As a Kenyan female solo traveller, I always have to think about my safety whenever I am planning a trip. I admit it never comes to mind immediately, but just before I make my final plans, I wonder about my wellbeing in this new place.
Like any other country, Kenya has towns with varying levels of security. Some areas are quiet and calm. Others have early curfews and no-go zones, especially for lone female travellers. I, therefore, compiled this list of eight female-friendly Kenyan destinations to make your travel decisions more comfortable.
I might be biased about this town, given it is my hometown. However, many people agree that Nakuru is way friendlier and warmer compared to other cities such as Nairobi or Kisumu. For starters, the town itself is quite small, so you cannot easily get lost. If you do, any stranger on the road is always willing to help.
Transportation in and around the town is always available with local taxi-hailing options such as Wasili (3.9/5.0) and Safiri (4.1/5.0) Cabs, bodabodas, matatus and bicycles. Things are significantly cheaper in Nakuru as well, which is a bonus for any traveller. Nakuru is one of the must-visit, female-friendly Kenyan destinations, especially for someone who enjoys natural sites.
Naivasha is another destination that is popular among female campers. Just like Nakuru, it is adequately urbanized but without the rush that comes with living in the big city. It is smaller than Nakuru; therefore, more comfortable to explore. Although most activities die down by 9 p.m., you can still do a lot during the day. With places like Lake Naivasha, Crater Lake and Lake Oloiden to experience, Naivasha is a great place to retreat after a long busy week.
The ancient town of Lamu could not be any friendlier. It is almost as if its inhabitants know by default how to welcome and host visitors. Lamu is also significantly small. The mode of transportation is either by foot or on a donkey. How cool is that? Lamu is one of the excellent female-friendly Kenyan destinations that has a rich culture and history.
It also has beautiful beaches and mouthwatering food. Since Lamu is a one-week-minimum kind of destination, you should probably learn a few tricks before visiting. First, be kind and respectful. It will surprise you how simple courtesy will earn you friends in this small town. Smiling and tipping will also make your stay significantly pleasant.
Embu town is the heart of the Eastern region. In terms of safety, the eastern part of Kenya tops the list. The people of Embu and the region, in general, are warm, kind and welcoming. This kindness extends far back to the colonial period. Did you know that the Embu people played a significant role in aiding and hiding the famous Mau Mau rebels from the British Soldiers during the struggle for our independence?
It seems as though compassion is their natural default. That is why Embu qualifies to be on my list of female-friendly Kenyan destinations I would recommend. With beautiful green hills and valleys, healthy forests and tasty natural foods, it is the perfect spot to go for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Set between Eldoret and Bungoma, Kitale is a gorgeous upcountry town with vibrant people and a warm atmosphere. Initially, the Luhya community inhabited Kitale. Now, however, people from all over the country call it home, including Kikuyus, Kisiis, Kalenjin and Kenyan Indians. You can conveniently get around Kitale by bodaboda, and the accommodation options are mostly affordable. Some of the things you must do while visiting Kitale include going to the Treasures of Africa Museum and visiting the town’s vibrant open-air market.
Limuru town was once a White Highlands settlement area. The British colonizers liked these parts because of the cold temperatures and fertile soils. Now, Limuru is a small agricultural and industrial town just a few kilometres from Nairobi. Although usually cold and muddy, the town is home to some of the hidden treasures of the art world.
Here you can find several art galleries, including One-Off Art Gallery and Banana Hill Art Gallery. Some other exciting places to visit, include the Kiambethu Tea Farm, Brown Cheese Farm and Brackenhurst Conference Center. Limuru is indeed female-friendly, but you should avoid nighttime adventures, especially if you are alone.
The list would be incomplete without mentioning Nanyuki. This town lies on the leeward side of Mount Kenya with peeks of the Laikipia escarpment visible. Nanyuki is an age-old tourist destination and is as such welcoming to both female and male travellers. Although quite expensive compared to other towns on this list, Nanyuki has a lot to offer. From abundant wildlife spots to elegant accommodation options. Transportation is not a problem, and neither is food. The best part about Nanyuki is that it is home to the Sweetwater Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the only Chimpanzee sanctuary in the country.
Last on our list is Meru town. Meru is a vibrant town that has some underrated sites, including the Meru National Park. This town carries a beautiful blend of natural aesthetics, thanks to Mount Kenya and urban culture. Contrary to popular beliefs, Meru town is quite welcoming, mainly because of its cosmopolitan population. Thanks to the several educational and governmental institutions in the city, Meru grows steadily every day. It is a female-friendly Kenyan destination, which conveniently lies between the Eastern, Central and Nairobi regions. You can, therefore, use it as your focal point when exploring these areas.
Travelling across Kenya can be dangerous, especially in danger zones such as the Kenya-Somalia border. However, most of the towns are safe and friendly for female travellers. This list points out some of the safest areas to travel to, and luckily, these areas carry most of the country’s treasures. So go forth all ye female explorers and conquer the land.