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Spoilt for choice

Saturday February 8 2020

Mfang’ano Island Camp

Mfang’ano Island Camp on Lake Victoria. It is an exquisite place. PHOTO | COURTESY 

RUPI MANGAT
By RUPI MANGAT
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Settle into the little-known secrets in the far-flung mountains of the north like the Mathews Range or Mt Nyiro, where crystal-clear streams gush from ancient forests little touched by humans.

Explore the forests and swim in the fresh pools from Kitich Camp in the Mathews Range, or Desert Rose on Mt Nyiro.

There’s plenty of wildlife around and ancient plants, like the cycad from the time of the dinosaur. You’ll love these small and exclusive, little-known havens.

The glamping girl

Settle under the canvas in any of the national parks or conservancies in Kenya.

You don’t have to lift a finger to enjoy the romantic weekend with the tent all pitched for you in the midst of the most stunning vistas.

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Try out the Samburu Intrepid at the Samburu National Reserve, or Satao Camp in Tsavo East National Park.

Or you could go east to the Severin Safari Camp in Tsavo West, with great views of Mt Kilimanjaro. They are affordable luxury.

The do-it-yourself camper

Some women love the outdoors under the stars, pitching a tent in no time. The Kenya Wildlife Service has camping grounds in all the national parks and reserves.

Camping gear is more affordable than ever, so invest in a tent, sleeping bags … even a shower bag and a few camping chairs and table, cooking kit and you’re all set.

Camping gives you the freedom to wander around the country and pitch tent without having to worry about bookings. For the more intrepid, explore the Ndoto Mountains with Poi, Kenya’s largest rock face.

The mountain climber

Limber up with your partner for a weekend of climbing. There’s no shortage of mountains and hills in Kenya.

You can go for the tallest that’s Mt Kenya and take a stroll up the moorlands. Easier to climb are mounts Longonot, Lukenya, Elgon, Chyulus, Ndoto, Nyiro, Kulal, Cheranganis, Nandi Hills and Taita Hills.

The lake lover

Water is the essence of life. Take yourself to any of the amazing lakes in the Great Rift Valley … there’s a string of them, starting with Lake Magadi in the south, followed by Naivasha, Elementeita, Nakuru, Bogoria, Baringo and Turkana on the border of Ethiopia.

It’s not difficult to reach Lake Turkana, the desert lake, with daily flights to the world’s largest permanent lake in a desert.

For a really special escape, sail to Island Camp on Ol Kokwe Island on Lake Baringo, or Mfang’ano Island Camp on Lake Victoria. They are both exquisite.

For a more affordable option on Mfang’ano, take the Waterbus on the mainland at Mbita Point, which boasts the only habitable lighthouse.

River raft

Sail along the Tana Delta on the River Tana, whose waters drain into the Indian Ocean. It’s magical.

The Delta Dunes, built on the dunes at the mouth of the River Tana, Kenya’s longest river, offer 360 degrees of uninterrupted views of the delta’s maze of mangroves flowing into the ocean with towering sand dunes all around.

It’s ethereal. Fly or drive to Malindi. Closer home is the Malu Lodge by a river with a natural pool, an enchanting lodge up in the forested hills of Naivasha.

Ocean babe

Kenya has over 500 kilometres of pristine beaches fringed with a colour-filled coral reef that’s spectacular.

For the owls, the nightlife in Malindi, Watamu, Mombasa and Diani is vibrant. From just lounging on the sand to deep sea diving, hug the coast for all its warmth.

Serena Beach Resort enchants with its Swahili nuances of the coast while boasting the contemporary.

For barefoot luxury in a secluded bay, Barefoot Beach Camp’s is your ideal stopover north of Malindi.

Big game girl

You love wildlife to the core … lions and elephants, rhinos and leopards, raptors and reptiles which in today’s are in national parks.

But you don’t want to camp. Celebrate Valentine’s with the creatures of the wild. Start with Amboseli at the foot of Kilimanjaro at Ol Tukai.

You simply can’t go wrong with the tried-and-tested lodges in the parks, with Serena and Heritage Hotels having lodges in every national park.

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day in the great outdoors.

www.rupitheafricantrotter.wordpress.com

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