Have you been dreaming of an African safari? If you have odds are that you have been checking out the beautiful East African country of Kenya. Though Kenya is a popular destination for safaris there is so much more to this diverse and amazing country.
Creating an itinerary for your visit will require a lot of knowledge when it comes to where to visit in Kenya. To help you out with this we thought we would take a look at some of the amazing things to do and see in Kenya in this short Kenyan travel guide.
Top 10 Things To Do In Kenya
Most tourists fly into the International Airport in Nairobi but not all of them take the time to really absorb this unique and beautiful capital city. There are tons of fun things to do in Nairobi so if you are looking for things to do exploring the capital is a good start.
Nairobi has a rich history and because of this, many beautiful historic sites should be seen. Along with this comes museums such as the Nairobi National Museum and the Karen Blixen museum (the Danish author who wrote out of Africa).
But maybe the most unique experience is the Nairobi National Park that sits in the center of the city. This park is a black rhino sanctuary and also houses other African wildlife too. There is also the elephant orphanage where you get up close to rescued baby elephants.
Try Some Traditional Foods
If you’re like us one of the best reasons to travel is to experience the unique culinary experiences each country brings with them. So, when it comes to food what is Kenya known for? Here are a few traditional dishes we think you might want to try:
This is a dish of grilled or roasted meat that has been salted and slow-roasted over a fire. It is then served with rice and kachumbari sauce. This is a relish made of tomatoes, Chili Peppers, cilantro, lime juice, and onions.
Ugali is the Canyon version of polenta and is a staple with almost every meal.
This is a unique banana that is native to Uganda but has become a big favorite in Kenya. Typically it is cooked with tomatoes, chili, lemon, garlic, onions, and occasionally meat. It is like a stew that is served with either ugali or rice.
The country does have an eclectic culinary landscape and so there is a vast range of options when it comes to delicious Kenyan cuisine. So make sure to dive in no matter what city or activity you are doing and really savor the unique dishes of this country.
Explore the Kereita Forest
Most people of course think of vast savannahs full of lions and tall grass when they think of travel to Kenya but there are also forested mountain ranges as well. If you’re looking for some adventurous things to do in Kenya then taking a little trip to explore the Kereita Forest should definitely be on your list. This forest hugs the Aberdare Mountains and comes with a lot of adventurous things to do with the family.
Some of the amazing adventures you can take part in are things like:
- Ziplining through the forest
- Tree planting
- Mountain banking
- Fly fishing
Stroll Through Old Town on Lamu Island
The small island that is just a short trip from Mombasa is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been inhabited continuously since the 12th century. There may not be many attractions on this small island but if you’re looking for a taste of the old world and unique architecture then taking a tour of Lamu island should definitely be on your agenda.
In fact, we would almost say travel to Kenya is not complete without taking a tour of the Lamu Fort and museum and maybe stepping into the donkey sanctuary on the island (if you’re an animal lover). Wonder the streets and alleyways to get a different outlook on this beautiful Eastern African country.
Visit The Soda Lakes of Rift Valley
Make sure to take time to visit the stunning biodiverse Rift Valley lakes when you travel to Kenya. There are many lakes that you can visit and amongst them are several national parks making this one of the places that have the most things to see in Kenya. This is especially true if you are into nature as you will be able to take snapshots of black rhinos, flamingos, as well as hippos, depending on the lake you visit.
Some of the most beautiful lakes in our opinion are:
- Lake Naivasha
- Lake Baringo
- Lake Turkana
One place that is a must is Lake Nakuru National Park. All of these lakes as well as this park sits in the Rift Valley. Opening in 1961 the park contains richly diverse wildlife that will keep your camera flashing for days.
Relax On The Kenyan Coast
If safaris and lush grasslands are not your things maybe you want to take a trip to the coastline and enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches of Malindi. Just north of the second-largest city in Kenya Mombasa lays a beautiful historic beach town that is also one of the most modern tourist destinations in the country.
Here you can lounge on Watamu beach and dive the coral reefs of the Watamu Marine National Park. You can even take a tour through Falconry of Kenya which is a center for sick and injured birds. So you see there’s a lot of amazing things you can do if you want to relax on the Kenyan coast.
Camp Out In Hell’s Gate National Park
Maybe you were traveling to Kenya to do some climbing, hiking, or biking. If you are a more active traveler then taking a tour up to Hell’s Gate National Park is right up your alley. This is one of the only parks in Kenya that will allow you to camp within its borders. This means you can make this your sole destination or couple it with a few of the other options depending on your style of travel. There are plenty of stellar attractions that you can visit while in the park for instance:
- Hell’s Gate gorge and its red cliffs
- The Obsidian caves
- Fishers tower which is a former volcanic plug
Take A Safari Through The Maasai Mara Game Reserve
When most people come to Kenya the first thing that they think about is going on a safari and few places offer a better experience than the Maasai Mara game reserve. This destination happens to be one of the top greatest tourist attractions in all of Kenya and has been voted one of the best Kenya safaris consistently.
Since most people traveled to Kenya for safaris this is the destination that is always on everyone’s itinerary. Several tours can be booked to guide you through the game reserve to capture snapshots of all the amazing landscapes and potentially the big 5 – elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos. Along with all of the wildlife, you will take in life inside of a Maasai village.
Go On A Beautiful Hike Up Mount Kenya
While visiting the Central Highlands and the great River Valley it is very easy to take a little detour to spend some time hiking in the Mount Kenya National Park. This park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is comprised of three peaks- Batian, Nelion, and Lenana.
This is a great destination if you are an experienced hiker as the altitude change is quite challenging. Along with this challenging hike, you will also be able to catch sight of a diverse landscape both in flora and fauna as well as wildlife.
Visit The Second Largest City
Mombasa sits on the coast and is Kenya’s biggest port city. Because of this, it has been influenced by many different cultures and they have intermixed to create a unique feel when it comes to everything from architecture to food. Taking a tour through this bustling and hectic city is an experience anyone that plans to travel to Kenya should experience. Taking in the old city including Fort Jesus will allow you to dive into the history of this city and give you an idea of the city’s vibe.
If you’re not as much into the historical aspects of this city you can also take a day and rest on one of the many beaches that lie in the city or near the city. There are many beaches such as Diani, Shelly, or Tiwi that are available for you to stretch out and get some sun. Here you can dive beautiful coral reefs at the Mombasa Marine National Park or tour around Wasini island.
So, Should You Travel To Kenya?
If you ask, the answer to this question is very simple and it is a resounding yes. Travel to Kenya will bring with it amazing memories and experiences like you have never thought you would have. It is a beautiful and diverse country that offers not only stunning vistas but beautiful beaches and a unique cultural experience. We certainly hope that our look at this African nation has inspired you to begin planning your next trip.