Best Things to Do in Kenya

Best Things to Do in Kenya

Kenya's Must-Do: Ultimate Adventure Guide

WRITTEN BYBryan Jacinto
PUBLISHED ONJanuary 1, 2024

If you’re planning a trip to Kenya and aren’t sure about where to start, this guide is for you. One of Africa's top tourist destinations, Kenya offers an expansive catalogue of memorable experiences.

From unbeatable safari escapades and rich cultural history, to stunning beach retreats and adventurous outdoor activities, there's something for every type of traveler. Not forgetting the vibrant urban life of Nairobi, Kenya's cosmopolitan capital. Let's dive in and explore the best things to do in this East African gem, so you can make the most of your travel itinerary.

Wildlife and Safari Experiences

Get ready to be in awe as you explore Kenya's abundant wildlife and exciting safari experiences. This East African country's great plains, stunning landscapes, and exotic animal species offer an unparalleled adventure that you won't find anywhere else.

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve: Known for its annual Great Migration, this is one of the top safari destinations in the world. Here, you have the chance to observe the big five - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo - in their natural habitat.
  • Amboseli National Park: This park is famous for its picturesque views of Mount Kilimanjaro and its thriving elephant population. Get ready for breathtaking landscapes and spectacular wildlife sightings.
  • Lake Nakuru National Park: Renowned for its flamingo-filled landscapes, this national park also hosts a variety of wildlife, including white and black rhinos, leopards, and lions.
  • Tsavo East and Tsavo West: Covering about 4% of Kenya, the Tsavo Parks are among the largest national parks in the world. Here, you have a chance to witness the incredible diversity of Kenya's wildlife, including endangered species like the black rhino.

If you're thinking of a safari journey, timing is key to fully enjoying the wildlife spectacle Kenya has to offer. With this in mind, you might be asking, "When is the best time to visit Kenya?" We have prepared a guide about the best time to visit Kenya, ensuring you make the most out of your safari adventures.

Cultural and Historical Sites

Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Kenya's history and culture by visiting some of the country's fascinating cultural and historical sites. Here, you can relive the tales of ancient civilizations, explore diverse traditions, and gain profound insights into Kenya's storied past.

  • Lamu Old Town: As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lamu Old Town is the oldest, best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. The architecture and urban structure reflect the cultural influences from Arabia, Portugal, India, and even Britain.
  • Fort Jesus, Mombasa: This 16th-century fort, built by the Portuguese, attests to the first successful attempt by Western civilization to rule the Indian Ocean trade routes. The fort is now a museum housing fascinating exhibits spanning over four centuries.
  • Maasai Market: To experience the vibrant culture of Kenya firsthand, a visit to the Maasai Market is a must. Here, you can buy traditional Maasai beadwork, fabrics, wood carvings, and more while interacting with the local artisans.
  • Karen Blixen Museum: This museum is located in the farmhouse where the Danish author Karen Blixen, famed for her novel 'Out of Africa,' lived between 1917 and 1931. It provides a glimpse into the colonial history of Kenya.
  • Nairobi Railway Museum: Linked with Kenya's colonial past, this museum offers a nostalgic journey into the early days of railway transportation, showcasing vintage train carriages and locomotives.

So, whether you're a history enthusiast or just curious about Kenya's past, these sites provide a unique window into the cultural nuances and historical tableau of this beguiling East African country. Quench your thirst for more inspiration and site details by checking out our collection, best places to visit in Kenya. The article reveals an intricate tapestry of experiences that Kenya has stored for avid travelers like you.

Beaches and Coastal Activities

Imagine basking under the sun by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, a tropical paradise indeed. Kenya's coastline is a treasure trove, offering a plethora of dazzling beaches and exciting coastal activities. This enchanting region is a must-visit for any traveler. Here's what you can expect:

  • Diani Beach: Known for its pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters, Diani Beach is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and jet-skiing. Don't forget to enjoy a refreshing coconut drink by the beach.
  • Lamu Island: This UNESCO World Heritage site offers a unique blend of Swahili culture and beautiful beaches. You can try dhow sailing trips or visit the historic Lamu town.
  • Malindi and Watamu: These neighboring coastal towns offer some of the best diving and snorkeling opportunities with an abundance of marine life on display.
  • Mombasa Marine National Park: Do a snorkel or strap into a diving rig to explore the incredible coral gardens teeming with vibrant marine life.
  • Fishing Excursions: Head out to the deep sea for an unforgettable fishing adventure. Kenya's coastline is home to a variety of game fish like marlin, sailfish, and wahoo.
  • Kitesurfing: Whether you're a newbie or a pro, the strong, steady winds at Che Shale and Diani beaches provide perfect conditions for kitesurfing.

Before setting off on your coastal escapades, consider checking the rules of the road in Kenya. After all, driving is usually the most convenient way to get to these beautiful places, especially if you're operating on a tight schedule. Our Kenya driving guide offers you an essential rundown of what to expect when you take the wheel in this beautiful East African country – from general rules to recommended routes and necessary and legal requirements like obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Adventure and Outdoor Activities

If you're the adventurous type, Kenya has an abundance of exhilarating outdoor activities ready for you to dive into:

  • Trekking in Mount Kenya: Offering a great variety of routes and challenges, Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak in Africa, is a favorite destination for trekkers and climbers.
  • Biking in Hell's Gate National Park: Exploring the park on two wheels is an exciting way to get up close to wildlife while enjoying the stunning landscape.
  • White Water Rafting at Tana River: For a thrilling experience, you can navigate through the foaming rapids of the Tana River. Guided tours are available for everyone, from beginners to pro rafters.
  • Hot Air Ballooning in Maasai Mara: Soar above the savannah at sunrise and take in the captivating views of wildlife from a unique vantage point. Balloon rides typically conclude with a champagne breakfast in the bush.
  • Deep Sea Diving and Snorkeling in the Indian Ocean: The Kenyan coast offers an underwater world of vibrant coral reefs teeming with exotic marine life. Water visibility is exceptional, ensuring you'll have an unforgettable diving experience.
  • Bouldering in Turkana: For a challenging and fun rock climbing experience, head to the rocks of Turkana, where you can test your strength and endurance.

Whichever adventure and outdoor activities you choose, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience in Kenya's captivating natural landscapes.

Urban Experiences in Nairobi

Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, Kenya's capital and largest city. With a rich tapestry of activities to choose from, there's no shortage of adventures to undertake within the city. Here are some of the urban experiences you shouldn't miss:

  • Visit the Nairobi National Park: Just a stone's throw from the city center, experience wildlife in their natural habitat. Spot lions, giraffes, zebras, and more on your safari drive.
  • Explore the Nairobi National Museum: Dive into Kenya's rich history and culture. The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts and provides educational lectures on the country's diverse heritage.
  • Stroll around Maasai Market: Sample the vibrant local culture at Nairobi's open-air marketplaces. Get mementos, crafts, or jewelry and interact with local artists and craftsmen.
  • Dine at the Carnivore Restaurant: Sample Kenya's exotic and traditional meat dishes in this famous eatery, heralded as a 'beast of a feast.'
  • Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: Interact with orphaned elephants and rhinos, gain insight into conservation efforts, and perhaps even adopt one to support their rehabilitation process.

Importance of an International Driving Permit (IDP) in Kenya

Fancy a self-drive adventure across Kenya's stunning landscapes? As an international traveler, remember to get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Securing one from recognized organizations is usually swift and simple. It's a crucial yet frequently forgotten part of travel planning.

An IDP offers a range of advantages, including:

  • Instant approval, ensuring you don't have to wait long to secure your driving freedom abroad.
  • A fast and easy application process that won't bog down your travel preparations.
  • A permit that is valid for one to three years is perfect for long-term travelers or those planning multiple trips.
  • Recognition in over 150 countries worldwide—is an important consideration for global trekkers.
  • A permit that is translated into 12 different languages helps to overcome any potential language barriers on your travels.
  • Worldwide express shipping which ensures that your IDP will reach you wherever you may be.

In short, an IDP gives you the confidence to drive legally overseas, and it safeguards your ability to navigate the roads of Kenya without worry. Just ensure you have your IDP right by your side—make your Kenyan journey one of ease and endless discoveries.

Closing Thoughts

From the mesmerizing wild safaris to the rich cultural heritage sites, breathtaking coastline views, thrilling outdoor adventures, and the urban vibe of Nairobi, Kenya offers an array of experiences for every traveler. And remember, just one essential step left to make your journey smooth and unhindered - applying for your International Driving Permit (IDP). So, why wait?

Apply for your IDP today, and don't miss out on any of the Kenyan delights. The roads of this beautiful country await your exploration.

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Valid for 1-3 years

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