1000+ Reasons #WhyILoveKenya, you too will!
You can rent a room on the beach of find a place with room to spare. You can enjoy your breakfast at dawn or feel the magic at dusk. You can see all the stars of the show or sleep under the stars on a bed. You can visit a Rhino Sanctuary or be part of the Rhino Charge. You can build bridges of friendship or walk bridges in the trees. You can drink tea on a tea plantation or tee off at a luxury club. You can soak up Swahili Style or discover a style of your own. You can catch a wild trout or let the wind catch you. You can kiss the bride on the beach or be kissed by a Giraffe. You can circle the edge of a crater or hand off the edge of a rock face. You can see where our champions train or catch a train you’ll never forget. You can drift away on an Arab Dhow or simply drift away. You can ride like the wind on the sea or ride on a horse in the wild. You can get carried away by a donkey or just get carried away. You can find your way through traffic or see the most famous traffic on earth. You can waken your warrior spirit or set your soul and spirit free. You can walk in a magical forest or go hiking in famous foothills.
Kenya is not just a destination to visit but rather a place to feel alive and why! Immerse yourself in awe-inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime moments that are sure to amaze you at every turn and linger in your mind & soul the rest of your life.
Escape the beaten paths and revel in destinations evoking unparalleled richness, charm and self-discovery. Seek refuge in unspoiled landscapes and immerse yourself into ancient cultures in the lap of modern luxury. Retreat from the mundane, rejuvenate and reawaken every sensation.
- Spot “Big Five” game: lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo and leopards.
- Spectacular wildlife encounters on our extensive game drives.
- Hear elephants trumpet in Amboseli and a stunning Mt. Kilimanjaro backdrop
- Mount Kenya: An extinct volcano sitting on the equator with distinct snow peak and glaciers.
- Scout for rhinoceros making a comeback at Lewa.
- Meru: Luxuriant jungle, lions and the setting for Born Free.
- At night, tucked beneath canvas under a canopy of stars, listen to a lion roar across the savanna.
- The vibrant culture of the Kenyan people during cultural visits to local homesteads.
- Watch for millions of flamingos at Lake Nakuru – how many can you count?
- Experience the Eighth Wonder of the World: the Great Wildebeest Migration.
- Enjoy a balloon safari over the famous Masai Mara National Reserve.
- View endangered and rare wildlife, including Rothschild’s giraffes, Grevy’s zebras and the East African Oryx.
- The Special Five of Samburu: Beisa Oryx, Reticulated giraffe, Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich and Beisa Oryx.
- Rejuvenate at the exclusive Rusinga Island “jewel of Western circuit”.
- The White sandy beaches of Mombasa, Malindi, Watamu & Diani (south coast).
- The honeymooners ‘hideout- Chale Island in South coast Mombasa.
- Kiss a giraffe at Giraffe Centre Nairobi
- Marvel at Kenya’s diverse cultures at Bomas of Kenya Nairobi
- Tickle your tastebuds at the famous Carnivore Restaurant ‘ feast of a beast”
- Karura forest
- Kitengela glass
- Hell’s Kichen
- Cycle in the wild at Hell’s Gate National and swim in a natural spa at Okaria
- Kakamega Forest
- Enjoy Tilapia at Lake Victoria
- Visit cradle land odf US President Barack Obama in Siaya
- Sleep under the stars at Loisaba Star beds
- Great Ecotourism story at Distant Relatives Eco Lodge and Backpackers ain Kilifi Kenya
- Special Five of Samburu
- Dance and visit a Maasai Village in Maasai Mara- how high can you jump!
- Wildebeest Migration at Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Paronamic views off ‘roof of Africa\- Mt. Kilimanjaro and large herds of elephants at Amboseli National Park
- Visit of of Champions -Uasin Ngishu County
- Geysers and Hotsprings at Lake Bogoria- You can even boil an egg in the lake
- Lake Magadi
- Lake Turkana
- Mt. Kenya
- Lake Naivasha
- Mfunje – River Nzoia
- Star Gazing and sky camping Elephant Gorge- Amboseli National Park
- Helicopter safaris over Kenya
- Paronamic Hot Air Balloon safari in Maasai Mara National Park
It’s all here in Kenya, Africa’s original safari destination. A Kenyan safari is almost a rite of passage into Africa and once you come here you’ll understand why.
Things to see and do in Kenya
Kenya is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The country has it all, from white sandy beaches, wildlife, desert to a lush greenly vegetations. No matter your taste, you will find your desired destination within the borders of this lovely nation. To get you started, here are the 70 best destinations in all of Kenya:
1. Mt. Kenya
It’s only befitting that we should start with the highest point in the country. Mt. Kenya is 5,199m of sheer beauty. If you want to see an array of flora and fauna, merged with freezing weather, and snow capped peaks, then this is the place to go. Scaling it is a bit of a chore, but it is totally worth it!
After the highest point, we go to the capital city, Nairobi. Once dubbed as the ‘city in the sun’, Nairobi is one of the most beautiful cities in the continent. It has wonderful skyscrapers, a steaming nightlife and a never ending sea of friendly people. As a urbanized metropolis, you can find a little bit of everything the world has to offer here.
3. Nairobi National Park
Situated just 20 minutes from the city, Nairobi National Park is one of the most eclectic parks Kenya has to offer. The park has such a widely varied wildlife population that simply visiting it will give you a small taste of what the rest of the country has to offer.
4. Nairobi West
This is a busy suburb 10 minutes from the CBD. Nairobi West is Kenya’s version of New York, the city that never sleeps. Nairobi West has a very high concentration of bars, restaurants, lodging facilities and most of the city’s night owls. If you like to stay up all night, visit Nairobi West and party with your own kind.
This is a ‘richer’ version of Nairobi West! Westlands almost never shuts down. This little suburb, less than 10 minutes from the CBD, is not only very affluent, but it is also the one place to go if you want to see Kenya’s fashionistas. Here you will find all sorts of high end bars, hotels, and restaurants. It is also steaming with the bourgeoisie.
6. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Conveniently situated within the Nairobi National Park, this elephant orphanage is the perfect place for visitors to see and interact with rescued baby elephants. Not only does it provide a sanctuary for these majestic creatures, it also provides the perfect destination for animal lovers. Visit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
7. Karura Forest Reserve
If you have ever heard of the Nobel Peace Laureate – Wangari Maathai, then you should know that the Karura Forest was one of her flagship projects. This reserve provides wonderful trails, rare indigenous flora and fauna as well as tranquil rivers and tiny waterfalls for those of us who love nature. Visit: Karura Forest Reserve
8. Giraffe Center
This is your chance to stand eyeball to eyeball with a Giraffe. At the Giraffe center in Nairobi, you get to feed, play with and even get a kiss from these towering creatures.
9. Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages
If you know anything about the history of Kenya, you have probably heard the name ‘Karen Blixen’ before. She was a white settler who struggled for the rights of the local community against tyrannical colonial forces. In her honor, the country named an entire suburb after her. Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages is just one of the attractions found within that suburb.
10. Karen Blixen Museum
This is particularly interesting to those who are fascinated by Karen Blixen’s story. The author of ‘Out of Africa’, lived in this house that has now been turned into a museum. Here, you will get a chance to sit, touch and see what Karen saw when she lived in Kenya.
11. Kenyatta International Conference Center
If Nairobi is the center of Kenya, K.I.C.C is the center of Nairobi. The K.I.C.C is 105m tall, with 28 floors and a helipad that allows you to see all of Nairobi. If you want a bird’s eye view of the city without having to hire a helicopter, then the helipad at the top of K.I.C.C is the place to be. The building also has some cultural shops and sections that allows you to soak in Kenya’s heritage.
12. The Bomas of Kenya
Photo Source: PlatinumKenya
‘Boma’ is a Swahili word for homestead. The Bomas of Kenya holds the heritage of every community in the country. Here, you will see how every tribe in Kenya lives traditionally and you will also be entertained to some traditional dances and music.
13. Ngong Hills
For those of us who love nature, there is nothing better than a scenic nature trail, surrounded by lush green environs. For Kenyans, the Ngong hills are a well known picnic destination. For any visitor, you can come here and enjoy the tranquility that only a country content with itself can offer.
14. Nairobi Arboretum
If you thought the Karura Forest and the Ngong Hills were beautiful, wait until you set foot in the Nairobi Arboretum. This is a small patch of land, only 5 minutes from the CBD, that has been set aside for nature trails, exotic trees and plants. It also acts as a wonderful picnic destination.
15. The National Archives
When you visit a foreign country, it is only polite to learn about its heritage. In Kenya, there is nowhere better to get this sort of information than at the National Archives. Smack in the middle of the city, this beautiful building holds historic paintings, photographs, documents and various indigenous arts and crafts by the people of Kenya. Visit: The National Archives of Kenya
16. Paradise Garden
This is a beautiful place less than an hour from the CBD, walking distance from Paradise Lost.
The garden has well-manicured lawns with stunning dam and coffee estate, it is a beautiful spot for wedding and corporate site. It is the perfect place for a quick getaway not too far from the city. Visit: Paradise Garden
17. Nairobi Mamba Village
Just like Giraffe Center, the Nairobi Mamba Village is where you go see crocodiles. Unlike at the Giraffe Center, you do not want to get a kiss from one of these creatures. You can watch them get fed, and you can have your choice of game meat. The Village also has some great accommodation facilities. Visit: Nairobi Mamba Village
18. Nairobi Safari Walk
In the middle of Nairobi National Park, there is the Nairobi Safari Walk. This is a beautiful trail that is built and modified to make your tour of the park safe. From the Safari Walk, you can see all sorts of animals, including the Big Five.
19. The Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club
This is for high end travelers. The Windsor Hotel is a world class facility that offers top of the line accommodation at top of the line prices. The price is absolutely worth it because this is where tranquility calls home. It also has a beautiful Golf Course, for those who play. Visit: The Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club
20. Nairobi National Museum
Only 5 minutes from the CBD, the Nairobi National Museum is the one place where you can get all of Kenya’s elaborate heritage under one roof. Not to mention the fact that it has a snake park that will give you the crawlies. Visit: Nairobi National Museum
21. The Maasai Mara
If you have heard of Kenya, you have heard of the Maasai Mara. This is a wonderful game reserve where you can see the Big Five, the Great Wildebeest Migration and some wonderful scenery. The Maasai Mara also has amazing camping sites and facilities. Visit: The Maasai Mara
22. Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National park is known as the best place to see free-ranging wildlife species such as elephants very closely. At the pack, you get the opportunity to meet the locals – the Maasai people and learn more about the Maasai culture. You can see the stunning views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from the park. Visit: Amboseli National Park
This coastal island has more to offer than just white sandy beaches. It has wonderful weather, beautiful scenery and an even more beautiful people. But if you are going to visit the Mombasa, then you want to stay at some of the best hotels the coast has to offer.
24. Sun and Sand Beach Resort
Private beach, amazing rooms, swimming pools, in-house bar and absolutely amazing service, the Sun and Sand Beach Resort is one of Kenya’s pride when it comes to accommodation. Visit: Sun and Sand Beach Resort
25. Mombasa Marine National Park
This is one of the most majestic places on the Kenyan Coast. The Mombasa Marine National Park has a great deal of small sea life, beautiful coral and many other scenic attractions that the Indian Ocean has to offer. Visit: Mombasa Marine National Park
26. Fort Jesus
Perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Mombasa, Fort Jesus is an ancient work of art. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th Century, the Fort served as a defense post for their slave trade routes in the Indian Ocean and the Kenyan Coast. It now has a museum that displays artifacts from that era, including painting and canons.
27. Nyali International Beach Hotel and Spa
Nyali International Beach Hotel and Spa is an enduring magnificence, which is located in the sandy beaches of Mombasa. The hotel offers exquisite facilities and restaurants a unique escape into luxury and Kenyan culture. Visit: Nyali International Beach Hotel and Spa
28. Mombasa Go-Kart
This is for those who take vacations with their kids. Mombasa Go-Kart offers you the opportunity to experience speed in a safe arena. Whether you want to drive the go-karts or not, you can have a good time here. For adults, you can view your kids have a good time from the terrace of the bar. Visit: Mombasa Go-Kart
29. Voyager Beach Resort, Mombasa
Located 10km north of Mombasa city center, Voyager Beach Resort is a beach resort and retreat for those who wish to experience an undivided comfort and luxury. Guests can bask in the sun, indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, savour special meals and enjoy unforgettable outdoor activities. Visit: Voyager Beach Resort
30. Jumba La Mtwana
The Kenyan Coast is an ancient place full of artifacts from ‘past civilization’, Jumba La Mtwana is one such ruin. This is a ruined village in Kilifi. The name means ‘the house of the slave’. The ruins have mosques, four houses and a tomb. Most of it is preserved from a time that has come and gone. Visit: Jumba La Mtwana
31. Deep Water Sport Fishing
This is the perfect destination for those who enjoy deep sea fishing, or for those who would like to experience it for the first time. Deep Water Sport Fishing is located on the North Coast of Kenya. Visit: Sport Fishing Kenya
32. Tropical Diving Kenya
If you have ever gazed upon the expansive Indian Ocean, you know that you can barely fight the urge to go diving in. With Tropical Diving Kenya, in the North Coast of Mombasa, you get a chance to do so within a safe environment. Visit: Tropical Diving Kenya
33. Tana River Primate Reserve
This is the one destination on the coast for those who are into white water rafting. Here, you can satisfy your thrill seeking nature by speeding down the Tana River as well as get a chance to view the surrounding wildlife. Visit: Tana River Primate Reserve
34. Bamburi Beach Hotel
Photo Source:K@mphuis on Flickr
Bamburi Beach Hotel is located along ehJust like its neighbor, Nyali Beach, Bamburi Beach is one of the best destinations for anyone looking to have a peaceful stroll down one of Kenya’s many white sandy beaches. Here, you can mingle with the locals and have a chance to buy some of the best traditional artefacts for your souvenir collection. Visit: Bamburi Beach Hotel
35. The Island Of Lamu
Lamu, as a whole, is simply stunning. This beautiful island is like a scene from an old movie. Most of the houses are based on traditional Arab and Swahili designs, and so are the streets. It is one of the most peaceful and scenic destinations in the Kenyan Coast. Visit: The Island of Lamu
36. Siyu Fort
Not very many people know of Siyu Fort in Lamu, Pate Island. Siyu, is the one town in the Kenyan Coast that built its own fort. Unlike Mombasa and Lamu, where the forts were built by foreigners. Siyu Fort is now a museum that holds intriguing artefacts from the 19th century.
37. Lamu Museum
If you want to learn all about the Swahili history at the Kenyan Coast, then you should head on to the Lamu Museum. It is rich with the nations Swahili heritage. Visit: Lamu Museum
38. Lamu Old Town
There is something about visiting a part of a town that has stuck to its original form. Lamu Old Town was recently labeled as a ‘world heritage’. Here, you will see how ancient settlers used to live. The kind of housing, utensils and streets that they had.
39. Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest
They say we need to see the world the way the creator intended it! There is no better place to do so than in a forest that has many nature trails. That is what Kaya Kinondo Forest. Visit: Kaya Kinodo Sacred Forest
40. Diani Beach
This is one of the many beaches on the Kenyan coast. However, Diani beach stands out because it is particularly beautiful and in Diani. Talk of pearly white sand! Visit: Diani Beach
41. Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa
If you are going to visit Diani, you want to stay at the Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa. It is absolutely beautiful and the service is world class. Visit: Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa
This is another beautiful destination on the Kenyan coast. Malindi has wonderful reefs, beautiful beaches and an equally beautiful indigenous population. It truly can be called ‘Paradise’.
43. Malindi Marine National Park
Beautifully coloured fish, a pure white sandy beach and a host of water sports will make your visit to the Malindi Marine National Park a blast! Visit: Malindi Marine National Park
44. Haller Park
Giraffes, waterbucks, zebras, cape buffalos and hippos, these are just some of the animals you will find at Haller Park in Mombasa. It also has a fish pond that is just lovely. That and 160 bird species. Visit: Haller Park
45. Wasini Island
This is one little island in the Kenyan coast. Travellers reach this island by dhow. One of the most enchanting attractions is that dolphins cruise the waters around this island. You can go snorkelling and dive around the beautiful coral reefs in the clear blue waters. For an exclusive experience of dhow, try Charlie Claw’s in Wasini. Visit: Wasini Island
46. Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
Just south of Wasini, there is a little marine park called, Kisite-Mpunguti. Snorkelling, dolphin spotting and even humpback whales can be spotted here in August and October.Deep sea fishing is absolutely wonderful here. Visit: Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
47. Shimba Hills National Reserve
This place can be found only 33km south of Mombasa. It has a rich diversity in flora and fauna. Among the rare things in this reserve are endangered species of orchids and cycads. You can also see elephants, sable antelope and a host of birds. Visit: Shimba Hills National Reserve
48. Gedi Ruins
The Kenyan coast is full of lost treasures. Thanks goodness the ‘Gedi Ruins’ isn’t one of them. This is an ancient Arabic and Swahili settlement that is nestled in a lush rainforest. The most intriguing thing about this place is not that it absolutely ancient, but that almost no record exists that explains what happened to it.
49. Arabuko-Sokoke National Forest
This place has the distinction of being East Africa’s biggest indigenous coastal forest. It has very many rare animals, including 260 bird species, the bushy-tailed mongoose, the golden-rumped elephant shrew and the Ader’s duiker. This is a wonderful picnic spot.
50. Manda Bay
Manda Bay resort offers guest a new level of style and sophistication with endless facilities and personalized service. Located on Manda Island in Lamu archipelago, Manda Bay is shaded by coconut palm groves and Tamarind trees, overlooking the finest white sandy beaches of the bay. It is one of the best destinations to visit for vacation in Kenya. Visit: Manda Bay
51. Lake Nakuru
One of the most spectacular bird spectacles in the world is the in-flocking of over a million Flamingos, all at once, at Lake Nakuru. This is where you can get a front seat to this wonderful flight show. Visit Lake Nakuru
52. Tsavo National Park, East
Tsavo National Park is one of the biggest parks in the world. That is why it is divided into two. Tsavo East is a large open savannah grazing land for many of the country’s wildlife. Visit: Tsavo National Park
53. Tsavo National Park, West
Like its Eastern sibling, Tsavo National Park, West is a wonderful home for most of the country’s wildlife. But unlike its Eastern sibling, it is not an expansive grassland, rather, it has rolling volcanic landscape that gives it a spectacular scenic outlook. Visit: Tsavo National Park, West
54. Samburu National Reserve
In the Northern part of Kenya, is a wonderful national park called, Samburu National Reserve. Because the Uaso Nyiro river goes right through it, it has great grassland and forests that house three of the big cats (Leopards, Lions and Cheetahs) Visit: Samburu National Reserve
55. Maasai Lodge
For a lodge, Maasai Lodge is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. Located just a few minutes from Rongai, Maasai Lodge has a view of Nairobi National Park that will bring tears to your eyes. Visit: Maasai Lodge
56. Silole Sanctuary
This is a small sanctuary that can be accessed through Magadi Road at the Maasai Lodge. When you visit this sanctuary, you have a chance to walk amongst the Impala and Warthogs from the Nairobi National Park. Visit: Silole Sanctuary
57. Villa Rosa, Kempinski
Without a doubt, one of the most spectacular places you can stay in while in the city of Nairobi. Located 7km from Nairobi, beautifully built and designed, Kempinski is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit for vacation. Visit: Villa Rosa
58. Nakuru Town
If you travel a little inland, you will find a town called Nakuru. This is about two hours from Nairobi. It is one of the fastest growing metropolis in the country. Nakuru has an amazing atmosphere, a beautiful environment and a jumping nightlife.
59. Lord Egerton Castle
Built by a British settler known as Lord Egerton, this castle is a marvel that can be found just outside of Nakuru. For a small fee, you can have a guided tour of the place so you can see how rich settlers used to live.
60. Menengai Crater
Menengai Crater stands at 2,490m high. It is known as the second largest volcanic crater in the world, still standing. The trek up there is very scenic and is considered a hikers haven.
61. Kisumu City
Kisumu is Kenya’s inland answer to Mombasa. It is a Lake basin town that offers the same kind of weather, some beaches and a host of tourist attraction. Once you are done with Mombasa, you can travel inland towards Kisumu and see what else the country has to offer. Visit: Kisumu
62. Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Only 0.4 square KM’s, the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is a haven for capture problem animals. It has a host of Impala, two olive baboons, one spotted hyena, two leopards, and quite a number of vervet monkeys that are held in captivity. Visit: Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
63. Kisumu Museum
You cannot really go wrong with museums, can you? The Kisumu Museum is one of the most informative hubs within the city. Those who are interested in learning a bit of Kenya’s heritage a little something about the Luo heritage should make a point to visit. Visit: Kisumu Museum
64. Ndere Island National Park
This is a small island in ‘Winam gulf’ of Lake Victoria. It is a haven for bird watchers, and a gives visitors a chance to take several boat rides. The one outstanding thing about this national park is that it is generally red in colour. This is because of the grown Themeda grass that is reddish in colour when grown. Visit: Ndere Island National Park
65. Dunga Hill Camp
This is the perfect camping site in Kisumu City. Not only do you have a chance to camp under the clear blue skies above Kisumu, but you can also go out into the lake using Kayaks. So, if you are feeling a little sporty, this is just the right camping site for you. Visit: Dunga Hill Camp
66. Kit Mikayi
Best known as an 80ft weeping rock, Kit Mikayi has a host of myths surrounding it. Not only is it enchanting to look at, but you will have a blast listening to the locals tell stories that surround the rock.
67. Kiboko Bay Resort
This is one of the best locations to visit and stay while in Kisumu. It provides you with a wonderful view of the Lake, some memorable sunsets and the accommodation is absolutely world class. Visit: Kiboko Bay Resort
68. Eldoret Town
Kenya is best known for its wonderful Safaris and it’s world champion athletes. Eldoret town is where most of them come from. It is a relatively small town compared to Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru. But this small town has a nightlife that will drive you crazy. It is absolutely jumping. Visit: Eldoret Town
69. The Great Rift Valley
Touring Kenya’s inland means that you get to see most of the attractions in the country. The Great Rift Valley is one of the most beautiful sites in the whole country. You can best see the Rift Valley from a smaller town called, Iten. This is only a few kilometres from Eldoret.
70. Mt. Elgon
Kenya has a host of mountains and ranges. Mt. Elgon is in Kitale, in the Western part of the country. Although, Mt. Elgon isn’t nearly as tall as Mt. Kenya, nor does it have snow-capped peaks, the mountain has amazing flora and fauna to call its own. It presents some of the best nature trails and a challenge to anyone looking to test their mountain climbing skills.
As a country, Kenya has a whole lot more to offer the world. These are just 70 of the best attractions in all of Kenya. Should you take the time and pleasure to travel and see them all, you will see that this truly is paradise on earth.
At 4,986m (16,358ft) above sea level, this extinct volcano is the second-highest mountain in Africa. The Mountain Club of Kenya runs mountain huts and publishes guides for climbers. Even if you don’t climb to the upper slopes, it is worth spending time on the forested lower slopes below the ice-capped peak, where interesting wildlife abounds.
This distinctive volcano, which last erupted in the 1860s, rises dramatically above the Rift Valley floor, and its slopes can be ascended in around 90 minutes. Allow another hour for the descent, and 3-4 hours if you want to walk around the rim of the perfect volcanic crater.
Nairobi National Park, only 8km (5 miles) from the city centre, is Kenya’s oldest national park. Today, it still looks much as it did in the early photographs – wild, undulating pasture – and supports most of East Africa’s best known wildlife, including lion, rhino, giraffe, buffalo and zebra (but not elephant).
Kenya’s most popular game park is named after the Maasai tribe, who migrated south from the Nile Valley in the 17th century. A northern extension to Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains, it is one of the best places in Africa for seeing lion, cheetah and leopard, but is most famous for the annual wildebeest migration and dramatic crossing of the crocodile-infested Mara River.
Visitors can choose between scuba-diving, snorkelling, sailing, water-skiing, swimming or surfing along Kenya’s coral coast. The most popular resorts near Mombasa include Bamburi, Kikambala, Kilifi, Malindi, Nyali and the 10km- (6-mile) long, dazzlingly white Diani Beach. Another good base for watersports is the Rift Valley lake of Naivasha, about 1.5 hours drive from Nairobi.
Set on a picturesque offshore island close to the Somali border, Lamu is a charming old Swahili city and UNESCO World Heritage Site with many historic mosques and fine old Arab houses replete with impressive carved wooden doors. Highlights of the town include the Lamu Museum, the Swahili House Museum and the Fortress.
The only rainforest in Kenya, this lovely spot near the Ugandan border is arguably the prime birdwatching site in the country, thanks to the presence of several dozen forest species found nowhere else in the country. For non-birders, the shady forest paths and plentiful monkeys still offer lots of charm.
Boasting a dramatic setting in the Rift Valley, this park is dominated by a lake whose edges are frequently home to hundreds of thousands of pink flamingos. It is also one of Kenya’s best rhino sanctuaries, supporting high concentrations of both black and white rhino, and you may spot a leopard in the giant yellowwood acacia trees.
Watch baby elephants play at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, an important sanctuary where orphaned elephants are hand-reared before being released back into the wild. Bordering Nairobi National Park, the sanctuary is also home to several orphaned rhinos, and is an important player in the fight against poaching.
Spend an evening afloat on a romantic dhow (traditional Arab sailing boat), feasting on delicious seafood and watching the moon rise over Mombasa’s old harbour. Lunchtime or dinner cruises are available on these beautiful floating restaurants, and some even have space for dancing on the deck.
Enjoy this coastal city’s Swahili flavour in the Old Town, with its narrow, crowded streets; watch the sailing dhows in the Old Harbour and catch the sound and light show at Fort Jesus, which was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century and is now a museum.
Discover a recent conservation success where former farmland has been opened up as game sanctuaries and stocked with big game including the Big Five: elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard. The old farmsteads here have been converted into delightful, luxurious accommodations. This vast wilderness area remains largely underexplored by tourists.
Situated on the shores of Lake Naivasha, the former home of Joy Adamson (of Born Free fame) is now a museum and conservation research centre. Set in grounds teeming with birds – and home to a group of handsome colobus monkeys – Elsamere also serves excellent high tea.
Biashara Street is a great place to buy traditional kikoy and khanga clothing. Makupa Market, off Mwembe Tayari, is the main city market. Serious souvenir shoppers should also head for the Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Village, where disabled men and women produce high-quality leatherwork, jewellery and other crafts.
Situated a short distance from the main highway between Nairobi and Mombasa, this small private sanctuary bordering the vast Tsavo National Park doubles as a luxury hotel and well-positioned hide, overlooking a salt lick and a waterhole that frequently attracts aggregations of a hundred or more elephants.
The 392sq km (151sq mile) Amboseli National Park lies at the base of snow-capped Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. Wildlife includes lion, cheetah, wildebeest, hippo and gazelle, but the park is most famous for the large herds of elephant attracted by the perennial swamps. Bird-watching is popular, and visitors can learn about the local Maasai people through homestead visits.
In the barren northern reaches of Kenya, Lake Turkana is a strange and beautiful oasis, known to locals as the Jade Sea due to its size and striking colour. The lake provides great fishing, while its islands have healthy crocodile and hippo populations. The semi-nomadic Turkana tribe are just as interesting as the lake itself.
Float over great herds of game in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Hour-long excursions set off at dawn and end with champagne breakfasts. Almost all the lodges in the reserve offer this experience, which gives ballooners the chance to see the wildebeest migration from the air between July and September.
Browse the ethnographic and archaeological exhibits of the National Museum, which lies within walking distance of the city centre. And then head out to the suburban Karen Blixen Museum, which occupies the farmhouse made famous by the nominal author’s book, Out of Africa. The Nairobi Railway Museum also covers an important chapter of the city’s history.
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