Most of the fun activities suggested in travel sites often fail to consider an essential group of people. Older travellers can also have fun, and adventure and Kenya is no exception. The activities might be different from the normal aggressive and fast-paced ones. Below are a few ideas I have put together for our older folk to engage in.
Travelling to Kenya without going on a safari drive is almost a crime. Kenya is the home of the beautiful Big Five animals and a host of other creatures, birds and vegetation. Thankfully, game drives are not too tiring, mainly because the participants sit in their vehicles all day. The experience is still very thrilling, with the bonus of excluded exhaustion. Additionally, most safari drives come with packages that include bed, breakfast and exciting night activities such as game nights.
Another way older travellers can enjoy Kenya without overexerting themselves is by going for a cultural visit. Cultural events aim to display the different Kenyan customs and traditions, cutting across our 44 tribes. While there are places that offer said cultural experiences exclusively, others do so as part of a bigger package. The Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi is one of the few places where the display of culture is the main event. The alternative is booking a stay with a cultural themed luxury camp or retreat such as those in Laikipia. They give their visitors guided trips to traditional Kenyan homes where you get to experience first-hand, everyday traditional Kenyan life.
Visiting Animal Orphanages and Sanctuaries
If you want to see Kenyan wildlife but you are not able to go for a game drive, then you can visit animal orphanages and sanctuaries instead. Their advantage is that you get quite close to the animals. You also can move at your own pace while enjoying the surrounding ambience. There are several such facilities across Kenya where older travellers can visit. Some of them include the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Giraffe Manor, The Mamba Village, The Ostrich farm, Haller Park, The Sweet Waters Chimpanzee Sanctuary and The Animal Orphanage.
After exploring the Kenyan inland, you can head out to the Kenyan Coast for a weekend of sunbathing, swimming and enjoying coastal life. You can choose any of the seaside towns to explore, including Mombasa, Lamu, and Kilifi. The Kenyan coast promises carefree sun-filled days and lively nights. While there, you can visit some of the tourist attractions including the old Lamu town, Fort Jesus, Shimoni Caves and the Marine Park. Make sure to visit Mida Creek, to enjoy a slice of paradise left on the Kenyan Coast.
Older travellers who love history will find the collection of Kenyan museums spread across the country, particularly enticing. All of them carry important Kenyan history from age-old weaponry, to cultural artefacts recovered after the colonial reign. Some have stories about the man-eating lions of Tsavo and the rich collection of musical instruments from across Kenya. Others tell stories of Kenyan heroes such as Mekatilili wa Menza, who bravely stood up against the British soldiers in Giriama land. Other museums such as the Karen Blixen museum and Lord Egerton Castle tell specific stories of their previous owners and occupants. Whichever you pick, you will get to delve deep into Kenyan history without having to use too much energy.
Sampling Local Delicacies
Kenyan food is a huge part of enjoying the Kenyan experience. When you do not feel like going out in the hot sun to explore, you can stay in and sample Kenyan foods. There are dozens of options for you here. For meat lovers, Nyama Mama or Carnivore are the best places to visit. You get to enjoy different kinds of meat, prepared in various ways for your satisfaction. From roasted to wet fried meat. From beef to chicken to veal, and then some more. If you prefer traditional food, you can visit any of the many local restaurants and ask for Ugali, rice, chapati, mukimo, tea, or porridge. You should also try out Kenyan fish, especially if you are near a lake or sea.
After a successful Kenyan trip, you might want to carry some souvenirs with you. You might also want some gifts for your loved ones. Get ready for a shopping spree. You can choose to do this in a mall or local market stalls. The mall gives you the advantage of fewer crowds and noise. However, the prices might be higher and fixed, compared to the local market. Some of the best places for Kenyan curios and other artefacts include the Maasai Market. You will get items such as shukas, beaded jewellery, stone and wooden sculptures, among other exciting things. If you choose to go to the open markets, try to go with a guide for easy manoeuvring.
Travel trips do not always have to be loud and aggressive. They can also be subtle and comfortable to allow older travellers also to enjoy themselves. But if you are feeling young at heart, explore the other side and skip this guide by all means. Otherwise, I hope it is useful to you as you tour magical Kenya.