10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kenya
Kenya boasts an array of natural and historical attractions. Kisumu Museum displays animal exhibits, musical instruments and findings from ethnographic studies.
Malindi is an idyllic coastal town known for its white sand beaches and vibrant Arab and Swahili cultures. Home to Watamu Marine National Park, Jami Mosque and St Francis Xavier Church.
1. Maasai Mara National Reserve
Maasai Mara National Reserve is an iconic safari destination boasting one of Africa’s highest concentrations of big game species, such as lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants and gazelles. You may even spot herds of gazelles zebras and wildebeest roaming its plains!
Visitors to Maasai villages offer guests a chance to gain insight into the tribe’s rich culture through guided nature walks and bush meals, among other activities. Game drives remain an option but for an unforgettable cultural experience guests should visit one.
For optimal animal viewing and viewing of the Great Wildebeest Migration, June-November is the optimal period for visiting. At this time of year, animals become easier to spot. Also during this time is when birders have access to over 500 resident and migrant bird species (including large martial eagles and vultures). There is also an impressive variety of reptiles and amphibians found throughout the park.
2. Tsavo National Park
Tsavo National Park is an exceptional wildlife viewing destination renowned for its lion population. The rugged and untamable terrain spanning arid plains, bushland and volcanic lava flows is home to vast herds of elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, waterbucks, antelope and many other animals – not to mention Tsavo’s signature lions!
Tsavo National Park boasts not only wildlife, but also incredible natural features. These include Aruba Dam – which attracts animals during dry season; Lugard Falls (more of rapids than waterfall); and the Yatta Plateau, home of the longest lava flow in the world.
Yatta Plateau is best-known as the home of the Man-Eaters of Tsavo, a pride of lions that preyed upon Indian migrant workers building railway. Furthermore, Mudanda Rock provides stunning views of elephant herds coming to drink at a watering hole below.
3. Amboseli National Park
Have you seen those pictures featuring Mount Kilimanjaro towering majestically above an elephant herd, or of a hot air balloon gliding serenely above a lush forest landscape? Chances are these shots were likely taken at Amboseli National Park.
The park is known for its stunning panoramic view created by Mount Kilimanjaro as well as for its vast herds of wildebeest, zebras, buffaloes, and other plains game such as wild dogs, lions, cheetahs, leopards as well as its over 400 bird species.
Amboseli National Park offers activities and attractions to keep any traveller occupied year-round, from wildlife encounters to cultural experiences – there’s something here for everyone here. Enjoy sundowner experiences, take part in nearby excursions or engage with conservation initiatives for an immersive connection to this natural marvel. Experience Kenya’s jaw-dropping wilderness on an unforgettable safari journey!
4. Lake Nakuru National Park
The park is best-known for its lake, home to flamingos and other bird species, as well as its landscape that boasts steep rocky escarpments and dense forests that serve as viewpoints during game viewing experiences.
As well as its iconic soda lake, this park is home to an abundance of wildlife species including black and white rhinoceroses and giraffes; notable mammals include zebras, hippopotomuses, buffalos, and African wild dogs.
Lake Nakuru National Park boasts a variety of accommodation options, from eco-friendly retreats like Lake Nakuru Lodge to opulent safari tent camps like Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge. Makalia Falls hike is another noteworthy activity that showcases nature’s beauty while open air markets provide opportunities to shop ornamental beadwork and other Kenyan crafts; additionally, Utamaduni Centre provides insight into their creation process.
5. Malindi Beach
Malindi Beach, located just north of Mombasa, is an exquisite coastal town boasting white sand beaches and sparkling blue waters – it is also an incredibly popular spot for watersports like scuba diving and snorkeling.
Malindi offers plenty of opportunities for pedestrian exploration, from strolling along its streets to joining guided tours to nearby Gedi Ruins which date back to 13th-century Swahili towns.
Other activities in the region include visiting the Vasco da Gama Pillar and Church as physical reminders of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s stay here, and Marafa Hell’s Kitchen; an enchanting maze of sandstone gorges and valleys within Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve that make an incredible photograph opportunity. At sunset, these picturesque spots come alive with fiery colors of fire!
6. Gedi Ruins
Gedi Ruins in Kenya’s Machu Picchu. Rediscovered and excavated during the 1920s. These ancient Swahili coastal settlements belonged to one of many medieval Swahili coastal settlements but for reasons still unknown were abandoned in 17th Century.
Today, you can explore the ruins with their mosques, palaces, tombs, city walls and coral tombs as evidence of the town’s bustling past.
Arabuko Sokoke National Park is home to Arabuko Sokoke Ruins, which make a fantastic day trip for history lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. A visit here should not be missed by history or nature enthusiasts – and those with children as it offers some fantastic photo opps! Be sure to bring along your camera as these well-preserved ruins provide numerous photo opps!
7. Nairobi National Museum
Nairobi National Museum (NMK) showcases Kenya’s cultural heritage. Offering shopping and dining opportunities as well as serene botanical gardens for relaxation. Night tours can also be organized for organized groups.
The National Museum of Kenya features several cultural exhibits that explore Kenyan communities and languages through ethnology galleries, history exhibits and its struggle for independence. Furthermore, there is the “Small Five” gallery which displays less-well known game animals found throughout Kenya.
Cradle of Humankind features an astounding collection of fossils. Just steps away is the Great Hall of Mammals with many stuffed specimens of mammal species as well as musical instruments displayed. Additionally, there’s even a snake park at NMK where visitors can interact with these harmless reptiles and enjoy their company.
8. Amboseli Wildlife Sanctuary
Amboseli National Park in Kenya’s second most-visited wildlife reserve after Masai Mara National Reserve. Featuring large herds of elephants and views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Amboseli also allows visitors to experience culture from Maasai tribe.
Visitors to the park can engage in various activities, including game drives and walking safaris, or visit the Observation Hill, a pyramid-shaped lookout point with breathtaking views of all its swamps and wetlands.
The park boasts an incredible diversity of animals, including lions, elephants, buffalo and Grant’s zebras. Additionally, over 400 bird species can be spotted flitting about its swamp areas, grasslands and acacia woodlands – not forgetting its famed elephant herds that roam freely across its dusty plains unfazed by vehicles.
9. Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Kenya is world renowned for its exceptional safari experiences and wildebeest migration, but this diverse destination has much more to offer – tropical forests, azure lakes, rugged snow-capped mountains and vibrant tribal cultures are just some of the attractions to discover!
Step into the Sweetwaters Chimpanze Sanctuary and hear the chatter of our ancestral cousins in an environment which attempts to replicate their natural habitat. Observe Poco, an upright walking former circus animal from Burundi known for preferring upright walking positions, as he interacts with his caregivers.
And then head to Amboseli National Park, home of two of the last remaining northern white rhinoceroses, for a thrilling game drive under the impressive backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro. Keep an eye out for all five Big Five as well as other wildlife like giraffes, buffaloes and plain animals such as zebras – plus visit Ol Pejeta Conservancy which stands as a leader in wildlife and community conservation and is home to two rare northern white rhinos!
10. Laikipia Plateau
Laikipia Plateau is an expansive wild landscape comprised of open grassy plains, high altitude plateaux, acacia bushland, forested valleys, and rugged hills. This county contains much of Kenya’s endangered wildlife such as black rhinoceroses and African wild dogs and has seen notable increases in Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe populations as well.
Laikipia County consists of numerous conservancies and ranches rather than one national park, so visitors can immerse themselves in nature without facing crowds of tourists at more popular safari parks or reserves across Kenya. Many lodges and camps in Laikipia embrace an ethos of authenticity, offering visitors activities such as walking safaris, camel treks, family friendly adventures and much more! For an immersive safari experience visit between July and October when wildebeest migration takes place in Masai Mara.