Which travel guide for Kenya?





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  1. #1
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    Default Which travel guide for Kenya?

    Being in the early phase of planning my next African trip, I was faced with a great surprise: there is no Bradt's travel guide for Kenya. I couldn't believed it, but it is true. For all my African journeys so far, I've always used Bradt guides, which I've found by far the best for selfdrive type of travelings.

    For Kenya, Bradt offers only "Kenya Highlights" by Philip Brigs, which I've bought, despite being aware that it is not aimed for self drivers. And indeed, it is quite another league compared to other Bradt "Travel Guides" series. For the worse, of course, if you want to explore the country by yourself, not by organized tourist package.

    I need to find another travel guide book for Kenya, so my question is: what do you recommend? Rough Guide series? Lonely Planet? Anything else?
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    Default Re: Which travel guide for Kenya?

    Ja Ortelius, it is unbelievable that there is no Bradt guide for the whole of Kenya. I agree the mini-guide is not worth much.
    I used the Rough Guide which is next best but more for budget back packers.

    I think you could do worse than go through my Slow Donkey blog. We visited almost all in Kenya. Remember to look at the Kenyan section under the preparation heading as well. I included a lot of very good advice on Kenya there that I recieved from forum members with plenty of East African experience. When going through the daily blog remember that we visited Kenya on both the north and southbound legs.

    Otherwise just post your queries here. There are some exceptionally helpful members that will answer. This forum needs more info on Kenya in any case so you will be helping many others into the future too.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which travel guide for Kenya?

    Stan, your blog has indeed been my main source of info about Kenya for last couple of days since the decision was made (well, not quite final yet - there are few things that will need to align with the stars, mainly in my wife's job) that we'll visit Kenya in the last week of December and first week of January). I nearly know Slowdonkey Kenya posts by heart by now.

    I new in advance I will get excellent answers to my questions (and there will be many!) by some experts in this forum here, but I would feel much better with a good guide book at hand. Both during preparations and during the trip.

    Will borrow Rough Guide from the library and see how I like it before I buy it.
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    Default Re: Which travel guide for Kenya?

    Ortelius

    Very pleased to hear you are planning a trip to Kenya in late December/early January.

    A friend of mine wrote the 2004 Bradt guide to Kenya. A few years ago, Bradt wanted to update it, but they and my friend went into dispute about who owned the copyright. Obviously, this hasn't been sorted out yet - hence this "Kenya Highlights" Bradt Guide. Obviously, I don't use a guide to Kenya, but I do have both the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet. For other countries, I found the Rough Guide to be marginally better than Lonely Planet for some things, but it all depends on when they were last updated and/or published. Sometimes one wonders if the person writing them has ever actually been to the places they are writing about.

    Kenya is a rapidly changing country. It is now a "middle income" country per the World Bank. So, things change. I am very happy to be your "guide book". I can send you one of my "essays" (which Stan knows all about), and I am sure we can come up with a good circuit. Send me your email address and let me know what your priorities are (i.e. wildlife, landscapes, mountains etc).

    Just back from two weeks in Kenya seeing my family. We did, however, go on a short foray to off-the-beaten track northern Kenya which I will write a trip report about in the next few weeks (but this lovely forest is not really the sort of place for a first-timer to Kenya when there is so much else to see and do).

    We will be back in Kenya in December. Perhaps we can meet up?

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    Default Re: Which travel guide for Kenya?

    There you go.
    Kenya is a fantastic destination. Actually too much to see and do in one visit. Start with some questions.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which travel guide for Kenya?

    Thank you both. Have just ordered the newest edition of Rough Guide Kenya.

    Will ask more specific questions in separate thread(s) soon, but need to clear up some basic things first by myself.

    P.S.: WW, pm sent.
    Last edited by ortelius; 2016/09/07 at 01:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Which travel guide for Kenya?

    Rough Guide to Kenya is my standard - it is written for backpackers, but has very good coverage of the country highlights, history, culture, language etc.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Which travel guide for Kenya?

    I also found the Rough Guide to Kenya pretty good.

    I find that the quality of guide books varies massively not only within a publisher but even between books by the same author. For example I think Chris Mcintyre's Botswana and Namibia books are streets ahead of the competition. Phillip Briggs Bradt Guide to Ethiopia is perhaps the most useful and comprehensive guide book I have come across (and I have hundreds...) but his Guide to Malawi within the same series is dismal. I think he has a passion for Ethiopia which really comes through in the guide... but not so much for Malawi I guess.

    Even though the Internet is a a great resource, I always like to have one or more guide books for each country I visit as general background. They also usually have a limited guide to the language and I find that even a few words in the local language can take you a long way.

    As has been said Kenya is one of the most diverse destinations on the continent. There is so much more to it than the famous parks, not that they're not wonderful. My personal highlights (apart from the Mara which goes without saying) were the Cherangani Hills, the hides at Saiwa Swamps, camping in the fig forest at Lake Bogoria, Hell's Gate NP and Turkana (though unfortunately you'll miss the big tribal festival which I think is in July).

    However, I think if you only have a couple of weeks you'll be better off limiting yourself to quite a small area, maybe focused on the Mara and a few destinations within fairly easy reach of there. I'm sure Wazungu Wawili will advise.

    You'll have a ball. Enjoy the planning.

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