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First time trip to Kenya

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posts: 13
First time trip to Kenya


I am taking a first time trip to Kenya this summer for about two weeks. I'd love to hear about your favorite attractions as well as anything to stay away from. I think that for 4-5 of the days,we may go to mombasa-- I see that flying down there is better than driving. Do you agree that is a good length of time?

I'm interested in seeing the culture, history, and wildlife in Kenya. I'm also interested in taking a safari for maybe one night ( but preferably one that I can sleep in a lodge.) Any suggested companies? Thank you! I look forward to hearing about your great experiences.

Edited: 10:56 am, April 09, 2013
posts: 13
1. Re: First time trip to Kenya

Also, I should add some of the things I'm thinking of doing include:

Giraffe Manor

Masaii Market

Lake at Nashiva

Bomas of Kenya

Kenya National Museum

Kenya National Theater

Elephant Orphange


posts: 13,793
2. Re: First time trip to Kenya

Traveling all the way from Connecticut (USA) to spend most of your time on a beach! Really? You're traveling during summer in the States where there are closer beach options at more competitive prices. And then only 1/day for some safari activities. Sorry, but this makes no sense to me.

How many total days 'in-country' for this holiday? Suggest you spend you time (or most of it) on safari where you can have all the culture, history, sightseeing and especially animals in their natural environments. And then if you have 3/nts, can head out to the Kenyan coast.

London, United...
posts: 990
3. Re: First time trip to Kenya


Hate to be picky, but when in the Summer? Jul/Aug/Sep are Migration months, and it would be a great shame not to see that, so the Mara would have to fesature high on your list, and it is booking up fast.

Those places listed in your addendum can be done in a day really. You will need a day for Niavasha.

I always choose Watamu over Mombassa itself.

Edited: 11:28 am, April 09, 2013
posts: 13
4. Re: First time trip to Kenya

Good question! I am going to be there the last week of june and the first week of july! Thanks :)

Mombasa, Kenya
posts: 607
5. Re: First time trip to Kenya

I also agree that to come to Kenya for two weeks and dedicate only one night to a safari does not make sense. You also mentioned that you would prefer to stay in the lodge. Why not tented camp? Experience is amazing and it is not scary! :) Although there are also some really nice lodges too.

Out of 14 days allocate at least 6-7 days for a safari, possibly 2 parks. Have a day trip, maybe max 1 overnight in Naivasha. Do not spend more than 2 days on Nairobi. I love Kenya bit it is not the cultural capital of Africa, that's for sure. Your list is doable in 2 days.

Giraffe Manor is a hotel, amazing and quite expensive - do you mean the hotel or a Giraffe Centre which is close to the hotel but you can go there for an hour or so to feed giraffes, etc.

On the same day you can go to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust - strictly from 11 am to 12 noon unless you are fostering an elephant, than you can arrange an additional cost in the afternoon, with prior arrangement only.

Bomas of Kenya is on the same side of town, so pack that into the same day

On day two combine Kenya National Museum in the morning and afterwards go to Masai Market, set a day and find out in advance where it takes place, they go to a different location on different days. Do not bother about the theatre unless you have a specific interest. Theatres are worth visiting in Europe, United States of Russia!

And take the rest of your holiday and spend it on the beach to relax and get over the previous days! :) Kenya coast is really nice and you can get busy doing a few "cultural" things (visiting Old Town Mombasa & Fort Jesus or ruins for example) or do nothing save for a spot of snorkelling! I naturally prefer South Coast but the choice is wide.

Good luck with planning and have a super trip!


Tijara Beach Hotel

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 19
6. Re: First time trip to Kenya

One night to Masai mara is petty less for a game drive also you may not be able to see animals because you will arrive there late after the sunrise and most animals like Lion don't walk but hide

But you can make it with one night if fly from Wilson to Mara probably you arrive in Masai Mara @9:30am your guide pick you at the airstrip have game drive up 1200mp went to the lodge have your lunch back to game

tomorrow morning game drive up to 900am your take you back to the airstrip

Edited: 5:08 pm, April 09, 2013
London, United...
posts: 990
7. Re: First time trip to Kenya

I certainly agree with Larissa, it seems a great shame to visit Kenya just for the beaches, they really aren’t that exciting. She also has a point about Nairobi, and has given great advice there, unless you have a passion for sitting in traffic, 2 days is more than enough there! I normally use the first and last day for Nairobi.

Given when you are going and what you seem to want, the Mara is probably not a ‘must do’. If it is diversity you want, after Nairobi, I would suggest:

Naivasha (incl Hells Gate) – Nakuru – Mara (remember, not migration time)


Nivasha – Nakuru – Aberdare or Ol Peteja

You can do all of the above by road, if you are willing fund flying, then perhaps you should consider including Meru too.

Budgets dictate a great deal of what you can do in Kenya, get a price for both flying and driving before making your decision.

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 1
8. Re: First time trip to Kenya

Thats such an idea. welcome to Kenya,a country where there's much to explore. I agree with you,flying to Mombasa will be the best means of transport. Kenya is full of gorgeous sceneries,and its best to learn more about the cultures too.Bomas of Kenya will let you know about different cultures,their songs and also lifestyles.

According to your schedule,i believe that you are going to have the best experience ever and not only that,you will learn more and gain knowledge about us too.

Wish you the best as we serve you the best.


Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 2,834
reviews: 4
9. Re: First time trip to Kenya

Hi - the coast is definitely worth incorporating to the itinerary. The ambience is completely different. You can experience the swahili culture & sample some fine seafood (+ cool, pristine Indian Ocean).

In 2 weeks, you can quite easily cover Central ( Mt Kenya, Sweetwaters) Rift Valley (Nakuru/Naivasha), Masai Mara & Mombasa.

Edited: 5:52 am, April 10, 2013
posts: 13,793
10. Re: First time trip to Kenya

Though the estimated time of the 'migration' arriving in the Mara, I've been two years '09 and '10 when the herds started arriving late-May/early-June. Then last year when the herds arrived mid-July which is the usual, people were wondering 'why are they late?' So this can change from year-to-year. Still, except for those areas up north as Ol Pejeta, Lewa, Laikipia and Samburu, where there are unique species... you'll find most of other game. Thus if only wanting a short safari and depending on budget. And you'll notice every poster seems to have their favorites... so study up on the areas (a good guidebook always helps regardless where visiting any place around the world), to make an educated decision.

Three options, could be:


Day 1 - Arv. NBO - o/n

Day 2- NBO, sightseeing where you can cover most of what you indicate in/around NBO

Day 3 - NBO, morning - sightseeing you missed Day 2; afternoon fly 2:pm to Amboseli where besides large ellee herds, possible views of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Day 4 - Amboseli

Day 5 - Fly to Masai Mara

Days 6 & 7 - Masai Mara

Day 8 - Fly to Kenyan Coast

Day 9 - ............. Coast for balance, then last day here fly to NBO for homebound flight


Days 1 - 2 - As above

Day 3 - Fly to Samburu, also ellees and unique species

Day 4 - Samburu

Day 5 - Fly to Masai Mara

Days 6 & 7 - Masai Mara

Day 8 - Fly to Kenyan coast..... (as above)

and #3

Day 1- 2 - as #1 above

Day 3 - Fly* to Nanyuki for stay at Ol Pejeta or Laikipia area

Day 4 - Ol Pejeta or Laikipia area

Day 5 - Fly to Masai Mara

Days 6, 7, 8 - as above #1 or #2

*you can drive this segment if you wish, but whichever you select would have to fly to the Mara, as distance just too long.

... there are so many options, depending on your interest.