Book Review: Lonely Planet Kenya

Kerry Dexter's picture

Lonely Planet: Kenya
Matthew D. Firestone, co-ordinating author

Kenya is a land of contrast: deserts, and jungles, open hearted people and scam artists, coastal resorts and mountain huts. Lonely Planet’s authors get into all of this, sometimes briefly, sometimes at length. If it is the desire to go on a safari that has you thinking of this African nation, they have straightforward advice about costs and planning. There’s a color section featuring the wildlife of Kenya, too, so even if you were not planning on that as part of your trip, you may change your mind.

Should the Indian Ocean resort towns be what’s calling your name, there are sections on finding inexpensive, and more expensive, places to sleep, eat and enjoy yourself in that part of the country. The authors give advice about the exotic and sometimes shady crossroads that is the town of Nairobi, with suggestions on how to avoid the crime and danger that could go along with a stay there. Then, there’s Mount Kilimanjaro, another reason many make their way to this part of the world. Advice on choosing guides and trekking outfits, and what you may expect at varied levels of cost, as well as a bit about what the experience of the climb itself is like, are included.

Firestone and the other principal authors have lived in and traveled extensively in Kenya. In the country-wide material as well as location specific sections of the book, they offer straight talk about the current political situation and what you need to know about it, as well as about crime, social customs, food and drink, and the country’s history. There’s what’s called a GreenDex of eco-friendly places, and experts have come along to write the chapters on the country’s wildlife, and on health concerns.

Kerry Dexter is the Music Editor for Wandering Educators.

Kerry's credits include VH1, CMT, the folk music magazine Dirty Linen,  Strings, and The Encyclopedia of Ireland and the Americas. She also writes about the arts and creative practice at Music Road. You may reach her at music at wanderingeducators dot com