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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mombasa City Attractions

Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya after Nairobi. Mombasa lies next to the Indian Ocean, it has a major port and an international airport - Moi International Airport. The city also serves as the centre of the coastal tourism industry.

Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus is an interesting place to spend a day exploring the gun turrets, battlements and houses within the walls. There is an excellent Museum and trained guides available.

Today the majestic Fort Jesus is a National Monument, standing high over the Mombasa harbor.

The Likoni Ferry
There is no bridge between Mombasa Island and south coast, instead the distance is served by ferries operated by the Kenya Ferry Service from Kilindini and Mtongwe to Likoni in the south coast of Mombasa. As a result of the major build-up of more luxurious hotels in South Coast and a lack of a direct bridge linking the South Coast to the North Coast, visiting tourists have the option of flying directly into the Diani Beach airstrip using the domestic airline like AirKenya and Safari Link.

Mombasa Old Town

Bamburi Nature Trail (The Haller Park)
Haller Park is nature park in Bamburi, Mombasa, on the Kenyan Coast. It is the transformation of a quarry wasteland into an ecological paradise. Haller Park holds a variety of plant and animal species which serve
as a recreation hot spot to tourists and locals.

The onetime quarry is now a thriving game sanctuary, fully stocked with game including Giraffe, Eland, Hippo, Oryx and more.

Ngomongo Cultural Village
Ngomongo Villages is a well-known sustainable eco-cultural tourist village located in Mombasa, Kenya.

Bombolulu Workshops for the physically challenged
On the north Coast in the Area called Bombululu you find the Bombululu  Workshops. Here are around 260 Disable people produce artifacts hey are trained on jewelery, Wood works, Leather and fabric and metal Works.

Vasco da Gama Pillar (Malindi)

The Vasco Da Gama Pillar at Malindi stands just south of the modern town of Malindi at in what was eventually named the Vasco Da Gama Point. It marks the last stop in Africa before Vasco Da Gama sailed across the Indian Ocean to India in 1498.

Arabuko Sokoke tropical forest and Gedi Ruins both in Watamu
Arabuko Sokoke is the largest existing fragment of the tropical forests that covered much of the East African Coast; a very important habitat for endangered bird and mammal species.

Gedi Ruins is one of Kenya's great unknown treasures, a wonderful lost city lying in the depths of the great Arabuko Sokoke forest. It is also a place of great mystery, an archaeological puzzle that continues to engender debate among historians.

For Mombasa tours and Mombasa hotel bookings contact Fountain Safaris.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nairobi crafts and curios

Nairobi is a probably the best place in Africa to stash up on crafts and curios. The quality and prices of good are not matched elsewhere so make the most of a stay here to stock up. The local vendors will test your bargaining skills so be prepared to haggle. Typical souvenirs include Kamba woodcarvings, African masks, Kisii soapstone carvings, Masai beadwork colourful fabrics, handmade rugs and the distinctive square cloth known as kangas or kikhois. Do not attempt to buy precious stones or jewellery from freelance vendors.

The best place to go on a shopping expedition is the fascinating and always lively City Market on Muindi Mbingu Street. For a more local experience visit Kariokor Market where everything from vegetables to clothes is on sale. More local crafts can be found at the Maasai Markets (every Tuesday, Friday on the intersection of Moi Avenue and Monrovia Street; on Thursdays near the National Theatre; and Fridays near Limuru Road).

Biashara Street in central Nairobi is lined with interesting stores and boutiques, with plenty of cafes in which to recuperate from the rigors of shopping.

Contact Fountain Safaris for a full day Nairobi tour that include visit to Masai Market and Carnivore restaurant. 

Nairobi’s Restaurants

Carnivore | Barbecue
One of the most famous restaurants in Africa, Carnivore is a large open-air eatery in the Langata suburb of Nairobi that specializes in all-you-can-eat meat buffets. Wildly popular with tourists, the restaurant serves a large variety of exotic game including ostrich, giraffe, crocodile and wildebeest. There is a vegetarian option as well. The restaurant has an attached nightclub, the Simba Saloon, that hosts live concerts.  

Talisman Restaurant  | European
  An elegant restaurant in the suburbs of Nairobi, Talisman started in a small mud-and-wattle hut and has grown into a stylish building overlooking a tranquil garden. The family-friendly restaurant serves excellent steaks, seafood and vegetarian dishes, and is considered to have some of the best service in Nairobi. Talisman Restaurant is located in the suburbs of Karen, Nairobi. 

Haandi | Indian
A global restaurant group that started in Kenya, Haandi has branches in London, Uganda, Tanzania, and Sudan. The Nairobi restaurant specializes in North Indian Frontier cuisine, served in a comfortable air-conditioned environment in downtown Nairobi. Spicy Tandoori dishes are made fresh with vegetables, seafood, and meat options. Reservations are advisable. Shopping  

Tamarind Nairobi | Sea Food
The Nairobi Tamarind is situated in National Bank Building, Haile Selassie Avenue, close to the Central Bank of Kenya. It has an ambiance of elegance and calm in addition to delicious food and superb service . As Nairobi’s leading seafood restaurant we fly in, fresh from the coast daily, giant prawns, sweet young crabs, juicy lobsters, squid, octopus and oysters. And if seafood is not your choice, go for the finest venison, steak and poultry in the country.
Pampas Grill | Brazilian
Pampa Churrascaria is a Brazilian style restaurant located at the first floor of Panari Sky Centre. Thir service is based on the Rodízio concept - you pay a fixed price and the waiters bring an offering of food to each customer at several times throughout the meal, until you have had enough.

Photo courtesy of
The diner is often provided with a colored card, red on one side and green on the other. According to the usual meaning of these colors, the servers will only bring more meat if the card is flipped to the green side.

For reservations of Nairobi restaurants and hotels contact Fountain Safaris.

Nairobi City Tour

Founded in 1899 as a simple rail depot on the railway linking Mombasa to Uganda, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa in 1907 and eventually the capital of a free Kenyan republic in 1963. It is the capital city of Kenya. The name Nairobi, comes from a Maasai word meaning ‘Enkare Nyirobi’, to mean ‘the palce of cool waters. However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is surrounded by several expanding villa suburbs.

The city lies on the Nairobi River, in the south of the nation, and has an elevation of 1795 m above sea-level. Nairobi is currently the 12th largest city in Africa, including the population of its suburbs. Special Features Attractions Many visitors to Kenya spend as little time as possible in Nairobi, partially because of the city's reputation for danger and clogging. This is a dishonor because Nairobi is a convivial and absorbing place with a range of valuable things to see and do. Before departing for the parks, reserves and islands in the rest of the country it is well worth spending a day or two exploring Nairobi. It is a good idea to hire a taxi driver, based on a recommendation at your Nairobi hotel, and to allow him to navigate you between the sights.  

Nairobi National Park and Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Nairobi National Park was established in 1945 and is Kenya’s first national park. Uniquely situated on the capital’s doorstep it is a well-kept, compact and beautiful area of plains and wild bush containing a large number of Africa’s best-known animals. Large herds of zebra, wildebeest,... buffalo and giraffe roam the plains and black rhino, ostrich, baboons, cheetah and lions are some of the other photogenic inhabitants. In the park is the Animal Orphanage where sick, wounded and abandoned animals are cared for and rehabilitated into the park, as well as an Educational Centre featuring a Safari Walk. Close by is the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where infant elephant and rhino (orphaned because of poaching activities) are cared for and eventually returned to the wild in Tsavo National Park. The centre is open every morning and visitors can watch the calves bathing in the mud hole and being bottle fed by their human surrogate mothers.
The Giraffe Centre
Experience giraffes up close and personal at this wonderful centre dedicated to the preservation of the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Visitors can experience the rare pleasure of hand-feeding these graceful and gentle creatures, and also enjoy the nature walk with 160 species of bird. This is the single best attraction for children in Nairobi. Betty and Jock Leslie Melville founded the Giraffe Centre in 1979 to preserve the Rothschild giraffe of which only 120 remained in existence.  

Nairobi National Museum

This hugely diverse museum contains some world-class attractions among its dusty relics and stuffed animals. The facility is home to the great pre-historic finds from the Leakey family including relics from mankind's earliest ancestors. There are also fascinating sections on art, geology, wildlife and local history. Look out for fossils from Lake Turkana and an attached snake park where some of the world largest and also most venomous snakes are displayed.  

Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Blixen was a notable Kenyan personality who lived and farmed on the outskirts of Nairobi from 1917 to 1931 when she returned to Denmark bankrupt and heartbroken at being forced to leave Africa. Writing under the name Isak Dinesen she authored acclaimed books including Out of Africa which inspired an Oscar winning film of the same name. The main building of the original house, M'Bogani House, now houses the Karen Blixen Museum and retains much of its original furniture and other photographs and items of interest. The museum is situated in the suburb of Karen, a short drive from the city centre.

You can book Nairobi city tours and excursions by contacting Fountain Safaris.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kisumu city tour

The Lake side city of Kisumu is home to a number of tourist attractions and this tour takes you to the primary sites in the city.  These include the cultural centers like the Museum and the Kit Mikaye, The Leisure Boat trips from Yacht Club, Kiboko Bay Beach Resort or Dunga Beach to Ndere Island and around the Gulf not to mention the Visits to Impala Park and the Hippo point.

Kisumu Museum
The Kisumu Museum has a variety of interesting animal exhibits, including a stuffed lion pouncing on an equally stuffed Wildebeest. There are ethnographic exhibits and a display of musical instruments. The Kisumu Museum is considered by many to be one of Kenya’s finest collections, exhibiting displays on wildlife as well as native Luo culture.

The Impala Park Tour 
Impala Park is a game sanctuary and animal orphanage and home to the rare Sitatunga antelope. The Kisumu Impala Wildlife Sanctuary was opened in 1992 with the intention of protecting a herd of impala and serve as a safe grazing ground for hippopotamus from the lakes. Spread over an area of less than 1sq km, this wildlife sanctuary acts a holding point for problem animals like baboons, hyenas and leopards. You will be able to see these animals within a close range.

Kiboko Bay Resort tour and boating excursion in Lake Victoria
Kiboko Bay Beach resort is a beach resort formerly known as Dunga Refreshments. It has since changed its name to Kiboko Bay Tented Resort. It has five lodges and a view point for the hippos, a restaurant and a boat excursion point with Luxurious boats. It is a good recreation center for families and visitors wishing to have a close encounter with Lake Victoria Hippos during the day if you are lucky. You will also have an excursion which takes you inside the Lake Victoria on a leisure boat. You will board the boat at Kiboko bay beach resort or Dunga Beach ,then ride around the gulf to Hippo Point, the car wash area, Tilapia beach, then to Kisumu beach resort, proceed along the shores of lake Victoria to Ndere island National park in lake Victoria, see the wildlife then ride back to Kiboko bay beach resort for lunch. With arrangement, a picnic lunch would be served in the boat inside the Lake.
Contact Fountain Safaris for Kisumu hotels contact us.