If you’re looking for an authentic African experience, Kenya is an incredible destination. Whether you’re looking to go on a safari or the ultimate beach holiday it’s a country full of diverse landscapes and cultures. There are, however, a few things you need to keep in mind when you visit this East African country.
- If you are going to take the train from Nairobi to anywhere in Kenya, it is highly advised to book your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly.
We took the train from Nairobi to Mombasa and we almost did not get a ticket as we planned our trip in a vey short time. The train is a vey popular mode of transportation to locals between cities, so it is only natural that it would be busy. The trains are well maintained and comfortable to ride, but don’t wait till the last minute to get a ticket.
- If you are going during the pandemic, you can have your COVID test done in your hotel room before heading to your next destination
This was something that Titus from Msanii Africa Safaris helped organize for us. The nurses will come to you which is extremely convenient. What makes this even more convenient is that your results are being expedited and you can get it in less that 12 hours. (not guaranteed but we did) Of course, the charges (about $100USD per person) are a bit more than going to the hospital but the convenience of not having to sit in line at a hospital and getting fast results is worth it.
- For Massi Mara definitely bring a scarf or something to protect you from the flies.
There are thousands of annoying pestering flies on the game drive. They will not leave you alone and it can sometimes become quite infuriating, especially as they keep buzzing around your head and ears. Make sure you have a good fly repellent you can use on your face and ears, or alternatively wrap a scarf around your head to cover your ears, in particular if you should stop and get out of the car at the Mara River to see the Hippos and crocodiles.
- We weren’t big fans of Karen Blixen, so we’d say skip that!
As part of our tour we made a stop at the Karen Blixen. We found the tour a bit overpriced and disappointing. It pretty much just shows the house and a little about the life of Karen Blixen, and that’s pretty much it. The house is quite small and the tour can last around 15-20min. We didn’t love this Museum, but the grounds are beautiful.
We had a short intro talk from your guide before entering the house for the tour. Essentially it is some more background and information from the guide. We had a bit of a hard time understanding why she (Karen) is such an important figure in Kenya as she did not do much for Kenya as a whole, (unlike Joy Adamson) but only focussed on the people who used to work for her. (Just our personal opinion)
Some people might recommend that you see the movie “Out of Africa” before visiting then you might find it interesting, Anlia saw the movie and Dana did not, but our individual feelings surrounding this museum was no different from each other. We wouldn’t waste time or money on it if we had the choice to do it again.
- Also beware that people will try to sell you things while on the beach- Just say “no thank you” and keep it moving.
While enjoying some relaxing time at the beach is a must for Kenya and their beaches are beautiful with white sands and lovely waters, it can get a bit unnerving being approached by locals constantly trying to sell you something – from a boat trip, to a souvenir or a fish to an octopus they will slam on the ground till it is dead to fry it up for you right there. (We saw a lady buy one and watched in horror)
Of course staying at the resort and just staying off the beach is one way to avoid this, but if you’re there getting into the water at least once is a must, so don’t let that deter you from enjoying your beach holiday.