MY TOP SPOTS IN KENYA – EVE D’SOUZA

Hi. My name is Eve D’Souza…and i’m a travel addict.

My business partner Lucy Mwangi and i created and filmed ‘Travel Diaries Kenya’ for TV back in 2011, strongly believing there was an interest and passion for domestic tourism in Kenya. Compiling my Top 12 spots was so difficult, as over the past 3 seasons of the show, i’ve discovered over 30 incredible holiday spots in the country i absolutely fell in love with. I hope the following will give you some inspiration to explore and discover Kenya with me…

12. KILIFI

I love beach holidays that include beautiful white sandy beaches that you can actually enjoy! No beach boys harassing you or tons of tourists stealing every shady spot. Its quiet and undiscovered – for now that is! The water sports in the creek were also a major highlight! First time I’ve ever stayed in a house floating on the water! Made me feel like a kid again!

The Floating house Kilifi – great holiday accommodation for 6!

Bofa Beach Kilifi. Pic: thomson.co.uk

Mnarani club in Kilifi. Pic: sleepout.com

Amazing water sport experiences await in Kilifi creek!

Vew of the Kilifi bridge from the floating house early morning

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Highlights: Staying at the Floating house, Bofa beach, water ski epic fails, abseiling off a catamaran, Dhow sundowners

Filmed for TV: Kilifi floating house

11. MT NYIRU

It was the first time the Travel Diaries crew got into lots of car trouble. Got stuck in a ditch on the 1st day and had a hole in the petrol tank leaving Baragoi on the way back… plus a puncture an hour and a half from Nairobi! At some point we actually got separated in the middle of Baragoi, as two of us went off by foot to try find help! But what an adventure!! Desert Rose is built on the slopes of Mt Nyiru, and it was the most spiritual experience I’ve ever had in my life

Largest number of break downs we’ve ever had on a road trip so far

Traditional dancers along the slope of Mt Nyiru, you can make out the peak on the top right

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Enjoying lunch under the canopy of trees while the dancers entertained the guests

Filming Travel Diaries

DESERT ROSE2

A very spiritual experience at Desert Rose

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Highlights: Surviving a long tough road trip, driving through Baragoi, amazing view of Mt Nyiru at Desert Rose, enjoying the cultural scenes

Filmed for TV: Desert Rose

10. MARALAL

If you plan to visit Marlal, I recommend you do during the annual Maralal International Camel Derby. Both competitors and visitors to Maralal join in the 3 day festivities. The atmosphere in town on race day was electric and very carnival style!

The Annual International Camel Derby in Maralal

There were an impressive number of women competing last year!

I was quite amused with the photo booths haha!!

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Samburu woman teaching me how to have more attitude! 🙂

Kenyatta House in Maralal where Jomo Kenyatta was detained in 1961 and negotiated our independence. Also where Uhuru Kenyatta was conceived!

Kenyatta House in Maralal where Jomo Kenyatta was detained in 1961 and negotiated our independence. Also where Uhuru Kenyatta was conceived

Jomo Kenyattas bedroom left untouched from 1961. Where Uhuru Kenyatta was conceived and the book ‘Facing Mt Kenya’ completed in Maralal

Kenyatta’s kitchen popular in Govt houses in the 60’s – water heats up automatically whilst you cook with firewood

Malaso valley, Maralal

Highlights: The Camel derby action, visit of the historic Kenyatta house, taking in the view of Malaso valley

9. WATAMU

One of my favourite places if you like to laze by the sea during the day and party at night! Watamu is just beautiful. Also the best place for spotting dolphins and turtles (breeding ground)

Watamu has some of the best beaches in Kenya. Pic: Ora resort

Watamu has some of the best beaches in Kenya. Pic: Garoda Resort

MedinaKitesurfing

Kitesurfing also popular in Watamu. Pic: Medina Palms

Enjoying cooling off in the pool

Sea turtles help to stabilise the ecosystem to which they are a part by creating and protecting what hundreds of thousands of visitors come to see every year at Kenya’s marine parks Pic: nomad.sleepout.com

Sea turtles help to stabilise the ecosystem to which they are a part by creating and protecting what hundreds of thousands of visitors come to see every year at Kenya’s marine parks
Pic: nomad.sleepout.com

Watamu Marine Park. You can also hand feed the pretty little fish! Its so much fun! Pic: ajtoursandsafaris.com

Moray Eels. Pic: watamu.biz

Pic: watamu.biz

watamu.biz2

The park is very rich in marine life. Pic: watamu.biz

watamu.biz

Green turtles are protected in the marine park. Pic: watamu.biz

Watamus a great place to spot dolphins. They’re quite friendly too! Pic: ajtoursandsafaris.com

Dolphins showing off in Watamu! Pic: ndegenews.com

Highlights: Sand bank when the tide is out, its blinding white sand is stunning! Gorgeous beaches. Snorkeling in the Watamu marine park. Watching the Kite surfers. Partying at “Come back Club”

Filmed for TV: Garoda Resort, Ora Resort, Watamu Treehouse, Medina Palms, Turtle bay resort, Lonno Lodge

8. KAKAMEGA FOREST

I was so sure I’d come face to face with a big angry snake. It was my biggest fear the entire drive to Kakamega. I guess they were more afraid of me, as I didn’t actually see any, but had the most amazing time hiking around the forest.

Forest from Kakamega -1 k9 k3 k2 k1 k10 k4 k5 k6 k7 k8

Highlights: Rich foliage, massive trees and thick undergrowth, waterfall, birds, butterflies, colobus monkeys and other primate species, liana climbers

Pics: KWS, Accommodation KWS Bandas

7. SHABA

I watched “Born free” over and over again before going to Shaba. There is definitely the spirit of Elsa and the Adamsons still living strong in Shaba. I got to also stay at exact the spot Joy Adamson lived at for many years (Joys Camp) and learn more about her adventurous life. Its the same place she was later murdered on the 3rd of January 1980, by a worker she had fired.

Shaba National Reserve, Samburu

Shaba National Reserve, Samburu

In Shaba you can still find the abandoned film base, for the George Adamson movie 'Walk with Lions'. Climbing up the Directors tower

In Shaba you can still find the abandoned film base, for the George Adamson movie ‘Walk with Lions’. Climbing up the Directors tower

Joy Adamson's original driving licence

Joy Adamson’s original driving licence

Cooling off from the Shaba heat

Cooling off from the Shaba heat

Shaba gorge

Shaba gorge

In Born free land - Shaba game reserve

In Born free land – Shaba game reserve

Highlights: Shaba gorge, crocodiles along Ewaso Nyiro river, history about the work and life of Joy and George Adamson, sundowners

Filmed for TV: Sarova Shaba Game lodge, Joys Camp

6. LEWA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY

You couldn’t ask for anything more picture perfect! It was unbelievable! Perfect sunrise, followed by an immediate spotting of cheetahs, black and white rhino as well as lions!

Lewa Wildlife conservancy. Pic: theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk

Lewa Downs, Kenya. Pic: theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk

Game drive in Lewa Pic: Sirikoi

Game drive in Lewa Pic: Sirikoi

Enjoy some of the best game drives in Kenya! Pic: africaexclusivesafaris.com

Enjoy some of the best game drives in Kenya! Pic: africaexclusivesafaris.com

Horseback safari Pic: theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk

Horseback safari Pic: theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk

Game drive out in the conservancy. Pic: Sirikoi.com

Game drive out in the conservancy. Pic: Sirikoi.com

Gorgeous landscape in Lewa. Pic: mangoafricansafaris.com

Gorgeous landscape in Lewa. Pic: mangoafricansafaris.com

Horseback safari in Lewa. Pic: mangoafricansafaris.com

Horseback safari in Lewa. Pic: mangoafricansafaris.com

Highlights: Game viewing is spectacular, sight of Mt Kenya in the distance

Filmed for TV: Sirikoi Lodge

5. LAMU

I especially enjoyed my one week stay as we were filming the annual Lamu cultural festival at the same time.

Lamu has retained its charm and character built over centuries and is celebrated on the world heritage list as the oldest and best preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa.

Aerial view, Lamu Pic: forodhanihouse.com

Aerial view, Lamu Pic: forodhanihouse.com

Manda island. Pic: themajlisresorts.com

Manda island. Pic: themajlisresorts.com

Lamu has some of the best beaches in Kenya. Pic: forodhanihouse.com

Lamu has some of the best beaches in Kenya. Pic: forodhanihouse.com

Pretty waters at Shella, Lamu. Pic: forodhanihouse.com

Shimmering sea at Shella, Lamu. Pic: forodhanihouse.com

Pic: the Majilis

Pic: the Majilis

Lamu is rich in swahili culture. Pic: themajlisresorts.com

Lamu is rich in swahili culture. Pic: themajlisresorts.com

Kitesurfing in Lamu. Pic: themajlisresorts.com

Kitesurfing in Lamu. Pic: themajlisresorts.com

View from The Majilis Pic: themajlisresorts.com

View from The Majilis Pic: themajlisresorts.com

Dhow at sunset

Dhow at sunset

Highlights: Cultural festival, cuisine, beaches, sunrises and sunsets are jaw dropping!!

Filmed for TV: Kipungani Explorer, Kijani house, Forodhani house and The Majilis Resort

4. LAIKIPIA

The first time I ever rode a horse was filming Travel Diaries in laikipia, and it was to go out in the wild for a short safari! There is something very special about Laikipia. I’ve visited 3 times and each time was a very different and unique experience.

Driving around Laikipia

Driving around Laikipia

Horseback riding Laikipia

Pride rock at Borana Laikipia, which inspired the creators of Lion King

Pride rock at Borana Laikipia, which inspired the creators of Lion King

Waterfall at Ngare Ndare forest Borana, Laikipia

Waterfall at Ngare Ndare forest Borana, Laikipia

Nature walk at Borana Laikipia

Nature walk at Borana Laikipia

LOISABA

Filming at Borana Laikipia

Filming at Borana Laikipia

Filming our quad bike safari for Travel Diaries Kenya

Filming our quad bike safari for Travel Diaries Kenya

Filming our visit to the maasai village for Travel Diaries Kenya

Filming our visit to the maasai village for Travel Diaries Kenya

Kimunya, filming for Travel Diaries Kenya.

Kimunya, filming for Travel Diaries Kenya.

The view at Ol lentille, lakipia.

The view at Ol lentille, lakipia.

Highlights: Climbing Lentille point, quad bike safari, horseback safari, Nature walk at Borana, Ngare Ndare forest

Filmed for TV: Ol lentille, Borana lodge, Loisaba

3. TURKANA

I cant stress enough how life changing this experience was for me! It took us one and a half days to get there by road from Nairobi and I loved every second! We took the route to Eliye springs Lodge in Turkana (Kitale – Kapenguria – Lodwar – Eliye) Thankfully we experienced no breakdowns on this trip and no issues with security. An incredible beach holiday!

Eliye airstrip

Eliye airstrip

Eliye springs beach

Eliye springs beach

Eliye springs restaurant

Eliye springs restaurant

Boma style accommodation

Boma style accommodation

Camping facilities as well

Camping facilities as well

Boat ride on Lake Turkana

Boat ride on Lake Turkana

Enjoying a boat ride on Lake Turkana

Enjoying a boat ride on Lake Turkana

Visiting the Turkana village, filming Travel Diaries Kenya

Visiting the Turkana village, filming Travel Diaries Kenya

Visiting the Turkana village, filming Travel Diaries Kenya

Visiting the Turkana village, filming Travel Diaries Kenya

Sunset at Turkana

Sunset at Turkana

Turkana dancers

Turkana dancers

Highlights: The change in landscape, the beach, hike at Central island, visit of Turkana manyatta, scenic shots

Filmed for TV: Eliye Springs Camp and Lodge, Turkana

2. THE MAASAI MARA

I have heard a few people say maasai mara is overrated, and its always people who have never actually been to the mara! Its anything but! Trust me, the maasai mara is all its hyped up to be. The best place in Kenya to see Lions, chances are extremely high. First time I got to see the Big 5 in one game drive!

Wearing the Lions mane at a maasai village in the maasai mara. Women are typically never allowed to wear the mane...meant for warriors

Wearing the Lions mane at a maasai village in the maasai mara. Women are typically never allowed to wear the mane…meant for warriors

MARA

Wildebeest migration Pic: trueafrica.com

Wildebeest migration Pic: trueafrica.com

Wildebeest migration

Wildebeest migration

While filming Travel Diaries Kenya - hot air balloon safari

While filming Travel Diaries Kenya – hot air balloon safari

Male lion bringing in the food

Male lion bringing in the food

Very common in the maasai mara to have cheetahs jump on top of the safari cars! Pic: ghorayebtravel.net

Very common in the maasai mara to have cheetahs jump on top of the safari cars! Pic: ghorayebtravel.net

Highlights: Game drives, Hot air ballon safari, wildebeest migration, visit of maasai villages, The Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo)

Filmed for TV: Entim camp, Ilkeliani camp

1. SAMBURU

There’s something raw and untouched about this place. I feel a sense of inner peace when I’m in Samburu. It’s also astoundingly beautiful! Its the wild beauty of Kenya’s outback. Here I found open spaces, serenity and some of the best opportunities for game safaris as well as other outdoor activities. Look out for the Samburu Special 5 (Gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryz and Somali Ostrich)

Samburu land!

Out in Samburu

Out in Samburu

Filming Travel Diaries Kenya. Our bush breakfast along Ewaso Nyiro river

Filming Travel Diaries Kenya. Our bush breakfast along Ewaso Nyiro river

Out on my rooms deck, filming Travel Diaries Kenya

Out on my rooms deck, filming Travel Diaries Kenya

Taking in the view by the pool

Taking in the view by the pool

Resting on the rocks on my rooms outside deck

Resting on the rocks on my rooms outside deck

A massage with a view! Samburu

A massage with a view! Samburu

Lions sleeping under the shade

Highlights: The views staying at Saasab camp and Saruni. Bush breakfast along the Ewaso Nyiro river, the special 5 visit of samburu village

Filmed for TV: Saasab, Saruni Samburu

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