There’s no shortage of incredible adventures in Kenya from wildlife spotting on safari, exploring the jaw-dropping landscapes to hiking the volcanoes in the Great Rift.
FIND YOUR NEXT AWESOME ADVENTURES IN KENYA
Spot the Big Five in the Maasai Mara Game Park
Spotting the Big Five on a Maasai Mari safari adventure is top of the list for most wildlife lovers. The “Big Five” is a term originally coined by big-game hunters and considered the most challenging and dangerous of Africa’s big game to shoot while on foot which includes the elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros. Going on safari takes patience and you will be lucky spot all on one day but there are plenty of other adorable species to keep you occupied.
Maasai Mara safari by hot air balloon
Beginning at dawn, set off for a hot air balloon adventure over the plains of the Maasai Mara. Safari from above is a whole new perspective as you see the vultures nests from the top of the trees and watch the hyenas hiding in the bush waiting for their prey. Not only that but they joy of gliding through the air at sunrise and floating around in the sky is a once in a lifetime experience.
The hot air balloon flight takes around an hour with a champagne breakfast awaiting you at a makeshift camp in the savannah. What a perfect way to start the day!
Watch the Great Migration in action
Dubbed the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, the Great Migration is a natural phenomenon of the wildebeest migration on safari between July and October. Over 1.5 million wildebeest, and hundreds of thousands of zebras, as well as elands and gazelles make the big journey for fresh pastures.
There is no exact science with nature, the herds can be ready to migrate at different times each year. I found this handy tool called HerdTracker, a web-app which plots the precise location of the great wildebeest migration in real time to a Google map. Be flexible with your dates and hopefully you get to experience this life-changing safari experience.
Hike around Mount Longonot
Mount Longonot is a dormant strato-volcano, located around 60km from Nairobi and 2780m above sea level, is thought to have last erupted in 1863. The name of the volcano is derived from the Maasai word Oloonong’ot, meaning “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges”.
The start of the hike to the rim of the crater is around 3km but it is fairly steep so you’ll need a certain level of fitness. Don’t worry about the local schoolchildren flying past you in their uniforms, they probably do this every day. The 7km around the rim is up and down, the views are simply incredible. You can look down into the crater where there is deep, tall forestation where warthogs and leopards roam. The total walk was around 13km and took between 5-6 hours!
Watch wildlife on a boat tour of Lake Naivasha
The early morning wake-up was worth it to take a boat tour on the serene freshwater Lake Naivasha. The endless amount of wildlife was unreal; mummy and baby giraffe walked across the lake in front of us, we spotted paras, water bucks, wildebeest and families of submerged hippos. The hippos spend all day wallowing in the water and come out at night to feed, apparently, they can run faster than humans so I was happier in the boat. Let’s not forget, the immense about of birds such as the African spoonbill and the black herons at the edge of the water or in the trees.
Not only is the lake breathtakingly beautiful but it is famous for a couple more reasons; it is the former home of Joy Adamson, the author of Born Free, and the rangers tell us that the animals were brought there for the making of the film, Out of Africa, hence the reason why there are no predators amongst them.
Safari by bike at Hell’s Gate National Park
For one epic adventure in Kenya, go on safari through Hell’s Gate National Park on a bike, I absolutely loved it. This is one of the only safaris in Africa without predators so it’s safe to go cycling there. It stands to reason that the setting of Hell’s Gate National Park and Pride Rock was a big inspiration for the Disney blockbuster, The Lion King.
There were so many zebras playing along the open savannah with impalas and gazelles bounding across the road. The giraffes, elands and buffalos grazed slowly whilst the warthog families could be seen trotting along in line behind each other. Be careful of the Vervet Monkeys at the lunch spot, I had an incident as one jumped down from a tree onto my apple. Not sure who was more scared?
Hiking the gorge at Hell’s Gate National Park
The gorge in Hell’s Gate National Park, an outlet from Lake Naivasha, is the ideal playground for adventure-seekers. The salt of the volcanic sandstone turns the fresh water into algae which can be seen along the walk, the favourite feed for flamingos! There were parts where you need to climb the rope to reach the next level, just be careful not to slip!
Reach the top of the gorge and you are rewarded with sensational volcanic landscape, not to be missed. You can hire rock climbing gear at Hell’s Gate National Park so you have no excuse but to get involved in these fantastic adventures in Kenya!
Explore the sacred caves on Menengai volcano
Occupying the floor of the East African Rift, you can find the huge shield Menengai volcano, one of the biggest calderas in the world. The crater is 12km in diameter and 90 sq. km. in area and although it is dormant now, the last eruption occurred in 1991.
In the 19th Century, the Maasai tribes fought against each other to claim land and animals, the caldera used to be a watch tower. One massacre took place just outside the crater where many bodies were buried afterwards; Menengai is a word that means “a place for dead bodies”.
We took a walk down to the Menegai Sacred Caves where Christian pilgrims come from all over Kenya to pray, there were people sleeping at the edge of the cave in the dark after their big long journey. Back in 1950s, the Mau Mau’s would use the caves as a place to hide in the middle of the uprising.
The vast expanse of land gave me goosebumps as we trekked along the caldera, further down in the forest on the base you are likely to come across baboons, hyenas, antelopes and snakes. You could see small emissions of steam in the distance which become more active at night when the ground is cooling down. There is still a chance that this volcano will erupt again with the pressure needing somewhere to escape. I was happy to discover there is a geothermal project in progress to connect the steam to a power plant, amazing source of renewable energy especially since poor rainfall has hindered hydro power. Bravo Kenya!
Meet the Masai tribes
Meeting the local Maasai people is an integral part of the East African experience. Welcoming tourists to their Manyatta (Maasai village) is a wonderful way of boosting their income so think of it as giving back rather than intruding into their day! Most have a little market for them to sell their handicrafts to tourists.
You are generally greeted by the chief of the village who will talk you through the Maasai culture, history and what everyday life is like. The men wearing red chequered garments, Shúkà in the Maa language, will gather to perform the”adumu” or “jumping dance” which involves lots of grunting, singing, melodic wailing and blowing kudu horn. The jumping is a way of showing their masculinity, the higher you jump, the more attractive you are to the ladies.
Young women and girls will appear in their traditional dress ready to entertain guests. They spend a lot of time on their appearance and design their own jewellery which plays an important role in courtship. The Maasai women will sing around the manyatta as a way of flirting, I love this part of their culture.
Relaxing at Mvuke Natural Spa
After all those epic adventures in Kenya, it must be time to chill! No better way than at the Mvuke geothermal spa with water straight from the fumarole geyser! The water is very pale blue in colour and warm, head over to the inlet and the water is very toasty indeed.
The natural spa water at Mvuke has health benefits to relax muscles, open the pores in your skin (fantastic free facial) and the mineral-rich water can heal skin diseases such as Psoriasis. You can definitely smell the rotten eggs sulphur stench but I really didn’t care. I felt refreshed and revitalized.
FIND YOUR ADVENTURE IN KENYA
Whether you are on a short stay or looking for a longer trip, there are some any more adventures in Kenya on offer. Discover the wonders this fabulous landscape by trekking, safari, biking and more!
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