Kenya is a land of untamed wilderness and natural beauty, where the great African savannah stretches as far as the eye can see. From the majestic peak of Mount Kenya to the bustling streets of Nairobi, Kenya is a gem that has something for everyone.
Best Places to visit in Kenya
1. Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara is a vast wildlife reserve that spans an area of about 580 square miles. It is home to over 95 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as over 570 species of birds. This includes lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, crocodiles, hippos, and many more.
The reserve is also known for the annual wildebeest migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other animals cross over from Tanzania’s Serengeti in search of fresh pastures.
The best time to witness this natural wonder is between July and October. You can take guided safari tours or hot air balloon rides to view the wildlife from above.
2. Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is located in central Kenya and is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range. The park is popular for its beautiful mountainous landscapes, dense forests, waterfalls, and wildlife. Visitors to Aberdare can enjoy guided hikes to explore the Aberdare Range’s diverse ecosystems, which range from bamboo forests to high-altitude moorlands.
Aberdare National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalos, leopards, hyenas, and several species of primates, including the rare Colobus monkey. Visitors can also enjoy bird watching and trout fishing in the park’s streams and rivers.
While Aberdare is not as immensely popular as Masai Mara, it is one of the best places to visit in Kenya for a a perfect combination of wildlife, scenery, jungle and waterfalls.
3. Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 90,000-acre wildlife conservancy located in central Kenya, just north of the equator. It’s one of the largest black rhino sanctuaries in East Africa and home to the last two remaining northern white rhinos in the world.
Guided game drives allow visitors to see the conservancy’s incredible wildlife, including elephants, lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and hyenas. Ol Pejeta also offers various other activities, including walking safaris, night game drives, and visits to the chimpanzee sanctuary.
4. Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest peak in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro. It rises to an elevation of 5,199 meters (17,057 feet) above sea level.
Mount Kenya is located in the central region of Kenya and is surrounded by dense forests, that are home to a variety of wildlife, including the endangered mountain bongo antelope, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and hyenas.
The mountain is surrounded by protected areas, including Mount Kenya National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is a popular destination for climbers and hikers who love its unique scenery, flora and fauna, and challenging terrain. The most popular route is the Sirimon Route, which is known for its stunning views and diverse scenery.
5. Samburu National Park
Samburu National Park is a protected area in northern Kenya, located in Samburu County. The park covers an area of approximately 165 square kilometers (64 square miles) and is part of a larger ecosystem that includes the Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves.
Samburu is known for its unique landscape, which includes acacia woodland, grasslands, and the Ewaso Ng’iro River, which provides water for the park’s wildlife. Samburu National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, and several species of antelope, such as the Beisa Oryx, Grevy’s zebra, and reticulated giraffe.
The park is also home to over 350 species of birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers. One of the unique features of Samburu National Park is its “Special Five”, which includes five rare and unique species that are found only in the park or its neighboring reserves. These species are the reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa Oryx, Somali ostrich, and the gerenuk, a long-necked antelope.
Visitors to Samburu National Park can enjoy a range of activities, including game drives, guided walks, and cultural visits to the local Samburu communities.
6. Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park covers an area of about 392 square kilometers in the southern part of Kenya near the Tanzania border. It is known for its large herds of elephants and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.
The park is also home to lions, leopards, hyenas, wildebeest, giraffes, zebras, and a variety of bird species. These can be viewed during game drives and guided nature walks.
7. Lake Nakuru National Park
This park is located in the Rift Valley and covers an area of about 188 square kilometers. The park is named after Lake Nakuru, a shallow alkaline lake that is known for its large population of flamingos and other water birds.
The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, and many species of birds. Nakuru is also home to rare species such as the Rothschild’s giraffe.
Lake Nakuru is one of the best places to visit in Kenya for massive flocks of flamingos, it is probably the best in the whole of Africa.
8. Lamu Island
Lamu Island is a small island located off the coast of Kenya, in the Indian Ocean. It is part of the Lamu Archipelago, which includes several other islands and islets. It is one of the oldest Swahili settlements in East Africa and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The island has a rich history, culture, and architecture, with narrow alleyways, ornate balconies, and famous Swahili doors. You can explore the narrow streets of the Old Town, visit the Lamu Museum, or take a boat ride to nearby islands. You can also relax on the beaches, go for a swim, snorkel, or do some fishing.
Lamu Island is also known for its vibrant festivals and events, including the Lamu Cultural Festival, which celebrates the island’s culture, traditions, and cuisine.
9. Tsavo National Parks (West & East)
The 2 Tsavo parks form the largest game park in Kenya, covering an area of about 22,000 square kilometers. Tsavo East and Tsavo West have a variety of habitats, including open savannah, riverine forests, and semi-arid desert.
The Tsavo parks are home to wild animals such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, and many species of birds. The park is also known for its stunning scenery, including the Yatta Plateau, which is the world’s longest lava flow.
Tsavo is great for game drives, guided nature walks, bird watching, and visits to local Maasai villages. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and camping in designated areas.
Nairobi is the capital and largest city in Kenya. It is the melting pot of all Kenyan culture – both traditional and modern, from all corners of Kenya.
Nairobi is known for its pleasant climate, lush greenery, and attractions such as the Nairobi National Park, Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre, and Nairobi National Museum. It also has shopping malls, recreational parks, and a vibrant nightlife.
11. Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is located just 7 kilometers from Nairobi’s city center and covers an area of about 117 square kilometers.
Despite its proximity to the city, the park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and rhinos. This makes it one of the most accessible places to visit in Kenya – even for businesses travelers who can only spare a few hours.
Visitors can take guided safari tours or self-drive through the park. The park also has several picnic areas, walking trails, and viewpoints. The Nairobi Safari Walk, located within the park, is a great place to see some of Kenya’s most iconic animals up close, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, and wild dogs.
The park also has an animal orphanage, where visitors can see young animals that have been rescued or abandoned. The best time to visit the park is during the dry season, from June to October, when the animals are more visible due to the vegetation being less dense.
12. Hell’s Gate National Park
Hell’s Gate National Park is located in the Great Rift Valley and covers an area of about 68.25 square kilometers. It is known for its dramatic landscape of towering cliffs, gorges, and rock formations. It is also home to a wide variety of wildlife including buffalo, giraffes, zebras, baboons, and over 100 species of birds.
The park is named after a narrow canyon in the park that resembles the entrance to hell. The canyon is a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers, who come to explore the narrow gorge and its towering cliffs. The park is also home to several hot springs and geysers, which add to its otherworldly atmosphere.
You can explore the park on foot, and take guided hikes, bike rides, or rock-climbing expeditions to explore the stunning landscapes and geothermal features.
Mombasa is Kenya’s second-largest city. Mombasa is popular for beaches, water sports, and historic landmarks. Visitors to Mombasa can explore the old town’s narrow streets, mosques, and famous Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
Mombasa also has several museums, markets, and restaurants serving delicious Swahili cuisine. The city also has a Marine National Park which offers opportunities to view marine life.
You can also take boat rides, go snorkeling or diving to explore the coral reefs, or relax on the beautiful beaches.
14. Lake Turkana
Lake Turkana is a large, saline lake in the northern part of Kenya. It is the largest permanent desert lake in the world, covering an area of about 2,473 square miles and stretching about 180 miles from north to south.
Lake Turkana is surrounded by volcanic mountains and is home to several ethnic tribes, including the Turkana, Samburu, and El Molo. The lake is famous for its crocodiles, hippos, and fish, including the Nile perch.
Because of its location in Kenya’s dry north, Lake Turkana is one of the most off-the-beaten-path places to visit in Kenya.
As you can tell from all these places, Kenya has so much to offer any visitor. Whether you are interested in hiking, wildlife, beach, or the colorful culture, Kenya will have something wonderful for you. It is no wonder Kenya is one of Africa’s top tourist destinations.
It is worth mentioning that this list of the best places to visit in Kenya is not given in any measured order. Different people and trip ideas will always favor one attraction to another. Sometimes you will want the wilderness, other times the mountains or the beach – and that is the best part.
Take a look at our Kenya safari packages to get a better idea of how you would go on a safari. Our experienced safari experts will help you to plan and go on a safari that not only shows you the best of Kenya but takes you on an experience personally crafted for you.
Alternatively, send us a request for a custom safari that is designed with your ideas, schedule, and budget in mind.