15/11/2022
Things to Do in Kenya: The Top 15 Must-See Tourist Attractions

An award-winning safari destination, Kenya has a bounty of riches with an array of attractions from the Great Wildebeest Migration in the heart of Maasai Mara National Reserve to thrilling adventures out on the Indian Ocean. Whether your’re a family looking for a breathtaking balloon safari or a couple interested in relaxing on the beautiful Swahili Coast, on a Kenyan safari vacation there is an adventure for everyone.

While there are many things to see in Kenya, we have shortlisted a few must-see Kenya attractions in the handy list below:

1. Witness the Great Migration in Masai Mara

The great wildebeest migration, one of the world’s greatest spectacles, is one of Kenya’s amazing highlights Every year, an estimated 2 million wildebeest, 300,000 zebras, 600,000 gazelles and other antelope species migrate between Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains in the search for fresh grazing. This unique event attracts visitors from all over the world. In order to witness this remarkable event in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, you have to plan a trip between July and August, when the large herds of game animals are feasting on the Masai Mara’s vegetation before they head back to the Serengeti around September.

Recommended Safari: The Great Migration Safari

2. Have Breakfast at Giraffe Manor

Located in Nairobi’s Langata suburb, Giraffe Manor is one of the most iconic buildings in Kenya. The historic manor house has an extraordinary interior, charming courtyards, sunny terraces, and lush gardens. And to top it all off, at Giraffe Manor, visitors can have the delightful experience of having breakfast with Rothschild’s giraffes that live in the nearby forest sanctuary. These giraffes visit the manor house in the morning, poking their heads into the large windows in a bid to find food as you enjoy your breakfast!

Recommended Safari: Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage & Giraffe Centre Day Trip

3. Foster Orphaned Elephants at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

David Sheldrick Animal Orphanage, owned by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, is a conservation, rescue, and rehabilitation program for Kenya’s elephant orphans. The trust also has anti-poaching teams that protect these elephants from illegal hunters. Visiting the David Sheldrick Animal Orphanageis a heartwarming and memorable experience where you can contribute to helping these abandoned elephant orphans by sponsoring a baby elephant.

Recommended Safari: Kenya Luxury Experience

4. Climb Mount Kenya

The highest mountain in Kenya, Mount Kenya, has three climbing routes: Sirimon, Naro Moru, and Chogoria. It takes an experienced climber around 4-6 days to reach the top, Point Lenana. The Sirmon route, best for acclimatisation, is considered the least challenging route. For a more scenic route, pick the Chogoria route, which offers them spectacular views of Mugi Hills, Temple Cliffs, Lake Ellis, Giant’s Table, Gorges Valley, Nithi Falls, and Lake Michaelson, while the Naro Moru route is the fastest route to reach Mount Kenya’s Point Lenana.

Recommended Safari: 5 Days Mount Kenya Climbing Adventure>

5. Explore Hell’s Gate National Park by Bike

Located south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, Hell’s Gate National Park is a popular park due to its proximity to Nairobi. It’s known for its spectacular rock formations, towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, and volcanoes, as well as its wildlife which is smaller in number but varied and interesting. As there are no dangerous animals such as elephants and lions in this park, you can explore by  bike and on foot. In addition, visitors can also go rock climbing and then find solace in the park’s natural spa.

Recommended Safari: Kenya Wildlife Tour

6. Shop at the Nairobi Maasai Market

The vibrant Maasai Market is a treat for the eyes, from its colourful paintings, clothes, and fabrics to its beautiful handmade crafts. It is a perfect place for visitors to purchase souvenirs and gifts. The location of the market is flexible since the market moves around, and it does not gather on Monday. However, on Tuesdays, you can find it at Kijabe Street opposite the Norfolk Hotel, on Wednesdays, near the airport at the Capital Centre on Mombasa Road, Thursdays at the Shopping Mall Nakumatt Junction and on Fridays, at the upper car park in Gigiri. On Saturdays, head to the area behind the Hilton Hotel at the high court parking lot in the city centre and on Sundays, you can wander around it at Hurlingham’s Yaya Centre.

Recommended Safari: Tanzanian Family Adventure

7. Go on a Boat Ride at Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha, a freshwater lake and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya, is ideal for game viewing and bird watching by boat. You can set off on a boat safari on Lake Naivasha, watching the passing wildlife on your way to Crescent Island Game Sanctuary,one of Kenya’s underrated gems. On the return boat journey, there might be the opportunity to witness an amazing view with the beautiful setting sun.

Recommended Safari: 6 Days Maasai Mara, Amboseli and Lake Naivasha Safari

8. Take a Dhow Trip to Wasini Islan

At Diani Beach, on Kenya’s beautiful coast, you can jump aboard traditional dhow boats out to Wasini Island in the stunning Indian Ocean, about 3 km from the coast. Before reaching the island, there’s an  opportunity to go snorkelling to see the reef, while the island itself is small (7 km x 3 km) with scenic beaches and no cars or bicycles.

Recommended Safari: 14-Day Kenyan Beach Safari

9. Go Snorkelling at Kisite Marine Park

Located on the southern coast of Kenya and south of Wasini Island, the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park has some of the world’s most spectacular marine life, including dolphins, octopuses, clams, rays, green sea turtles, moray eels, barracuda and angel fish. Apart from marine life, the park also has a stunning underwater kingdom with sculpted islands and living coral gardens, where snorkelling can witness a bounty of marine life hiding within the coral reefs.

Recommended Safari: Beach and Wildlife Safari

10. See the Hot Springs at Lake Bogoria

An alkaline lake south of Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria has many attractions, including lesser flamingos that can be seen all over the lake between August and October. Apart from the stunning site of the flamingo blanket over the lake, you also have the chance to see another popular hot spot, the naturally occurring geysers and hot springs.

Recommended Safari: 7-Day Aberdare, Bogoria, Naivasha and Masai Mara

11. Float over the Masai Mara on a Balloon Safari

One of the most extraordinary ways to enjoy the wide expanse of the spectacular Maasai Mara National Reserve is to take a hot air balloon safari. The aerial view of the wildlife and the landscape below is incredible and  gives a fresh perspective as you quietly float along soaking up the scenery and bird’s eye views, creating unforgettable memories. After landing, enjoy a champagne celebration in the bush.

Recommended Safari: 5-Day Kenya Game Parks Safari

12. Experience Camping in the Maasai Mara

Although a luxury safari has its own benefits, a camping trip is much closer to traditional African safaris. After spending the day exploring  the Masai Mara National Reserve, taking in its diverse wildlife, you will spend the nights at one of the Masai Mara’s safari camps, such as Miti Mingi Eco Camp. Here visitors stay in self-contained tents that come with amenities including showers, and private toilets. Enjoy the camping tradition of sitting around the campfire in the evening, telling stories, sharing experiences and spotting stars.

Recommended Safari: 3-Day Maasai Mara Camping Safari

13. Go Horse or Camel riding at Loisaba Conservancy

Loisaba Conservancy, a wildlife conservancy and working ranch, is owned by the Loisaba Community Trust, located in Laikipia in Northern Kenya. Here you can stay in a luxury safari camp and enjoy the range of optional activities. Try your hand at fishing in the local river, head out on a horse or camel ride into the bush, a unique way to experience the wilderness, or for the more energetic, explore on a mountain bike.

Recommended Safari: Kenya Swift Safari

14. Enjoy Adventure Sports at Diani Beach

Diani Beach on the Swahili Coast has many adventures and ways to experience the beautiful Indian Ocean and its marine life. Enjoy dhow trips, dolphin sightings, diving and snorkelling; discover its marine life, such as the whale shark, a unique carpet shark species seen in the water surrounding Diani Beach; or participate in thrilling activities such as kite surfing. For land-based activities, head to the golf course for a round or take to the air for skydiving.

Recommended Safari: 7 Days Nairobi, Amboseli, Tsavo East & Diani Beach Safari

15. Experience a Birding Safari

Kenya is home to over 1,000 diverse bird species, including rare treasures such as African Grey Parrot, Abbott’s Starling, Papyrus Gonolek, Great Blue Turaco, and Sharpe’s Longclaw. Kenyan national parks and reserves offer plenty of bird viewing opportunities, with some, such as Aberdare National Park, Buffalo Spring National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park,  and Samburu National Reserve, being the ultimate spots to see birds.

Recommended Safari: 9-Day Kenya Ornithological Safari

In conclusion:

Kenya has some truly exceptional attractions. So far, we have seen at least 15 of the best things to do in Kenya. In this list, we have also shared relevant safari packages to make it easier for you to find the appropriate tour. You can also find more Kenyan Adventures with Our Guide to the Top 10 Kenya Safari Holiday Tours.

About author

MD and Co-Founder. Born in Zimbabwe, Robin has a long history in Africa, and safaris in general, from running lodges to marketing. He is always on the look out for new ideas and products from around the safari world.

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