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A Kenya Travel Guide for Those With Wanderlust

Kenya Travel giraffes

A land of cultural and geographic diversities, expansive wildlife reserves and national parks, impressive World Heritage sites and magnificent landscapes, Kenya easily occupies place of pride among African destinations.  So if you thought Kenya was only about wildlife safaris, then wait till you get there. There is so much to do and see in this country, that a week wouldn’t suffice to experience all of Kenya.

Land of Diversity

Kenya Travel masai

Kenya is a mosaic of diverse landforms, marked with arid wilderness in the north, and cool highlands in the west. Placid beaches, arid highlands, Rift Valley lakes, rolling savannas and forests, you can find it all.  Its ethnic diversity is a fusion of cultures, reflected in the cuisine and historical sites. Kenya is much more than wildlife; it is a curious mix of tradition and modern travel, making it a great world destination.

When to Go

In true form, the climate varies across the land. While warm and humid along the eastern coastline, it is cooler in the western savannah grasslands, and hot and dry in the north-eastern desert landscape. Generally, days are sunny and nights are cool. Make sure to pack light and loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat.

March to June, and October to December, are the peak season for visiting Kenya. February to March is very hot, and best avoided.  Best wildlife viewing months are late June to October, when you can also expect to avoid the rains and extreme heat.

What to See

Did you know Kenya is home to six natural and cultural UNESCO world heritage sites? These are quintessentially Kenya, and make your Kenya travel all the richer.

Kenya Travel cheetah


Kenya has plenty of wildlife reserves and sanctuaries for the protection of endangered species. It is home to the blue wildebeest, bovid, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe and hundreds more. The Serengeti migration of the wildebeest features amongst the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, best viewed at the Masai Mara and Serengiti National Park.

The Rift Valley and Lakes

The diverse landforms of Rift Valley are great for hiking, trekking, bird watching, and of course, photography. Nestled within the wind-scoured arid regions are the Lakes, each of which has its own appeal. The Nakuru Lake is a must-do, for an amazing flamingo experience. Thousands of these pink birds flock around the shores of the lake presenting a vision of swaying pink. The lake also has a national park sanctuary, host to black and white rhinos, huge herds of waterbuck, the zebra, the Rothschild Giraffe, leopard, and lions. The region surrounding Lake Naivasha is another birding destination, with giraffes, sleepy hippos and Colobus monkeys to shake you up.

Museums and Rock Art

Kenya has its fair share of museums that showcase its pre-historic origins and fusion of cultures. Take your kids to the Nairobi National Museum, which also hosts a snake park, for a preview into what Kenya has to offer. The Lamu and Fort Jesus museums are other world heritage sites that you must visit.

Rock art is part of Kenya’s heritage, and a must-see. Check out the sites at Kakapel National Monument, and the Namoratunga, at Turkana County.


You cannot be at Kenya, and not meet the legendary Masai tribe or the Bantus. The tribal culture of Kenya is rich and unique. Each tribe has its own distinctive food, music, traditional attire and jewellery.  Ask your guide to arrange a visit to a real Masai home, or make time for a cultural tour to experience traditional tribal entertainment.

What to Do

Kenya Travel safari

For most travelers, Kenya conjures up a vivid image of wildlife safari. While this is true, there is much more to do in this amazing land of contrasts and topographic beauty.

Wildlife safari

What else do you do at the land of safaris, but get up early for game-viewing and wildlife sightings?

Kenya’s protected parks and reserves sport some of the most diverse flora and fauna. Each national park offers something unique to experience. While the  Nairobi  National Camp has a wilderness retreat for a mini-safari experience within the city, the Hells’ Gate National Park off Lake Naivasha is for a predominantly, birding interest. The Meru National Park has campsites in the middle of beautiful landscapes. Stay in the midst of jungle activity. Check out the large prides of lions and buffalo herds, cheetahs, elephants, and rivers with hippo and crocodiles.

You can opt for a fly-in, self-drive or guided all-inclusive safaris that include transport and accommodation at a safari lodge or tented camp. Alternatively, you can stay in a safari lodge, and book a game drive.

As all national parks and reserves, are open from sunrise to sunset, you have plenty of time to get up-close with the shy black and white rhinoceros, wary elephants, lions, zebras and more, in their natural habitat.

What makes Kenya reserves so popular is the ease of spotting, diverse wildlife sightings and adventurous game drives. Traveling with young kids? Nairobi and Lake Nakuru are the best parks, to see more animals and birds in a shorter space of time.

Beach stays and scuba diving

There is plenty to do in Kenya. Beach lovers will like to stay at the luxury resorts in Diani and Bamburi, or Kilifi to see international yachting. Looking for adventure? Go scuba diving at the Marine Parks of Wasini, Lamu or Watamu. These beaches are sites of world class diving with shallow coral gardens, ideal for beginners or die-hard diving enthusiasts. Extend your safari experience with a dhow safari to the south-eastern island of Lamu.

If you are a horse riding or golfing enthusiasts, you must not miss the unique adventure of close encounters with wildlife during your sporting activity!

Trekking and Hiking

Although experienced climbers from all over like to climb the Mt. Kenya, there is more trekking adventure. Seasoned trekkers will like to hike the Rift Valley and Western Highlands, take a guided trek through the isolated stretches of Loroghi hills or go for forest walks through the Kakamega and Aberdare Forests.


Kenya conjures up images of wildlife close-ups and terrain at its topographic best. The shutterbug in you will like to capture the myriad visuals of Kenya, so make sure to be equipped with a camera with telephoto zoom lens and of course, spare batteries.


Indulge in eco-friendly shopping and carry gifts for your friends. For good bargains, check out the street shops. The Garden City Mall at Nairobi offers you a more civilized leisurely shopping.


Kenya Travel Ugali

Kenyan cuisine is basic fare, dominated by simple meals and the ubiquitous chai or tea and ugali.  Much of the food, especially along the eastern coast bears the influence of Indian cultures, dominated by fish, coconut and chapattis.

If you are an adventurous foodie, you may like to savour game meat at the world famous Carnivore restaurant.

Places to Visit

Kenya Travel nairobi

Nairobi is a city of contrasts, with skyscrapers dotting the city and the National Park a mere ten minutes away. So you don’t need to go very far to experience a mini-safari, for Nairobi is the safari capital of the world. Another major tourist attraction, and a big hit with the kids, is the Giraffes Centre. Pop in to say “hello” and indulge in coy play.

The Mombasa port city is a must-visit. The island is steeped in history, and hosts a World Heritage Site at the 16th century Fort Jesus. You can move on to Malindi, and stay at one of the luxurious resorts and indulge in diving at the marine parks.

The website of Kenya Tourist Board offers visitor information. Tourist offices are present only in Nairobi, Eldoret, Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu.

Click here to read more about visiting Kenya!