Getting to know Kenya
In Kenya, safari is nearly synonymous with the name of the country itself. There aren't many sites on Earth that inspire such a sense of exploration and romanticism as the Grand Canyon. Visitors visiting Kenya are wowed by the variety of things to see and do, with wildlife viewing at the top of the list.
Come face-to-to-face with elephants in Amboseli or marvel at Lake Nakuru, which is flecked with thousands of flamingos, as the wildebeest migrate through the Maasai Mara. Among the ancient tribes that still practice their ancient ways are the Maasai, the Kikuyu, and the Samburu, all of whom live in relative harmony with the natural world.
There is a treasure trove of coastal gems outside the well-known safari sites. Coral reefs teeming with marine life await you, as do pristine beaches, a cosmopolitan mix of cultures and cuisines in Mombasa and Malindi, and a chance to explore Swahili-influenced tropical islands.
Kenya's natural beauty can be seen everywhere you look. Craters and mountains surround the Great Rift Valley as it divides Africa. If you head toward the east of this valley, you'll find Mount Kenya and crystal-clear streams where you may catch brook trout. There are obsidian caverns in Hell's Gate National Park, as well as natural geysers and hot springs.
Amboseli National Park
In the shadow of Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya’s Amboseli National Reserve is a popular tourist destination. The Maasai word “Amboseli” means “salty dust,” which is a fitting descriptor of the park’s dry climate.
In Africa, the reserve is one of the best places to get up close and personal with elephants. More than 600 kinds of birds, including lions, cheetahs, giraffes, impalas, waterbucks, and gazelles, can be found in the park.
These five ecosystems include the dried-up lakebed of Lake Amboseli as well as swamps and woods that are home to an abundance of wildlife. The Maasai people who live in the park’s immediate vicinity may be able to assist you in finding them.
Tsavo national park
Tsavo National Park, Kenya’s largest, is divided into two sections: Tsavo West and Tsavo Eastern. They make up 4% of the country’s total land area and include a swath of rivers, a vast lava-rock plateau, and an astounding diversity of fauna.
It is not uncommon to see enormous elephant herds rolling and swimming in red dust in Tsavo East, a region halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa. The Galana River, which runs through the park and is lined with palm trees, makes for great wildlife watching and provides a lush contrast to the dry plains.
Maasai Mara national reserve
Known colloquially as “Masai Mara” because of its name in the Maasai language, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to some of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife. Mara, Tanzania’s northern Serengeti extension, serves as a wildlife corridor between Tanzania and the United States.
It’s named after the Maasai people who reside in the park and graze their livestock here, as they have for decades. Mara means “mottled” in their language, which could be a reference to the way the acacia trees and the cloud-strewn skies on the vast grasslands interact with light and shadow.
In the months of July through October, the park attracts tens of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle during the Great Migration.
Hippos and crocodiles abound along the Mara River. Due to its significant lion, cheetah, and leopard populations, the park is also recognized for its outstanding predator sightings during the dry months of December through February.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NGCA)
The pink flamingos of Lake Nakuru National Park, located in central Kenya, are the park’s most iconic feature. The birds go to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes that comprise nearly a third of the park’s territory, for nectar.
More than 450 kinds of birds have been sighted in the park since it was founded in 1961, as well as an abundance of other wildlife. A wide variety of species can be spotted, including python, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, white rhinos, lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, and pythons, among others.
Euphorbia candelabrum is Africa’s largest euphorbia candelabrum forest, and it is protected by the park. Because they are native to the area, these towering, branching succulents add an eye-catching layer of texture to the desert vistas.
In the north-east of Mombasa, on the little island of Lamu, there is an air of antiquity. In addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lamu Old Town in Kenya is the country’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement.
One of the best ways to experience the city is to take a leisurely stroll through its winding lanes. The island’s long history of trade is seen in the architecture. There is a distinct Swahili technique seen in the architectural styles of the Arab world, Europe, and India. Coral stone structures, intricately carved wooden doors, hidden courtyards, verandas, and rooftop patios are all common.
It’s as if you’ve stepped back in time when you visit. The port is plowed by dhows, there are few or no motorized cars, and donkeys still ply the streets. Men and women in Lamu are both dressed in traditional Muslim garb.
Lamu Museum, which features displays on Swahili culture and maritime history, Lamu Fort, and the Donkey Sanctuary are among the island’s most popular attractions.
There are white-sand beaches and Arabic coffee shops on the island if all the history gets to be too much.
Lake Naivasha, at the highest point of the Great Rift Valley, is a sanctuary for birds. This area is home to more than 400 different kinds of birds. Some of the most notable are the African fish eagle, the jacana, the white-fronted bee-eater, and a variety of kingfisher breeds.
On a boat, you’ll get the finest view of the wildlife. Giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and eland graze along the lake’s shore as hippos splash about. You may also see colobus monkeys in the trees.
The Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, located near Lake Naivasha, has a nature walk rich in wildlife.
You’ll have lots of options in Kenya’s capital and largest city if you’re seeking for activities other than safaris. When it comes to its colorful colonial past, Nairobi is a city that never fails to wow. Colonialists were lured to come here by the promise of riches in the lucrative coffee and tea trades. Today, you may visit some of the city’s most famous historical landmarks, as well as some of the best wildlife attractions in the area.
Is Kenya on your list of places to visit? In Nairobi, you’ll find a number of worthwhile attractions. You can learn about Kenyan history, natural science, cultural traditions, as well as modern art, all in one place at the Nairobi National Museum. Botanic gardens are available for anyone with a green thumb.
Karen Blixen Museum, the reconstructed home of the well-known Danish author of the book Out of Africa, better known as Isak Dinesen, is another renowned tourist site.
Visit Nairobi National Park, which is now home to a black rhino sanctuary and a variety of other African animals, if you want to observe wildlife without leaving the city center
National Park of Nairobi
You don’t have to leave the city of Nairobi in order to go on a safari. From the bustle of Kenya’s capital, you can take a 15-minute drive to Nairobi National Park, where you may stare at sleeping lions and graceful giraffes strolling through the golden grass.
One of the best things to do in Nairobi is to visit this wildlife-rich park, which is a great day excursion if you can’t make it to one of the larger game reserves.
Buffalo, leopard, zebras, wildebeests, hippos, elephants, and cheetahs are among the park’s iconic safari stars, and the park’s rhino sanctuary is home to some of the planet’s most endangered animals.
As a birdwatcher, you’ll be pleased to learn that the Nairobi Safari Walk offers a chance to see more than 400 different species of birds, including the majestic grey-crowned cranes.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery at the park’s main entrance is a must-see for any visitor to the park. Check out Giraffe Centre, which is located just outside the famous Giraffe Manor, where these long-necked beauties will happily eat from your hands
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery
A baby elephant is impossible to resist. At the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, you can get up up and personal with adorable young elephants while supporting an important conservation group.
Orphaned elephants are rescued and rehabilitated at this well-known wildlife refuge, where visitors can get up close and personal with the adorable animals. Keepers bottle-feed the baby elephants at this facility, which is open to the public until the elephants are about two or three years old.
A reintegration center in Tsavo East National Park is the final destination for the elephants before they are released back into the wild.
You’ll never forget the experience of watching these lively pint-sized pachyderms play in the mud or kick a soccer ball about
Located north of Mombasa, Malindi is a town with two distinct personalities. In this renowned beach town, you’ll find a mix of old and new. A wide variety of ethnicities and cuisines have converged here due to the city’s long history of trade.
Watamu Beach and the Malindi and Watamu Marine National Parks are popular destinations for tourists from around the world. Get some sun at the stunning Malindi Beach, one of the best free things to do in Kenya.
The old town, which goes back to the 12th century, is also a great place to learn about Swahili culture. The Jami Mosque, two 14th-century pillar tombs, and the Church of St. Francis Xavier, one of East Africa’s oldest churches, may all be found in this area.
The Vasco De Gama Cross, which stands on the promontory, is one of Africa’s oldest monuments.
An additional well-liked tourist destination in Kenya is the Falconry, which treats sick and injured birds.
The Marafa Depression, located around 30 kilometers northeast of Malindi, is also worth a visit. This series of wind- and rain-sculpted sandstone canyons, also known as Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari, is like a miniature Grand Canyon.