It’s here again! Stretch it into a weekend celebration dedicated to love
Above: Kitich Forest Camp Mathews Range- Dinner under the stars with a herd of elephants.
Published: 8 February 2020 Nation Saturday magazine
Stretch Friday 14 into a Valentine weekend and l’ve got some great places to safari to that are unique. So get your map out and start mapping your Valentine weekend.
Tip: You can fly to any destination in the country including Lake Turkana for the weekend.
The Little-Known Secrets
Settle into the little known secrets in the far-flung mountains of the north like the Mathews Range or Mount Nyiro where crystal clear streams gush from ancient forests little touched by humans. Explore the forests and swim in the fresh pools from Kitich Camp https://kitichforestcamp.com/ in Mathews Range or Desert Rose on Mount Nyiro. There’s plenty of wildlife around and ancient plants like the cycad from the time of the dinosaur. Small and exclusive, you’ll love these little known havens.
The Glamping Girl
Settle under the canvas in any of the national parks or conservancies in Kenya. You don’t have to lift a finger to enjoy the romantic weekend with the tent all pitched for you in the midst of the most stunning vistas. Try out Samburu Intrepid in Samburu National Reserve or Satao Camp in Tsavo East National Park. Or go east to Severin Safari Camp https://www.severinsafaricamp.com/ in Tsavo West with great views of Mount Kilimanjaro. They are affordably luxury.
The do-it-yourself Camper
Some women love the outdoors under the stars pitching a tent in no time. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has camping grounds in all the national parks and reserves. Camping gear is more affordable than ever so invest in a tent, sleeping bags…even a shower bag with a few camping chairs and table; cooking kit and you’re all set. Camping gives you the freedom to wander around the country and pitch tent without having to worry about prior bookings. For the more intrepid, explore the Ndoto Mountains with Mount Poi that is Kenya’s largest rock face from Salato Women’s Camping https://www.facebook.com/Salato-Campsite-430814374333592/.
The Mountain Climber
Limber up with your partner for a weekend of climbing. There’s no shortage of mountains and hills in Kenya. You can go for the tallest that’s Mount Kenya and take a stroll up the moorlands. Easier to do are Mount Longonot, Lukenya, Elgon, Chyulus, Ndoto, Nyiro, Kulal, Cheranganis, Nandi Hills and Taita Hills. Contact Mountain Club of Kenya https://www.mck.or.ke/ for more ideas or better still become a member.
The Lake Lover
Water is the essence of life. Take yourself to any of the amazing lakes in the Great Rift Valley…there’s a string of them starting with Lake Magadi in the south followed by Naivasha, Elmenteita, Nakuru, Bogoria, Baringo and Turkana on the border of Ethiopia. It’s no hardship to reach Turkana the desert lake with daily flights to the world’s largest permanent lake in a desert. For a really special escape sail to Island Camp on Ol Kokwe Island on Baringo or Mfangano Island Camp on Lake Victoria. They are both exquisite. On a more affordable side on Mfangano, take the Waterbus http://waterbus.online/ to Lake Victoria Safari Village http://www.safarikenya.net/ on the mainland at Mbita Point that boasts the only lighthouse to live in.
Sail along the Tana Delta that pours out into the Indian Ocean. It’s magical. Fly or drive to Malindi. Delta Dunes https://secludedafrica.com/delta-dunes/ built on the dunes at the mouth of the Tana, Kenya’s longest river offers 360 degrees of uninterrupted views of the delta’s maze of mangroves flowing into the ocean with towering sand dunes all around. It’s ethereal. Closer home is Malu Lodge http://www.malu-kenya.com/ by a river with a natural pool, an enchanting lodge up in the forested hills of Naivasha.
Kenya has over 500 kilometres of pristine beaches fringed with a colour-filled coral reef that’s spectacular. For the owls, the nightlife in Malindi, Watamu, Mombasa and Diani is vibrant. From just lounging on the sand to deep sea diving, hug the coast for all its warmth. Serena Beach Resort https://www.serenahotels.com/serenabeachhotel/en/default.html enchants with its Swahili nuances of the coast while Hemingway Watamu https://www.hemingways-collection.com/watamu/ boasts contemporary. For barefoot luxury in a secluded bay, Barefoot Beach Camp’s https://www.facebook.com/barefootbeachcampkenya/ your ideal stopover north of Malindi.
Big Game Girl
You love wildlife to the core…lions and elephants, rhinos and leopards, raptors and reptiles which in today’s age are in the national parks. But you don’t want to camp. Celebrate Valentines with the creatures of the wild. Start with Amboseli at the foot of Kilimanjaro at Ol Tukai http://www.oltukailodge.com/ in Amboseli. You simply can’t go wrong with the tried-and-tested lodges in the parks with Serana https://www.serenahotels.com/en/default.html, Sarova https://www.sarovahotels.com/ and Heritage Hotels https://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/ with lodges in every national park.
Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Valentine in the great outdoors.