Nairobi is Kenya's capital and one of Africa's most modern and fastest growing major cities. The original center retains Asian influence in its older buildings with glassy modern buildings. Visit City Market with local produce and handicrafts. Other attractions are: National Museum, displaying ethnographic, paleontological and ornithological exhibits; the Arboretum, with an excellent collection of East African flora; the University, known for its unique architecture; the excellent Kenya Railway Museum; and Nairobi's landmark, the extraordinary Kenyatta Conference Center, the country's most monumental building, visible from miles outside the city. There are casinos at Safari Park Hotel and Inter-Continental, and there's Sunday-afternoon horse-racing. Visit Karen Blixen Museum, where some action of the book and film Out of Africa took place. The beautiful forested Ngong Hills is a spiritual place for the Maasai and an excellent area for hiking and enjoying views of Nairobi and the Rift Valley. Nairobi National Park is a wildlife game reserve.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve (Masai Mara) is Kenya's finest and most outstanding wildlife sanctuary where gentle rolling grassland ensures animals are never out of sight. The climate is gentle, rarely too hot and well spread rainfall year round. The sensation of the great wildebeest migration between July and October is unparalleled. The wildlife is far from being confined within the Reserve boundaries and an even larger area extends beyond the game Reserve. Centuries of close association with the wildllife has resulted in an almost symbiotic relationship where wildlife and Masai people live in peace with one another. The first sight of this park is breathtaking. There is nowhere else on earth to compare with this wildlife marvel. The combination of a gentle climate, scenic splendour and untold numbers of wildlife makes the Maasai Mara National Reserve Kenya's most popular inland destination.
Just before Nanyuki, approaching from the south, the road crosses the Equator and arrival in the northern hemisphere is marked by a large sign and scattering of curio shops. Founded in 1907, Nanyuki still has something of a frontier feel. This is enhanced by shops like Settler's Stores which have been in operation since the 1930’s. Today there is still a British army base here, and Kenyan Air Force base. There are also banks, a post office and well stocked shops, but Nanyuki's biggest claim to fame is the Mount Kenya Safari Club. The club once boasted a member list that included Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Now a hotel, it is on the British Airways list of the world's top hotels.
Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is one of Kenya's most popular parks. The snow capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above a saucer of clouds dominates every aspect of Amboseli. Despite its small size and fragile ecosystem it supports a wide range of mammals and birds. The snows of Kilimanjaro, white and crystalline, form a majestic backdrop to one of Kenya's most spectacular displays of wildlife - lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cheetah, buffalo and hosts of plains' game, creating Kenya's most sought after photographer's paradise. The Park's best game runs are around swamps and there is a fine lookout on Observation Hill which offers views over the whole of the Park and beyond.
An ancient hole in northern Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa's best wildlife-viewing spots since it acts like a natural cage; the crater's depth makes for a difficult escape for some animals, but most have no need to leave, finding plenty of resources inside. For the traveler, it means not only awesome wildlife viewing, but incredible views from accommodations on the crater's rim. Descend to the crater floor in a four-wheel drive; and once there just cruise around slowly and take in the scene — on any given day see lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle, zebra, and reedbuck. The small soda lake inside the crater is also the seasonal home of thousands of flamingos.
Today, the Serengeti National Park helps protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact. The Serengeti is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania's protected areas and has come to symbolize paradise. The region encompasses Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, the Loliondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo Controlled Areas and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within the region. It's unique ecosystem has inspired writers and filmakers as well as numerous photographers and scientists. The essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
Arusha is the safari capital of East Africa, a bustling, vibrant town with the streets filled with 4X4 game viewing vehicles criss-crossing the potholed roads. Maasai warriors in full regalia stroll the streets, mingling with tourists in crisp khaki, fresh off the plane from Europe or the United States.
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