The April Holidays call for good old family mini vacation. The weather forecast for Mombasa, Malindi, Ukunda and Nairobi promise ‘mostly sunshine’ and maybe a few showers here and there. Regardless, these destinations promise nothing short of a holiday to remember!
We've listed a number of things you could do at a few of our destinations for inspiration:
A trip to Mombasa with the family cannot go by without a visit to the majestic rides at the Wild Waters, in Nyali. They have both wet and dry rides, built for children and adults alike. Aside from the rides, they have a unique rain dance arena, flume bowl, bumper rides, Frisbee, a gaming arcade and a food court for when you all get hungry from too much play.
Haller Park, also known as Bamburi Nature Trail, is a nature park built from the efforts of Bamburi Cement. They set out to transform quarry wasteland into vibrant and diverse ecosystem of forest, grassland and ponds. It is ideal for cycling, jogging, and strolling along nature trails while inhaling nature in all its beauty. Haller Park hosts a variety of activities at the Game Sanctuary, Reptile Park, Butterfly Sanctuary and bird watching.
Mamba Village is one of East Africa’s largest crocodile farms. With daily tours along the farm and a separate playground for kids to enjoy when they get bored with the tour, makes the farm ideal for wholesome family fun!
The Fort was built in 1593 by the Portuguese to secure the Old Port of Mombasa and the Portuguese living in the East Coast of Africa. The Fort is now an important historical landmark in the East African region, a national treasure managed by the National Museums of Kenya. The Fort was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2011. The kids will be enchanted with this magnificent structure, and it’s an experience they will never forget.
The beaches of Malindi make perfect grounds for a host of exciting water activities. Take a boat ride by the beach, and go snorkeling with the kids. It’s a thrilling experience to swim with the fish. Bonus points for getting a tour guide with a glass bottom, so you get to enjoy the incredible view of the underworld from the comfort of the boat.
This magnificent canyon is located about half an hour’s drive from Malindi. As the name suggests, the canyon can reach high temperatures of up to 50 degrees during the day. The canyon has become part of the local folklore and many mythical stories have been used to explain its existence. It is definitely a must visit with the family.
Malindi is well known for its turtles, providing critical nesting areas for the green, olive ridley and hawks-bill turtle. Visit the Watamu Turtle Watch Ocean Trust, a community-based marine conservation organization. Your family will learn about the different types of turtles, efforts being put in place to conserve the marine environment.
There is something enchanting about the mysterious ruins of this olden village. The coral walls hold the secrets of a village that once thrived but now lies deserted in the middle of a tropical forest. Situated about 15km from Malindi, this site is one of the main attractions to visit while in Malindi. Among the things to see are the remains of houses made of coral bricks, a palace and a mosque. Some of the items found in the ruins include vases from the Ming dynasty. The Ruins of Gedi is one of the historic sites attracting various archaeological studies and would definitely make for a good lesson to the whole family.
If your children are not afraid of these slithering creatures, then a visit to the Snake Farm would be a good idea. The farm houses the largest collection of snakes in East Africa. A diverse and interesting selection of Kenyan snakes of all colors and sizes can be found in this farm. It also happens to be one of the world’s most renowned snake research centers, specializing in anti-venom research and producing antidotes for snake-bite victims throughout the region. So worry not, no one is getting an infected snake bite on this visit.
For a wholesome family experience, take a boat ride to Wasini Island or Kisite Marine Park. If you’re lucky, you will spot some dolphins on Wasini Island. Now, this is a memory for the books, so don’t deny your children this chance!
Colobus Conservation is a re-adaptation center and orphanage for Angolan colobus monkeys. Visit the Colobus Conservancy with your family and watch these majestic primates as they are rehabilitated and released into the wild.
You and your family can go on a guided quad trip on dirt roads through small villages and beautiful scenery. You can also choose the more African ride on a camel’s back.
Enjoy an exhilarating day safari to Shimba Hills and enjoy what this tropical rain forest has to offer. Go on a game drive by first visiting the Sheldrick Waterfalls. Other attractions include the Marere Dam, casuarinas forests, animals such as elephants, buffalos, giraffes, impalas among others. You can choose to stop by Shimba lodge for lunch, and for a chance to see some animals at the watering holes.
You don’t have to take your family to the Mara to experience exotic African wildlife; you can get your animal fix right in the city under the sun.
Nairobi National Park
The Nairobi city is the only place in the world where you can find a national park right within the city. The Park is located a mere 7 kilometers from the city center. The park is home to giraffes, lions, cheetahs and an abundance of bird species. The Nairobi Safari Walk is a major attraction to the Nairobi National Park as it offers a rare on-foot experience of the animals. This is a truly rewarding family experience.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The trust is a sanctuary for animals who have been orphaned. Baby elephants and rhinos are rehabilitated and introduced back into the wild. The center located just outside the Nairobi National Park and is dedicated to caring for the young abandoned animals. It is a place where children and adults get the rare experience of watching the baby orphans getting fed and taking their daily mud bath. Watching the ecstatic baby elephants splash around in the mud is guaranteed to melt your heart.
The Nairobi Giraffe Centre
It is located on the edges of Nairobi’s National Park. This center was founded to educate the children and the public about the Rothschild giraffes which are facing extinction. These Giraffes can only be found in the open grasslands of East Africa. The best part about visiting this center is that the visitors are allowed to interact and feed the animals. Don’t forget to bring your camera for a family photo; these majestic animals are very photogenic.
The Karura Forest
This is an Urban forest located in Nairobi. The forest is a great place to escape from the busy and noisy city life. It contains many attractions from a beautiful waterfall, sacred caves and beautiful indigenous trees. It is a nice place to walk, jog, and ride bicycles or simply to sit and have a good old family picnic.
History is who we are, and why we are the way we are….. Learn a bit of history and get to meet “The turkana boy” one of the oldest Homo erectus.
Nairobi National Museum
Spend a few hours at the National museum to view all the information about Kenya and its history. You will find cultural and history exhibits, a splendid collection of minerals and rocks, bones, fossils and the full remains of a homo erectus popularly known as the Turkana boy. The National museum also has a snake park with an impressive array of SNAKES! They won’t let you pet them, for obvious reasons, but you can view them up close with only a glass cage between you and the venomous reptiles.
The Karen Blixen Museum
This museum tells the story of the colonial era in Kenya, through the eyes of the Danish author –Karen Blixen. Her memoirs tell of the events that took place in the years of 1917 to 1931 and were made famous by the movie, ‘Out of Africa’.
Bomas of Kenya
This is a collection of cultural villages built like exact replicas of ancient villages and a live museum that showcases the colorful and diverse tribes of Kenya. This is a great opportunity for te kids to immerse themselves in the culture, music and lifestyle of each Kenyan tribe by touring these villages. The whole complex is a recreated traditional village where you can also find a theatre showcasing all the local dances and songs. A visit to these villages takes you back a century and gives you a really authentic peep into life in ancient Kenya.
Yes, in the middle of sub-Saharan Africa and Yes, with real ice! Nairobi is home to the largest ice rink in Africa. The Solar Ice Rink at the Panari Hotel's Sky Centre. The rink, opened in 2005, covers 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2). It can accommodate 200 skaters and offers quite fair prices for this exceptional experience. The rink also has trainers who assist beginners. The kids will definitely love it here!