Kenya is an amazing destination for the ones who wish to connect to one’s roots, experience wild-life, ancient art and have a surreal experience in a word. What is more breath-taking than observing life at its essence, as it flows uninterrupted?
Have you ever made eye contact with an elephant and see how deep and immense her soul is? Can you replace such experience with anything else? Let’s take a look at a few off-road options for you to experience in Kenya
Experience Unusual Wildlife at Buffalo Springs and Samburu Reserve
Where: Isiolo Country in Northern Kenya
“Gerenuk with its giraffe-like-long-neck on a gazelle body,
elephant, hippo, buffalo, big cats, oryx with its face-mask and exaggerating longhorns, Somali ostrich, Nile crocodile: is a five-metre-long-crocodile long enough to impress you?” (Alazaw90, Tripadvisor)
What about a less touristic, less crowded wildlife experience for a family vacation?
Together with the adjacent Samburu, the three reserves support a diverse wildlife population. Here you can see Elephants, Zebras, Baboons, Antelopes, Impalas, Water Bucks and also the five northern species which are endemic to this area which is: Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Somali ostrich, and the gerenuk. This place is also the home for the highly endangered Williamson’s lark.
Have Breakfast with Giraffes at Giraffe Manor Hotel
Where: Giraffe Manor, Nairobi
“A bucket list experience: If you get the opportunity, go. It’s the most wonderful experience. Just interacting with these beautiful animals at such proximity is just unbelievable…”
Ever had a giraffe guest for lunch? Or had a giraffe company reading your newspaper with you in the garden? They have the most seducing eyes, don’t they? You just can’t help but invite them for breakfast. Such experiences are daily in Giraffe Manor and that makes it a unique place to stay at. Giraffe Manor is one of Nairobi’s iconic buildings and the moment you step in you feel like you are in a movie set. Your kids will be thrilled seeing these elegant creatures in such an elegant atmosphere and after a safety brief, they are free to spend time with them. So are you!
A Lifetime Experience: Hot Air Ballooning
Where: Masaai Mara
Review: “Yes, the price was fairly steep, but we decided this was probably our only time in the Masai Mara, so why not splurge. I am so glad we did! It was the most surreal experience and one that we will never forget. We had a group of 13 (7 adults, 6 kids, the youngest being 4 years old) and every single one of us thought it was the ride of a lifetime.”
(Sharon M, Tripadvisor)
If you are looking for an extra special thing to do with your family, nothing is more breathtaking then flying over Masaai Mara. As you rise up to the sky, the Maasai Mara plains open up before your eyes. Winds gently blow the basket deeper into the reserve as the sun rises to change the colours of the wild painting. Enchanting sceneries of stunning African landscapes and wide open savannah certainly will leave your family stunned.
If you can take this journey between June and October, you can witness the incredible annual wildebeest migration. It is surely one of the best experiences you and your child will ever have in nature, no exaggeration.
Go for a Daily Funzi Trip
Where: 35 km south of Diani Beach
For a family vacation, Kenya’s south coast offers wonderful scenery. You can take a boat to Funzi Island for a day and just relax with your dear ones. You can also travel to the Ramisi River by a motorized canoe and observe the birds and crocodiles that live in the mangroves! To experience rural Kenya and the daily life of locals, Funzi Island is a great option. You can have some delicious seafood there as well.
See Hippos at Mzima Springs
Where: Tsavo National Park
“Pretty Oasis: We weren’t expecting much from our visit to Mzima Springs but absolutely loved the greenery, peaceful setting, and wildlife there. We saw hippos and crocodiles in the pure clean water fresh from the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.”
Mzima Springs is the greatest attraction in West Tsavo National Park. It is a delightful place to relax with your family members around the crystal clear stream. Here you can see hippos in this wonderful greenery. There are also crocodiles and a wide variety of birdlife. Take the hippo track around the lake and don’t forget to check the small ‘hut’ built in the lake with an underwater glass viewing window. If they are lucky, the comic tip-toeing of an underwater hippo, or the blue swirl of large fish will be an unforgettable experience for your children looking through this window.
Visit Koobi Fora Prehistoric Site for a Quick Time Travel
Where: Near Lake Turkana
A truly educative experience awaits your family at the cradle of mankind where you can see the ancient human culture. Koobi Fora Prehistoric Site is located on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana in the territory of the nomadic Gabbra people, in the north of Kenya. This area is known for the preservation of some of the world’s most important archaeological finds of the earliest forms of man, animals, plant life, and ancient artefacts. It’s fascinating to witness how our cousins used to live millions of years ago. “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” says Danish philosopher Kierkegaard.
Follow Ancient Fingerprints of Human Creativity at Kakapel Rock Art Site
Where: Chelelemuk hills in western Kenya, Kakapel Rock Site
“Africa’s rock art is the common heritage of all Africans but it is more than that. It is the common heritage of humanity. “ said Nelson Mandela.
Rock art is one of the oldest art forms in the world. Rock art at Kakapel is believed to have been done by the Twa (Abatwa) hunter-gatherer group. You can see paintings dating over 3000 years and illustrating wild animals, rain-making and initiation symbols. Such a unique way of exploring human creativity! We believe your children will be inspired to see how old human creativity can be!
So, what about being a part of the past and the present of Kenya? This article is to show just a slice of off-road adventure you can taste during your trip. Imagine the exciting stories you will share with your grandchildren – “When we were in Kenya, we had breakfast with giraffes and were chased by lions!”. A life spent on adventures is a life of inspiration, isn’t it?