For most people, going on a safari means enjoying the wildlife on a game drive.
However, many fail to realize that there are so many ways you can enjoy your safari. In particular, a Kenyan safari comes with plenty of fun activities for you and your loved ones.
For starters, there are numerous ways in which you can undertake your game safari. Also, besides game viewing, there are many other activities unique to the destination that you can enjoy.
Whether your vacation is a short stay or a month-long getaway, your days can be as varied and entertaining as you want them to be.
As the safari capital of the world, Kenya’s tourism sector has fine-tuned what it means to be on safari. Here are some of the most remarkable ways you can go about it
1. Hot air balloon rides in the Mara
Arguably, the Maasai Mara is the world’s most renowned safari destination. What with its rich assortment of indigenous wildlife and bird species! It is also one of the best places to enjoy Africa’s famed sunrises and sunsets.
One of the most exciting ways to explore the vast reserve is onboard a hot air balloon. Just as the last vestiges of darkness ebb out at dawn, giving way to a golden African sunrise in the Maasai Mara, hop aboard a hot air balloon and gently drift across the expansive savannah.
Enjoy the crisp morning air as you watch the graceful giraffes and other stunning beasts as they make their way around. Catch the big cats as they stalk their prey, hoping to make an early morning kill.
Hot air balloon rides are also a chance to witness the nocturnal animals such as leopards just before they retreat to their hideouts for the day.
After an hour-long ride, you will find a complimentary bottle of champagne awaiting you when you land, followed by a hearty breakfast to kick off your day.
2. Game drives
During the day, going for a game drive is always a fantastic idea.
Get to meet the Big Five (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, and Leopard) up close in their natural habitat. Other animals you can hope to encounter are the Wildebeest, Zebra, Jackals, Gazelles, Warthogs and many more.
If you are a newbie on safari, you can opt for a guided tour as this allows you to learn all there is to know about the animals from a professional tour guide. Also, guided tours can include night game drives, where you get to witness nocturnal wildlife such as Leopards in action.
Nonetheless, seasoned tourists may opt for a self-driven safari as this allows them the liberty of choosing their means of transportation and time of travel. In most cases, customized variations of Mini Vans such as the Mazda Bongo, Toyota Hiace, and 4×4 off road vehicles such as the Toyota Land Cruiser V8, the Land Rover Defender, and the Jeep Wrangler are used.
3. Walking safaris
Are you interested in getting even more intimate with the wildlife? Then a walking safari is yet another option available for you.
During a walking safari, get to see the smaller species of wildlife you might otherwise miss when on a hot air balloon or a car.
These include animals such as Baboons, Warthogs, Mongoose, Dik-Diks, Caracals, Bat-Eared Foxes, and many more. Walking safaris are also an excellent choice for bird lovers as you can watch over 500 bird species up close.
The best part is that you never have to worry about your security as you will always have an armed, English speaking native guide with you during the walk.
4. Visit a Maasai Village
Learning about other people, their rich culture and exotic lifestyles is another way of experiencing the ultimate safari.
Luckily, in Kenya, there are a plethora of interesting people. In a country with more than forty ethnic communities, you will be spoilt for choice.
For those visiting the Maasai Mara, touring a Maasai village is a fantastic idea.
The Maasai are one of Kenya’s oldest communities. Not only have they steadfastly held on to their rich culture, but they also peacefully coexist with the wildlife.
When visiting a Maasai village, you will not only meet these friendly people, but you will also have a chance to sample their artwork.
5. Swim with dolphins
Aside from the Kenyan jungle, the country’s coastal circuit offers a relaxing and laid back environment in which to enjoy your vacation.
Its expansive coastline spans several towns at the coast, each with unique attractive features. The most popular beaches in Mombasa Kenya include Diani beach, Malindi beach, Lamu beach, and many others.
One of the most adventurous activities you can engage in is swimming with the Dolphins on the south coast.
These friendly yet brilliant giants are a thrill to be around. Swimming, snorkelling, kitesurfing, deep-sea fishing, and jet-skiing are other fun activities you can enjoy at the Kenyan coast.
6. Visit old towns and ancient ruins.
History buffs also have their share of fun activities cut out for them.
In ancient times, the East African coast was the primary gateway into the African continent.
It was a continental trade hub from as far back as the 12th century. Visiting the ancient Gede ruins in Watamu, Kenya, opens a window into one of the most incredible old trade centers on the East African coast.
Other culturally rich old sites include the Fort Jesus in Mombasa, set up in the 16th century. Another gem is Lamu Old Town, the oldest of all current Kenyan towns, inhabited for over 700years.
7. Sample local cuisine
A visit to Kenya is never quite complete without a sampling of local delicacies. No matter which part of the country you visit, you can enjoy one of the staples- Ugali.
It is a hardened maize meal porridge eaten with all manner of accompaniments ranging from fresh cooked vegetables, fish or meat.
You can therefore enjoy a fresh catch of the day with ugali. Alternatively, you could pair it with nyama choma (barbecued meat) or a good old beef stew.
Other indigenous foods include matoke (plantains) and different varieties of snacks.