Best Places to Visit in Kenya
KENYA – Its name is almost synonymous with the word “safari”. There are few other places on earth that evoke such an adventurous and romantic spirit. Kenya’s diverse activities dazzle all visitors, and viewing the country’s rich wildlife is among the best. See herds of roaring wildebeest across the savannah during the Maasai Mara migration; Get up close to the elephants at Amboseli or admire Lake Nakuru, home to thousands of flamingos.
In these sun-drenched lands, ancient tribes such as the Maasai, Kikuyu and Samburu preserve their traditional traditions and live in harmony with the natural world.
In addition to the world-famous safari park, there are a number of coastal treasures. You can snorkel and dive among fish-rich coral reefs, relax on pearly beaches, experience the melting pot of Mombasa and Malindi culture and cuisine, and explore tropical islands steeped in Swahili history.
Topographically, Kenya is stunning. The Great Rift Valley is surrounded by craters and mountains that bisect the country. To the east of this vast valley, you can climb the snow-capped equatorial peaks of Mount Kenya and fish for trout in the clear streams. Hell’s Gate National Park features obsidian caves, natural geysers, and hot springs.
Head to Nairobi to experience the romance of Kenya’s colorful colonial history captured in the movie Out of Africa. This bustling capital is the gateway to one of the world’s most evocative and exciting travel destinations. Explore more of this fascinating country with our list of the Best Places to Visit in Kenyaand make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Kenya
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Kenya:
1. Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara National Reserve (also known as the “Maasai Mara”) is one of the most spectacular wildlife reserves in Africa. The Mara River, on the border with Tanzania, is the northern extension of the Serengeti that forms a wildlife corridor between the two countries.
It takes its name from the sculptural red-hatted Masai, who live in the park and graze their animals as they have done for centuries. In their language, Mara means “spotted,” perhaps referring to the acacia trees in the vast meadows and the light and shadow in the cloudy sky.
The park is known for the Great Migration when thousands of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelles travel to and from the Serengeti from July to October.
Herds of hippos and crocodiles lurk in the Mara River. The park is also known to offer excellent predator sightings, thanks to the relatively large numbers of lions, cheetahs, and leopards, especially during the dry months from December to February.
2. Tsavo National Park
Kenya’s largest park, Tsavo, is divided into two: Tsavo West and Tsavo East. Together, these parks cover 4% of the country’s total area and contain rivers, waterfalls, savannah, volcanic peaks, huge lava plateaus and an impressive diversity of wildlife.
Tsavo East, halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa, is known for photographs of herds of elephants rolling and bathing in red dust. The palm-fringed Garana River runs through the park, providing a great game viewing experience and a lush contrast with the arid plains. Other highlights here include the Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow; Mudanda Rock; and the Lugard Falls, which flow into streams and crocodile-filled pools.
Tsavo West is wetter and the terrain more diverse, with some of the most beautiful scenery in the northern part of the park. Highlights here are Mzima Springs, a series of natural springs with an abundance of hippos and crocodiles; Firewood Crater a great place to see raptors; and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary. Due to the denser vegetation, wildlife is less likely to be spotted in Tsavo West, but the beautiful scenery more than makes up for it.
3. Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Preserve
On the banks of the palm-fringed Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Sabah Reserves are located in a remote and arid region in northern Kenya. Sabah National Preserve is one of two areas where George and Joey Adamson raised the lioness Elsa, made famous in the movie Born Free.
Wildlife in all three reserves depend on river waters for survival, and many species are particularly adapted to arid conditions. These include the Grevy’s zebra, the Somali ostrich, and the gerenuk, a giraffe standing on its hind legs to reach fresh shoots on the upper branches.
One of the top attractions in the Samburu National Reserve is the Salalah Singing Well, a local waterhole where Samburu warriors sing traditional songs while drawing water for their cows. You may also be rewarded for seeing big cats and wild dogs.
4. Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park in central Kenya is famous for its flock of pink flamingos. Birds gather at Lake Nakuru itself, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes that occupy almost a third of the parking area. Established in 1961, the park has recorded over 450 bird species as well as a rich variety of other wildlife.
Lions, leopards, wild boars, antelopes, pythons, and white rhinos are just some of the animals you might see, and the scenery ranges from the vast meadows around the lake to rocky cliffs and woodlands. The park also preserves the largest Euphorbia candelabra forest in Africa. Native to the region, these tall succulents provide a bold textural element to the arid land.
5. Lamu Island
The tiny island of Lamu, northeast of Mombasa, exudes old-world charm. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lamu Old Town is the oldest permanent settlement in Kenya, with origins dating back to the 12th century.
Wandering through the labyrinth of streets is one of the most important things here. You can see the rich trade history of the island from the buildings. Architectural features of the Arab world, Europe and India are evident, but there are different Swahili techniques. Intricately carved wooden doors, coral stone buildings, secluded courtyards, verandas and roof terraces are common features.
Traveling here is like stepping back in time. Sailboats operate in the harbor, where motor vehicles are scarce, and donkeys still rule the streets, as they have for centuries. The majority of Lamu’s population is Muslim, and both men and women wear traditional clothing.
Popular attractions on the island include the Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, and the Donkey Temple, showcasing Swahili culture and the maritime history of the area. If all the history is a bit too much, you can sunbathe on one of the island’s white sandy beaches or try an Arabic coffee at a local cafe.
6. Lake Naivasha
A bird paradise, Lake Naivasha is located at the highest point of the Great Rift Valley. More than 400 bird species are found here, including African snapper fish, jacanas, white-fronted bee-eaters, and various species of kingfishers. One of the best ways to see wildlife is by boat. Hippos sway in the water and giraffes, zebras, buffalo and eland are grazing by the lake. Also, watch out for colobus monkeys in the tree canopies.
Crater Lake Game Sanctuary is near Lake Naivasha and has a wildlife-rich nature trail. Just south of Lake Naivasha, the relatively affordable Hell’s Gate National Park protects a wide variety of wildlife and offers excellent climbing opportunities that include two extinct volcanoes and the red cliffs of Hell’s Gate Canyon.
On the south shore of Lake Naivasha, stop for a cup of tea at the Elsamere Conservation Center, home of Born Free author Joy Adamson and her husband George. Lake Naivasha is known to shrink significantly during extreme droughts, and the region’s thriving flower industry is also affecting water levels and water quality. However, the lake is generally lush and full of life.
7. Nairobi National Park
Who said you have to stay away from Nairobi to enjoy a safari? Just a 15-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of Kenya’s capital, you can spot a lion or graceful giraffe walking through the golden meadows of Nairobi National Park. If you live in Nairobi, visiting this wildlife-rich park is one of the top things to do, and it’s a rewarding day trip, especially if you don’t have access to one of the larger game reserves.
All the classic safari stars are here, including buffaloes, leopards, zebras, antelopes, hippos, elephants and cheetahs, and you can also see some of the most endangered species on earth at the park’s rhino sanctuary. The Nairobi Safari Trail offers a rewarding opportunity to observe wildlife on foot, and birdwatchers will be pleased to know that there are over 400 species of birds in the park, including the beautiful Gray Crowned Crane.
No visit to the park would be complete without a visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery at the park’s main entrance. Also, save time at the Giraffe Center near the famous Giraffe Mansion, where these beautiful giraffes can eat straight from your hands.
Official website: http://www.kws.go.ke/parks/nairobi-national-park
8. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery
Who can resist baby elephants? At the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, you can mingle with incredibly cute baby scallops while enjoying supporting an important conservation organization. This famous wildlife sanctuary saves and heals orphaned elephants and gives you the chance to observe these lovely animals up close. The youngest elephants are kept in captivity here until they are about two or three years old, and you can see the caretaker’s bottle feeding the babies.
Teams transported the elephants from the reserve to a reintegration center in Tsavo East National Park and eventually released them into the wild. Watching these playful little skinnies roll in mud or poke a soccer ball is something you’ll never forget. If you want to do more for these amazing animals, consider adopting an orphaned elephant, giraffe or rhino before you set off; You will receive regular updates on its progress.
Located on the Kenyan coast north of Mombasa, Malindi has a split personality. This popular seaside town is both a historic old town and a modern tourist destination. It is also a melting pot of culture and gastronomy due to its rich trade history.
Many travelers from Europe come here to sunbathe on the white sands of Watamu Beach and dive into the coral reefs of Malindi and Watamu Marine National Park. If you’re looking for free things to do in Kenya, you could do worse than sunbathing on the beautiful Malindi Beach.
You can also experience the history of the Swahili language in a town that dates back to the 12th century. Here, Jami Mosque, two 14th-century hypostyle tombs and one of East Africa’s oldest churches, St. You can visit the Francis Xavier Church. On the cape, the Vasco de Gama Cross is one of the oldest monuments in Africa.
Another popular tourist attraction is the Kenyan Falcon, a rehabilitation center for sick and injured birds. Also worth seeing is the Marafa Depression, about 30 kilometers northeast of Malindi. Also known as Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari, this sandstone canyon embankment was carved by wind and rain like a miniature canyon.
Mombasa is a multicultural tourist destination. It is also Kenya’s second largest city and largest port. British, Portuguese, Arab, Indian and Asian immigrants add to the rich cultural mix, and their influence is evident in the architecture and many different types of cuisine.
Mombasa is actually an island connected to its thriving growth on the mainland by gorges, bridges and ferries. The coral reefs lining the coast for 480 kilometers offer excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities, especially around Mombasa Marine National Park and Vasini Island. Dolphin watching and deep sea fishing are also popular activities in Mombasa.
Here you will find many tourist attractions along the coast of Kenya. History buffs will love exploring the 16th-century Jesus Fort and Old Town, with its narrow streets, old Swahili houses, markets, and souvenir shops. Mombasa’s other attractions fill the city’s north shore, including Mombasa go-karts, cinemas, sports arenas, and numerous restaurants.
It’s a beach destination, and beach lovers will find some worthwhile beaches nearby. Nyali and Pranburi beaches are the most popular in the north of the city, while Shelly, Tiwi and Diani beaches are popular in south Mombasa.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Kenya. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Kenya, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.