For those looking for a more exotic honeymoon, Kenya should definitely be on your short list. So forget an island getaway in Thailand or Bali, and try one of these great ideas for things to do and places to go for a honeymoon in Kenya.
Mount Kenya is Kenya’s highest mountain, and Africa’s second highest after Kilimanjaro in neighboring Tanzania. At 17,057 ft (5199 meters), the mountain and surrounding area caters to the adventurous honeymooning couple. Experienced climbers might want to try the technically difficult climb to the summit of the mountain. Otherwise, several nearby peaks such as Lenana at 4985 meters, offer equally breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountain and surrounding forests.
Some restaurants are known for their exquisite menus; others attract customers for their prized location. Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant in the coastal town of Diani has both. Dozens of live candles surround diners as they eat delicious seafood cuisine in a cave thought to be between 120,000 and 180,000 years old. The cave opens up to the night sky, allowing visitors a magnificent view of the stars. A truly romantic experience.
Eat Giraffe Style
Having made the rounds as viral internet hits in recent years, the pictures of people dining with giraffes might not be alien to you. What you probably didn’t know, however, is that these pictures were taken at the Giraffe Manor, 20 kilometers north of Nairobi. This boutique hotel sits on 12 acres of private land, with expansive views of the surrounding Ngong hills. In addition to housing the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, it is also the home to dik diks, bushbuck, and warthogs.
Masai Mara National Reserve
No trip to Kenya would be complete without a visit to the National Mara National Reserve. The most popular game reserve in the country, thousands of visitors flock to the park between July and October to witness the annual migration of zebra and wildebeest from nearby Serengeti in Tanzania. Hire a good tour guide and safari van, and enjoy the spectacular views as newlyweds.
If you’re a National Geographic reader, you’ve probably seen a picture or two from Kenya’s Lake Nakuru, situated centrally in the country. Here, large flocks of flamingos gather to feast on the lake’s algae. If you’re lucky, there are so many of birds that there’s only pink as far as the eye can see. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that.
For beach-hungry couples, Lamu Island offers long, white beaches as far as the eye can see. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this island is known for its rich Swahili cultural history. Mix up your days with scuba diving, snorkeling, and guided tours of the island’s rich history. With many newly built luxury hotel resorts, there’s a lot on offer for honeymooning couples.
Mombasa has a lot to offer; stroll through the historic old part of town; visit one of the nearby beaches; go on safaris in the nearby mangroves; enjoy the diverse culinary scene. As Kenya’s second largest city, after Nairobi, Mombasa is easily accessible by plane, with direct flights to several European cities. For couples who want to try a bit of everything, you can’t go wrong with Mombasa.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
By visiting the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, you’re taking part in “conservation tourism.” Located close to Mount Kenya, and boasting the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lewa is home to some of the continent’s most endangered species, such as Grevy’s zebra and the black rhino. Visitors are not only offered the unique chance to see these animals in the wild, but can also tour and learn about community projects led by the organization. Proceeds help with the organization’s work.
Hells Gate National Park
Hells Gate National Park is small – only about 70 square kilometers – but significant. Once the tributary of a lake that fed humanity’s earliest ancestors in the Rift Valley, this park is filled with wildlife, beautiful scenery, and opportunities to learn about the Maasai tribe. Situated two hours northwest of Nairobi, it’s perfect for daily excursions from the nation’s capital city. Unlike other national parks in the country, you can explore this one without a guide.
Home to an unforgiving climate, the deserts of northern Kenya also offer some of the most spectacular landscapes that the country has to offer. Hire a tour guide to explore the desert, and make sure to visit the Desert Museum by Lake Turkana to learn about the history and cultures of the communities that call this place home.
Once you stroll through the historic part of town, you’ll come upon a massive structure lining the coast. And if you are an architecture buff, you can’t missFort Jesus in Mombasa. At this UNESCO World Heritage site, you can brush up on your history and get some amazing shots to show off to your family.
No, it’s not the epic poem from John Milton, but you can have an epic time at this campsite in Limuru. The site has a nice cave system where you can explore how deep your love really is for each other. The labyrinth was once home to Kenyan freedom fighters and today is open to exploration by the public.
If you want to see what life might have been in the 16th century, then head to the Sacred Mijikenda Forest. It was home to fortified Mijikenda villages centuries ago, but later abandoned, and the forest is considered sacred as it is thought to house the spirits of the Mijikenda ancestors. It’s also home to great nature, rare plants, and animals such as the golden-rumped elephant shrew.
Another gem for history-minded couples, the Shanga Ruins on Pate Island once formed a large Swahili town, dating back to the 14th century. Located on the south coast, the remains of the coral walls can still be seen, including ancient palaces and mosques. Legend has it that it used to be a place for Chinese traders from Shanghai, and Chinese pottery has been discovered in the ruins, leading to a little truth to the story.
If you are a couple that wants more of a beachy vacation, you can’t go wrong with Malindi on the Kenyan coast. It’s one of the best places for snorkeling in Africa and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean provide for great underwater adventures where you can get up close with fascinating marine life.