| You may combine a safari in Kenya
with other activities, to explore more of what's offered in East
The climate is fine for beach holidays, and many safari-goers add a few days or a week
on the Indian Ocean coast to their tour. The main attraction of the Kenyan and Tanzanian
coasts are the long white beaches with palm trees and pleasant water temperatures. Different
coastal activities are available, such as snorkelling, diving and fishing.
The most popular coastal areas in Kenya are found around Mombasa,
Malindi and Lamu
Island, and in Tanzania on Zanzibar
and Pemba Islands. Some small towns or villages on
the Tanzanian mainland, such as Pangani and Bagamoyo, offer
quiet beach holidays in areas visited by fewer tourists.
Dependless of which travel company you book your safari with, adding a stay on the coast
should be no problem.
More about the Kenyan coast
More about Zanzibar
More about Pangani
The East African coast is lined with reefs, offering good opportunities for diving and
snorkelling. The water is fairly clear to clear, and there are reefs, shipwrecks and
caves to explore. Many dive centres are found along the coast.
The main diving areas in Kenya are Watamu, Vipingo, Kilifi and Bamburi north of Mombasa,
and Tiwi Beach, Diani Beach, Galu and Shimoni south of Mombasa. These places have dive
clubs that arrange CMAS courses and dive tours, including cave and night diving.
In Tanzania, good dive sites are found north of Dar
es Salaam and on Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia
Islands. Especially Pemba is known among divers, offering the best ocean diving in East
Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi (or
Lake Nyasa) in inland Tanzania have huge numbers of endemic cichlids. Diving is possible,
but these lakes are off the beaten track and getting there ususally requires a tailored
Deep sea fishing
Boats for deep sea fishing may be chartered along most parts of the Kenyan and Tanzanian
coasts, offered by local captains or fishing clubs. Some beach resorts have their own
Big game fish is found in these parts of the Indian Ocean, including marlin, tuna, sharks
and sailfish. Some boats do night fishing for broadbill. On less ambitious tours, mainly
just fishing outside the local reef, barracudas are a typical catch.
In Kenya, fishing boats capable of longer tours can be chartered in Diani Beach, the
Mombasa area, Mtwapa, Malindi and Watamu. Small boats for fishing locally may be booked
around virtually any hotel along the coast. In Tanzania, most fishing tours start from
Pemba and Zanzibar Islands, from where you can fish the Pemba Channel, which is a prime
area for big marlin. Once again, boats may be found at most hotels. Some, like Ras
Nungwi Beach Hotel on the northern tip of Zanzibar, offer ambitious fishing and
have their own well-equipped boats.
The high season starts in November and continues into February or March. The fare for
a good boat, including equipment, may be USD 500600. Make sure that the boat operator
and boat are insured, and (if you take fishing seriously) associated with IGFA or the
local national game fishing association.
Mara in Kenya offer flights to Lake
Victoria for Nile perch fishing, and some hotels in the Aberdare
and Mount Kenya area, among these Outspan Hotel and the
Aberdare Country Club, offer local trout fishing. Lake
Turkana in northern Kenya also has interesting fishing, but it's a very remote area,
far from the safari circuits. Going there takes tailoring your tour.
In Tanzania, you may fish for tiger fish in the Rufiji River when visiting Selous
Game Reserve, or visit Lake Victoria for fishing
in northern Tanzania is Africa's highest mountain (5,895 m/19,340 ft), and attracts
many climbers. Also Kenyan Mount
Kenya (5,199 m/17,057 ft), second highest in Africa, can be climbed. Both
are easy to access and are surrounded by national parks popular with trekkers and hikers,
not climbers only. Mount
Meru (4,566 m/14,980 ft) just outside Arusha
is another such mountain, but has fewer visitors than those above and a steeper peak
than nearby Kilimanjaro.
Climbing these mountains is mainly a matter of walking, not actual climbing, but the
altitude makes it a really hard task. Altitude sickness is a common problem, and deaths
do occur. Most of these are from medical/health problems, but accidents also happen.
Kilimanjaro is the most popular climbing destination, and most travel companies can
add a one-week climb to your safari, even after safaris in Kenya; there are frequent
flights from Nairobi
in Kenya to Kilimanjaro International Airport. To climb Mount Kenya or Mount Meru, or
to go trekking in any of these mountain areas, you probably have to tailor a tour. Any
travel company specialized in East Africa should be able to do this for you.
At lower altitudes, the mountains mentioned above are covered with montane forests.
There are routes for walking, scenery and, if you are lucky, some wildlife to enjoy.
You may be able to walk from the park
gate up to the tree line (at approximately 3,000 m/10,000 ft) and back in a day tour.
Horse riding is offered by some lodges/ranches for example around Lake
Naivasha in Kenya, in the Kenyan central highlands, around Kilimanjaro
in Tanzania, and in a game reserve bordering Tanzanian Serengeti
National Park. You may stay in these lodges to do horseback day tours, or go for
proper horseback safaris over a number of days, camping
Kenya offers some good golfing, mainly around Nairobi and along the coast, and you may
combine it with a safari. There are some 35 courses in the country. Most are 9 holes,
but there are also a dozen 18-hole courses, half of these within a half-hour drive radius
from Nairobi. Some lodges are set next to courses, for example Aberdare Country Club,
Mount Kenya Safari Club, and Windsor Golf and Country Club, the latter in Nairobi.
In Kenya, you usually play with a caddie. Some courses are found at altitudes above
1,500 m/4,900 ft, which is said to add 10 % to your drive. To the length, that
is, not to precision...
To play golf, you may need to tailor your tour, unless you want to play on nearby courses
during a beach holiday on the Kenyan coast. There are also some local travel companies
specialized in combining safaris and golf.
Tanzania has fewer courses. Arusha has a 9-hole course, where you may also rent equipment.
Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, a nice lodge halfway between Arusha
and Kilimanjaro International Airport, has its own 9-hole course, with views of both
Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
How about marrying in a romantic and memorable setting such as among the seaside palms
by the Indian Ocean, or under the starry skies of the African bush?
African wedding ceremonies are offered by local hotels and resorts, and can be booked
together with your tour to East Africa (you probably have to book with a company specialized
in East Africa). Just be aware that such ceremonies may not be legally valid in your
home country; you may also have to visit a wedding officiant at your country's embassy
or high commission to make the marriage abroad legal.
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