Places to Visit in Kenya

Places to Visit in Kenya: Kenya is a beautiful nation with numerous places to visit for any tourist whether on business or just on a tour and can be accessed easily, Some of the best places to visit include;

1. Masai Mara

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

People come to the Mara to see the amazing variety of animals roaming free in the wild. The big 5 (leopard, lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo) are all here, as are a whole host of incredible creatures including giraffe, zebra, antelopes of all shapes and sizes, aardvark, hyena, ostrich, hyrax,wild dog, warthog and so many more. The Masai Mara is also famous for the beautiful nomadic tribes people. Here you will see the Masai people in their traditional bright red blankets and multicoloured beaded jewellery. You can see inside their traditional homes and learn what it’s like to live in harmony with nature. Between July and October, don’t miss one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world, when over a million wildebeest, migrate into the Maasai Mara as from Tanzania as they leap and swim across the Mara river desperately trying to avoid the snapping jaws of crocodiles who lay in wait!

2. The Coast

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

The Kenyan Coast is a perfect place to relax in style; with palm fringed beaches and the warm Indian ocean lapping against the shore. This is an exotic location and an exciting place to be, perfect for diving, snorkeling, big game fishing and a whole host of water sports, or if you need to unwind this tropical paradise is just for a place to relax and sunbathe. The coral reefs and marine parks are home to colourful fish and dolphins, even whales are sometimes seen. A vibrant historical past, also makes the Swalhili culture and architecture of the region an interesting place to visit.

3. Samburu

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

Samburu Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves are found in the north of Kenya. This is a hot, arid region with acacia woodland reserves. Here you can see different varieties of rare and endangered animals not seen in other parks, such as the long necked gerenuk (an antelope which stands on two legs to eat) reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, and Beisa Oryx. There are also many elephant, cheetah and leopard. Birdlife is plentiful with large flocks of guinea fowl seen and the pygmy falcon and sandgrouse frequently seen. Traditional Samburu homesteads are interesting to visit with these tall, regal people dressed in colourful attire.

4. Lake Nakuru

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

This is a rewarding place to do game-viewing as it’s the place to see large numbers of Rhino and the thousands of flamingos who congregate at the alkaline lake here all year round. Other animals such as pelicans, leopard (commonly seen) giraffe, lion, bat-eared fox, hippo, hyena etc are all there too. The lake is picturesque and has varied terrain with acacia forest, cliff top views, open savannah and the lake where you can get out and walk and see the flamingos and pelicans close up.

5. Lake Naivasha

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

Only an hours drive from Nairobi, Naivasha conjures up images of the 1940’s Happy Valley set (“White Mischief”) where the colonial upper classes became famous for their decadent lifestyle. The yellow fever trees, line the shoreline of the lake, and this attractive part of Kenya is a good place to be close to nature. There are various outings and things to do, including a visit to Crescent Island where you can walk in safety among wild but non dangerous animals, climb Mount Longanot (2886m), visit the geothermal Project In Hells Gate National Park or have tea at Elsamere which was the home of Elsa the lion. Boat rides on the lake will let you take in the fresh air and semi submerged hippos and soaring fish eagles. The range of accommodation in and around Naivasha ranges from swanky 5 star hotels to self catering cottages or even a private ranch with it’s own airstrip.

 6. Amboseli

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

Amboseli is famous for its dramatic scenery and breathtaking views of the African grasslands. The snow capped mountain – Kilimanjaro, creates a spectacular setting for gam e viewing and with a third of the park taken up by Lake Amboseli it’s swampy areas and riverine forest, contrast beautifully with the dry desert areas in the rest of the national park. You should expect to see plenty of elephant (some of the largest elephants in Africa are seen here). They make great photos in front of a backdrop of snow-capped Kilimanjaro with a dark tropical rainstorm, a colourful sunset or just a clear blue African sky. You will also have a good chance of seeing hippos, crocodiles, and lion well as the other antelopes, birds and small mammals commonly seen elsewhere.

7. Mount Kenya

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

Mount Kenya is t he second highest mountain in Africa standing at (5199m). Fewer people climb here than Kilimanjaro, but those who do, usually rate it as a more interesting climb. It’s has tremendously varied zones of vegetation and scenery as you climb; from the acacia studied plains, lush moorlands, moving up to a barren alpine zone covered in snow and finally the craggy summit. It’s toughness and beauty have gripped the imagination of adventurers for more than a century. Even for climbers with experience in mountaineering, Mount Kenya offers a challenge and a natural beauty that is difficult to beat.

8. Lamu

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

Lamu and it’s surrounding villages and islands, have an appeal that many find irresistible! This picturesque Swahili town with it’s quaint narrow streets and absence of cars, epitomizes the slow, gentle way of life in this part of the world. It’s relaxed rhythm and charm, makes other quiet places on the east coast seem like sizzling metropolises! After flying in, the usual way to arrive is to sail across to Lamu by dhow (a locally made sailing boat). There are various places to stay from lovely Swahili houses with rooftop patios overlooking the sea, to hotels with pools and all mod cons. The Lamu Archipelago includes some very beautiful uninhabited islands and exclusive very upmarket destinations visited by rockstars and royalty.

Places to Visit in Kenya
Places to Visit in Kenya

9. Tsavo

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

Tsavo is the largest Gamepark in Kenya and it’s close proximity to the coast make it a popular safari destination. It’s diverse landscapes range from mountains, plains, lakes, wooded grasslands, scrubland with enormous baobab trees to river forest. The vast openness, make it easy to imagine that this unspoiled wilderness was probably how all of East Africa once looked. You’ll see many elephant, the big 5 and a whole host of other animals and birds. Mzima Springs is an oasis in Tsavo West, and has nature walks, an underwater viewing chamber, hippo pools and rapids making this an interesting place to visit. Black lava outcrops at Shetani are also interesting as are the caves and Chaimu crater nearby.

10. The Aberdares

Category: Places to Visit in Kenya

This highland area will give you a slightly cooler experience in one of Kenya’s only virgin forest reserves. Dramatic waterfalls and deep valleys, contrast with the undulating moorlands and volcanic outcrops. The bird life is rich, and although there aren’t as many animals to see in comparison to some of the other game-parks, there is still plenty to see. A stay at the treehouse hotels – “Treetops” or “The Ark” will let you see a fair number of animals wandering down to the adjacent waterholes and perhaps you’ll see bush babies and civit and genet cats which are baited each night and come within meters from guests at the bar!

Things to do in Kenya

Rock climbing: Fischer’s Tower – Hell’s Gate National Park

Category: Things to do in Kenya

You don’t need much, if any, rock-climbing experience to scale Fischer’s Tower, the main attraction in Hell’s Gate National Park. Simply pitch up, pay a very modest fee, and the obliging climbing guide will fit you up with ropes, shoes and the other tricks of the trade. And then he/she will teach you how to climb this 25m-high jagged volcanic plug.

All that remains of an ancient volcano, the rock is named after the German explorer, Gustav Fischer, who passed this way in 1883. According to local Maasai tradition, the rock is the petrified figure of a chief’s daughter who turned around against the dictates of tradition to take one last look at her home before leaving to be married.

Be warned, however, while making the climb, you are likely to come face to face with the elephant’s closest relative – the diminutive and very inquisitive rock hyrax, a colony of which have made the rock their home. Hell’s Gate National Park is 100km north of Nairobi and immediately adjacent to Lake Naivasha.

For more information visit: Hell’s Gate National Park

Horseracing: Ngong Racecourse

Category: Things to do in Kenya

For a relaxed, colourful and typically ‘Nairobi’ day out, you can’t beat the classic ‘day at the races’. Ngong Racecourse and Golf Park has been rated as one of the most beautiful in the world, standing as it does in the lee of the famous Ngong Hills of ‘Out of Africa’ fame. It is also Africa’s most venerable. Horseracing first began in Kenya in 1904 when Somali ponies were raced around a track in the, then, little town of Machakos.

Thoroughbred racing began in Nairobi in 1914, and apart from the interruption caused by two world wars, has continued ever since. Run by the Jockey Club of Kenya, the Ngong track is a classic ‘British Oval’ 2,400m in circumference with a 1,200m ‘straight’.

An average of 25 race meetings are held annually on alternate Sundays. Easily the most famous race is the Kenyan Derby, which is held in April. Interestingly the track has also been used for ostrich racing.

Zip-Lining: Kereita Forest

Category: Things to do in Kenya

Kenya is home to some of the last remaining stands of primeval forests on earth, and to get a bird’s eye view of them you might like to try out some zip-lining.

If so, head for The Forest, an extreme sports centre less than hour’s drive outside Nairobi where you can zip-up your adrenalin on East Africa’s longest zip-line tour, which jumps across a series of forested hills with a combined length of 2,200 metres.

The Forest also offers the madness of paint balling and the rather more calming sport of archery.

For further information visitKereita Forest

Jump off a Cliff: Ngare Ndare Forest

Category: Things to do in Kenya

Well yes, you can: literally. Amid the leafy green vaults of the magical Ngare Ndare Forest, you can (with supervision) jump off a cliff into a rock pool, swing across a rope bridge above wallowing elephants, go rock climbing, or throw yourself into a canyon. Or you can simply go for a walk amid 200-year-old African olive and red cedar trees. An ecological stronghold, the Ngare Ndare Forest stands at the foot of Mount Kenya.

Climb a Volcano Mountain: Mount Longonot

Category: Things to do in Kenya

‘The scene was of such an astounding character that I was completely fascinated and felt under an almost irresistible impulse madly to plunge into the fearful chasm’.

So spoke the famous African explorer, Joseph Thomson as he made the first recorded ascent to the rim of Mount Longonot in 1884. The mightiest of the Rift Valley volcanoes, Longonot towers some 2,776 metres above the waters of bewitching Lake Naivasha.

As to climbing it – there is a well-defined track that leads, in around 45 minutes of steep scrambling, to the rim. Once on top, you can either absorb the view – which is a stunner, encompassing both the distant Aberdares Range and the Mau Escarpment – or you can strike off around the rim, the entire circuit of which takes around 3 hours.

Technically dormant, but better described as ‘senile’, Longonot is a relatively young volcano, having been formed within the last 400-600 years. And, while seemingly peaceful, only several thousand meters below its surface the ground water seethes at an incredible 304°C (one of the hottest temperatures on earth).

Much of this energy has now been harnessed to the nearby Olkaria Geothermal Project in Hell’s Gate National Park, but the hot thermals rising above the mountain still have sufficient power to deflect the path of light aircraft flying overhead. Longonot stands within its own national park, 90km northwest of Nairobi.

For further information visit: Mount Longonot National Park

Paragliding: Kerio Valley

Category: Things to do in Kenya

For the ultimate in paragliding experiences, you have to head for the Kerio Valley. A forgotten Eden with seemingly perpetual blue skies, the Kerio Valley is a seldom-visited and exquisitely beautiful gem.

A branch of its more famous cousin, the Great Rift Valley, the Kerio Valley drops a spectacular 1,219 metres between the Tugen Hills and the Elgeyo Escarpment. 80km long and only 10km at its widest, on its upper slopes is a tangle of semi-tropical vegetation; in its sweltering bottom there’s only dry bush, elephant, buffalo, the meanderings of the crocodile-packed Kerio River and the beautiful oval of Lake Kamnarok.

A typical paraglide will last a couple of hours and cover ten kilometres – but during that time you can look down on Tiati, the sacred mountain of the Pokot people, the ancient Neolithic furrows of the enigmatic Sirikwa people and the shimmering heat and dust of the Rimoi Game Reserve – which is probably Kenya’s wildest. And if paragliding is a little too edgy for you – the Kerio Valley also offers trekking, hiking and mountain biking.

The Kerio Valley is 500 kms from Nairobi.

Places to Visit in Kenya – Video