Journalists of our magazine decided to visit Kenya during the Christmas holidays. We spent there 8 days and 2 more days were spent by us during the journey to Kenya. Kenya is located on the east coast of Africa. It is less more central Africa and Kenya is under the Equator. Kenyan capital city is Nairobi. Kenya has about 50 million inhabitants.
For this trip, we chose Turkish Airlines which are really good, one of the best European airlines. We were highly satisfied with them. The service is perfect, you get warm food on every flight and you won’t be thirsty or hungry.
We stayed in a resort called Papillon Lagoon Reef, which is 30 kilometres from Mombasa, the city where there are most of the tourists. The resort has its beach but the beach is never private so you can find there so called beach boys. They offer you safari trips, boat trips and other items all the time but if you say you are not interested or that you will look later they will let you go. But they have really good memory so if you say them your name or where are you from they will remember it also few days after it.
Papillon Lagoon Reef is located in Diani Beach and we flew to Mombasa. Mombasa is an island and on one side it has a bridge but on the side, to Diani Beach, you have to use Ferry. It is very cheap as it costs only about 50 Ksh (Kenyan Shilinks, 100 KSh = 1 $). Many local people use it and it is most probable that also your transfer from the airport will use it also. It is not dangerous but we highly don’t recommend you to go out of the car during your way. The journey from Mombasa to next coast takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
Don’t be confused and shocked by the traffic in Kenya. All roads are in bad conditions and they are muddy. All routes take more time than in Europe or in develop countries. The routes can take 2/3 times more time than in Europe. For example, our way from the airport to hotel was 30 kilometres and it took about 1 hour and 45 minutes. So you have to take account that if you go somewhere further it will take a long time to go there.
In my opinion, you should visit at least one city where you can breathe the air of traditional life and live the traditional life. If you are near Mombasa you should visit it. You ought to visit Mombasa Old City which is very nice. You can see there old houses, you can see the culture and you can learn about the history of Kenya. You also can visit Fort Jesus where you can find a museum of Kenya. It is fort built by Portuguese in the 15th century, then conquered by Arabs and later by British men. Then the there was set up the museum of Kenya after Kenya gained independence in 1963.
If you visit the North part of Mombasa you can see how the rich people from Kenya live. There are luxury villas and hotel and no traditional life. It is mainly for the rich part of citizens and for vacation for rich.
During your way through the city can see the British men influenced the culture in the country. You can see there clubs where the gentlemen met. Also nowadays they are running. The first club was the Mombasa Club (still runs to today) which was established in 1817.
You can see many Muslims’ cemeteries because every family has its own cemetery. Watch out for the traditional doors in the old city. Almost every house has its wooden carved doors which are decorated very nicely. According to the doors, you can recognize who lives in the house. All the houses in the old city cannot be demolished but they can be restored and then the families live there. The Europian Union helps the people to restore the houses. They pay 70% of the expenses for the restoration.
You should visit the traditional market in the centre of Mombasa which is open 7 days per week also during Christmas. You can find there spices, meat, fresh vegetable and fruit and etc. But during the visit of the market, you should take a tourist guide who knows the market and who will show you all the staff.
Africa is also very popular due to its safaris. In Kenya, there are many different safaris which you can visit. The biggest one is Tsavo East National Park. Then you have there also Tsavo West, Maasai Mara, Shimba Hills National Reserve and other. According to us, it is enough to see only one of the safaris because all are almost the same. The only different is Shimba Hills National Reserve which is mainly tropical rainforest and you can find there rescue station for elephants. There are waterfalls and you find there many types of birds and butterflies.
We visited Tsavo East National Park and here we found many types of animals. We saw eating lions, giraffes, buffalos, elephants, zebras, cheetah many types of antelopes, crocodile and also hippopotamus. But it depends on the luck you have. If you are lucky you will see many types of animals if not you won’t. But you cannot see there e.g. rhino so you won’t see the big five which is composed of a lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino and cheetah.
Kenya is very nice country and you should visit it. Maybe you are sad that it is the end of the article and of our adventure. But this article will be continued!