Shopping and stores
Masks, figurines, figurines, batik, calabashes (vessels made of hollowed gourds), spears, drums, leather goods, wickerwork. The duty free always has local tea and coffee in beautiful original packaging. Well, in the capital of Kenya, you can very profitably buy precious stones, especially malachites, tanzanites, blue agates and blue diamonds. A simpler souvenir can be the so-called “soap stone” (kisii). Handicrafts can be bought at the Maasai Market in Nairobi. See other countries beginning with K.
The most interesting souvenirs from Kenya are “tire” sandals: their soles are made from old car tires, and the jumpers are made from multi-colored pieces of leather. They say no demolition!
Local alcoholic drinks (“changa”) are not particularly popular with tourists. They are based on maize and sugar, as well as bussa (to taste, well, very “for an amateur”). The only exception is, perhaps, the local beer Tasker.
Shops are usually open from 8:30 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday. Saturdays from 8:30 to 12:30. Many retail outlets focused on foreign tourists are open without lunch until 19:00-20:00.
Cuisine and restaurants in Kenya
Kenyan cuisine is a kind of mix of African, Indian and European culinary achievements. In addition to beef and pork (which are traditionally expensive here), the meat of wild animals and birds is widely used. They usually try to surprise tourists with various exotics – antelope fillet, stewed elephant, crocodile meat with banana salad, fried side of a warthog, roast ostrich with fruit sauce, fried termites or locusts, buffalo meat steak. All this is very generously seasoned with hot spices, so those who do not like spicy food should warn the waiter about this in advance.
The most popular local dish is “nyama choma”, which literally means “fried meat” (usually on a spit or coals). “Chomu” is garnished with fresh vegetables and “ugali”, similar to pancakes made from cornmeal. Wash down everything with juice, beer or wines – local and imported.
Nairobi has the most food: there are colorful family eateries, standard cafes, and expensive restaurants. Grilled meat is served in the most popular establishments, dishes from wild animals are in special esteem. In some places they arrange spectacular folklore shows: primitive dances and tunes instantly awaken the appetite.
Mombasa has Italian, Indian, Chinese and even Swiss eateries. Fans of fast food should head to the food courts of shopping malls, where both typical McDonald’s and KFC are presented, as well as authentic local chains. Classic European dishes are served in hotel restaurants. And the most vivid impressions will be brought by dinner at the lodge: meat and fish on the grill, wine, show program – and all this in the open air among the vast expanses of Africa.
Lunch in an inexpensive cafe will cost from 400 KES, a snack in a Western fast food – from 700 KES per person, dinner for two in a good restaurant – from 2200 KES excluding alcohol.
Entertainment and attractions
Kenya with its natural wonders is associated primarily with national parks, safaris, mountain climbing, diving, but cities also have noteworthy sights. Let’s start with Nairobi, whose architectural dominant is the Clock Tower with a spire 140 m off the ground: this is one of the highest buildings in Africa. They say that if you stand near the spectacular building, you can recharge with energy, strength and wisdom, but you won’t be able to get inside: there are guarded offices.
Next to the laconic design of the parliament stands the mausoleum of Jomo Kenyatta, the first prime minister and president, the most revered person in the country. No less significant is the Jami Mosque – the main one in Kenya, built in 1902-1906. in traditional Arab-Muslim style.
The marble mosque is crowned with three silvery domes, minarets rise on the sides, the walls are dotted with quotations from the Koran, and the entrance is decorated with an elegant gilded arch.
There are many museums in the capital: National (off. site in English), for example, is famous for life-size dinosaur models and the remains of plants and animals that disappeared from the face of the earth hundreds of years ago. The Railway Museum is dedicated to the construction of the Victorian Railway, and the Karen Blixen Museum is dedicated to the work of a Danish writer whose heart belonged to Africa.
Nature also dominates the metropolis: in the metropolitan area, the Nairobi National Park with rare black rhinos, Mount Longonot 2777 m high and the Great Rift Valley with a string of active and semi-active volcanoes are admired.
The main attraction of Mombasa is Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in 1593 and under the rule of the Turks and the British. Today, a museum has been opened on the site of the barracks and prison (off. site in English), where, among other things, artifacts from sunken ships are stored. There are many temples in Mombasa – Muslim, Christian and Hindu, and the symbol of the new time is the letter “M” made of elephant tusks, installed for the arrival of Queen Elizabeth in 1952.
In Malindi, you can not ignore the old city with buildings in the Swahili style and the Juma mosque. On the coast, a coral pillar erected in 1498 for the arrival of Vasco da Gama is interesting, and in the southern environs there are the ruins of the ancient settlement of Gede, founded in the 13th century.
- Where are roses grown in Kenya?
7 things to do in Kenya
- Go to the expanses of any of the national parks to immerse yourself in the wild, sultry and generous Africa.
- Stand on the equator and feel what it is, the heat of the center of the Earth.
- Dive into the underwater bowels of the WatamuReserve.
- Relax on the delightful sandy beaches of Malindi.
- You absolutely don’t want to visit Karen Blixen’s farm in the vicinity of Nairobi and understand that “from Africa” is absolutely not desirable.
- Take a picture with a tall Masai in the Masai Mara park.
- Fall asleep to the roar of lions in the Amboseli Nature Reserve.