions of giraffes, Cape buffaloes, zebras, waterbucks and hippos. And don’t forget the famous inter-species couple who became an internet sensation after the 130-year-old tortoise, Mzee, adopted the orphaned hippo, Owen. More than 160 species of birds also call the park home.

Fort Jesus

Built between 1593 and 1596 by the Portuguese, Fort Jesus stands guard at the entrance of the harbor towards the Old Port of Mombasa. The Fort remains one of the finest examples of 16th century Renaissance military fortifications.

It was also one of the only forts to be maintained by the Portuguese along the Swahili coast although it was captured and recaptured nine times, falling between the influence of the Portuguese, Omani Arabs, and the British who would go on to colonize Kenya.

As of 2011, the fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Mombasa’s most popular tourist destinations. Inside the fort there is a museum that houses numerous relics from its occupation and offers some outstanding views of the Mombasa Harbor.

Mombasa’s Elephant Tusks

A trip to Mombasa is incomplete unless you take a picture next to the famous Mombasa Elephant Tusks. Located in the city center along Moi Avenue, the tusks were built in 1952 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s visit.

The intersecting tusks, made from aluminum, form the letter ‘M’ for Mombasa and mark the entrance to the heart of the city. From a distance, the aluminum tusks resemble elephant ivory and are nicknamed ‘Pembe Za Ndovu’ by the locals, a Swahili word meaning elephant ivory.

Mamba Village

Visit Mamba Village and get to see East Africa’s largest crocodiles. Not only will you acquire superior knowledge of these fascinating reptiles, but you can also ride on horseback and admire the beautiful botanical garden and its aquarium.

The garden exhibits flowering orchids, aquatic plants and carnivorous species. One of the most exciting things to do is watching the crocodiles fight for food during feeding time. There is a restaurant that prepares game meat such as crocodile, ostrich and zebra delights.

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

One of the joys of Mombasa are the endless marine activities that are held on the beach every day. For those who prefer a more adventurous maritime experience from the ordinary kayaking and swimming, there is the opportunity to go scuba diving and snorkeling.

The Mombasa Marine National Park provides such services where you will be delighted to see mangroves, sea grass beds and the coral reef that it protects. Be fascinated with the stingrays, seahorses and eels that are a part of its habitat.

Nguuni Nature Sanctuary

Located on the Nguu Tatu Hills about 4 km away from the Bamburi Cement Factory, the Nguuni Nature Sanctuary is home to a number of species such as giraffe, eland, waterbuck, oryx, and several bird species. It is the perfect place to experience a game ride, sunset, picnic, barbecue and enjoy sundowners.

 

Aberdare

The Aberdare National Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range, a region of stunning and diverse landscape where jagged peaks soar up to 3,930m and deep ravines cut through the forested slopes. The park in the central highlands of Kenya retains an air of mystery – you can only imagine what undiscovered creatures still lurk here, such as rare Black Leopards.

The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running about 100 Km north south between Nairobi and Thompsons Falls. This beautifully scenic region is much cooler than the savannahs and offers a completely different perspective on the country.

The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes and there are many clear streams and waterfalls. The Aberdares are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.

The National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000 ft (3,048 meters) contour with some forest and scrub at lower altitude in the ‘salient’ area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7,000 ft (2,296 meters) contour.

The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National Park. The park is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest, whose management is under a MOU between Kenya Wildlife Services and the Forest Department.

Animals that can be found on safari in Aberdare National Park include Elephant, Buffalo, the Black Rhino, Leopard, Baboon, Black and White Colobus Monkey and Sykes Monkey. Rarer sightings include those of Lions, the Golden cat and the Bongo – an elusive Antelope that lives in the bamboo forest.

Eland and several cats can be found higher up in the moorlands. Bird-watching is very good here with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sunbirds and Plovers. The birds of prey are of particular interest with African Goshawks, Ayres’ Hawk Eagles, Rufous-breasted Sparrow Hawk and Mountain Buzzards.

Within the park, lies the Treetops Lodge and the Ark, the latter being a lodge built in the shape of Noah’s Ark. These provide day game drives and a choice of other activities as well as night game viewing in the Salient area of the Park with good sightings of Elephant, Buffalo, Lion and Rhino which are attracted to the saltlicks and waterholes each evening.

Tree tops lodge - Aberdare
Tree tops lodge – Aberdare

The experience in Aberdare National Park is unlike anywhere else in Kenya. The Park is most famous as the place where Princess Elizabeth found out that she was Queen upon the death of her father at Treetops Lodge. Since then this lodge has been popular with tourists on safari to Kenya.

The Ark Tree Lodge overlooks one of the largest salt-licks and waterholes in the Aberdare Mountains where you can see a variety of forest game unlike anywhere else in Africa. The lodge is built in the shape of an Ark and offers accommodation in en-suite rooms. The waterhole is floodlit so you can view wildlife at night.

Tree tops Aberdare
Tree tops lodge – Aberdare

Aberdare Country Club is nestled on a slope of Mweiga Hill in the Aberdare Highlands, part of the Great Rift Valley. Considered a heritage property in Kenya, The Aberdare Country Club has retained the charm of a private home with the simple comforts of a country inn. Activities include horseback riding safaris, golf, nature walks, game drives and more.

The Aberdare National Park covers the bulk of the heights of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges in Central Kenya. The best times to visit the Park are in January and February. Due to its high altitude the region is much cooler than the savannahs and coastal plains.

 

Amboseli National  park  is  the   highlight  of  this  safari  and   be ready  for  a  great  wildlife viewing  safari.  there  are  many  wildlife   including  elephants,Giraffes   so be ready  for   a  thrilling  safari.

Amboseli National  Park

Amboseli is  Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, the Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The name Amboseli originates from a Maasai word signifying “salty dust”, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view extensive groups of elephants very close, as indicated by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)

Nature mates can investigate five unique territories here running from the went away bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulfur springs, the savannah and forests. They can likewise visit neighborhood Maasai groups who live around the recreation center and experience their bona fide society.

Amusement drives are the foundation of most safaris, with the thought being to spend whatever number hours as could be expected under the circumstances in the hedge looking for anything intriguing.

The diversion drive is normally early morning to mid-morning and late evening, with a break right off the bat for breakfast, and another amidst the day for lunch.

Amboseli -Tim (The   Greatest  Tusker)

Amboseli  Tim  was  one of the last remaining great tuskers in Kenya; with tusks so long that they touch the ground. This is the term used to describe African elephants – usually male – whose tusks are so long that they reach the ground. The great tuskers are an irreplaceable symbol of our continent’s unique natural heritage.

Their magnificent tusks are in some countries trophies for hunters thus putting these elephants at risk.

In the mid-1970s the first research of the Amboseli elephants was begun. To make things easy for the researchers they named each of the elephant families with a two-letter code starting with the letter T, like TA, TB, etc. Then each elephant was given a name that began with the letter T.

Thus, the son of Trista and grandmother of the indomitable Teresia became, Tim. Tim was named by Cynthia Moss, founder of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, as part of what has become the world’s longest running scientific study of the species.

In 2014, two of Kenya’s most iconic great tuskers, Satao and Mountain Bull, were killed by poachers, thankfully Tim survived an attempted poaching via a poisoned spear attack. A team of rangers found Tim and were able to cure the nasty infection of the spear attack. In 2016, Tim was again wounded by a spear and a blow to the head by a huge rock hurled by angry farmers.

Tim did what every intelligent being would do and took himself to the medical facilities to get himself fixed up! In 2016 the researchers needed to add more protection for Tim and to curtail his trips to the farmers market in Kimana, and so he was given a GPS collar. The authorities were always alert to his location at all times and mobilize security to the farmlands.

Tim was not only known for his tusks but also his friendly and charismatic personality. He was also known to be a prolific father much sought after by females in oestrus and spent his adult life passing on his genes to elephant population in Amboseli.

He died in February, 2020 at the age of 50 from natural causes. Tim was over 11 feet tall and weighed over 12,000 lbs. The 150,000 bundles of muscle fibers in Tim’s trunk can lift very  heavy  objects

Only  in  Amboseli  can you have  a   glance of  Mt Kilimanjaro  from  the comfort  of  your tent  so  dont  be  left  out .Join  us   Bison  Safaris   for  a   very  memorable   safari  to  one of  the  must  visit  parks  in  Kenya.

amboseli
African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) herd in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park, Kenya

 

 

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) herd in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park, KenyaAmboseli National  park  is  the   highlight  of  this  safari  and   be ready  for  a  great  wildlife viewing  safari.  there  are  many  wildlife   including  elephants,Giraffes   so be ready  for   a  thrilling  safari.

Amboseli National  Park

Amboseli is  Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, the Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The name Amboseli originates from a Maasai word signifying “salty dust”, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view extensive groups of elephants very close, as indicated by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)

Nature mates can investigate five unique territories here running from the went away bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulfur springs, the savannah and forests. They can likewise visit neighborhood Maasai groups who live around the recreation center and experience their bona fide society.

Amusement drives are the foundation of most safaris, with the thought being to spend whatever number hours as could be expected under the circumstances in the hedge looking for anything intriguing.

The diversion drive is normally early morning to mid-morning and late evening, with a break right off the bat for breakfast, and another amidst the day for lunch.

Amboseli -Tim (The   Greatest  Tusker)

Amboseli  Tim  was  one of the last remaining great tuskers in Kenya; with tusks so long that they touch the ground. This is the term used to describe African elephants – usually male – whose tusks are so long that they reach the ground. The great tuskers are an irreplaceable symbol of our continent’s unique natural heritage.

Their magnificent tusks are in some countries trophies for hunters thus putting these elephants at risk.

In the mid-1970s the first research of the Amboseli elephants was begun. To make things easy for the researchers they named each of the elephant families with a two-letter code starting with the letter T, like TA, TB, etc. Then each elephant was given a name that began with the letter T.

Thus, the son of Trista and grandmother of the indomitable Teresia became, Tim. Tim was named by Cynthia Moss, founder of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, as part of what has become the world’s longest running scientific study of the species.

In 2014, two of Kenya’s most iconic great tuskers, Satao and Mountain Bull, were killed by poachers, thankfully Tim survived an attempted poaching via a poisoned spear attack. A team of rangers found Tim and were able to cure the nasty infection of the spear attack. In 2016, Tim was again wounded by a spear and a blow to the head by a huge rock hurled by angry farmers.

Tim did what every intelligent being would do and took himself to the medical facilities to get himself fixed up! In 2016 the researchers needed to add more protection for Tim and to curtail his trips to the farmers market in Kimana, and so he was given a GPS collar. The authorities were always alert to his location at all times and mobilize security to the farmlands.

Tim was not only known for his tusks but also his friendly and charismatic personality. He was also known to be a prolific father much sought after by females in oestrus and spent his adult life passing on his genes to elephant population in Amboseli.

He died in February, 2020 at the age of 50 from natural causes. Tim was over 11 feet tall and weighed over 12,000 lbs. The 150,000 bundles of muscle fibers in Tim’s trunk can lift very  heavy  objects

Only  in  Amboseli  can you have  a   glance of  Mt Kilimanjaro  from  the comfort  of  your tent  so  dont  be  left  out .Join  us   Bison  Safaris   for  a   very  memorable   safari  to  one of  the  must  visit  parks  in  Kenya.