‘’I am going to Kenya and Tanzania for my holidays!’’ when I said this, I often received responses like: ‘’Wait what? Isn’t that in Africa? It is super dangerous there’’. A friend asked: ‘’Kenya? Why would you go there? What is there to see?’’. Last week, my little cousin was swiping through my travel pictures, but then he stopped and his face filled with question marks. It was a picture of a street in Nairobi with cars, tall buildings and shops. He said: ‘’huh is this Africa? It looks normal, it is not that different’’.
Of course there were also people who reacted positively, but I perceived that quite some people have a very simple or negative perception of Africa or in general places far and foreign. As a Chinese Dutch, having lived and travelled on four continents, I am still in awe with every new place I go to. This trip to Kenya has only convinced me more how beautiful the world is and how much we can all learn from each other. I believe that it is up to those who travel to tell stories of truth where people have been deceived. Therefore, I would like to share 3 reasons why Kenya has impressed me so much. Hopefully it can encourage people to put Kenya on their list and to travel to more unknown places.
- Diversity in landscapes and sceneries
From the hectic capital city, a concrete jungle, where traffic is crazy and where the lights of the matatus are lighting up the streets, to the coastal city of Mombasa, where tuk tuks fill the roads and where different cultural and historical influences are clearly visible in many aspects of the city. Do you see the immense contrast between the two largest cities? And we haven’t even started talking about the diversity of natural sceneries. From the spectacular views on 1800 metres altitude at the Great Rift Valley to tropical island feels on the amazing white beaches next to the Indian Ocean. Not to forget the magnificent sights of the plains, grasses and trees of the savanna. Then there are still the lakes and mountains, which I unfortunately could not make it to, but I have no doubt about the beauty and serenity that can be found there.
2) Tribal Culture
A visit to a Maasai village was part of the 3-day safari trip, it was an enriching experience and one of the highlights for me. A semi-nomadic tribe that drinks cow blood once in a while, living in houses of which the main building ingredient is mud, where the amount of cattle and the number of children is the measurement of wealth. Learning about the cultures, beliefs and traditions of the Maasai made me think about life and happiness. The simplicity is plainly beautiful and it is astonishing to see how much heart and soul they put into preserving ancient cultural traditions, despite western influences. One of the evenings we gathered around the campfire with some Maasai at the camp we stayed at, it was very fascinating to exchange thoughts and views on life. It is moments like these that make me realize that we humans can learn so much from each other. Visiting the village and talking to to them really makes me believe that lifestyles in the western world have developed too far from nature. If you have the chance, definitely check out other tribes as well, such as Samburu and Turkana.
Safari and wild animals usually pops up in one’s mind immediately when hearing Africa or Kenya. Despite it being the typical image, safari is an adventure that cannot miss from your itinerary. Just one hour into the first game drive it was already possible to see giraffes, elephants, African buffalos, wildebeests, hyenas and the Thomson’s gazelles. It was wonderful and it ended with one of the most marvelous sunsets that I’ve ever seen!
The second day in the Maasai Mara National Reserve left me speechless. Driving through the green and yellow shaded grasslands and encountering animals in their natural habitat is beyond words. Lions and their cubs eating a whole wildebeest, hippos and crocodiles swimming together, herds of antelopes and zebras, migrating wildebeests and elephant families. I did not have the delight to spot the rhino, but that is a reason to go back! However, what I did see was already incredible and the whole experience felt so surreal, also to have a picnic in the middle of the national reserve with breathtaking views. It was magical and certainly one of the most amazing moments of my life.
In my 1 week in Kenya I met some of the friendliest people, saw amazing landscapes and animals, learned fascinating aspects about Kenya and its culture. A lot of time was spent in buses and cars traveling nearly 1500 km, but it was all more than worth it. Despite only having been to a small part of this large country, I have already seen so much richness, diversity, colour and beauty. They say you will never be the same after you have been to the African continent. For sure that is true for me, it was an unforgettable experience to travel through Kenya and safe to say that I am longing to see more of the country, so certainly I will return in the future. Surely there are many more reasons to go to Kenya, but I hope these three has convinced you to discover this beautiful country!
If you want to see more pictures of my Kenya trip and other travels, check out my instagram: @mycolourfulpassport
Hi! I’m Demi, a 24 year old Chinese Dutch who has lived in 5 countries. I’m an avid traveller and adventurer who is passionate about global health, international development, social justice and human rights. I love exploring the world: from discovering new places and cultures to meeting new people. I’m always looking for ways to give back to the community and my ambition is to make a difference for people who are in a vulnerable position and to create positive change.