Kenya off the beaten track

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Kenya off the beaten track

by Marin Ritmeijer System.String[]

There is so much to see in Kenya that many places are skipped by the main tour operators. They stick to the touristy and expensive highlights, but for us Roadtrippers, there is a whole world that opens up when you drive around in your own vehicle with your camp gear in your trunk. Explore off the beaten track in Kenya.

Below are a number of great places, all well worth a visit. However, few tourists make it there. If you like to travel Kenya off the beaten track, these are the places to go:

Western Kenya
Mount Elgon NP – Sharing a border with Uganda, Mount Elgon has a wonderful ecosystem and is covered with bushy forest. Most people are keen to climb the summit, which takes around 4 days.

Saiwa Swamp NP – A beautiful, small and secluded National Park. It’s easy to get around and the park is only accessible on foot, as there are boardwalks across it. There is a lot of birdlife in the park; over 370 species. The public campsite is well maintained.

Ruma NP – Another small and secluded National Park, which has a very specific habitat and is home to rare hooved animals such as the Roan antelopes and Bohor’s reedbuck. Prepare to be self-sufficient though, as there no facilities on the campsite.

Kerio Valley Drive -  amazing rollercoaster drive up the wall of the Rift Valley to Iten, recommend lunch and amazing views at Kerio View Hotel. POtential overnight stay is Lelin Overland Campsite.

Kakamega Forest Reserve - Forest Guest House grounds for camping - pretty camp site, wood available there to build camp fires, highly recommend a visit for guided rain forest hikes, the guides are based there. We stayed two nights. Simple facilities, no running water, take what you need. Local restaurant close by run by Sheila, pre-order breakfast, lunch, dinner with her the food is very tasty!

Central Kenya
Mount Longonot – is a fairly easy accessible peak compared to the ascent of Mount Kenya. In 1,5 to 2 hours you can climb to the top, though it is an exhausting climb. Take enough water with you. A ranger/guide is optional. When the top is reached, you are awarded with breathtaking views.

Hell’s gate - is a popular hideaway for people from the capital, because it is an adventurous place; one of the few spots where you can hike and cycle between large mammals such as giraffes, zebras and buffaloes. You can hire mountain bikes (test them before you hire them) at Elsa Gate or Fisherman's Camp. It is very exciting to get up close with such large animals. You can also take a guide to take through the gorge that shows you natural highlights such as springs and waterfalls.

Meru NP – is a very fine safari park, with very good chances to see some large predators and cats. If you are looking for a fine ‘out of Africa’ experience without getting overrun by touristy mini-vans, this is the place to go. It has good facilities throughout, with mid-range options such as the Ikweta safari camp and high-end options such as Elsa’s Kopje.

South Kenya
Lumo Wildlife Sanctuary – is a beautiful fenceless space between Tsavo West and Taita Hills. It's perfect for camping and mid-range stays due to the magnificent Lion’s Bluff Lodge. You can arrange a number of activities with them such as night game drives, bush breakfast and nature walks.

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