Things to Do

Courtesy of Magical Kenya and Planetware Travel Guide 

NOTE: This is by no means an exhaustive list of places you can visit in this country, there are more places. For more information please log on to google for more places. Please note we are not affiliated nor do we endorse any location or causes.

Magical Kenya is a web portal of Kenya Tourism Board (www.magicalkenya.com/visit-kenya/) which will offer more information about your visit to Kenya. Click on the above link to get more insights.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara is one of the world’s most magnificent game reserves. Bordering Tanzania, the Mara is the northern extension of the Serengeti and forms a wildlife corridor between the two countries.

The park is famous for the Great Migration when thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle travel to and from the Serengeti, from July through October.

Amboseli National Reserve

Amboseli National Reserve

Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, Amboseli National Reserve is one of Kenya’s most popular tourist parks. The reserve is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close.

Other wildlife commonly spotted in the park includes big cats such as lion and cheetah as well as giraffe, impala, eland, waterbuck, gazelle, and more than 600 species of birds.

Tsavo National Park

Tsavo National Park

Kenya’s largest park, Tsavo, is sliced in two; Tsavo West and Tsavo East. Together these parks comprise four percent of the country’s total area and encompass rivers, waterfalls, savannah, volcanic hills, a massive lava-rock plateau, and an impressive diversity of wildlife. Midway between Nairobi and Mombasa, Tsavo East is famous for photo-worthy sightings of large elephant herds rolling and bathing in red dust.

Tsavo West is wetter and topographically more varied with some of the most beautiful scenery in the northern reaches of the park. Wildlife is not as easy to see in Tsavo West because of the denser vegetation, but the beautiful scenery more than compensates.

Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves

Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves

On the banks of the palm-lined Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba Reserves lie in an arid region in the remote north of Kenya.

A top attraction in Samburu National Reserve is the Sarara Singing Wells, local watering holes where Samburu warriors sing traditional songs while hauling water for their cattle to drink. Tourists here may also be rewarded with sightings of big cats and wild dogs.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park, in Central Kenya, is famous for its huge flocks of pink flamingoes. The birds throng on Lake Nakuru itself, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes that comprises almost a third of the park’s area.

The park also protects the largest euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa. These tall branching succulents are endemic to the region and provide an interesting textural element to the arid landscapes.

Lamu

Lamu

The small island of Lamu, northeast of Mombasa, oozes old world charm. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lamu Old Town is Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited settlement with origins dating back to the 12th century.

Most of Lamu’s population is Muslim and both men and women dress in traditional attire. Top attractions on the island include Lamu Museum, with displays on Swahili culture and the region’s nautical history; Lamu Fort; and the Donkey Sanctuary. If all the history is a little too much, visitors can bask on one of the island’s white sand beaches or sip Arabic coffee in a local café.

Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha

A haven for birders, Lake Naivasha lies at the highest point of the Great Rift Valley and has been known to shrink considerably in times of extreme drought. More than 400 species of birds have been spotted here, including African fish eagles. Hippos slosh in the water, and giraffes, zebra, buffalo, and eland graze around the edges of the lake. Keep a lookout for colobus monkeys in the canopies too.

Near Lake Naivasha, the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary features 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 with two extinct volcanoes and the red cliffs of Hell’s Gate Gorge.

Nairobi

Nairobi

Kenya’s capital and largest city, Nairobi, is legendary for its colorful colonial history. It was once the capital of British East Africa, luring settlers who came here to stake their fortune in the coffee and tea industries.

To see wildlife without venturing far from the city center, visit Nairobi National Park, now a black rhino sanctuary and also home to a host of other classic safari stars including lions, leopards, buffalo, zebras, wildebeest, and cheetahs.

Mombasa

Mombasa

Kenya’s second largest city and biggest port, Mombasa is a multicultural tourist magnet. British, Portuguese, Arab, Indian, and Asian immigrants add to the rich cultural mix and their influence is evident in the architecture as well as the many different types of cuisine.

History buffs will enjoy exploring the 16th-century Fort Jesus and Old Town with its narrow streets, ancient Swahili dwellings, markets, and souvenir shops. This being a coastal hub, beach lovers will find some worthy strands nearby. North of the city, Nyali and Bamburi Beaches are favorites, while the white strands of Shelly, Tiwi, and Diani Beaches are popular spots south of Mombasa.

Malindi

Malindi

North of Mombasa on the Kenyan coast, Malindi is a beach resort popular with European visitors. Thanks to its rich trading history, it too is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and also sports a split personality. Part historic old town, part modern tourist hub, Malindi is where travelers come to sun on the white sands of Watamu Beach, dive the coral reefs of the Malindi and Watamu Marine National Parks, and soak up a dose of Swahili history in the historic town, dating from the 12th century.

Another popular tourist attraction is the Falconry of Kenya, a rehabilitation center for sick and injured birds. About 30 km northeast of Malindi, the Marafa Depression, also called Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari, is a set of sandstone gorges sculpted by the wind and rain.

Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Park

In the Central Highlands, east of the Great Rift Valley, Mount Kenya National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the country’s namesake highest mountain at 5,199 m and providing the rare sight of equatorial snow.

Scenery varies from glaciers, lakes, and mineral springs to alpine forest and dense pockets of bamboo. The diversity of flora and fauna provides rewarding opportunities for safaris. Among the wildlife here visitors may spot black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo, elephant, tree hyrax, leopard, and hyena. Nestled in the foothills, the famous Mount Kenya Safari Club is a luxury retreat with trout fishing, golf, and tennis.

Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell's Gate National Park

A hotspot for climbers, Hell’s Gate National Park is one of the few parks in Kenya that allows camping and enables visitors to explore on foot or bicycle. Hell’s Gate offers excellent climbing and hiking opportunities with two extinct volcanoes, the red cliffs of Hell’s Gate Gorge, Obsidian Caves, and the pointed column of rock known as Fischer’s Tower, a former volcanic plug.

Olkaria Geothermal Station, the first of its kind in Africa, lies within Hell’s Gate National Park and generates power from heated, pressurized water underground. The Oloor Karia Maasai Cultural Centre within the park is worth a visit with Maasai singing, dancing, and jewelry-making demonstrations.

Location: South of Lake Naivasha, northwest of Nairobi