20 Days in Kenya

DO NOT MISS

Flocks of flamingos (Lake Nakuru or Naivaisha), Mombasa Marine National Park, shores of Watamu and Malindi

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive in Eldoret, via Uganda. Visit Doinyo Lessos Creameries for cheese tasting.

The creamery is located in a tucked away dirt road, probably only made famous by lonely planet, which they proudly display on their sign. There isn’t really a programmed tasting, if you stand in front of the window that distributes the cheese the guy will cut little pieces for you to taste.

Day 2: Head to Nakuru.

Nakuru National Park is the popular place to be if you want to see flocks of greater Flamingos. The park entrance fee is a hefty $80 USD though

Day 3: Visit Lake Elmentaita

We were told there would be flamingos here but we weren’t able to locate any from 3 separate parts of the lake. We did see flocks of pelican, saw a (piping) hot spring, and ran into the only herd of camels in Nakuru owned by a lodge.

Day 4: head to Navaisha, visit Lake Navaisha

Day 5: Do a safari on bike through Hell’s Gate National Park

There is a 6 km flat trail that goes directly from the Elsa gate or an alternative hilly 17 km ride to the second ranger station where you can hike down to see the canyon, which require additional tour guide fee. Leave early in the morning to avoid heat and bring plenty of water.

Day 6: search for flamingos at “small lake”

There are two smaller lakes next to lake Navaisha, one is a crater lake, the other is nicked named “small lake” next to the town of Kongoni. There were about half a million flamingos nested at that part of the lake when we went. The sight was amazing! And it was FREE! It helps to ask the locals for info.

Day 7: head to Nairobi

Day 8: Visit Nairobi National Museum & snake park.

Downstairs of the museum is more of a natural history museum with taxidermy animals and models, There is a room where skeletons of early human was displayed but I think they were replicas, the real treasure is stored in the museum vault. Upstairs is where the exhibits on culture and history are.

Day 9: Visit Giraffe Centre, lunch at Carnivore

There isn’t much at the giraffe center except you get to TOUCH and FEED a giraffe! Carnivore its self is a culinary attraction. There is no game meat but you can taste ostrich and crocodile.

Day 10-11: Peruse Downtown Nairobi, acquire crafts at Masaai Markets 

Day 11:  Visit the elephant orphanage in the Nairobi National Park.

The orphanage is part of the park but has its own separate entrance and no park fee is required. There is an entrance fee and the orphanage is only open daily from 11-12 for the noon feeding of the baby elephants.

Day 12: Head to Mombasa.

It’s an 8 hour journey by bus. There are overnight buses available.

Day 13: City tour on foot of Mombasa, see Fort Jesus

Day 14: Snorkel in the Mombasa Marine National Park, enjoy the beach

Day 15: head to Malindi, sunset walk at Malindi beach.

Day 16: check out Hell’s Kitchen in Marafa.

This is a mini grand canyon with colorful sediments. Public transportation is available from Malindi but half of the trip is on a dirt road. If on a private vehicle, stay for the sunset.

Day 17: See the Malindi Museum, Vasco de Gama Pillar

Not much to see in this tiny museum but the building is historic.

Day 18: head to Watamu, visit Gede Ruins

Take a walk along the blue lagoon during low tide to see “Michael Jackson” starfish, sea urchins, crabs and other marine animals

Day 19: Snorkel in Watamu Marine National Park. Take night bus to Nairobi 

There aren’t as many fish as Mombasa but still breath taking.

Day 20: Last minute shopping and head to the airport.

The Jomo Kenyatta airport has plenty of shops but very little food options. Pack your own snacks.

LODGING 

In Eldoret, Nakuru, and Navaisha we did not have trouble finding cheap lodging on the spot without reservation and were able to negotiate pricing for some since it was low season. Outside Hell’s gate national park Crayfish Camp is closer the main gate than Fisherman’s Camp and has cheaper tent rental but Frisherman’s has a longer lake shore. There are many lodging options along the road to Hell’s Gate.

In Mombasa, Mombasa backpackers is a seemingly new establishment tucked away next to Sunrise resorts. There is not a single sign indicating the location of this place and some taxi drivers did not know the place. You will have to follow the map on their website.

In Malindi, Ozi’s was a clean well run hostel with the unfortunate location of being directly next to a mosque (daily prayer calls at 4 am)

In Watamu Malob Guest House is a nice budget hotel within walking distance from the blue lagoon.

TRANSPORTATION

Public transportation in Nairobi is a bus system kind of like a organized shared taxi. There are set numbers and routes but those are not posted anywhere so ask a local for directions. Kenyans have been one of the nicest and helpful people we’ve met on the trip

FOOD

The craze in Kenya is Nyama Choma, which means grilled meat. Often there will be a butchery right inside the restaurant so you can watch your meat cut from a hanging dead cow directly onto the grill. They use the word “hotel” interchangeably with restaurants which makes the popular hotel/butchery combo seem less daunting. The most famous Nyama Choma place is called Carnivore in Nairobi. It is very pricey but all you can eat and the food is tasty.

TRAVELING WITH LESS TIME…

  • Focus on the shores Mombasa, Malindi, Diani all have gorgeous pristine beaches
  • Do the game drive either at Tsavo, Nakuru or Masai Mara

TRAVELING WITH MORE TIME…

  • Go to Lamu
  • Visit Tsavo, Maasai Mara or Lake Nakuru National Park
  • See Mt. Kenya, Mt. Kenya National park and suroundings
  • Visit Lake Bogoria, see the geysers.
  • See Lake Turkana and archeological sites.
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