With these words, Ernest Hemingway hit the nail on the head for all time. Kenya inspired him to literary heights in The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Kenya arouses yearnings and is still an eye-opener even today, a door-opener into the captivating world of East Africa.
You want fascination and pure adventure? Leave the beaten path behind you and concentrate on the real Kenya. It has always attracted explorers, adventurers, and authors from Karen Blixen to Hardy Krüger. In addition to nature, it is the hospitality here that is unmatched. The lodgings are mostly private, individual residences, some in the same family for generations. Many have dedicated themselves to responsible, authentic tourism, by supporting the surrounding villages, and are committed to the protection of flora and fauna. No adventure is the same: in the early morning, breathtaking views of animals in the Masai Mara, a night in the “wildest, and also the quietest, hotel in the world” (Die Zeit), or a Sundowner with thousands of flamingos on Lake Natron. Kenya has it all, from pure adrenalin to complete immersion into nature, when time seems to stand still. All harmonizing with the irresistible charm of your host.
The capitol, Nairobi, is a good place to begin. You get a sense of the wilderness already in an overnight stay in the bush chalets of the Ngong House with a view of the close-by Ngong Mountains and the anticipation of a superb dinner. You continue on in a small airplane since Kenya’s roads are a difficult challenge – even a Jeep takes five hours for 100 kilometers.
Among the most beautiful lodgings in Kenya are the Bateleur Camp and the Mukutan Retreat, and the list of exceptional lodges continues. Small treasures such as The Sanctuary, Ol Lentille, with four private villas on the mountain ridges; Cottar’s 1920’s, an authentic safari camp with the charm and spirit of the 1920’s, whose rangers can be counted among the best in the country; or Hippo Point on Lake Naivasha with its famous pagoda tower. And what is probably the most exclusive estate in Kenya, Oldonyo Laro, is a private sanctuary that can only be booked in its entirety for USD 250.000 per week for a maximum of 16 guests and is available only six dates each year. Included are the helicopter, the airplane and moveable safari tents that stand ready for excursions across the country. Perhaps you have a special occasion coming up?
Kenya – in spite of all of the warnings – is a surprise package, that becomes more exciting as you unwrap it. The country in which the safari (meaning “trip” in Swahili) was invented is still the original, in which the entire African continent can be found. Since a cheerful “Hakuna Matata” – no problems, don’t worry – accompanies everyone every day, it is not surprising that we too have caught Hemingway’s homesickness for Africa again, a longing for the red earth of Kenya before we have even landed at home.