Travel Guide - Kenya

Sandies Hotels and Resorts

Kenya

I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world

The ideal destination for a Safari in the Masai Mara National Reserve and to discover the unspoilt coastlines of Kenya, Malindi also offers many leisure and excursion possibilities.

A journey to Kenya means embarking towards a destination where numerous wonders await: the Indian Ocean, one of the most exciting and beautiful safaris in the world, Malindi’s leisure facilities, the enchanting white beaches of Watamu and Diani, the capital of Nairobi, the Mombasa gate, the Lamu archipelago and many other wonders, all waiting to be discovered.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit this amazing country, where it is possible to see the “big 5” in one of its 45 national parks including the Maasai Mara national reserve, where it is possible to see the wildebeest migration once a year. If you are more keen on experiencing city life, you can’t miss exotic Malindi and the other bustling metropolitan cities and towns.

Get also inspired by the traditions of the place by visiting the Gede Ruins and Museum which are the remains of a Swahili town.

Kenya awaits!

Get in

A tourist visa and a valid passport are required to enter the country. Each home country has its own regulations, so we recommend having your documents checked by your Embassy or travel agency in advance before departure.

To get more information, visit the Kenya Tourist Board website at www.magicalkenya.com

Hotels Point of interests

Changes in Visa application procedures

This change is part of on-going Government efforts to enhance service delivery by moving various services to the on-line platform.
 
With effect from 1st July 2015, Visas can (not must) be applied for online before arrival to Kenya.

The new service will go live from 2nd July 2015.

Visitors can still get their visas on arrival at the Airports for the 1st two months i.e. up to end of August 2015. During this period, one will have the option to either apply online or get their visa on arrival.

The email approval after application and payment will take about SEVEN Days hence visitors coming to Kenya w.e.f.1st September 2015 will need to lodge their Visa application well in advance.

 

To apply for the online Visa visit: www.ecitizen.go.ke

The Kenyan department of immigration has decided to install separate desks, at Nairobi and Mombasa’s airports, for easy access to visitors who haven’t been able to complete the procedure for obtaining the electronic visa in time.

Airport transfers

Airport transfers can be booked online, directly from our website, when making your reservation. The vehicle will wait for you at the airport to drive you comfortably to your resort.

Typical kenyan dishes

In Kenya there is one principle ingredient that is used in most local dishes: coconut milk (madafu). Coconut is often also used to garnish dishes such as kuku malasa (grilled chicken) or samaki wa kupaka (grilled fish).

Meat and fish are often accompanied by sweet potatoes (viasi tamu) and spiced rice (pilau). Samosas are a traditional bread parcel filled with meat and/or vegetables.

Many vegetables form various side dishes. The dish which most characterises African cuisine is a very common polenta made with cornflour and water.

And let’s not forget the tropical fruits: as well as coconut there is also papaya, mango and passion fruit.

Must see

Masai Mara National Park

Considered by many the “sanctuary” of Kenyan wildlife, this is one of the most popular tourist attractions and is located in south-western Kenya, belonging to the Serengeti ecosystem. The park’s name derives from the Masai tribe which inhabits various areas of the Serengeti plain, and the Mara river.

The reserve is renowned for its excellent concentration of wildlife and the famous migration of gnu and zebra which takes place in October and April. The Masai Mara park extends over 320 km² and is crossed by the Great Rift Valley. Most of the wildlife is concentrated in the western areas where the plains have plenty of water sources.

Here it is possible to see the so-called “Big Five”, including lions – there are around 1000 specimens in this area. There are also numerous hippopotamuses in the Mara and Talek rivers, whilst the gnu are the reserve’s principle residents. The reserve is also home to other species of antelope, in particular Thomson’s gazelle and Grant’s gazelle, impala and large herds of zebra.

Amboseli National Park

Founded as a park in 1948, this area is also a nature reserve and extends for over 3,000 km². The park is located along the border with Tanzania to the north-west of Kilimanjaro.

The altitude ranges from between 1,000 and 1,300 metres and the “green hills of Africa” can be admired from here.

From freshwater swamps to dry and barren savanna, from ponds to rich grassy plains, from forests to lava fields, you will have the chance to admire unforgettable and moving landscapes.

Tsavo National Park

The Tsavo park extends for over 23,000 km² and is split into East and West. It is the largest park in Kenya and one of the biggest in the world. The altitude ranges between 200 m to the 2,000 m of the highest peaks. It takes its name from the River Tsavo which crosses it.

Tsavo East is largely savanna, whilst Tsavo West has a greater variety of environments and ecosystems; there are savannas of red earth, with small shrubs or decidedly barren, forested hills, baobab forests, river forests and oases with fresh springs rich with palm trees and plant life.

This is of the wildest natural parks and as such you can see a wide variety of animals including Tsavo red elephants, giraffes, gazelles, lions and cheetahs.

Hell’s Kitchen – Marafa Kanyon

Don’t miss a half-day trip to Marafa Kanyon, an hour away from Malindi along an interesting drive through great plains, villages and acacia woods. Also known as Hell’s Kitchen, this canyon takes its name from an ancient legend which tells of a very wealthy family who once lived in this area.

They had so many cows that they used the milk not to drink but to wash their clothes. The legend goes that God made them fall into this canyon where the sun’s heat reaches very high temperatures.

Sunset is particularly evocative and we recommend planning your trip in the afternoon so as to finish the day with a truly moving moment: it is as if the rocks have caught fire!

Malindi Tour

Malindi is a continuous swarm of people, tuc tucs and matatus, children coming to and from school in different uniforms ‘colours, people riding bicycles, lots of people on foot…
yet there aren’t many cars.

You can explore here in complete tranquillity.

Don’t miss a trip to the wood factory or the Malindi market.

Romantic Island – Watamu

Watamu takes its names from its characteristic heart shape which combined with the walk along the beach at low tide makes it an evocative and romantic place!

Watamu

Watamu is a village in the Malindi district.

The Watamu area is part of the Malindi Natural Park and both the village and Garoda-Turtle Bay are protected as a Marine Park given that along these sections of beach it is not uncommon to come across sea turtle nests in the month of March.

Make a date for a boat trip, you won’t be disappointed.

Special experience

Malindi Casino
If you don’t want to completely give up the social life, don’t miss a trip to Malindi Casino, just a few minutes drive from the resort.

Shopping in Malindi
Now a trendy town, Malindi is Africa’s chic destination. The town is particularly interesting for the products and textiles which arrive in container ships from the rest of Africa and Asia. In particular these include traditional tailored clothes, wooden objects and beads.

Big Game Fishing Kenya
Malindi is known for having the highest density of sailfish along the entire coastline, an important figure given that over 15,000 sailfish and marlin have been caught just in the last decade. On certain, miraculous days, the boats return with an average of eight or more fish each!

For those interested in statistics, the largest sailfish ever caught in Malindi weighed 143 pounds (around 72 kilos) and the largest marlin, caught in 1980, weighed 828 pounds!

As well as the billfish (which refers to all the large fish species with a “beak”) there are many wahoo, kingfish, barracuda, yellowfin, giant trevally and sharks to keep fishermen entertained. The best season for sailfish fishing runs from September to March when the monsoon blows from the north-east. From April onwards the ocean is populated with kingfish, mahi-mahi and barracuda which remain for the season until the billfish season starts again in September.

In Malindi all the boats are part of the MWCBA, an association which guarantees the safely and organisation standards of its affiliated partners.