Top 10 Christmas Holiday Destinations in Kenya
The December holidays are a prime opportunity for the family to come together and enjoy quality time here is a list of 10 fantastic places you can visit this Christmas and enjoy yourself and your family
The paramount question for this Christmas holiday is where to spend time together as a family. To do a safari or to get a tan? To lounge on the white sandy beaches or to dine under the starry skies?
To gaze at the horizon of the turquoise waters or to stare at the endless green savannah plains?
Kenya offers a myriad of choices with lots of stories for your kids to write about in their essays in January. So, bush or beach destination for the Christmas holidays?
Whether you choose to be adventurous in Samburu or laze on Watamu beach
Below are a random selection of a place to spend time with your family during Christmas festive season,
1. Rhino River Camp
Rhino River Camp, an unusual, exclusive, and up-market lodge located in extraordinary Meru National Park, Kenya, where the legend of Elsa the lioness began.
Your perfect base to explore the complete wilderness of Meru Park and its amazing wildlife, with our Rhino Sanctuary Gate, to meet one of the rarest and endangered animals on earth.
Situated in 80 acres of privately owned wilderness, our lodge offers the chance to connect with nature and to delight the senses in unspoiled bush and forest.
Whether it’s watching the classic African wildlife, indulging in a therapeutic massage, going on a bush hike or simply soaking up the savannah sun with a drink in the evening, Rhino River Camp offers endless opportunities for adventure and the perfect space for relaxation.
The Rhino Sanctuary section of Meru Park is just on our doorstep!
So, whenever you feel like leaving the comfort of the Camp to see the Big Five (and more), you are able to do that within a few minutes.
2. Naivasha Kongoni Lodge
Naivasha Kongoni Lodge offers guests the ultimate in personal comfort, luxury and innovative business and leisure facilities,
Located 27km from the turn-off to Moi South Lake Road is Naivasha Kongoni Lodge. This private getaway is as rare and impressive as the name after which it is named (Kongoni is the Swahili name for Hartebeest). Crafted from simple bush stone, local acacia, Leleshwa, and Olive woods with a beautiful thatched Makuti roof.
The Lodge overlooks Lake Oleidon and Lake Naivasha, only a few minutes away from Hell’s gate national Park, secluded on 30 acres of private land, it is close to Crescent Island Game Sanctuary, 30 to 40 minutes away from the Great Rift Valley Golf course and 20 minutes away from Mt. Longonot National Park.
3. Hell’s Gate National Park
Named for the intense geothermal activity within its boundaries, the Hell’s Gate National Park is a remarkable quarter of the Great Rift Valley. Spectacular scenery including the towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub clad volcanoes and belching plumes of geothermal steam make it one of the most atmospheric Parks in Africa.
Hell’s Gate is an ideal venue for a day trip from Nairobi where, in addition to the bio-diversity that includes raptors, visitors can enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing and a natural spa.
The place is famous for :
- African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle and baboons are common. The park is also home to klipspringer antelope and Chandler’s mountain reedbuck
- Prolific birdlife – there are over 100 species of birds in the park, including vultures, Verreaux’s Eagles, augur buzzard and swifts.
4. Lake Bogoria
Lake Bogoria in Kenya is one of the lesser celebrated of the Rift Valley lakes but it provides as much beauty and inspiration as any of the other dramatic lakes in the region.
Such is the importance of Lake Bogoria that it has been declared a Ramsar Site and the Lake Bogoria National Reserve has been a protected area since the early 1970’s. With a depth of about 10 meters, the lake is relatively shallow and is approximately 34 km long by 3.5 km wide.
Lake Bogoria is a saline, alkaline lake and lies just south of Lake Baringo. With it’s ideal conditions it is home to one of the world’s largest populations of lesser flamingoes. Due to the lake’s alkalinity, blue-green algae grows well, this in turn feeds the flamingoes.
At times the number of flamingoes feeding in the lake may be as many as two million – creating a wonderful undulating blaze of pink as the flamingoes go about their feeding. This scene of brilliant pink flamingoes by the millions is only found in the Rift Valley Lakes of Kenya, and so is not replicated anywhere else in the world, due to the very specific environment needed by the birds.
Aside from the flamingoes, there are many other birds and animals to see at Lake Bogoria such as buffalo, zebra, baboon, warthog, caracal, spotted hyena, impala, and dik dik.
5. Maasai Mara National Reserve
Maasai Mara (Masai Mara) is situated in south-west Kenya and is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible, and most spectacular eco-systems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing eco-system.
Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. Add the conservancies and the area is at least twice the size. It hosts over 95 species of mammals and over 570 recorded species of birds. This is the world cup of wildlife, and together with the Serengeti National Park, there is no better place to witness the Best wildlife viewing in the world!.
It’s about 270 km from the capital Nairobi City and takes about 4-5 hours by road or 40-45 minutes by flight. The road is great for the most part. there is a section from Narok town to Sekenani Gate that is a dirt road but fairly good. The other road through Lemek and Aitong town is not good at all and very bumpy.
With the wildebeest migration in JULY – OCTOBER, this is the best time to see this incredible movement of animals. Although it is not guaranteed that the wildebeest get to Maasai Mara, it has yet to let us down. Also, December to February is a great time as it is dryer and good for the Big Cats.
NOTE: The Maasai Mara is an all year round destination with the big cats, and all the big game still in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem.
6. Solio Ranch Conservancy, Abardare
Solio Lodge is located on a private wildlife sanctuary, tucked in the valley between the lofty slopes of Mount Kenya and the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains, directly north of Nairobi.
This intimate and luxurious lodge opened in August 2010 and remains the only guest accommodation on the incredible 45,000-acre Solio Game Reserve. The Solio Reserve is internationally recognized as the most successful private rhino breeding reserve in Kenya and visitors will find that sightings of up to 40 rhinoceros at a time are not uncommon.
The wildlife experience here is intense and exclusive with 19,000 acres of conservancy surrounded by 45,000 acres of ranch and just one lodge, Solio Lodge, in the middle of it. Solio Lodge can be booked directly with The Safari Collection, as part of a bespoke itinerary that we can create for you or through your local agent or tour operator.
7. Nairobi Safari Walk
The Nairobi Safari Walk is an eye-opener to Kenya’s Parks and Reserves. It offers you an opportunity to learn what you expect to see across the country. Introductory talks on Kenya’s parks and reserves can be arranged for you by the naturalists.
You will have a taste of Kenya’s rich Animal collection including the rare bongo, white rhino, albino zebra, a collection of cats, antelopes, and primates. NSW is also home to a collection of about 150 species of local trees. Get to learn their varied traditional uses too.
Situated 7km south of the city of Nairobi lies the Nairobi Safari Walk, Kenya’s new conservation based recreation facility. The combination of skilled and creative landscape design, unique wildlife species, and detailed interpretation render the facility supremacy in tourism and conservation education.
8. Malindi Marine National Park, Malindi
Malindi Marine Park was established in 1986. The reserve is enveloped by beautiful sand seashores that extend from the edge of Watamu to the Vasco da Gama Pillar. The park is located south of Malindi town extending to Mida creek. It neighbors the Gede ruins and Arabuko Sokoke forest.
The park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral, seagrass, mangroves, mudflats, high fish diversity, marine mammals, turtles, and shorebirds.
From swimming with zebrafish to windsurfing, this beautiful slice of Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline provides the perfect getaway. The park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral gardens in the lagoons, seagrass beds, mangroves, mudflats, marine mammals, turtles, and various species of shorebirds. Visitors can also enjoy glass-bottom boat rides, snorkeling, camping, and beach walks in this veritable paradise.
The fringing reef is close to shore and exposed during low tide, but drops gradually to a seagrass bed that descends precipitously to the deep Barracuda Channel.
Visitors can enjoy diving, snorkeling, skiing, deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.
9. Shela Beach
Nestled along the sand dunes of Shela Beach, The Fort has been hailed as a monument to Omani architectural ingenuity. Built-in 2001, the landmark is the epitome of privacy and seclusion. Its unique architecture occupies an unrivaled position overlooking the Indian Ocean on the deserted 14 kilometer beach.
Peaceful and tranquil in its setting, surrounded by natural dunes and breezy casuarinas, The Fort is an elegant and unique sanctuary offering privacy combined with personalized hospitality. Extremely private and secure, this oasis is just a ten-minute walk along the beach to Shela Village.
The Fort is constructed of local coral stone and is enclosed by an imposing 50-foot high sandstone wall. The Omani style heavy wooden entrance doors, decorated with iron studs, open onto the main floor of the property, where large arches surround the central courtyard. The living area, lower dining area, and lounge look onto the aesthetic pool and the beautiful garden.
From the upstairs formal dining area, guests can enjoy spectacular views of the Indian Ocean as traditional dhows sail by and donkeys and camels cruise the beach. Peering out at the pristine Shela Beach one is reminded that time here has stopped.
The Fort comes with a full staff to take care of all of your needs and desires. We can arrange day excursions to Lamu Town, neighboring islands, as well as fishing, snorkeling, and sailing trips.
10. Fort Jesus, Mombasa
The World Heritage Committee inscribed Fort Jesus on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001
Located in Mombasa, in the coastal region of Kenya, the Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese between 1593 and 1596, to guard the old port of Mombasa, and served as a place of safety and security for the Portuguese living on the East Coast; it had hostile interested parties who used to live in Mombasa, such as the Omani Arabs, who attacked the fort 1696 1698. Fort Jesus is one of the most outstanding and well-preserved examples of 16th-century Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction.
Fort Jesus also served as barracks for the Portuguese soldiers between 1837 and 1895. When it fell under British rule in 1895, the fort was converted to a prison. On display at Fort Jesus, is a collection of preserved items over the years, dating back to the 14th and 19th century, that was used by Portuguese and Omani Arabs. Some of these items include an ancient Portuguese chair, Persian chest, drums, plates, and gourds.
Outside the fort is a unique display of neatly arranged canons (superior weapons in the olden times) that were used to destroy enemies.
This is a perfect spot to indulge in history.
Spectacular Sound and Light Show
For those who want to learn more about the struggle for Fort Jesus, the Fort plays host to a spectacular sound and light show three nights each week. Visitors are welcomed into the Fort by guards in flowing robes brandishing flaming torches. They are led to a specially designed and choreographed show that uses lights, sound effects, and costumed actors to bring to life the long and turbulent history of the Fort.
At the end of the show, a candlelit dinner is served in the open courtyard of the Fort, under the stars.
This wonderfully atmospheric night out is the perfect way to end the day and learn more about the history of Mombasa.
The sound and light show can be combined with a sunset dhow cruise on Mombasa harbor.
11. Takawiri Island Rusinga
12. Kiboko Bay Resort in Kisumu