Please welcome Salman Dean on this week’s “Where Is…?” guest interview series!
Salman is a 21 year old Londoner whose personal blog is mainly focused around fashion and lifestyle – but in addition to that he likes to documents all of his travels, from beautiful photo diaries to witty travel guides.
It’s no surprise to anyone who follows my blog that I am a little bit in love with East Africa, so I am quite excited to share someone else’s experience in a country I am yet to explore myself.
Today Salman will be sharing his tales and tips from five weeks travelling around Kenya, with his time mainly split between the city of Nairobi and the beautiful coast of Mombasa.
Where in the world are you? What is it like?
Kenya is such a beautiful majestic place. For the most part I travelled around the country which was exhausting but fun at the same time. One day you can be in a dusty city while the next you are laying on a beach drinking coconut water.
What is the weather like?
It was around 27 degrees. In the night it can get a little chilly but I wouldn’t say it’s cold. We had a little rain fall on some days but it didn’t even last a few hours before the sun was shining again.
Where did you stay?
I actually stayed in 6 different locations. However I would say the best was Baobab Beach Resort & Spa in Diani. A complete luxury experience with amazing pools and it’s located on the beach. Although most of my time was spent in Southern Sun Mayfair located in Nairobi. I’ve never felt so comfortable in a hotel before.
What activities did you get up to? What was your highlight?
Going on a 5 day safari was the biggest highlight. It was intense as you are waking up at sunrise to see the animals but it was totally worth it. I managed to see a leopard which is quite a rare sighting. But also I’ll forever remember seeing a cheetah feeding her cubs. Contrary to that visiting Lake Naivasha was super peaceful, it’s mostly known for rare exotic birds and lots of happy hippos.
I would also say visiting Mount Kenya Safari Club was also a highlight. I went there for lunch and ended up going horse riding in the bush after. While riding, my horse got spooked by a bushbuck which was kind of scary but right after that we stumbled across a herd of white zebras.
Also I have to mention while in Diani I had the opportunity to dine in a 18,000 year old cave which was one of the most surreal things out of my whole trip. The restaurant was called Ali Barbour’s Cave.
Do you have any other tips for anyone wanting to travel to Kenya?
Masai Mara is the most popular place to go for safari and while it’s worth a visit if you want to incorporate something a little more off the beat then I suggest you visit the Sweetwaters Tented Camp located in Nanyuki. It’s part of a private conservancy which has a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any of Kenya’s national parks.
What makes Sweetwaters different is that they have built tented camps around a borehole which means the animals come to drink all hours of the day. It is also located on the plains of Mount Kenya so you can get a stunning view during sunrise.
Also if you would like to head to the coast then Diani beach is something you must not miss! Located south of Mombasa, it’s a vibrant, intimate little paradise on the quiet shores of the Indian Ocean.
Can you recommend any good places to eat?
Here are some of my favourite places that I ate in Nairobi:
Hashmi’s – The best Indian barbeque food in the city. Often packed out which can mean long queues sometimes. Don’t let that put you off though – it’s a must try.
Spur Steak House – Located in Southern Sun Mayfair hotel this place is known by everyone in Nairobi and is actually an international franchise. They have the best food ever. Not only steaks but great starters and salads too
Zen Garden – A trendy little place, captured in the scenic surroundings of Nairobi’s Spring Valley. They offer a wide range of food from casual brunch options to pan Asian food for dinner. Their cakes are also exceptional. Check out my photo diary at Zen Gardens here.
What three must-have travel items do you always carry with you?
Might be obvious but insect repellent is essential because of mosquitos. Hand sanitiser is another good one as you never know when you’ll need it. I also personally always like to carry Lucas PawPaw just in case I get sunburn or bitten by anything – it’s really soothing.
And finally, what has been your favourite destination so far?
I have visited many places in my life and they have all been my favourite for different reasons. But as it stands I would say Diani, Kenya has been my favourite. From the crystal clear waters to the white sandy beaches it was perfect.