Out of Africa: A luxe traveller's guide to Kenya
It is difficult not to be awstruck by the grandeur of the wild plains of Africa. With its sheer, never-ending scale and humbling cycle of life, Kenya offers an extraordinary safari experience and a fusion of old-world colonial elegance that is entirely enchanting and impossible to find anywhere else.
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi
Set in the outskirts of Nairobi, Giraffe Manor is one of Kenya's most iconic buildings. The boutique hotel dates back to the 1930s and is peppered with colonial charm. Set amongst almost 150-acres of forest, the estate also serves as a giraffe sanctuary, with a herd of resident Rothschild giraffes who frequently join guests for breakfast and dinner.
Giraffe Manor, Gogo Falls Road, Nairobi; +254 20 2513166
Accommodation comes in all forms and luxuries. There is an abundance of boutique lodges which cater to an authentic experience whilst also offering support and protection to the local environment. Lion's Bluff Lodge, located in Tsavo, has 14 thatched cottages which are wonderfully rustic and are set amongst 125,000-acres amidst the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Travel further north and the landscape changes dramatically. The Samburu National Reserve is drier and more desert-like and the area is renowned for more exotic species of animals. The Safari Collection manages the Sasaab Lodge which is located in the Northern Frontier District with views of Mount Kenya and the Laikipia plateau.
Lion's Bluff Lodge, Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary, Tsavo, Kenya; +254 733 222420
Sasaab Lodge, Samburu, Kenya; +254 20 892234
For exotic meats, (Think: crocodile, ostrich, camel) as well as something more traditional - lamb and chicken for the faint of heart - Carnivore offers a jovial, rustic atmosphere. Keep the flag at the end of your table flying for a steady supply but when you finally concede defeat, lower the flag and retreat to a nearby bed to sleep off the food coma.
Carnivore, Nairobi; +254 733 611608
This little haven is the perfect place for sundowners. Surrounded by mango groves and overlooking the Mida Creek, the restaurant serves an impressive array of local curries, fish and delicacies. Full disclosure: The cocktails and caramel tarts are worth the visit alone.
Tsavo National Park
The largest game reserve in Kenya, the area was made famous by the man-eating lions that stalked it at the turn of the 19th century, terrorising and devouring the local population. 120 years on, the area remains rich in local wildlife and the park is home to giraffes, zebras, buffalos, elephants, leopards and over 500 species of birds.
Far from the bustle of Nairobi, on the Kenyan coast is Mida Creek, a UNESCO heritage biosphere reserve located near the town of Malindi. The area has been a melting pot for different cultures and is the perfect place to sip cocktails as you sail amidst fragrant mango trees on the traditional Arab dhow.
Watamu National Marine Reserve
One of the most beautiful parts of the Kenyan coast, the Watamu Marine Reserve is particularly worth a visit. The beach transforms at low tide as kilometres of white sand and shallow, turquoise water suddenly appear.
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