Africa is a country that boasts of and thrives on tourism. Africa is also perhaps synonymous with jungle safaris. So if you’re off on a trek to Kilimanjaro, ensure you spare a few days to see Africa in close proximity.
- Reach Nairobi. Take a Single Visa for $50 and stay two days. Visit Kenyatta National Conference Centre at Harambee Avenue. Go to the Helipad for a bird’s eye view of the city. The city looks wondrous from this tower, especially in the evening. The entry fee is $5.
- Nairobi National Park is another attraction that you shouldn’t miss. It is the only national park in the world, which is only 5 km away from the city. You can actually hire a cab and tour the park. The entry fee is $40 and requires additional vehicle entry fee. Also, visit the Karen Blixen Museum and Giraffe Centre adjoining the park.
- If you are looking for some exotic food, then you must visit Carnivore at Langata Road and definitely try Nyama Choma, a local dish of baked meat. Try Kinyeji (a mixture of potato, maze and onion) with Nyama Choma.
- From Nairobi, go to Arusha. You can either hire a cab or take a bus. If you have day or two before you start climbing, then you can visit Arusha National Park. But do try to rest as much as you can before trekking. You can stay at Arusha Hotel, Arusha Naaz Hotel or Themi Valley Hotel for the night, before you move to IH’s accommodation. Try eating somewhere around Arusha. Fifi, close to Clock Tower is nice place to eat. If you like Indian food, go to Khan’s Barbeque or Big Bite Restaurant.
- After climbing, a 3-4 days safari in Gorongoro or Serengeti or Tarangire National Park is a must-do. Since you’ve come all the way to Africa, make the best of it and meet animals that you may never see again in your life!
- Make sure you visit beautiful white sand beaches like Zanzibar or Mombasa. You can go to Mombasa from Arusha by bus and stay there for a day. Visit Mombasa Marine National Park for diving or snorkelling. You could also visit Diani Beach.
- On the last day, take a train trip from Mombasa to Nairobi in a first class compartment; it’s not too expensive. From Nairobi, fly back to your city.
There are several things you could do in Arusha if you have extra days before or after your trek.
- You can visit Arusha National Park to see the Big Five of Africa (Elephant, lion, giraffe, buffalo and rhino). It is a half hour’s drive from Arusha. You can take a guide and cab independently or contact any local agency to make arrangements, which will work out cheaper than going about it independently.
- Experience local culture by walking around the city. It’s a small city and you can explore the place without a vehicle. Visit villages 2-3 km away from the city and learn how local tribes live. Visit the local market to interact with the crowd.
- It’s not a good idea to fly back to your city without seeing the famous Black Mamba. Meserani Snake Park is the best place to see them near to Arusha. It’s only 25 km from the city. The park is well maintained and you will get a chance to see all the snakes that you’ve heard of – black mamba, green mamba, puff adder, African python, etc. Apart from snakes, there are a few crocodiles and tortoises too. Take a tour inside Masai Conservation Centre to experience Masai lifestyle.
- If you’re a foodie, there are many good restaurants in the area. Try a local dish named Ugali, made out of maize.
- Africa is famous for beer, specially the local ones. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Tusker are famous beers.