Lions and tigers and... buffalos, Oh my! Travelers booking flights to Kenya are bound to see elephants, zebra and a few rhinos, too. Most travelers seek flights to Kenya for its world-renowned safaris. The country’s numerous national parks and reserves are home to a host of animals. Kenya’s parks are preserved for animals of any nature to roam, and even the country’s aquatic life is protected.
When your flight to Kenya arrives, you’ll be on the eastern coast of Africa near Sudan, Ethiopia , Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and the Indian Ocean. The fractured Rift Valley – one of geology’s greatest sites – runs from Syria through the Red Sea and East Africa to southern Africa into Kenya. Kenya’s coast is graced with miles of sandy beaches and coral reefs.
Visitors booking flights to Kenya will be immersed in Swahili culture and language, and experience a range of religions commonly practiced by the people of Kenya. For travelers booking Kenya flights and resort packages, a stay in the coastal city of Mombasa will provide a lifetime of memories, and some rest and relaxation for the travel weary. Kenya’s bustling city of Nairobi is a melting pot of cultures where travelers walk among Masai warriors, dine in outdoor restaurants and take part in a lively nightlife scene.
Kenya’s rainy season lasts from April to June and October to early December. It’s hot and humid on the coast all year round, but onshore breezes make it more comfortable. It’s hot and dry in the lowlands while the highlands are more temperate and cooler at night.
Best Time to Fly to Kenya
The annual migration of wildebeest and other animals across the plains of the Maasai Mara takes place between June and September. Consequently, this is the peak season for safaris and Kenya flight prices and tours rise drastically across the country.
The rainy seasons are still a good time to visit. Cheap flights to Kenya and better hotel and tour deals can be found. Though you will miss the migration, there are still plenty of animals to see, as well as the other attractions of mountains, diving on the coast and the ancient tribe of the Maasai.
October-January, though still off-peak, is the best time to book flights to Kenya for snorkeling as the seas are at their clearest. January and February are the hottest and driest months, however, it can be easy to spot wildlife congregating around water holes.
Getting around Kenya
There are many scheduled Kenya flights available from Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi to domestic destinations such as Mombasa, Lamu or the game reserves of the Maasai Mara. In total, Kenya has around 250 airports and internal Kenya flights are cheap, so it can be the most efficient way to travel both for time and cost.
Trains are available, though generally slow and not very reliable. Railways have been allowed to deteriorate a lot over recent years.
Shared taxis and minibuses, called matutas,are the most popular means of transportation for short distances and between cities. They used to be very dangerous, but a recent government crack-down on safety has improved the services somewhat. It is often recommended not to use matatus at night.
Rental cars are available from main cities. Remember that road conditions will be poor if you’re considering traveling any way off the beaten track (anywhere off the main roads that connect major urban centers). Hiring a four-wheel-drive vehicle is advisable.
The following chart gives approximate journey times fromNairobi
(in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Kenya.
Kenya Travel Information
- The Masai Mara reserve, on the border with Tanzania, is in the northwest of the country. It’s one of the most popular game parks because a huge amount of animals are concentrated into a relatively small space. The “Big Five” all live here: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros. This can be extended to a “Big Nine” if you include zebra, giraffe, cheetah and hippo. To spot the animals, and for something a bit different than the usual jeeps, it’s possible to take a balloon safari over the plains, which gives a fantastic view of the great plains beneath.
- Don’t miss the Karen Blixen Museum in Nairobi. The house where the Danish author Blixen lived has been turned into a museum. Ever since her famous book Out of Africa (written under the name Isak Dinesen) was made into a Hollywood film, the area has made the most of the house. It is situated on “Karen Estates” on “Karen Street”. The museum itself is a recreation of the house as it was when Blixen lived in it and a peaceful place to spend half a day.
- Kenya’s second largest city, Mombasa is a good starting point from which to visit the coast. A popular local beach is the white sand Coral Palm Beach, parts of which are private and parts public. If you’re feeling hassled by the many touts and vendors in the public section, head for the private parts, owned by the two big hotels. This section is guarded by hotel security and locals are fined if they come in here.
- North of Mombasa, also on the coast, is the town of Malindi, particularly popular with Italian vacationers. There is a lot to see, both in town, with mosques, markets and museums and along the coastline. When the tide is out, you can spy the coral reef. Or head to the point where Vasco da Gama landed – after being refused entry to Mombasa. There is a plinth marking the spot where the Portuguese explorer first came ashore.