Whether you are visiting Kenya for the first time or have been here, yours is a great move. There are endless things to do in Kenya. Kenya is a country in East Africa that attracts many travellers from Europe and North America each year. Tourism is a great part of Kenya’s economy, which should tell you how much there is to see on your visit to Kenya.
Whether you want to remain in the city or explore the interior rural parts of Kenya, there will be loads and loads of beauty to behold and countless stops to take pictures. Kenya is famous for its scenic landscape and vast wildlife preserves.
Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast has a lot of things to do in Kenya. The coast has the most beautiful beaches in Africa and the historic old town of Mombasa, which Muslim Swahili predominantly occupies. The coastal culture greatly contributes to the Kenyan people’s music and food heritage.
Inland Kenyan soil is the most beautiful highlands, mostly covered with tea plantations and numerous animals. Among the things to do in Kenya is visiting the Lakes and rivers that cover Kenya’s western provinces, and the area is mostly forested. A small portion of the north is desert and semi desert.
Depending on how much time you have to explore this beautiful country, we created a list of some of the most fun things to do in Kenya
Visit The Nairobi National park
Located just 10 km from Nairobi city center is the beautiful Nairobi national park. This park is not only on the list of fun things to do in Kenya, but it is also the only park in the world located close to the city center. This 117 sq. Km park, with wide-open grass plains and a backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers and scattered acacia shrubs, host a lot of wildlife, including the endangered black rhino, lions, giraffes, buffaloes, hyenas, cheetahs and leopards, and over 400 recorded species of birds. You can enjoy the park’s picnic sites, three campsites, and walking trails for hikers.
When is the best time to visit the Nairobi national park?
The park is open to visitors all year round. However, a breakdown of the weather during the year might help you plan better.
January-March is hot and dry.
April-July is hot and wet.
August-December is warm and wet.
What should you take with you to the Nairobi National park?
Drinking water and picnic items of your choice.
Other useful items would be a pair of binoculars, sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and a guidebook.
What are the charges for the Nairobi national park?
Charges for the Nairobi national park depend on whether you are a Kenyan citizen, resident, or foreigner. Here is a table showing all the charges as of July 2022.
|ksh. 500||ksh. 215||ksh. 500||ksh. 215||USD 60||USD 20|
What are the available modes of payment for the Nairobi national park fees?
As a visitor to the Nairobi national park, there are several ways in which you can make payment. You can use Mpesa, a card, or make direct bank deposits to the Kenya wildlife services (KWS) at any gate.
What are the attractions of the Nairobi national park?
- Nairobi national park has black rhinoceros, which is an endangered species.
- Nairobi national park is a major rhino sanctuary for breeding and stocking other parks.
- Nairobi national park has over 400 bird species to see, out of which 20 are seasonal European immigrants.
- Nairobi national park has spectacular wildebeest and zebra migration.
- At the Nairobi national park, you will see large predators like hyenas, lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
- There is an ivory-burning site monument at the Nairobi national park.
- There is also a walking trail at the hippo pool.
- Nairobi safari walk and the orphanage.
- Spacious, accommodating picnic sites.
- The Nairobi national park is home to over 100 mammal species and four of the big five (lion, buffalo, leopard, and rhino.)
- Nairobi national park was the first to be gazetted in Kenya on December 16, 1946.
- Nairobi National park is the only park in the world that is so close to the city.
You can check out their official website for more information about the Nairobi national park.
Visit The Maasai Mara National Reserve
Located 180 kilometres from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital is the Maasai Mara national park. The Maasai Mara national park is part of the Serengeti ecosystem that overlaps the Kenya and Tanzania borders. The Maasai Mara national park covers 1510 square kilometres running to the northern part of the 30,000 square kilometres of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.
The Maasai Mara national park borders the Serengeti national park to the south, the Siria escarpment on the west, and the Maasai pastoral ranches to the north, west, and east.
You can access the Maasai Mara national park by road or by air. If you want to include a road trip on the things to do in Kenya, then you can take a drive to the Maasai Mara. The drive from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, to the Maasai Mara national park is six hours. There are daily flights from Nairobi to the park either at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport or at Wilson airport.
At the Maasai Mara, you can see all the big five. The advantage of going on a safari to the Mara is that since it is not a national park, there are no strict rules to stick to the road. As a result, the safari driver can get as close as possible to the animals without disturbing them for a closer view. Since Maasai Mara is further out from Nairobi, it is advisable to have at least a two-day itinerary so you can make the most out of your Maasai Mara trip.
What is the best time to visit the Maasai Mara National Reserve?
Thanks to the area’s altitude, the Maasai Mara national reserve weather is warm and nice throughout the year. However, this reserve is famous for the great migration when thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thompson gazelle travel to and from Serengeti from July through October.
At the Mara River, you will see hippos and crocodiles. Also, due to the large population of lions, cheetahs, and leopards, the park provides tourists with excellent sightings, especially in the dry months of December through February.
Visit The Giraffe Manor.
Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel owned by The Safari Collection. You probably have seen the giraffe manor recommended as one of the fun things to do in Kenya on every social media platform. Often referred to as one of the most Instagrammed properties in the world, Giraffe Manor is set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Lang’ata suburb of Nairobi. Giraffe Manor is one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings.
The historic manor house has an extraordinary appeal that harks back to the 1930s when visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its stately facade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces, and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa. Indeed, one of its twelve rooms is named after the author Karen Blixen.
One of the fascinating things about Giraffe Manor is its resident herd of Rothschild’s giraffes, who may visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat before retreating to their forest sanctuary. Giraffe Manor can be booked for the night or as part of a complete tailor-made Kenya safari with The Safari Collection.
Hike Mount Kenya
While in Kenya, one of the best things to do in Kenya while on a budget is to hike mount Kenya, which is the second-highest mountain peak in Africa. Located in the central highlands, east of the great rift valley, Mount Kenya national park is a UNESCO world heritage that provides a rare spectacle of equatorial snow.
Climbing Mount Kenya takes you to an elevation of 5199 meters above sea level and offers an absolutely breathtaking view. A series of volcanic eruptions formed Mount Kenya; it has three glacier-filled peaks. The highest of these peaks is Batian, followed by Nelion. Although Nelion is lower than Batian, it is considered a tougher climb. The lowest peak, Lenana, is the easiest climb, although the unpredictable weather conditions can pose a challenge.
There is much to see on your ascent from glaciers, lakes, mineral springs, alpine forests, and dense pockets of bamboo. There are breathtaking flora and fauna at the mount Kenya national reserve. Among the wildlife to expect are black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo, leopard, hyena, tree hyrax, and elephants.
Visit Olpajeta Conservancy
Located just 200km from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, Olpajeta conservancy is another one of our list of the fun things to do in Kenya. Olpajeta conservancy offers a breathtaking place to visit for close-up wildlife encounters. This 90,000-acre private reserve houses all the big five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo.) It also has other animals such as cheetah, hyena, zebra, and hartebeest.
The conservancy also acts as a home for the northern and southern white rhinos, among them being baraka, a blind black rhino who visitors, if lucky, are allowed to feed. Entry to the Olpajeta conservation includes a visit to the chimpanzee sanctuary. You can visit during the day and extend your stay at night in accommodations that range from bushfire camps to cottages or a charming colonial ranch house.
Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
When you are planning your itinerary of the things to do in Kenya, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust should be in the list, on the same day as the Nairobi National Park.This animal orphanage is conveniently located at all the gates of the Nairobi national park; therefore, you can visit both of these famous attractions on the same day. The David Sheldrick wildlife trust is a wildlife sanctuary that rescues and rehabilitates orphaned wild animals.
In this orphanage, you can see these young wild animals up close. The young elephants are hand-reared until about two or three years. Visiting the sanctuary allows you to see the keepers bottle-feeding the baby animals.
From the sanctuary, the animals are relocated to a reintegration center in Tsavo East National Park before they are finally released back into the wild. Visiting the sanctuary will allow you to see these playful pachyderms wallow in teh mud or nudge a soccer ball, a memory that will forever be imprinted in your mind.
The sanctuary also allows you to adopt an orphaned elephant, giraffe, or rhino before you go; this way, you will receive regular updates on its progress.
Visit Lake Nakuru National Park
Famous for its huge flocks of pink flamingos, Lake Nakuru national park is such a beautiful wonder to behold. Lake Nakuru is one of the rift valley soda lakes, covering almost a third of the national park’s area.
More than 450 species of birds have been recorded in this park, and it also serves as a home for other wildlife like lions, warthogs, leopards, pythons, waterbucks, and white rhinos. The landscape is beautiful, with a good mix of grasslands bordering the lake, rocky cliffs, and woodland.
The park also protects the largest euphoria candelabrum forest in Africa. These tall, branching succulents are endemic to the region and provide a bold textural element to the arid landscapes.
Visit Lake Naivasha.
Around 80km from the beautiful lake Nakuru lies the magnificent lake Naivasha, so it’s safe to have these two lakes in a single day’s itinerary. Lake Naivasha lies at the highest point of the great rift valley and is most popular for birders. More than 400 species of birds have been spotted at Lake Naivasha, including the Jacanas, African fish eagles, white-fronted bee-eaters, and several species of kingfishers.
Boat riding is available at lake Naivasha, and this is one of the ways to spot the wildlife grazing around the shores of the lake. Hippos slosh in the water, and you can find zebras, buffaloes, giraffes, and elands grazing at the shore.
While at lake Naivasha, you can pass by the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, which has a wildlife-filled nature trail.
Visit Hell’s Gate National Park.
Located south of Lake Naivasha, Hell’s gate national park is another one of fun things to do in Kenya. This park houses a wide variety of wildlife and offers various climbing opportunities. The park has two extinct volcanoes and the red cliffs of Hell’s Gate George.
This national park is famous for climbers and is among the few parks in Kenya that allow camping. You can explore this park either on foot or on a bicycle.
The park also houses geothermal features, which include hot springs and natural geysers that hiss steam through vents in the earth’s crust. Some of the wildlife you are likely to see at the Hell’s gate national park include; leopards, baboons, ostriches, gazelle, eland, and more than 100 recorded species of birds.
The park also houses breeding grounds for eagles and vultures.
The Floor Karia Maasai Cultural Centre within the park is also worth a visit, with Maasai singing, dancing, and jewellery-making demonstrations.
Interestingly, Olkaria Geothermal Station lies within Hell’s Gate National Park. It generates power from heated, pressurised water underground and is the first of its kind in Africa.
A beautiful coastal city in southeastern Kenya offers anything from history, culture, and geography to tourists that set foot in this multicultural tourist magnet. Mombasa is Kenya’s second-largest city and houses the biggest port in Kenya. It is located on the Indian ocean.
Mombasa is home to numerous Arabic, British, Portuguese, Indian, and Asian immigrants, thus offering a culturally diversified town, visible in the city’s architecture and cuisine.
Being an island, Mombasa is connected to other development around it by using bridges, ferries, and causeways. The coral reefs fringe the coast for 480 kilometers, thus providing amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities, especially at the Mombasa Marine National Park and Wasini Island. Other popular activities in Mombasa include dolphin watching and deep-sea diving.
If you are interested in history, the 16th-century Fort Jesus and the old town of Mombasa will be worth a visit. The old town has narrow streets and a lot of Swahili culture on display, not to mention the numerous souvenir shops.
If you want to include the beach in your things to do in Kenya list, or if you are a beach lover you are sure to have a great time in Mombasa. To the north of the city lies Nyali and Bamburi beaches, and to the south of Mombasa lies the white sands of Shelly, Tiwi, and Diani beaches.
North of Mombasa lies this beautiful historical town with a touch of historic and modern feels. This town, just like Mombasa, has a rich trading history that remains to date, and most of it is evidenced by the beautiful multi-culture and cuisines.
Some free things to do in Kenya include sunbathing on the beautiful white sands of Malindi beaches. You can sunbathe on the beautiful white sand of Watamu beach or dive into the coral reefs of Malindi and Watamu Marine National Parks.
While still in Malindi, you can visit the Jamii mosque, a two-pillar tomb from the 14th century; the church of St. Francis Xavier, one of East Africa’s oldest churches. You can also check out the Vasco De Gama Cross, one of the oldest monuments in Africa.
About 30 kilometers northeast of Malindi lies the Marafa Depression, which is also worth seeing. This depression, also known as Hell’s Kitchen, is a set of sandstone gorges sculpted by the wind, and the rain is like a mini Grand Canyon.
Head Northeast to Lamu
A small island on the northeast side of Mombasa, Lamu, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This town dates back to the 12th century and is still inhabited. You do not have to go far when it comes to Lamu; even a simple walk on the streets will give you a glimpse of the rich trading history on the island.
The buildings in Lamu have much architectural design from Europe, the Arab world, India, and a splash of Swahili. Curved wooden doors, hidden courtyards, verandas, coral stone buildings, and rooftop patios are very common in the building architecture of Lamu houses.
A lot of the traditional way of life is preserved in this small town, with only a few motorised vehicles. As it was centuries ago, donkeys are still used as a primary means of transport in Lamu. It is not uncommon to see both men and women dressed in traditional attire since a large population of the people in Lamu are Muslims.
Other attractions in Lamu include the Lamu Museum, which displays a lot of the Swahili culture and the region’s history. Lamu fort and the donkey sanctuary are also major attractions in Lamu. The island has beautiful white-sand beaches which provide an alternative to all the historical sightseeing.
Visit Tsavo National Park
Tsavo national park is the largest national park in Kenya. Tsavo is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo west national Parks, and this park occupies 4% of the country’s total area. The park houses rivers, waterfalls, volcanic hills, a lava-rock plateau, a savannah, and immensely diverse wildlife.
This park, located midway between Nairobi and Mombasa, provides much sightseeing. Tsavo east usually has large herds of elephants rolling and bathing in the red dust. The palm-fringed Galana River flows through the park, providing an excellent view and a vivid contrast to the arid plain of Tsavo East.
Other attractions at the Tsavo east include the Yatta plateau, Mudanda Rock’ the Lugard Falls, which spill into the rapids, and crocodile-filled pools.
There are other beautiful attractions at the Tsavo west, such as the shetani lava flow. The weather in the west is wetter, so the vegetation is denser. The highlights in this park would be a series of natural springs that house hippos and crocodiles; chaimu crater, and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary.
Visit the Amboseli National Park
Amboseli national park is one of Kenya’s most famous tourist destinations. With the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, Amboseli national park offers more than a view of wildlife.
At Amboseli national park, you can explore five different habitats ranging from the savannah, the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, a wetland with sulfur springs, and woodlands. The reserve is one of the best places to see elephants grazing in large herds. Other animals you expect to see at the Amboseli national park include; lion, cheetah, giraffe, eland, impala, waterbuck, gazelle, and more than 600 species of birds.
Visit Lake Bogoria Hot Springs.
Lake Bogoria hot springs should be on your bucket list if you are a fan of science and geochemical processes. The lake has fumaroles and boiling springs dotting the shores of the lake.
Visit the Mamba Village
You want to include the mamba village in your things to do in Kenya bucket list if you haven’t done so already. Mamba village is popularly known for housing over 90 large Nile crocodiles. That’s not all there is to this farm; they have a dedicated ostrich park where you will spot ostriches, a giraffe farm, and pride of peacock in a peacock pen.
Visit to The Hippo Point
Located between lake Naivasha and lake Oloidien, the hippo point is one of the best things to do in Kenya. It is located at an elevation of 6200 feet above sea level. The place also provides a peaceful ambience for bird-watching; there is much to see on that front since it houses over 350 species of birds. You can go for a jog with zebras, practice meditation, or do yoga in this beautiful place.
Hiking Mount Longonot
If you are not very good at hiking, don’t fret yet, Mount Longonot is one of those hiking places that spread its arms to even newbie trekkers. With an altitude of 2776 meters above sea level, hiking Mount Longonot will take approximately five hours to reach the summit and return to the base.
The view at the summit of mount longonot is breathtaking, to say the least. You will even see the beautiful lake Naivasha in the vicinity.
Samburu buffalo springs and Shaba National Reserves.
In the remote northern part of Kenya, at the palm-lined Ewaso Nyiro River banks lies Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba Reserves. Shaba national reserve is one of the two areas where George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the lioness, which was made famous by the film Born Free.
All the wildlife in the three reserves depend on the Ewaso Nyiro river to survive, and most of the species in these parks are adapted to survive in a parched land. These animals include the Grevy’s zebras, Somali ostriches, and gerenuks, the long-necked antelope that stand on two rear legs to reach upper shoots on upper tree limbs.