When most people think of Kenya, they instantly imagine wild animal safaris. Sure, there’s plenty of that, but there’s a lot more to this beautiful African nation. In this article, an experienced mariner and a former naval officer, Captain Jako Hall, shares five of the best and most popular tourist sites to visit in Kenya.
Nairobi National Museum
The Nairobi National Museum is a wonderful place to begin your adventure in Kenya. The museum offers an easy-to-digest history of this fascinating nation, and this foundation will set the stage for the remainder of your trip. You will find information about Kenya’s rich heritage presented in four well-defined themes of Kenya’s culture, nature, history, and contemporary art.
Open every day, Nairobi National Museum is located at the Museum Hill, a 10-minute drive from the Nairobi city centre. You can quickly get there via public transportation or a private vehicle. So you can make a day of it; you will find botanical gardens and a variety of shopping and dining facilities nestled in a serene environment.
Karen Blixen Museum
While you’re still in a museum state-of-mind, and before you set out on your more far-flung sightseeing adventures, make a stop at the Karen Blixen Museum near Nairobi. What is now a well-organized museum was once the centerpiece of a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills owned by Danish Author Karen and her Swedish Husband, Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke. This location gained international recognition with the release of the movie ‘Out of Africa’, an Oscar-winning film based on Karen’s autobiography.
Karen and her husband bought the house in 1917, and Karen lived there until her return to Denmark in 1931. Many pieces of furniture constitute part of the exhibition in the museum. The house and property remain a peaceful setting that seems to belong to the past. There is a tranquil garden and indigenous forest, with an excellent view of Karen’s beloved Ngong Hills.
Nairobi National Park
To begin your sightseeing experiences near Nairobi, visit the Nairobi National Park. These wide-open grassland hosts various forms of exotic wildlife, including the endangered black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes, and over 400 species of birdlife. There are no elephants in this park, but you can enjoy the park’s picnic sites, three campsites, and the walking trails for hikers.
Head out on a bushwalk with an armed ranger to get an up-close and personal view of the African wildlife. There are also guided driving tours and ample opportunities for viewing and photographing some of the most sought-after species in the world.
If you’d like to get some beach time while visiting Kenya, try Watamu Beach. Less than 20 miles from Malinda, you will find pristine and peaceful beaches surrounded by the scenic view of the Indian Ocean.
The region includes walks and lounges to ensure an unforgettable, liberating experience with a top-ranked shoreline. You will remember this area for the coral gardens and its over 250 fish species, boating activities, and coral heads for years to come. Other activities in the area include; skydiving, beach sports, snorkeling, sea diving, surfboarding, and surfing.
Mombasa Marine National Park
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve is home to a warm azure ocean and swaying coconut palms on white sandy beaches. Located between the Mtwapa and Tudor Creeks, the blue waters are ideal for windsurfing, water skiing, snorkeling, and diving. They also provide a home to a colorful variety of marine species, including crabs, starfish, stonefish, cucumbers, sea urchins, coral, and turtles.
Next time you think of Africa, remember there is much to do in Kenya beyond wildlife safaris, so you may want to stay an extra week.
About Jako Hall
Jako Hall is an experienced mariner and a former naval officer known for his strong work ethic and ability to lead and motivate crews. He pursued Maritime Studies at the University of Technology in Cape Town and has received the highest level of training in Navigation and Seamanship during his years in the Navy. After 13 distinguished years in the Navy, Jako joined the superyacht industry, following his passion for creating unique and exclusive experiences for high-net-worth clients. He’s managed multi-million euro projects that required attention to detail and efficiency and has a proven track record of operating at sea in remote and unsupported areas.
Story by Jessica Brown