Top 30 things to do in Kenya on your safari
Kenya is rated among the tops spectacular safari destinations in the word, offering a wide variety of activities to engage in and explore which include its endless miles of white sand beaches on the coast, the rich diversity of wildlife including the big five, the verdant green vegetations and then the arid desert irrespective of your preferences, you will certainly find something fulfilling in this amazing destination. Below we have highlighted the top 30 things to do in Kenya on your safari.
- Climb Mount Kenya
Mt. Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa and rises above 17,000 feet above the sea level. It offers less crowded mountaineering trails compared to the highest Mountain – Kilimanjaro found in Tanzania. There are guided safaris conducted on this mountain and it usually takes about 5 days to make a round trip. The mountain offers three different trails to be followed by mountaineers
- Watch the annual Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara
From the month of July to October millions of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles enter the Masai Mara reserve from the adjacent plains of Serengeti. This natural wildlife spectacle takes place every year and the migrating heard is usually followed by several predators including lions offering tourist a very remarkable game viewing opportunity. The migration can be watched while on horseback riding safaris, game drives, walking safaris and helicopter rides
- Explorer Diani Beach and enjoy the beautiful African sun
Diani is known as one of the best and most spectacular beaches along the east African coasts. it extends over 11 miles offering holidaymakers white fine sand to enjoy different beach activities. The water is clean and warm so tourists can enjoy various activities such as jet skiing kite surfing, snorkeling and skydiving. On the beachfront are various luxury resorts, fine bars and restaurants that offer scrumptious meals.
- Climb Mount Elgon
Kenya has a number of spectacular mountains and mount ranges among which is Mount Elgon located in the western region of the country on the border of Kenya with Uganda within Kitale. Unlike Mt. Kenya, Mt. Elgon does not have a snow capped summit nor is it as high as the former; however it has a very unique flora and fauna and offers one of the very challenging mountain climbing trails in the east African region.
- Adopt an orphan elephant
Just on the outskirts of the capital city -Nairobi is The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which for several years has saved a very large number of elephants from different close-to-death scenarios. In addition to the baby elephants a blind rhino that was named Maxwell is among the survivors that this trust has saved and nurtured. The pioneers of this trust David together with Daphne sheldrick founded it in 1977.
- The Great Rift
The Great Rift Valley is among the most spectacular natural features you will find inland of Kenya. One of the best sites to see the rift valley is in Iten town located a couple of kilometers from Eldoret.
- Explore Lamu archipelago
On the northern coast of Kenya is Lamu Island which will offer you the perfect throwback and true experience of the ancient coastal Swahili culture. This Island has one of the largest number of traditional dhows which are the main means of sailing there offering transport between the East African mainland, the Middle East as well as India. You will have an opportunity to watch the sunset while riding in a traditional door as you explore this beautiful Island. Many holidaymakers visit this beautiful Island to engage in snorkeling as well as visit the Takwa ruins found on Manda Island nearby.
- Visit the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Covering an area of less than one square kilometer, the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary is home for rescued animals. It is located on the shores of lake Victoria and is home to several Impalas, a few olive baboons, a spotted hyena, several vervet monkeys and two leopards. some of the animals are free ranging while the rest are in captivity.
- Explore the natural Forest reserve
This remarkable forest offers amazing trails during which you’ll be able to encounter different species of indigenous plants and animals as well as see small waterfalls and the calm Rivers. It is a highly recommended place for holidaymakers particularly those interested in Mother Nature. This is among the key projects of wangari maathai – the first female to win a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2004)
- Explore Lord Egerton Castle
This spectacular castle was built by a British settler Lord Egerton, and it is located outside of the town of Nakuru. guided tour are conducted here at a small cost during which tourists will get an opportunity to see the kind of life the rich early settlers used to live in this part of the world.
- Visit the giraffe center
About 20 kilometers from the city center of Nairobi is the giraffe center where you get an opportunity to have an up close encounter of the giraffes – the tallest mammals on land. At the center you will play, feed and if Lucky get a kiss from these amazing animals
- Arabuko-Sokoke National Forest
This is the largest original coastal forest in the whole of East Africa. It is home to a large diversity of unusual animals in addition to 260 different types of bird. The bushy-tailed mongoose, Ader’s duiker, golden-rumped elephant and shrews are some of the animals you ill encounter here; enjoy a picnic at the nice picnic spot in this forest park.
- Visit the Karen Blixen cottages and coffee garden
When you read about the history of this beautiful country, you will not fail to come across the name Karen Blixen. She was one of the early white settlers who lived in this country that fought for the rights of the local Kenyan people against the oppressive colonial forces at the time. Kenya is a country decided to honor her great works and named a whole suburb after her. On your tour you will be able to visit the coffee garden as well as the beautiful cottages.
- Dolphin spotting in Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
Kisite-Mpunguti is a marine park found south of Wasini. It offers various adventure activities such as dolphin spotting, Snorkeling, and humpback whale spotting especially in August and October.
- Visit the Karen Blixen museum
Karen Blixen having been one of the human right activists that fought for the local Kenyan people during the tragic colonial times in her honor a museum was erected in which tourists are able to get a detailed understanding of who she was and her entire story. She also authored a popular book entitled ‘out of Africa’ and her former house was converted into what we see as a museum today. On visit you will be able to see what Karen did during her stay in Kenya.
- Visit the crocodiles of Lake Turkana
Central island national park situated quite a distance from Kenya’s capital on Lake Turkana has the largest number of giant Nile crocodiles in the whole world. In Addition, there are three active volcanoes within this area, black sand beaches, blue-green spectacular crater lakes and a campsite. This area is where you can enjoy an authentic prehistoric Safari experience considering the fact that very little has changed since the three and a half million years ago when man was first believed to have stayed here.
- Visit the Kenyatta international conference center KICC
Standing at the height of 105 meters with twenty eight different floors and a beautiful helipad on which tourists can stand to see the whole of Nairobi, this was once the tallest building in the city center. it is a highly recommended place to visit especially if you want to have a aerial view without having to leap into a helicopter. There are a number of cultural ships and other fascinating sections you can visit to give you a feel of what Kenya’s culture is really like.
- Enjoy the amazing Nairobi nightlife
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and since the colonial times, it has evolved into a prosperous modern City. it offers a contemporary nightlife that is very vibrant and of excellent international class. The lavish neighborhoods like the Westlands and Waiyaki way offer a large number of top-notch bars, lounges, clubs and restaurants. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to hit the dance floor and dance the night away.
- Visit the traditional homes of the Kenyan people
The traditional homestead of the native Kenyan people is referred to as ‘boma’ – which is a local Swahili word. These are normally visited during the culture tours organized by most tour companies. When you visit you will actually get to have a detailed insight about the different tribes, their custom and practices. The local people will entertain you with traditional songs and dances as well
- Go Deep Sea Fishing
Kenya offers some of the best deep sea fishing experiences that favors all types of adventures ranging from experts to novices. This amazing activity is mainly done on the northern coast of the country.
- Bike Tour on the Ngongo Hills
For the more adventurous holidaymakers who would love to explore this beautiful country on just two wheels, then don’t miss out on an adventure in Ngongo hills which also offer a beautiful picnic site. this part of the country is very quiet and peaceful and you will be able to explore the different trails and enjoy views of the green countryside
- Enjoy a family adventure at the Mombasa Go-kart
This is considered one of the best family destinations in Kenya. Holidaymakers visiting with their kids are advised to spend some time here as the facility offers various activities that can be engaged in by all family members. It offers a safe arena where adults and kids can drive the go-karts and each of the karts is installed with a speed governor. Paintball is another exciting activity that can be enjoyed here. There is also a bar and a restaurant that serves fresh fish among other delicious meals. Birthday parties can also be celebrated here.
- Visit the Nairobi Arboretum
Considered to be the most peaceful place in the whole of Nairobi, the Nairobi Arboretum is a small piece of land that was established back in 1907 specifically for nature lovers. It offers remarkable trails along which you will able to see different plant species as well as exotic trees. It is a good place to enjoy a picnic lunch
- Explorer fort Jesus
This is considered among the most popular tourist attractions within Mombasa. This beautiful artistic work was constructed by the Portuguese back in the 16th century and it served as their defense post during the dreadful slave trade that happened between the Kenyan mainland and traders from the Indian Ocean. Today is a beautiful museum that showcases artifacts including canons plus paintings from the ancient times.
- Check out the National archives
In Kenya there’s no better place to get all the information you need about this country than at the National archives. This amazing building found within the city centre houses historical documents, paintings, art pieces, crafts and photographs of the people of Kenya. You will be able to get to learn more about the heritage of this beautiful country.
- Check out the Mombasa Marine national Park
Any visit along the Kenyan coast without visiting this pack will be considered incomplete! The pack offers you an opportunity to see different sea creatures, the spectacular Corals and other fascinating features within the Indian Ocean
- The Paradise garden
This spectacular place has properly-manicured lawns having a beautiful coffee estate and a dam. It offers the ideal get-away from the busy and noisy City center. it can also be used for corporate gatherings and wedding receptions
- Explore the beautiful beaches of Mombasa
When we talk about Mombasa Island one will simply think about the white sand however you will also get a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery, interact with the local hospitable people and enjoy the amazing weather. There are a number of fascinating hotels and resorts such as the sun & Sand Beach resort which office utmost privacy, top notch services, in-house bar and an endless list of remarkable services
- Visit the Nairobi Mamba crocodile village
During your visit on this village you will get an opportunity to see several crocodiles. You will watch them feed and for those interested get a taste of game meat. Unlike at the giraffe center I am sure no one will want to get a kiss from the crocodiles! They are also various accommodation facilities here.
- Visit Nairobi National museum
This museum found within the central business district of Nairobi will give you an elaborate insight of Kenya’s heritage. There is also a snake park within this museum
FAQs on Kenya Safari Holiday
Below we have compiled a number of frequently asked questions on destination Kenya we are confident that this will help answer any enquiries or doubts you might be having about this destination. In addition they will be a good guide on how best to plan and prepare yourself for your safari holiday
- Why travel to Kenya
When we talk about Kenya the image that nearly everyone gets is seeing the annual migration that takes place in the Masai Mara. there are several documentaries and television shows such as the big cat diary which have opened many people’s eyes about the great wildlife in Africa and because Kenya is among the best places on the continent to see wildlife. Expect to see a variety of large mammals including the big five animals (lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalos plus leopard). The country also offers a diversity of natural habitats including beautiful glacier peaks, the rift valley, the verdant rainforests, the deserts and the wide open plains not forgetting the beautiful beaches along its coastline with the Indian Ocean. there are various activities you’ll enjoy in Kenya don’t miss out on the hot air balloon ride, kite surfing, camel trekking, scuba diving and horse riding to mention just a few.
- How to get in to Kenya?
There are a number of airline companies that fly directly into Kenya. The national career which is Kenya airways offers daily flights from different destinations into Nairobi-Kenya. Carriers like British airways also offer direct flights from London in addition to several other carriers from the Middle East, UK and the rest of Europe. Within Kenya there is also a very good network of in-bound flights that connects to different destinations such as Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam and the Seychelles.
- How to get around in Kenya?
During a safari you will be provided with a 4-wheel drive vehicle normally with open-sides to allow better views especially when game driving in the different national parks. This will also enable you to take clearer photographs with ease. You will be able to connect to the different safari destinations by road in these safari cars however for those with additional cash there are also flights connecting to most of the tourist attractions in the country so you can always contact your tour handler for a detailed price quotation
- What is the tourist attraction that I should not miss in Kenya?
Well the ultimate reward of any Safari to Kenya would be visiting the Masai Mara game reserve and incase your budget can support you, you can also enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the plains of this reserve. This will give you a clearer view of their unique topography as well as sweeping views of the numerous wild animals found here. unique about the Masai Mara is that every year a herd of about 2 million animals which include wildebeests, zebras and gazelles matches across the plains of this reserve in search for water and fresh pastures. one of the most dramatic wildlife scenery is watching the animals Cross River Mara which is normally swarmed with very hungry huge Nile crocodiles waiting to feast on these animals.
- Is Kenya a safe safari destination?
Well I would generally say that Kenya is safe. We always recommend that you follow the advice of the foreign office or embassy of your home destination so as to get the latest security status of the country. so just as all safari destination there are some general guidelines that every traveler should know: do not leave your valuable items un attended or do not place them in places that easily expose them. it is also very important to always listen and follow the instructions of your safari guide during your tour, and avoid moving alone at night especially in the business centers
- Is it safe to drink tap water in Kenya?
No we do not recommend that you drink tap water during a safari. guests are normally provided with bottled drinking water so we highly recommend that you stick to that alone
- Is English widely spoken in Kenya?
Although that is not the main language spoken in Kenya, the people of Kenya working within the tourism industry speak good English. however if you can master a few of the local Swahili language phrases such as the ones used for greeting for saying goodbye then you will definitely make friends with some of the locals easily
- How is the accommodation like in Kenya?
Kenya offers quite a variety of different types of accommodation facilities that are comfortable and will suit the budget plus needs of everyone. These include budget facilities for holiday makers on a limited budget, mid-range facilities as well as the luxury facilities ideal for those interested in experiencing the utmost comfort and hospitality but at an extra cost. There are also camping facilities all over Kenya and dormitories from group holiday makers with a limited budget.
- What is the local food like in Kenya?
During a safari it is likely that the majority of the meals you will eat will be at the lodge considering the fact that you be staying far away in the national parks and reserves. The lodges and hotels within the parks usually serve Western themed dishes and may occasionally include a traditional African dish. In case you have any unique dietary requirements you are highly advised to inform your tour handler on ground as well as the hotels you’ll be sleeping at to enable them prepare adequately for you
- Shall we have a cultural encounter during my safari in Kenya?
Well Kenya prides in a wide variety of ethnic tribal groups and these are normally visited during the cultural tours organized by the different tour companies. Among them are the maasai people, a very unique group of people who are formerly well known as the mighty warriors and where nomads. During the culture visit you will get an opportunity to personally interact with the local people and even engage in the different day-to-day activities they do such as cooking, fetching water, hunting and even visit and volunteer in the different community projects they run.
- How can I contribute to the wildlife conservation programs as well as the economy of the local people?
In Kenya, majority of the lodges are closely engaged with the different local communities. they offer the local people employment and a number of them give back a portion of their profits to develop and run the different projects taking place in the local community they are in. during a safari you are likely to visit the different local schools in the villages so you can directly offer them books and other scholastic materials as well as items to use in the different sports activities such as football or make a financial contribution. There are also a number of well registered organizations that are engaged in wildlife conservation in the country so you can directly contact them on how you can give a hand.
- What vaccinations do I need on my safari to Kenya?
Similar to most African destinations every traveler will have will be required to get anti malaria medication as well as a yellow fever shot. for that reason we recommend that you visit your physician back in your home country at least 5 months before you Safari so that they can make all necessary medical recommendations for you.
- What should I buy when shopping in Kenya?
Just as all other travel destinations you can buy almost everything in Kenya. However this country is best known for its beautiful handicrafts and unique pieces of art. These items are normally sold by the roadside or in the craft markets and even in many of the souvenir shops found in the different tourist attractions you will go to. Within the Nairobi city centre there is a well-known Maasai market where you can also get very beautiful pieces of work. You will be able to get wood carvings, traditional jewelry of the maasai people, stone carving and beautiful wooden chairs in addition to many others. In Mombasa there is a village market found in gigiri although the prices of the different items offered here are a bit higher than the rest of Kenya.
- What is the nightlife of Kenya like?
Despite this being Africa which is regarded as a backward continent by some people, allow me to inform you that there are various top-notch entertainment places that you can visit in Kenya during your safari which will give you a very memorable experience especially at night. You will come across several top-notch bars, beautiful restaurants with tasty food, lounges, and dance halls to mention but a few. In this country consumption of beer is very common and much loved among the locals and other foreign visitors. it offers various brands of alcohol including local and imported beverages. Some of the best bars and restaurants we can point out include the moonflower, Mercury, Rusty nail and Simba saloon.
- What are the visa requirements for travelling into Kenya?
Foreign visitors are required to have a passport valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entering the country. it is also important that you have a minimum of 2 blank following pages within your passport for every country that you will be visiting. Visas could also be needed depending on which country you are coming from. it’s for that reason therefore that we advise all holidaymakers to carefully cross check the visa requirements with their home embassy before travelling. Kenya doesn’t offer multiple entry visas on arrival so you should receive these before you travelled it back at the visa service or Kenyan embassy in your home country.
- What is the local currency?
The Kenyan Shilling KES / KSH is the local currency used within Kenya
- Are there luggage restrictions when going on safari in Kenya?
Well just as it is with all travels, you are generally recommended to pack light. This won’t only ease your movement but enable you to keep track of your entire luggage. In case you have to use a domestic flight these usually come with a luggage limit which is normally 15 kilograms; it’s for that reason that we recommend that you pack only the items you will need but not what you want. Important and valuable items which you consider are irreplaceable in your life should not be brought during your Safari. Personal items like medication, sunglasses, passports and any other important documentaries, cell phones and a camera should be carried with you all the time. I can also point out that the luggage weight restriction varies from one airline to another so please make a detailed search on the airline you will be using to avoid any disappointment
- What is the time zone in Kenya?
Well Kenya is GMT + 3 which implies that it is 6 to 7 hours ahead of the people in Eastern USA depending on the day light saving and the year. Fairy steps if it is 8:15 am. in Nairobi, on the same day it is 2:15 p.m. in New York.
- What is the best time to Visit Kenya?
The question ‘when is the best time to visit Kenya’ can best be answered if you can answer ‘what do you want to do when in Kenya?’ generally June to October is considered the most appropriate time to enjoy a safari in this country and this is because Kenya is experiencing the dry season. The peak tourist times of the dry season attract several tourists which results into a high demand of accommodation generally raising the overall cost of a safaris in the country. for that reason holidaymakers who are on a limited budget are highly advised to avoid the peak tourism season and opt for the correct time when it is somewhat wet with fewer crowds in the National Park and most accommodations are offering discounts on their fares.
Kenya is found on the equator and it’s for that reason that it doesn’t experience summer or winter but rather the dry and wet seasons. There are two dry seasons experienced by this country with the short dry season beginning in late January to mid Feb. and then the longer one runs from late June all through to October. In November and December the country experiences the short rains while from March to May it is considered the wettest time of the year and it’s characterized by heavy downpours. While the temperatures are generally consistent in different parts of the country they differ from one region to another depending on the altitude. The coast is normally warmer compared to the central Kenya platitudes, and areas like Mount Kenya are generally cold with a permanent snow cover on its peak.
Best time to watch the wildebeest migration
Millions of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles participate in the annual wildebeest migration that takes place in Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve as well as the Serengeti plains of Tanzania. In case you wish to watch the animals Cross River Mara which is filled with hungry giant crocodiles, the best time to visit is in August and September. In November the animals that would have made it on the other side of the river begin matching through the plains of the Masai Mara this is a very ideal time to visit the park.
Best time to go on a wildlife safari in Kenya
For those who are interested in not just watching the wildebeests but also view the rich wildlife within the country, we recommend that you visit during the dry season which begins in January to February and June to October. These months are very ideal for game watching because the vegetation is thin and the scarcity of water sources compels the animals to converge around the few remaining sources of water making them easier to track and see.
The season when the country is experiencing the short rains is also considered ideal for give you a since the rains come in the afternoon falling for just about an hour. The month of March, April and May should be avoided since the country is experiencing heavy rains which means that most of the roads are impossible.
Best time to ascend mountain Kenya
Mount Kenya can best be ascended during the dry season and the months of January, February and September are considered to be the most reliable since the weather is dry the days are Sunny, the trails are generally passable and the warmth of the sun will enable you to go through the chilly nights. You can also visit in July as well as August especially for tourists that wish to avoid the large crowds. Irrespective of the season it be wet or dry season the peak of Mount Kenya is always snow-covered. This is among the destinations that can be visited all year round
Best time to enjoy a safari on the Kenyan coast
The coastal areas of Kenya are humid and generally hot all year around. In the month of March and May the coast receives the heaviest rains. January to February which is the short dry season is also a good time to explore the coast.
- What are the main Safari Attractions Kenya’s?
Kenya offers a number of fascinating tourist destinations you can explore during your safari in the country. Below we have highlighted a number of them
The Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mara is the most popular tourist attraction and attracts the largest number of tourists who come to see the rich wildlife that includes the Big Five, the annual Great Wildebeest Migration and breathtaking scenery. The reserve offers a variety of accommodation facilities plus a very nice camping site.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National park is popular for its free-ranging wild animals especially elephants. Very engaging and fascinating cultural safaris are organized within this park during which you will get a chance to meet and interact with the local Maasai people and engage in their day to day activities. The park also rewards its visitors with clear views of the snow peaked Mount Kilimanjaro
Nairobi National Park
Located approximately 20 minutes from Kenya’s capital city, the Nairobi National Park is among the most accessible national park on the continent and offers great views of different types of wild animals and bird species. This safari destination is very perfect for persons interested in watching the remarkable wildlife of Kenya yet with a limited time for safari.
Shimba Hills National Reserve
This reserve is located thirty three (33) kilometers south of the city of Mombasa. It prides in a great diversity of plants and animals with a number of endangered species of cycads plus orchids. Some of the animals seen here include the sable antelope as well as elephants in addition to several species of birds.
This is the largest Freshwater Lake found in the whole of Africa. During your visit you can enjoy fishing trips during which you can catch various species including the Tilapa. There are also boat rides organized here to visit the traditional fishing communities found on the beautiful islands in the lake. The lake shores also offer beautiful beaches ideal for a perfect getaway from the busy city centers.
Lake Nakuru National Park
This national park is another popularly destination in Kenya especially among tourists enthusiastic about bird watching. The park has a beautiful alkaline lake – Lake Nakuru which attracts more than one million pink flamingoes, in addition to several other species.
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo National Park is among the largest national parks on the planet. It is for that reason that it was divided into Tsavo East and West. Tsavo East is a wide open savannah park that offers very remarkable views of wildlife including a number of the big Five animals.
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park is another savannah sanctuary worth exploring during your Kenya Wildlife Safari with several habitats including wide grasslands and undulating volcanic landscapes that offer a safe natural haven to a variety of wild animals which can best be seen during game drives.
Samburu National Reserve
located in the Northern section of Kenya, this Samburu National Reserve has a very beautiful landscape worth exploring that includes vast grasslands and forest which are home to three of the prime big cats – Cheetahs, leopards and Lions.