is the birthplace of safari and the heart of East Africa, and quite rightly so,
it’s authenticity and passion for conservation of wildlife and the local
communities is not only eye opening but truly heart-warming. The word ‘safari’
actually originated in Kenya, it is the local language (Swahili) meaning for a
journey. Few other countries are able to offer the sheer diversity of habitats
which range from the baking hot desert terrains found around Lake Turkana in the
north, to the permanent snow-capped peak of Mount Kenya and its alpine meadows
on the lower slopes, the savannah grassland, equatorial forests, coral reef,
tropical beaches, extinct volcanoes – the list is endless. Kenya is, not
surprisingly, a wildlife enthusiast’s dream and still holds the world record
for the most number of bird species recorded in one country in a single day!
is home for perhaps the world’s most famous national park, The Masai Mara. Over 1,000 square miles of world famous National
Park, contains Africa’s largest population of lion in addition to large
quantities of elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo which go to make up the ‘Big
Five’. It is also the end point of what is generally regarded as one of the
world’s most fabulous wildlife spectacles – the annual migration of over 1.5
million wildebeest and zebras from the Serengeti plains to the lush grasslands
of the Mara which usually takes place between June and September.
Masai Mara is one of 48 National Parks (of which five are Marine Reserves),
many of whose names conjure up images which are uniquely ‘Kenya’. Lake Nakuru,
whose waters are often covered by a living pink carpet made up of thousands of
flamingos – Tsavo, a vast wilderness larger than Jamaica – The Aberdares where,
whilst honeymooning at Treetops, the young Princess Elizabeth received news of
her father’s death – and just twenty minutes from the cosmopolitan bustle of
the capital city lies Nairobi National Park.
is not just about National Parks – Kenya is also a country with a wealth of
culture. There are 42 different cultures including the Masai and the Samburu as
well countless languages and dialects and one of the most richly diverse social
tapestries on earth.
Kenyan coastline is blessed by gentle trade-winds which brought Arab
trading dhows to the region. The resultant mix of indigenous and imported
cultures gave rise to the Swahili culture which became the pervasive influence
throughout the country – Swahili is the most commonly spoken of the African
languages. Walk through the Old Town of Mombasa, Kenya’s second city, and you
will find yourself transported into the pages of ‘The Arabian Nights’.
comprehensive domestic flight service between the gateway cities of Nairobi and
Mombasa, the game-rich National Parks and the beautiful Indian Ocean coastline
is operated by both the national carrier, Kenya Airways and the regional
airline, Air Kenya (along with some other domestic carriers). An excellent air
charter service to the many landing strips is also available (some of the game
lodges and homes are only accessible by light aircraft charter). Kenya has a
good road network too – well-equipped and fully serviced safari vehicles
are also used to provide a romantic ‘Out of Africa’ safari experience reminiscent
of the days of Karen Blixen.
country’s diverse geography means that the temperature, rainfall and humidity
vary widely, but generally the climate is warm and humid at the coast,
temperate inland and very dry in the north and North-East. The undulating
plateau of Western Kenya is generally hot and fairly humid with the highest
rainfall occurring during April. In the Central Highlands and Rift Valley, the
‘long rain’ occurs from April to the beginning of June and the ‘short rain’
(when rainfall is less frequent and less intense) from October to the end of
November. The coastal belt is hot and humid all year round, though tempered by
coastal see breezes. The rainfall here ranges from a minimum of 20mm in
February to a maximum of 300mm in May, with the average temperature ranging
between 22°C and 30°C.
way you choose to get around this fascinating and awe-inspiring country, you
will always be assured of a friendly smile and greeted with the one word heard
all over Kenya – ''''karibu'''' – the Swahili word for welcome.
is only three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and only eight hours
flying time, it is a million miles away from the UK in most other respects.
Visit our Kenya honeymoons page for full details about honeymoons here.