Close your eyes and imagine watching the sunset in a spectacular location while enjoying a snack and a chilled drink. Now open your eyes and read on. In today’s article, Zanelle Wanja shares handpicked top destinations in Kenya for the perfect sundowners with friends or family!
1. Ol Pejeta Conservancy | Nanyuki
Ol Pejeta is a not-for-profit wildlife conservancy in Central Kenya’s Laikipia County. The conservancy sits on the equator, west of Nanyuki, between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. Ol Pejeta boasts the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, housing Najin and Fatu, the two remaining northern white rhino in the world.
Shela, situated on a 14 km pristine beach in Lamu is a maze of narrow, sandy alleyways, where the only oncoming traffic is likely to be a donkey or two.
This was my first time in Lamu, and I fell in love with the Arabic architecture, white houses and the mouth-watering Swahili cuisine. We stayed at Forodhani House and Isabella, the owner, organised a dhow cruise for us. We set sail at 4:30pm and headed off to the Mangrove Forest.
Since this was a sundowner, food and drinks were provided by the Captain of the Dhow. Freshly prepared bhajias and chilled rosè were also on the menu. For two hours, we enjoyed a blissful, golden sunset as it filtered through the thicket of the mangrove forest.
Samburu County is one of Kenya’s northern gems; globally reputed and associated with the Born Free film, camel racing, spectacular tourism sites, colourful cultures, among other attractions. Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser-known national parks which is situated along the Ewaso Nyiro River.
Around 5:30pm, we had our guide drive us to a massive rock known as the ‘sundowner’ rock. It was a bit of a hike to get to the top, but the views were fantastic with Mount Kenya to our right and vast plains all around. We were lucky enough to have clear skies that evening for the most breathtaking view of the mountain. Our guide then set up a small cooking station and prepared sausages. Chilled bottles of rosé, white wine and beers were displayed on the cooler box. It was an all-you-can-eat buffet and open bar on a cliff overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro, Mt Kenya and the rest of the reserve. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that view?
Nairobi is considered the world’s only Wildlife capital, courtesy of the Nairobi National Park, which is only a short drive from the city’s Central Business District. The park is accessible all year round and is filled with wildlife including lions, giraffes, antelopes, black rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, as well as numerous bird and reptile species. Close to 100 mammal species and 400 bird species can be spotted. The park has other facilities such as the Animal Orphanage, The Safari Walk, and picnic and camping sites.
I honestly hadn’t thought the sunset at Nairobi National Park would be anything spectacular, but I was proved wrong that day. I stood and gazed through the open roof 4×4 vehicle as the dramatic sunset splashed several colours into the horizon.
Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya and Africa; regarded as the jewel of wildlife viewing areas. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland. Wildlife tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western escarpment.
As the golden hour approaches, head to a carefully chosen location, often selected by safari camps, where you can witness the magnificent spectacle of the setting sun. Sip on your favourite drink, with the vast savannah stretching before you…a moment of pure tranquillity and natural beauty. You can get in some fresh air this migration season at the beautiful holiday homes in the area.