You’ve gazed in awe at the wildebeest migration, lazed on one of Kenya’s many white sandy beaches and eaten nyama choma galore. So, what’s next in your quest for authentic Kenyan experiences with the kids ? Journey with us as we uncover some of Kenya’s best-kept secrets as we approach 2019.
Ruma National Park: Officially established as a National Park in 1966, Ruma National Park lies a breezy 45-minute drive from Homa Bay town. The park protects the only indigenous population of the rare Roan antelope in East Africa.
Ruma, home to over 400 species of birds, is also an avian watching paradise. It’s the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, an intra-African migrant, is regularly spotted. KWS offers affordable accommodation at their cozy tourist cottages inside the park. Most of the proceeds support the local community. Affectionately known as the “Valley of the Roan’’, Ruma is quite remote and pristine so well worth a visit.
Fun Fact: Ruma National Park is the only terrestrial (land) park in the former Nyanza Province.
Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park & Reserve: Situated on the southern coast of Kenya, near Shimoni and south of Wasini Island near the Tanzanian border, this fabulous marine national park is a sight to behold. Its star attractions include dolphins, coral gardens and thousands of rare crab-plover and roseate tern birds who migrate all the way from Europe at the beginning of winter to nest here. From the coral islets, you can birdwatch, snorkel and dive, and enjoy dhow rides, among other activities.
Fun fact: Famous YouTube travel vlogger Matthew Karsten lists Kisite Mpunguti as one of his top travel destinations. He had nothing but praise for his snorkeling experience when he visited.
Takawiri Island: This is a private island in Mbita, Homa Bay. Run a lovely couple, Manmeet and his wife Kati, Takawiri might just be Western Kenya’s best kept secret. Picture this; pristine white sandy beaches, gangly palm trees, crystal clear blue waters. You’d think you’re on the south coast of Kenya. Lake Victoria’s water is so fresh at Takawiri that you can swim with your eyes open underwater. No water hyacinth in sight.
For birdwatchers, the lake attracts various species of wetland birds such as Fish Eagles, White Egrets, Egyptian Geese, Marsh Harriers and Long-tailed Cormorants. Fishing enthusiasts can bring their own lures and equipment and set off for the lake. You can try watersports like windsurfing, paddleboarding and snorkeling. Accommodation in the cottages costs Ksh 12,000 per person on full board. Reservations have to be made weeks in advance as lodging is limited.
Fun Fact: The white sands of Takawiri were imported from elsewhere
Lake Paradise: What comes to mind when you hear Marsabit? Probably dry wasteland. Nothing flattering. Did you know that far to the North of Kenya, in Marsabit County, lies a densely forested mountain? Home to the scenic Marsabit National Park.
The park is a haven for a variety of bird life, mammals and reptiles. It’s a refuge for giant tusked bull elephants known for having the longest recorded tusks in Africa, most famously Ahmed the King of Marsabit whose life-sized replica is displayed at the Kenya National Museum.
Formed by volcanic activity, the park hosts three craters. In one of the craters, lies the spectacular Lake Paradise. Camping right by the lake is the ultimate bucket list adventure and KWS can arrange that for you. You’ll spot animals come down at various times to sip from the lake.
Fun Fact: Lake Paradise is seasonal; sometimes full of water and sometimes dry.
Next trip, why not try something different?
Kenya never stops Buzzing. You shouldn't either