Last minute places to usher in the new year

Leopard Beach Resort

Holiday makers at a swimming pool at Leopard Beach Resort in Diani, Kwale County on December 22, 2022. Hotels are recording 90 per cent bookings ahead of New Year Celebrations.

Photo credit: Siago Cece | Nation Media Group

It has been such a great Christmas break and we are eagerly looking forward to a fresh beginning in the coming year starting tomorrow. The best way to celebrate a new calendar is to be with our friends and family one more time before everybody returns to their busy schedules.

When it comes to cross-over celebrations,  there are tons of family and even solo activities to do regardless of your location. If you don’t have plans yet, worry not. These last-minute ideas can help you start your year in a good mood; whether you are looking for an intimate dinner, family activities, a big party, or just a change of scenery.

Nairobi

One thing about Nairobi hotels is that they never fail when it comes to creativity during the festive season. Safari Park Hotel & Casino for instance never compromise on their festive offers. They cater for everyone; singles, couples, and big family gatherings. This weekend they have a new year’s eve party headlined by the sensational Sanaipei Tande and entertainment by their residential Safari Cat dancers. On the actual new year, they will be providing an African barbeque-themed menu containing sumptuous delicacies inclusive of free swimming in any of their pools, lots of kids’ activities, free entertainment from Pressman Band, and even acrobats. The rates are Sh3, 100 per child and Sh4, 950 per adult.

If you are on a tight budget, you can have a Hi-Tea experience at Cocoa Café Kilimani at Sh1, 500 for two people. Later, head down to Tigoni for a therapeutic drive through the lush green tea plantations. Finish your trip with a visit to the lovely Tigoni Lakehouse and have dinner at their Eduardo Barge floating restaurant or even opt to sleep over; though it will require prior booking. Imagine spending a night at a lake house in Nairobi!

Nakuru

The beauty of Nakuru lies in the affordability and availability of numerous fun activities to engage in. From game drives at Lake Nakuru, which forms part of Lake Nakuru National Park, to hiking the Menengai Crater- the second largest surviving volcanic crater in the world - and even exploring Lord Egerton castle and Hyrax Hill pre-historic site for some history classes. But, if nature and history don’t float your boat, Fishpark Resort would. The resort located 25 minutes from Nakuru town centre is a hive of activity for adults and kids. From zip-lining, boat paddling relay competitions, watermanship, horse riding, adventure quotient, and an immense field perfect for picnics and relaxing. Bring your competitive spirit.

Finish the day by taking a dip at Merica Hotel’s expansive swimming pool as you wait to devour their famous signature banana bread from Bustani Restaurant.

Hotel Kunste is also a great spot to spend this weekend as it has a fully equipped amusement park with bouncing castles, swings, slides, a swimming pool, bumper cars, and other fun activities for children.

Kisumu

For the true taste of lakeside dishes and experience, Dunga Beach, Ndere Island, Impala Sanctuary, and Milimani Beach Resort should be on your list. Spend your early morning on a walking safari at Impala Sanctuary and get to see zebras, impalas, monkeys, caged lions, and the one leopard they have. Afterward, head to Dunga beach for lunch and enjoy freshly caught fish served with local vegetables which will be prepared to your liking. As you wait for your lunch to be ready, you can request a boat ride to Lake Victoria. To end the day, have dinner and a staycation at Milimani Beach Resort. Being one of the most recognisable resorts in Kisumu, it offers unblemished views of the lake and has a sitting area by the shore for guests to experience the coastal breeze and enjoy sundowners while the kids swim the day away at their in-house pool.

Kisumu is full of striking scenery and a haven for any animal-loving and adventurous traveler. A trip down to Ndere Island National Park provides picturesque views of Homa Hills, Mageta Island, and glances of Kampala in Uganda beyond the horizon. The island is home to hippos, crocodiles, impalas, water bucks, zebras, the rare sitatunga antelopes, and over 100 different species of birds. The entrance fee is Sh300 per adult and Sh215 per child. Also, make an effort to visit the famous Kit Mikayi stone monument.

Mombasa

Since most beaches and hotels will be filled to the maximum this new year’s weekend, the best option will be to hop onto one of those luxurious dinner cruises to sail, dine and dance the night away along the coastline while watching the midnight fireworks. A medium-sized yacht carrying sight people costs Sh15,000 per hour and the experience is breathtaking. You can also opt for a lunch or dinner cruise whereby you will be provided with a seafood platter and drinks. This experience is mainly provided by Tamarind Dhow Mombasa who offers an afternoon cruise that departs from Tamambo jetty at 1 pm and an evening one that departs at 6 pm. The dhow cruises around Tudor creek where you will enjoy stunning views of the city, Old Town and Fort Jesus. The dhow moors at a quiet place and a four-course dinner is served followed by a cup of Kenyan coffee and halwa.

Eldoret

How can we forget our people from Eldoret? This city of champions is less known as a tourist attraction site but it has quite a lot to offer. This weekend, visit Tiret Riverside Resort for a fun-filled day with your family. The resort offers adrenaline-filled activities like zip lining, archery, horse riding, and picnic grounds.

Other alternative options include a visit to the majestic Chepkiit Falls, Kapsimotwa gardens and Poa Place, which is an ideal family-friendly place to usher in the year. With an outdoor pool, quad bikes, trampolines, bouncing castles, and roller coasters, your kids will have a blast as you relax by the restaurant.

Happy New Year!

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