Kenya beckons the traveler with a magical mix of incredible wildlife, rich cultural heritage, palm-fringed beaches and coastal towns seeped in Swahili history. Few places can rival Kenya for the safari experience, though these days your bg-game hunting will (thankfully) be restricted to capturing trophies on film. Nothing can prepare you for the incredible sight of the annual migration of by the star-studdel night-sky and your imagination stirred by the noises of the African night.
January to February, the hottest and driest months
Taking a safari-by minibus, 4WD, truck, camel, small plane or hot-air balloon Experiencing the wildebeest mass migration-the sight and sound of a million hoofs on the move with a host of eager predators in hot pursuit Winding down a notch or ten with a lazy spell in other-worldly Lamu Taking the Nairobi-Mombasa night-train for a taste of the old-colonial experience
Read lsak Dinesen’s epic settler account, Out of Africa
Listen to benga, the contemporary dance music of Kenya, Jazz, Victoria Kings and Them Mushrooms
Watch Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in the big-screen version of Out of Africa or the equally tear-jerking screen-translation of Kiki Guillman’s Dreamed of Africa
Eat nyama choma, literally ‘roasted meat’ of any shape or form, but usually goat
Drink Tusker-the elephant beer
Spear-bearing Maasai warriors; wiry marathon runners; strong-blend coffee; man-eating lions; gin-soaked old colonials; Nairobbery
Nairobi’s cosmopolitan population mix and its western-style skyscrapers and suburban sprawl; the shadowy, medieval architecture of spice-infused Swahili Lamu and old-town Mombasa Malindi
lf you’ve ever fantasized about Africa-sleeping in the bush, surrounded by wildlife or walking with fribespeople beneath the broad African sky-then Kenya is for you. You’ll also encounter the everyday beauty of African life: the swerving Kenyan matatu (minibus), filled to bursting and careering through the streets of Nairobi; hawkers peddling their wares on the street corner; a truckload of women singing and dancing. This place is simply too good to ignore for long.