It is commonly said that the arts are not widely appreciated in Kenya. That statement contains bits of truth. The remaining bits that discredit it are found in several art venues around the country that you may have not heard of. The arts may not be that popular, but all it takes, I believe, is time for them to take centre stage. For all art lovers out there, the following are some of the top memorable art spots in Nairobi in no particular order.
The Kenyan train system consists of the idyllic traditional chug of fire against metal and puffing of smoke in the air. It's classic! The train system that was introduced by the Britons in the colonial period has touches of Britain's trains in the appearance of the carriages, inside and outside. The railway and train system is run by the Rift Valley Railways company (RVR). RVR operates from Mombasa Port in the East to Uganda, far west, deep into the land. RVR is predominantly a freight transporting company. However, commuter and passenger services for anyone who would like to traverse the country are available.
Flamingo. The pink bird is worldwide famous. Mannequins of it flood the yards of many westerners in the cities and suburbs. However, have you seen a live one? The long legs, long neck and pink mass of feathers describes a beauty creature found in few places in the world. The flamingo is an attraction to many tourists in Kenya. The Rift Valley lakes are the places to look for these birds. They normally flock in droves so spotting them will not be a problem. Also, their conspicuous pink colour contrasts the beautiful blue lakes in the Rift.
Spending several hours in a car is worthwhile if the drive's destination is Kenya's heavenly Northern Frontier. As you go up north past the equator and Mount Kenya, you will encounter the culturally beautiful people of Samburu, Turkana and Borana. Here, Kenya boasts of splendid wildlife and exquisite scenes as well. A great adventure of the Northern Frontier of Kenya can be experienced in two amazing tourism destinations: Sasaab Lodge and Joy's Camp.
Kenya is that country you see on the postcards. It is that place that airlines use to advertise their destinations on the back cover of magazines. It's that place that every African claims the weather to be just perfect. Kenya is the haven where the Orientals choose to live, the westerners love to visit and the rest of the world try to imagine judging from the multi-winning Olympic runners. Our country is nothing short of beautiful. Taking a road trip is by far the most rewarding experience whilst visiting Kenya. Some famous road trip destinations in Kenya include: The Maasai Mara, Naivasha, Turkana, Mombasa, Busia, Oloitoktok, Eldoret. However, every road trip has its ups and downs if not carefully planned for.
Getting a visa can be hectic or easy depending on what country you are visiting. Many foreigners get their visas in advance to avoid queuing at airports for hours to get a visa on arrival (VOA). Kenya has three international airports: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Moi International Airport, Mombasa and Moi International Airport, Eldoret. In all of these, the queues are not long and they move very quickly. Here are a few things that you may want to consider before you hop onto the plane with an intention to get your VOA. The difference isn't significant for those that enter the country via sea or road.
The Big Cat Diary is a nature documentary series on BBC television that has been running since 1996. The series, which is filmed in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, follows the lives of African wild cats such as the cheetah, the leopard and the lion. Big Cat Diary has grown over the years. It has a feature known as Big Cat Live where the cameras and the explorers give us live footage of the cats in the wild. Following the series can get you emotionally attached to some of the stories and characters. The animals get names. The cameras follow their lives and you can almost relate to their stories like real people. As they shoot year round, make sure you catch one of the Big Cat Diary's biggest sensations i.e. the Great Wildebeest Migration.
In 2013, mid year, two police officers in Kenya were arrested over possession of over 40 Kg of elephant tusks in the city of Nairobi. The newsworthy story gripped my heart. The very authorities that we depend on are in the tide of destruction that's killing the heritage that nature offers. What struck harder is the fact that the story was given the dying minutes of Prime Time television. The story was downplayed and so was its importance. It led me to see that in a few years, poaching will be a dead activity, not because it will be curbed, but rather because there will be no animals to poach. We only have ourselves to blame. One of the ways is by charging our media houses to give the stories prominence.
They journey across the Serengeti into the Mara is not devoid of adventure. The wildebeests have traveled scores of miles to face one of the greatest task at hand. Many of them hardly know that fate is preparing a cauldron of death in their dip across the Mara River. There are some that do know it.