Visitors flying to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, find themselves in East Africa’s most modern city, with high rise offices, rush hour crowds and broad streets lined with its jacaranda trees. Travelers who arrive in Kenya on a truck from the wilds of southern Sudan pass local Turkana people wearing traditional beads and waiting by desert truck stops. If you sail along the coast by dhow (a wooden boat with a triangular sail) you can explore long beaches, mangrove swamps, and ancient villages of white stone houses.
If you speed into Kenya on board a crowded matutu (minibus), you will cross the hot rolling plains. Here and there you can see giraffes munching on the leaves of acacia trees, herds of elephants, and galloping zebras. Tourists are attracted by the wildlife, scenery, and the friendly people. Kenya is indeed one of the most beautiful countries in Africa.
These are the top ten not to be missed places in Kenya.
Safaris in Kenya
Safaris in Kenya are one of the top attractions. To read more about the various Safaris in Kenya, please go to:
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
is an animal nursery dedicated to the abandoned and orphaned small elephant. The opening hours are from 10 am to 11 am, so be aware of the time to visit this attraction. The elephants are gathered together in a large enclosure where they are fed with milk, and where they can play in a mud puddle.
It is really fun, suitable for children, but especially for all animal lovers. It is the meeting with both the elephants and Dame Daphne Sheldrick that tourists anticipate the most. At 11 am, you will witness the arrival in hordes of the hungry young elephants with their trunks raised and mouth open ready to pounce on their bottles and then jump to play together in the pit mud. They are also given shrubs before going to sleep.
What a thrill to be among them, to pet, touch, and to relate with them. Why is it so? Because when you approach these baby elephants they make an effort to lengthen their trunk to make your acquaintance.
And it is an indescribable experience. In addition, he chance to meet and be awed by the presence of its owner Dame Daphne Sheldrick in her house that is situated within the shelter. She is a woman who exudes strength, love and lots of determination. On the other hand it is precisely these characteristics that enable her to grow this center and turn it into what it is today. While it is true that tourism is strongly oriented to raise funds for the orphanage, it is undoubtedly a laudable initiative and without the visits from tourists the young elephants will not survive. This wildlife center is a must if you are in Nairobi.
is located just outside of Nairobi City in a very green suburb. You can stop by briefly and combine the visit with a visit to Karen Blixen’s house or restaurant. You can feed giraffes, which is the main attraction. They come and eat out of your hand or from the mouth! This is very amusing and entertaining. Be sure to visit this center! Nowhere on any safari will you be able to kiss and touch the giraffes’ soft chins. Standing next to them is already an awesome experience. Give special food and do not ask for a tip.
They are graceful and they have beautiful eyes! It takes a very long time trying to feed them, keeping food in the lips and finding a chance to kiss them. A lot of visitors and everyone is trying to do the same, taking a picture of them trying to kiss a giraffe. There you can see warthogs and the spectacular views of their natural habitat. In the center there is a small area where you can buy local souvenirs. The Giraffe Centre is a cozy place, but it takes a very small area. Incidentally, the crocodile farm is located nearby and where you can spend time to visit too.
If you like to contact with animals and never want to miss an opportunity to feed them on occasion, then you should definitely visit this place. It has enough wildlife experience for everyone and children in general will be ecstatic! This is a very popular place to visit in the day before hundreds of tourists arrive after lunch time. As a result, the animals are already reluctant and tired for feeding.
The giraffes are gorgeous and not only have long necks but also have long tongues and long eyelashes. The observation tower can be climbed easily but it is much too small for the large crowd of people that visits the site. The center makes a very good impression, even the animals look good, free to roam and wonder. Like all living creatures, giraffes are fed and nurtured, so if you schedule a time to visit, be sure to try to visit the center in the morning.
Nairobi National Park
If you have only one day in Nairobi, then you should definitely visit the
Nairobi National Park
. It is just 7 km away from the capital of Kenya. Because many animal species have been hunted down to extinction, the government makes a serious effort to protect them inside the National Park. It is best to go with a local guide, as the guides know the places where and at what time of the day the wild animals roam. You can only move through the park by car and by strictly defined paths. Out of the car is only allowed at special sites. In the park are almost all kinds of wildlife animals. And these animals in the wild behave quite differently. You need to bring a good camera and stay in the car for a very comfortable shoot and record this unforgettable experience. Spend at least a half day to fully absorb the beauty of this place.
The landscape, the vastness, it’s like a dream! In the background, see the skyline of Nairobi while in front of a couple of giraffes. Lions are quite rare, but many elephants, tigers, zebras, gazelles, monkeys, wildebeest, goats, buffalo, baboons, and from afar some rhinos. If you have seen other national parks, one can probably say this one is for the books with the huge variety of wildlife animals to observe and interact with. There is also an opportunity to see different animals in their natural habitat. Better to go early in the morning before the day gets quite hot and most animals are hiding from the heat. The safari takes about 3 hours to accomplish.
in Mombasa City is large and you can spend half a day of knowing a huge collection of wild animals. You should go at 3 pm to see the giraffes (but only during the hours in which they are to eat food). After getting a guide you can see the park and along the path, observe the massive hippos, antelopes, crocodiles, zebra, leopards, a terrarium, many monkeys, and gazelles who roam free. Do not expect all locals or cab drivers to know this place as it’s kind of remote and isolated. But it is definitely not to be missed if you are in the area for your beach holiday in the north coast of Mombasa which is where tourists frolic and have fun.
The guides here are very friendly and approachable, and selflessly share anecdotes, safari jokes, travel tips, and stroll with you in the park that bears the name of its founder (who for many years worked for the nearby cement factory). As you can see, the animals are not many, but they live in a wealthy area and therefore do not appear in a real zoo with cages or enclosures which limits their movement. Watch out for the times at which the animals are fed, you have to go to those hours and keep in mind it is the only time they are allowed to be seen.
is very typical and subject to fluctuations of the sea. It has very warm water and truly relaxing even if there is a bit of seaweed. Water is at 30 degrees and ideal for a perfect swim with the family and friends.
The coconut and the palm trees provide the shade. There is a shop here that sells a very tasty mango and freshly juices it for you to enjoy. Enjoy a refreshing walk along the beach with that is very long and clean. Hammocks are strung between palm trees making your holiday a wonderful stay. While it is a very nice beach with fine sand, it comes with some restrictions. At high tide you can walk just a few 100 meters to one side, because then water and rocks will be blocking the way.
To the other side, you will be held to take a dip by the lifeguards as this is supposed to be dangerous and risky. At night you can find people watching or chasing the crabs on the beach. It is very funny as the little critters do their best not to get caught.
is a little over an hour away from the town of Malindi. The canyon Marafa is an excursion that is not to be missed. The colors of the paintings seem to land and contrast with the savannah that surrounds the area which looks amazing. If you have a chance visit in the late afternoon to take advantage of the sunset light that accentuates even more colors, do so and you will not regret the calm and tranquil moment.
If the weather is slightly overcast and cloudy, the place loses its special peculiarity. It is highly recommended to wear closed shoes to avoid the risk of slipping on slopes of sandy soil. It is a beautiful experience to walk into the “devil’s kitchen” while waiting for the sun to set. Do not miss this tour if you are in Kenya.
Watamu National Marine Park
The excursion to the
Watamu National Marine Park
is usually sold to tourists as “Blue Safari in Sardinia 2”, which would be a strip of sand that emerges at low tide. The program provides middle, in no particular order: 1-phase snorkeling on the reef (beautiful even if you do not compare it to that of the Red Sea), 2-a great lunch of rice / grilled fish / fruit, 3 – a stop on these strips of sand in search of starfish, puffer fish, or just the perfect shot.
Be aware however, that among these three (wonderful) experiences there are at least 2-3 hours of sailing involved and that the program could change depending on the people that bring you and the course of the tide.
Lamu Old Town
Lamu Old Town
is the pearl of Kenya that is suspended in the atmosphere of the ancient traditions of the Arab and Swahili. To reach the archipelago of Lamu, necessarily make use of boats as it is not possible to ferry a car on the island and as such retains its extreme old world charm. Lamu Island is separated by a narrow strait from the island of Ireland. It is mostly visited for the famous ruins of Takwa, the remains of an ancient Swahili village of over 600 years old.
But do not come to see only the ruins of Takwa, there are other things to explore like the beautiful mangrove forests that provide wood for crafts, while to the east of the main island is the island of Manda Toto, which is wrapped with beautiful coral reefs, a paradise for snorkeling. Further north is the mystical island of Pate, the largest of the archipelago with some interesting villages like Faza, Shanga and Siyu which is famous for the ruins of a fortress. Even further away is the island of Kiwaru famous for its coral reefs protected by the Kiunga Marine National Reserve, and for its beautiful beaches that are located along the eastern side of the island. The Lamu archipelago is indeed a pure expression of the fusion of Arab culture with African culture.
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Kisumu Impala Park
is actually fully refurbished and renovated since 2010. This clean and quiet park invites to various places to picnic and linger with a very nice view of Lake Victoria. There are various viewpoints, freewheeling impalas, zebras and monkeys that roam all around. The visit to the Impala Park can also be combined very well with a boat tour; either rent a boat at the port or directly away from the park and arrange the tour with a local coxswain. You can go early in the morning or late in the evening which is a good opportunity to observe hippos. There is a boat launch in the park. The only downside is the extremely high entry price for foreigners but it is all worth it.
The shores of
are very nice, with fine white sand and vast coastline. It offers the possibility of long walks, cycling, or romantic strolls on this beach that is beautiful especially at dawn. However, it is subject to the phenomenon of low / high tide, but it is wonderful to swim in the crystal clear and warm water.
Along the beach there are many makeshift bazaars that offers souvenir shirts, trinkets, and handicrafts that you can bring home as gifts. You can swim all day with its natural end basins sand. It is wide, very wide, with tides that offer a different daily show.