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Kenyan Events-Cum-Places You Should Not Miss This Year

by Noel Mutugi

Skydive Diani

Diani is one of my favorite destinations along the Kenyan coast. Located south of Mombasa, it stretches about 30 kilometers along the coastline. An array of white sands, crystal clear water, towering palms, tropical gardens and lush green forests are just but a few things that make me define it as paradise. It is home to some of the best Kenya’s all-inclusive exclusive hotels and resorts. I did not forget to mention cuisine, did I?…now you know!..Then comes Skydive Diani.

Skydive Formation Diani Beach

Skydive Formation Diani Beach

Skydive Diani is the only permanent skydiving club in Kenya. A ‘perfect weekend’ plan should be the title of next weekend getaway in your diaries. Then put a huge hashtag and write SKYDIVE DIANI in capital letters. A regular dive at Skydive Diani offers you an adrenaline rush experience, free fall thrill and one of the most amazing canopy flight over the picturesque coastline. You do not need to have any diving training or expertise. Sky dive diani has an enthusiastic international team of experienced divers passionate about promoting skydiving and will jump together with you as you learn on or two about diving. Bookings: skydivediani.com or jump@skydivediani.com

Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

The Festival is held annually. The 8th edition of Lake Turkana Cultural Festival will be held from the 29th to 31st of May 2015 in Loiyangalani. Loiyangalani means “a place of many trees” in the native Samburu tongue and is home to the El Molo, an almost extinct community. An update from Gametrackers lists this year’s co-organizers as the County Government of Marsabit, Local Community Festival Committee, Kenya Tourism Board, National Museums of Kenya and Kenya Wildlife Service. This is one of the most memorable events in Kenya’s tourist calender. Read More

Hakuna Matata Festival

Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata 4th April

Hakuna Matata could just pass like any other regular event but the unique ideas behind it and the interesting locations it happens to be hosted in are quite exquisite. This is actually a fusion of entertainment and domestic tourism. Having previously been held in Machakos and recently Kiambu and Naivasha at Machakos People’s Park, Migaa Golf Estate and Manera farm respectively, the upcoming edition is set to be held on 4th April 2015 at Graceland Olepolos in Kajiado County. The event always has a great line up of local and international disk jockeys and artists. With recent calls for Kenyans to embrace domestic tourism, in bid to salvage Kenya’s tourism industry from the effects of low foreign tourist arrivals, due to prevailing security circumstances, Hakuna Matata is one of the major avenues local urban folks and expats are getting immersed into tourism.

Bullfighting in Western Kenya

Bullfighting events are held several times a year near Kakamega forest in a place called Sigalagala, which the local Luhya people call home. This is one of the most interesting aspect of the Luhya culture. Bull fighting starts with young bulls being specially identified and put on special diets to make them strong. They are then trained for a period of up to 3 years and then, allowed to engage in a very exciting to see combat cheered by very enthusiastic crowds. Read More

The Maasai Mara

Wildbeestes dip into River Mara

Wildbeestes dip into River Mara

Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of Kenya’s premium destinations. The Maasai Mara Wildebeest Migration is definitely one of the most unforgettable and remarkable wildlife attractions that make Kenya world’s number one safari destination. Come July, August through to October, tourists flock to the Maasai Mara, the most popular wildlife spots in Kenya, to catch this spectacular event, and why not! This natural occurrence has a lot to offer, the deep, primal rumbling sound of thundering hooves as well as low grunts is something that raises the nerves. The sight of the wildebeest migration is amazing, with an unbroken energetic mass that widens from one perspective to the other and the fact that they are joined by stripped black and white zebras gives the sight an outstanding feature. Read More

Lewa Marathon

Commonly known as Safaricom Lewa Marathon, it takes place around June every year at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. It’s the most interesting wild race ever as participants ‘run side by side’ with wild game. Each year’s theme is influenced by prevailing conservation issues in the country such as poaching. Proceeds from each year’s event are invested in a wide range of projects benefiting sustainable development, education, healthcare, and wildlife through the Lewa conservancy.

To Hell’s Gate On A Wheelbarrow

Hell's Gate on a wheelbarrow

Hell’s Gate on a wheelbarrow

This most grueling wheelbarrow race-cum-fundraiser in the world. Its held annually at the Hell’s Gate National Park in the month of June. All you need is to join a team, soup up you wheelbarrow and brace yourself for a thrilling experience. According to KWS, proceeds from the event previously have gone to the construction of a fully equipped Conservation Education Centre in Hell’s Gate National Park, that once operational, will play a key role in the mobilization of and sensitization of over one million inhabitants of local communities in Naivasha on the importance of protecting and conserving wildlife species, as well as educating them on alternative wildlife enterprise for their economic benefit.”

Maralal Camel Derby

The International Camel Derby is a fusion of colors, cultures and marvelous animals: all competing in the desert for the honors of having the top camel in the world. A serious sport and a wonderful spectacle with entrants from Australia, America, New Zealand, Canada, England, France, Spain, Japan, South Africa and around the world. It is hosted at the Yare Camel Club and Camp, 3 kilometers south of the township of Maralal. The Derby tests the speed and strength of the camels, and the handling abilities of their owners or jockeys. In addition, cycling races, donkey rides, local dancing displays and stalls where curios and handicrafts, among other things, are available. It is held annually in the month of September in Maralal, about 348 kms North of Nairobi.

Lamu Cultural Festival

The annual festival is organized by the Lamu Cultural Promotion Group every November. It hosts an array of activities ranging from music performances, donkey races, traditional dances, handicraft display, dhow races, Swahili poetry competition, henna painting to bridal ceremonies. Lamu is an old town that lies on the upper edge of the Kenyan coastline and has a very rich Swahili culture background. It was in-scripted as a World Heritage Site in 2001. This Festival attracts many participants drawn from different parts of the world who come to experience the Island’s virgin beaches, magnificent architecture that dates a few centuries back, the rich Swahili culture and the wonderful hospitality of the people of Lamu as well as participate in some of these activities.

Others include Maasai Mara Hot Air Balloon Festival,  Rhino Charge, Magical Kenya Travel Expo, Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon, Cycle with The Rhino at Lake Nakuru and Nairobi Fashion Market

About Mwaniki Mutugi (217 Articles)
Noel Mutugi is a tourism, travel & conservation enthusiast and a tour consultant. I'm not on yellow pages but you can follow me on twitter @noel_mutugi.