Kenya is the most popular and diverse country in East Africa. With its culture, history, hospitality, monuments, and amazing landscapes, Kenya has it all.
It is one of the few destinations where you can enjoy ultimate safari experience, hike on the hills, or chill on silvery sand beaches without spending big.
Here is what to see and do in Kenya
Visit the major cities
When you visit Kenya, you land in the capital city of Nairobi. It is a fast-paced city riddled with thrilling experiences and lots of options to discover. Among the things to see in Nairobi include:
- David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
This is a non-profit trust launched in 1977 after the passing on of David Sheldrick, who was an anti-poaching warden at Tsavo National Park. Alongside his wife, Daphne, they established the practices of raising orphaned elephants and black rhinos and reintroducing them unto the wild. The trust works closely with the Tsavo, despite it being stationed in Nairobi.
- Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park offers one of the most accessible but incongruous safari experience you will ever come across. The national park is located on the southern outskirts of Nairobi and only measures 117 square kilometers, making it one of the smallest national parks in Africa. It has an abundance of animals that can be viewed against the city skyline. The Nairobi National Park is one of the few national parks in the world that borders a capital city.
- National Museum
Visit the National Museum to learn a thing or two about the history and culture of Kenyan people. There are lots of natural-history exhibits as well as life-size fiberglass model of pachyderm luminary Ahmed, the gigantic elephant that becomes popular in the height of the poaching crisis of the 1980s. The elephant was placed under the 24-hour guard by the then president Jomo Kenyatta.
The permanent collection of the museum can be viewed at the Hall of Kenya and features some ethnological exhibits including a fascinating Kalenjin cloak made of skins of Sykes Monkeys as well as a mosaic map of the country made from the butterflies.
In another room, you will the Bird of East Africa exhibit, a massive gallery of not less than 900 stuffed specimens. Adjacent to Brid of East Africa is the Great Hall of Mammals where you will find dozens of other stuffed specimens.
Visit the Cradle of Humankind exhibition and the Hominid Skull Room for the astonishing collection of skulls. Upstairs, you will find the Historia Ya Kenya (History of Kenya), where you will find the display of the Kenyan as well as the East African history.
- Giraffe Center
Giraffe Center protects the highly endangered species Rothschild’s giraffe. You can watch, feed, and even kiss one of the giraffes from a raised structure. Other animals such as warthogs can also be spotted in the centre. Visitors can also take a self-guided forest walk through the Gogo River Bird Sanctuary.
- Karen Blixen’s House & Museum
This is where the author Karen Blixen lived from 1914 to 1931. The colonial house is well-preserved as a museum, and its expansive gardens offer a great setting for wandering around.
The city of Mombasa is the second-largest city in Kenya and as well as the largest and busiest port in East Africa. There are plenty of options for visitors in Mombasa including the historic Fort Jesus, the Old Town, and the beautiful beaches. Here are things to do and see in Mombasa.
- Wander around the Old Town
The Mombasa Old Town is known for its ancient Arabic influence, old structures, and fascinating architecture with amazing art designs that will send you back in the 15th century
- Explore Fort Jesus
The Fort Jesus was built by Vasco Da Gama in 1593 but later captured by the Arabs who used it as a torture room and prison cell where slaves were kept as they wait to be shipped overseas. Today, Fort Jesus is a museum open to the public every day. Visitors can also make a reservation for dinner accompanied by some sound and light show.
- Visit Haller Park
Haller Park used to be called Bamburi Nature Trails and today, it is an ideal place for a leisure walk, cycling, or jogging. There are plenty of options to choose from including Reptile Park, Game Sanctuary, Butterfly Sanctuary as well as bird watching.
- Check Nguuni Nature Sanctuary Adventures
Visit Nguuni Nature Sanctuary Adventures for fun activities such as enjoying a cold drink around a campfire while marveling at the majestic sunset. This reserve has giraffes, waterbucks, ostriches, and different bird species to watch as you enjoy a barbeque.
- Mamba Village Tour
Mamba Village is among the largest crocodile farms in East Africa. Situated in Nyali, the farm organizes daily tours and offer a separate playground for the little ones to enjoy if they get bored. It is a perfect weekend getaway for a whole family. If you feel that courageous, try feeding the reptiles!
Beaches in Kenya
Kenya’s shore is dotted with amazing tropical beaches, some of which were voted one of eh most beautiful in beaches in the world.
Starting with the most famous beach in East Africa, Diani Beach is surrounded by lush vegetation, and along with its powdery sand and turquoise water, gives it an extraordinary look. There is also plenty of accommodation along the beach, including hotels, resorts and honeymoon tree houses. For watersport lovers, check out the Colobus Conservation.
Sitting adjacent to Watamu, Malindi beach is sometimes referred by the locals as ‘Little Italy” due to a population of Italians here. Visitors can snorkel scuba dive, waterski or deep-sea fish all year round.
Lamu Island is known for dhows. The locals even hold annual dhow competition. Dhows are the common and cheapest means of transportation on the island and are used to ferry people from Lamu to Manda Island, Shela beach, as well as other places such as Kiwayu Island near the Kiunga Marine National Reserve.
Other Activities in the Countryside
Paraglide over the Kerio Valley
Kerio Valley clings on the edge of the Kerio Valley Escarpment in the Great Rift Valley across the Tugen Hills. Here, you will find the Lake Kamnarok in Rimoi Game Reserve where you can paraglide over the scenic valley. This activity is not for faint-hearted though.
Kerio Valley Hotel offers great accommodation and food accompanied by amazing views.
Climb Mount Kenya
If you are a seasoned mountaineer, Mount Kenya offers an entirely different challenge. Located about 138 kilometers from the city of Nairobi, there are numerous routes to get to the summit, including the Sirimon route in Nanyuki and Naromoru in Naromoru. Alternatively, you can use the Chogoria route in Chogoria town.
National Museum: Francisco Anzola
Karen Blixen’s House & Museum: Rod Waddington