Keeper Patrick with Lingwesi, five week old orphan African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Tsavo East National Park, Kenya
Just in case you are not entirely familiar with the term, a ‘bucket list’ is a list of things you should try to do before you – well – ‘kick the bucket’. These could involve personal achievements, books you need to read or just about anything else, although most commonly it is used to talk about travel destinations. Having scoured a number of influential international blogs and websites, we have managed to come up with a Kenyan bucket list of the top ten ‘must see’ destinations in this beautiful country. Here they are – in no particular order – so you can see whether you agree or disagree with our choices:
Mount Kenya by Helicopter
Kenya’s highest mountain is a sight to behold, and if you don’t feel like making the arduous climb up Africa’s second-highest mountain (only Kilimanjaro is higher) then there is another way to see this natural wonder. It doesn’t come cheap but a helicopter tour gives you spectacular views of this awesome mountain.
Nairobi is the heart of Kenya and could justify a top ten list all by itself. Yes there are unsavoury spots – the same as in any city – but a visit to the busy streets of the capital is a must. Don’t forget to take the Nairobi safari walk when you are there, to enjoy the natural world in the centre of the city.
Hot Air Balloon over Masai Mara
If the thought of a helicopter ride doesn’t appeal, then maybe a more tranquil mode of flight will make for a better option. This beautiful nature reserve is one of the jewels in Kenya’s crown and the view from above is a fantastic way to witness the migration of animals across the plains.
The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi is a small hotel which forms part of the Giraffe Centre. Giraffes wander freely about the grounds and have been known to poke their heads in through windows and doors of the hotel to get up close and personal with the guests!
Lake Nakuru National Park
The National Park which protects beautiful Lake Nakuru is the place to go to see thousands of flamingos in their natural habitat. The park has also got one of the largest colonies of black rhinos in the country, safely protected against predatory poachers.
Foreign visitors are often surprised by the incredible beaches to be found in Kenya. From the stunning Bamburi Beach to beautiful Turtle Bay some of the most amazing beaches in all of Africa are to be found on these shores.
The world’s largest desert lake is certainly worth a visit, providing panoramic views which will gladden the heart and lift the spirits. Not easy to get to but camping out to see the sunset and sunrise is worth the effort.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
If you want to get up close and personal with one of the continent’s most famous creatures then you need to pay a visit to the world’s foremost sanctuary for orphaned elephants. The orphanage is to be found in the Nairobi National Park and is open to visitors every day for just one hour, between 11am and midday.
Discover Swahili architecture in this beautiful village, whose centre has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. After you have explored the town you can take it easy on the gorgeous beaches on the outskirts.
Hell’s Gate National Park
Last but certainly not least, Hell’s Gate National Park forms part of the Rift Valley. If you have seen the animated movie ‘The Lion King’ then this National Park may look familiar, as the cartoon landscape was modelled after Hell’s Gate.
Agree with our list? Didn’t think so! Comment below to set us straight.