As you'll discover, local sarongs (known as kangas and kikois) serve a multitude of purposes. Kangas bear brightly coloured prints and are made of cotton. Every different print represents a Swahili proverb. They're traditionally sold in pairs: one to wrap round the waist, the other to carry a baby on your back. Kikois are the thicker, striped fabrics which originated in Lamu still one of the best, but not only, places to buy them.
At some point you're bound to encounter the local specialty.. It's called nyama choma (barbecued goat's meat) and is often served with a vegetable mash (matoke). Locals and expatriates both seem to love it but, to the uninitiated, this tough meat takes some getting used to.
Game viewing in Kenya
Witness the spectacle of the famous wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara National Reserve and visit the famous parks of Amboseli, Tsavo and Samburu.Bird watching in Kenya
Spots include the Rift Valley lakes of Bogoria, Baringo, Naivasha and Nakuru.Trekking
Climbing the snow-capped heights of Mount Kenya doesn't require specialist equipment, except for the highest peaks of Batian and Nelion. Trekkers can reach the third highest, Point Lenana (4985m) which has wonderful views. Trekkers visit mainly during mid Jan to late Feb or late Aug to September.Camel / Donkey Safaris
For an off the beaten track desert experience, try a camel or donkey safari with the Samburu and Turkana tribes.Hot-air Ballooning
Nothing beats ballooning in the Masai Mara in the early morning! View wildlife as you drift silently across the plains. Later on enjoy a hearty breakfast with sparkling wine.Chilling on the Beach
Kenya has postcard beaches with white sand, coconut palms and clear blue water. Many are lined with beach resorts. South of Mombasa, you'll find beaches that are white coral sand and protected by coral reef (which means no sharks). Lamu has some of the best beaches on this coast, especially since they're not plagued by the seaweed problems of some of the beaches to the north of Mombasa (at some times of year). Diani beach is one of the best on the mainland while Tiwi beach, between Diani and Mombasa is more low-key and less developed.Diving / Snorkeling in Kenya
Most divers head for the marine parks of Malindi and Watumu. Although less accessible and not as developed, Shimoni and Wasani islands are even better. Non-divers can still enjoy the underwater world of corals and fish in glass bottomed boats (for example in Malindi). Visibility is often only fair as there is often plankton in the water. You'll still see plenty of fish, even if coral isn't spectacular.Explore the Rich History of the Swahili Coastal CultureLamu island:
Little has changed over the centuries in Kenya's oldest and most atmospheric town of Lamu. You can reach it via launch from the mainland.Gedi:
Shrouded in mystery the ruins of this Arab-Swahili town are worth exploring. Excavations reveal that the town was founded in the 13th century. It was then abandoned in the 17th and 18th centuries but no one seems to know why.
Fort Jesus: This Portuguese fort in Mombasa, built in 1593, changed hands nine times between 1631 and 1875. It's now a museum and from the Omani house you can see over the Old City.Sail on a Dhow in Kenya
Dhows, used as transport from the 8th century onwards, are still the main form of travel round the Lamu archipelago. A trip on board a dhow is a memorable experience.Things to buy in Kenya
Look out for makonde (dark wood carvings), kangas and kikois (local sarongs), kiondos (woven sisal baskets), colourful Maasai beads, spears and shields, decorated calabashes, paintings and soapstone carvings (found in Kisii in the west).