Picture this: breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, rich culture, and pristine beaches. Kenya has it all, and we’re here to take you on an unforgettable journey through this incredible East African gem. From thrilling wildlife safaris to relaxing on stunning beaches and immersing yourself in local traditions, prepare for the adventure of a lifetime with our top “things to do in Kenya”!

Key Takeaways

  • Discover Kenya’s incredible wildlife and stunning natural wonders on an unforgettable adventure!
  • Experience the vibrant culture of local communities through warrior training, attending cultural festivals & more.
  • Explore Mount Kenya, the Great Rift Valley & Lake Nakuru National Park with its huge flocks of pink flamingos!

Things to Do in Kenya

1. Discover Kenya’s Wildlife on Safari

Kenya is renowned for its abundant wildlife and world-famous safari parks. With diverse landscapes and unique ecosystems, the country offers unforgettable experiences for wildlife enthusiasts.

Some of Kenya’s most thrilling safari destinations are the Masai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, and Tsavo East National Park. Each park boasts a distinct array of wildlife, ensuring that your safari adventure will be extraordinary.

Masai Mara National Reserve

Blue Wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the annual migration in Kenya.
Blue Wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the annual migration in Kenya.

The Masai Mara National Reserve represents the quintessence of an African safari experience. This world-renowned reserve is home to the Great Migration, where thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle travel to and from the Serengeti between July and October. Witnessing this awe-inspiring spectacle is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as you watch the animals traverse the plains and cross the treacherous Mara River.

Beyond the Great Migration, the Masai Mara is revered for its abundant wildlife, especially the Big 5.

  • Lions
  • Leopards
  • Elephants
  • Buffalos
  • Rhinos

Embark on thrilling game drives, horseback safaris, or even hot air balloon rides to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The beauty of the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Samburu National Reserve will leave you speechless, creating memories that last a lifetime.

Amboseli National Park

Herd of African elephants walking together with a background of Kilimanjaro mountain at Amboseli National Park Kenya.
Herd of African elephants walking together with a background of Kilimanjaro mountain at Amboseli National Park Kenya.

Imagine standing amid a diverse landscape, with the majestic silhouette of Mount Kilimanjaro towering in the background. Welcome to the Amboseli National Park, a captivating destination renowned for:

  • Its stunning views of Africa’s tallest peak
  • Memorable wildlife encounters
  • Large herds of elephants
  • Big cats
  • Giraffes
  • Over 600 species of birds

A visit to the Amboseli National Park allows you to explore various habitats, including:

  • The dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli
  • Wetlands with sulfur springs
  • Savannah
  • Woodlands

Engage with the local Maasai people and learn about their culture and traditions, adding a unique cultural dimension to your wildlife adventure.

Tsavo East National Park

Elephant Park Tsavo in Kenya.
Elephant Park Tsavo in Kenya.

Step into Tsavo East National Park, one of Kenya’s most ancient and extensive national parks, with expansive landscapes and exceptional wildlife. This park is home to the famous red elephants of Tsavo, the Big 5, hippopotami, crocodiles, and over 100 species of birds. The park’s diverse landscape includes the Galana River, Yatta Plateau, and Mudanda Rock, each offering unique opportunities for wildlife sightings.

Some of the park’s highlights include Mzima Springs, Chaimu Crater, and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary. Explore the park on exciting game drives, relax by the waterholes, and watch the animals come to drink, or take a guided walking safari to get up close and personal with the park’s inhabitants.

Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park are must-visit destinations for any wildlife enthusiast visiting Kenya.

2. Embrace Adventure at Hell’s Gate National Park

Safari in Hell's Gate National Park in Kenya.
Safari in Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya.

Hell’s Gate National Park provides a distinctive and exhilarating experience for those who thirst for adventure. Unlike most national parks in Kenya, Hell’s Gate allows visitors to explore its stunning landscapes and wildlife on foot, bike, or rock climbing.

With impressive red cliffs and undulating grasslands, the park is also home to an array of wildlife, including leopards, baboons, and over 100 species of birds.

Hiking and Rock Climbing

For those seeking a physical ordeal, the hiking and rock climbing opportunities in Hell’s Gate National Park will unquestionably push your boundaries. The park’s terrain offers varying difficulty levels, ensuring that beginners and experienced climbers can find a suitable challenge. As you ascend the cliffs, take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking views of the park’s unique geological formations and abundant wildlife.

For a more leisurely adventure, consider hiking in the nearby Ngong Hills or Mount Longonot, located within the Great Rift Valley. These hikes offer stunning panoramas of the surrounding landscapes and opportunities to spot wildlife and learn about the region’s geology and history.

Cycling Tours

Pedaling tours in Hell’s Gate National Park offer a thrilling method to traverse the varied terrain and observe wildlife. Choose from various cycling routes, from short loops to longer routes that take you deep into the park. As you pedal through the park, watch for zebras, giraffes, and antelopes, which may be grazing nearby.

To make the most of your cycling adventure, consider joining a guided tour or renting a mountain bike from one of the camps and lodges around Naivasha Lake. These tours often include knowledgeable guides who can share fascinating insights about the park’s wildlife and geology, ensuring a memorable and educational experience.

3. Immerse Yourself in Nairobi’s Culture and History

Nairobi, Kenya’s vibrant capital, has a rich history and culture ready to be discovered. From fascinating museums like the Nairobi National Museum and Karen Blixen Museum to delicious local cuisine, there is no shortage of opportunities to immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage.

Discover the stories and traditions that have shaped Nairobi and Kenya and create lasting memories.

Nairobi National Museum

Entry to the National Museum building in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya, Africa.
Entry to the National Museum building in the capital city of Nairobi, Kenya, Africa.

The Nairobi National Museum is an irresistible stop for those intrigued by Kenya’s heritage, culture, and wildlife. The museum’s diverse exhibits and galleries showcase the country’s rich heritage, from its prehistoric past to the present. From the impressive collection of fossils to the stunning artwork and artifacts, the museum offers a comprehensive overview of Kenya’s fascinating history.

One of the museum’s main attractions is its focus on the country’s wildlife, featuring exhibits on Kenya’s diverse ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them. With displays on everything from big cats to birds, the Nairobi National Museum is a great introduction to the country’s incredible wildlife and an excellent starting point for your Kenyan adventure.

Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Blixen Museum in Nairobi, Kenya.
Karen Blixen Museum in Nairobi, Kenya.

Travel back in time to the Karen Blixen Museum, previously the residence of the esteemed author of “Out of Africa.” Located on the outskirts of Nairobi, this historic house museum offers a glimpse into Kenya’s colonial past and the life of one of its most famous residents. The museum is filled with period pieces and original artifacts owned by Blixen, providing an authentic and immersive experience.

As you explore the museum and its lush, green grounds, you’ll better understand Kenya’s history and the fascinating stories that have shaped the country. Take advantage of the opportunity to experience this unique piece of Kenya’s cultural heritage during your visit to Nairobi.

Sample Local Cuisine

A journey to Kenya is complete with savoring the country’s delectable local dishes. With a blend of African, Indian, and Middle Eastern flavors, Kenyan dishes offer a unique and delicious culinary experience. Some must-try dishes include:

  • Samosas
  • Chicken Biryani
  • Ugali (a staple made from maize flour)
  • Nyama choma (grilled meat)
  • Sukuma wiki (collard greens)
  • Chapati (flatbread)
  • Mandazi (fried dough)

From flavorful Swahili dishes like samosas and chicken biryani in Mombasa to the street food tours that showcase the best of Nairobi’s food scene, there’s something for every palate.

As you sample the local flavors, you will satisfy your taste buds and gain a deeper appreciation for the rich and diverse culture that defines Kenya. So go ahead, dig in, and savor the taste of Kenya’s vibrant culinary scene.

4. Relax on Kenya’s Stunning Beaches

For those seeking respite from the thrill of safaris and cultural encounters, Kenya’s beautiful beaches provide an ideal haven for relaxation and sunbathing. With pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and swaying palm trees, the beautiful beaches of Diani, Watamu, and Lamu Island will surely leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

As you relax on the shores of the Indian Ocean, you can also indulge in various water sports and activities to complete your beach vacation.

Diani Beach

Idyllic beach landscape in Diani Beach, Kenya, Africa.
Idyllic beach landscape in Diani Beach, Kenya, Africa.

Located south of Mombasa, Diani Beach is a slice of paradise with its wide, white sands and shimmering turquoise waters. This idyllic beach is the perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try your hand at various water sports such as kite surfing, jet skiing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The clear, warm waters of the Indian Ocean provide the ideal conditions for exploring the vibrant marine life that thrives beneath the surface.

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider skydiving over Diani Beach and taking in the breathtaking views from above. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer to lounge on the soft sands, there’s no doubt that Diani Beach will leave a lasting impression and provide memories that will last a lifetime.

Watamu Beach

Aerial drone shot of Watamu Beach and Town with anchored boats, sandy beaches, and lush forest hugging the coast.
Aerial drone shot of Watamu Beach and Town with anchored boats, sandy beaches, and lush forest hugging the coast.

Nestled in the coastal town of Malindi, Watamu Beach is another stunning destination for beach lovers. This beautiful beach is located within the Watamu Marine National Park, offering a unique opportunity to explore the colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life that call this protected area home. Watch for playful dolphins frolicking in the waves as you relax on the soft sands.

In addition to its natural beauty, Watamu Beach offers exciting water sports and activities, such as water skiing, snorkeling, and glass-bottomed boat tours. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the underwater wonders of the marine park, Watamu Beach is a must-visit destination for any beach lover.

Lamu Island

Shela beach in Lamu, Kenya.
Shela beach in Lamu, Kenya.

For a truly unique beach experience, head to Lamu Island, Kenya’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient Swahili town boasts narrow streets, intricately carved wooden doors, and beautiful coral stone buildings that transport you back in time. The laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and stunning beaches make Lamu Island a perfect relaxing destination and soak up the rich culture and history.

Beyond its charming streets, Lamu Island offers:

  • Shela Beach is a pristine stretch of sand where you can unwind and take in the stunning surroundings
  • Traditional Swahili-style houses for a more immersive experience
  • Dhow rides to explore the other islands in the Lamu Archipelago

Lamu Island offers a truly unforgettable experience that combines relaxation, culture, and history.

5. Connect with Local Communities and Traditions

Establishing connections with its local communities and traditions is indispensable to truly grasp the essence of Kenya. Engage with the Maasai people through warrior training, attend vibrant cultural festivals, or stay at a community-owned eco-lodge to taste authentic Kenyan life.

These experiences enrich your travel memories and provide invaluable support to the local communities.

Maasai Warrior Training

Maasai warrior on the beach in Diani Beach, Kenya.
Maasai warrior on the beach in Diani Beach, Kenya.

For those who have longed to tread the path of a Maasai warrior, the opportunity is now at hand. Embark on an exciting cultural adventure by participating in Maasai warrior training at a local eco-camp. You’ll learn the skills and traditions of these iconic warriors, including playfighting with sticks, singing, and jumping.

Maasai warrior training provides a unique opportunity to:

  • Immerse yourself in the life of a Maasai warrior
  • Gain a deeper understanding of their culture and way of life
  • Engage with the local community
  • Learn their traditions
  • Create lasting memories and connections that will stay with you long after your trip to Kenya.

Attend Cultural Festivals

Experience the vibrant culture of Kenya by attending some of its most colorful and lively festivals. Here are three festivals you shouldn’t miss:

  1. The Lake Turkana Festival in May celebrates the local Turkana people’s culture and traditions.
  2. The Rift Valley Festival in August showcases music, art, and dance from the region.
  3. The Lamu Festival in November offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich Swahili culture in the ancient town of Lamu.

These festivals provide a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in Kenya’s diverse cultures and traditions while learning about the country’s history and heritage. As you dance, sing, and celebrate with the local people, you’ll create unforgettable memories and forge connections that will last a lifetime.

Visit Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge

To submerge oneself in the local culture, consider a stay at Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge, an eco-lodge in Kenya managed and owned by the community. This rustic lodge, located on the Il Ngwesi Group Ranch, is owned and run by the Maasai community and made of local materials. The lodge offers six rooms with stunning views of the surrounding bush and a small infinity pool for relaxation.

By staying at Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge, you’ll witness daily wildlife encounters, including elephants at the nearby waterhole, and support the local Maasai community in their efforts to preserve their culture and protect their environment. This unforgettable experience allows you to connect with local communities and traditions in a meaningful and sustainable way.

6. Explore Kenya’s Natural Wonders

The varied landscapes of Kenya shelter some of the world’s most awe-inspiring natural marvels. From the awe-inspiring peaks of Mount Kenya and the vast expanse of the Great Rift Valley to the pink flamingos of Lake Nakuru National Park, there is no shortage of stunning sights to explore.

Embark on a journey through these incredible destinations in East Africa and discover the beauty of Kenya’s natural wonders for yourself.

Hike Mount Kenya

The pink cloud floats above Mt. Kenya during sunrise. Snow at the equator.
The pink cloud floats above Mt. Kenya during sunrise. Snow at the equator.

For those searching for a challenge, an unforgettable adventure awaits through a hike to the summit of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak. This UNESCO World Heritage Site provides a rare spectacle of equatorial snow. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes as you ascend its slopes.

Hiking Mount Kenya typically takes four or five arduous days, with various routes offering a unique experience. As you climb, you’ll encounter diverse ecosystems, stunning vistas, and even the chance to spot some of the park’s unique wildlife.

Reaching the summit of Mount Kenya is a rewarding accomplishment that will undoubtedly be a highlight of your Kenyan adventure.

Great Rift Valley

Somewhere in the land of the Masai, Kenya.
Somewhere in the land of the Masai, Kenya. Overflying the harsh shrubland of the Masai Land in Kenya. The ridges are part of the typical Rift Valley landscape. A country road winds below along these steep slopes, where some trucks can be seen.

The Great Rift Valley, with its series of interconnected geographic trenches spanning an astonishing 7,000 kilometers, is a natural spectacle that needs to be seen to be truly appreciated. This incredible geological formation is home to stunning cliffs, volcanic hills, and soda lakes that offer a unique and diverse landscape for exploration.

As you traverse the valley, you’ll encounter various wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, and giraffes. Some of the most popular destinations within the Great Rift Valley include Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate National Park, and the Menengai Crater, each offering unique wildlife sightings and geological exploration opportunities.

No matter where you choose to explore within the Great Rift Valley, you’re sure to be amazed by the sheer beauty and diversity of this vast and awe-inspiring region.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Beautiful Flamingoes on Lake Nakuru.
Beautiful Flamingoes on Lake Nakuru.

A short drive from Nairobi leads to two unique destinations: Nairobi National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park. The latter presents a unique fusion of wildlife and breathtaking natural beauty. The park is famous for its:

  • Huge flocks of pink flamingos create a stunning spectacle against the backdrop of the lake
  • Black and white rhinos
  • Lions
  • Leopards
  • Various species of antelope

In addition to these colorful birds and majestic wild animals, the park offers a truly unforgettable experience for nature lovers, making it one of the must-see tourist attractions.

As you explore the park, take the opportunity to visit the various viewpoints that offer stunning panoramas of the lake and its surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re watching the flamingos from afar or embarking on a thrilling game drive to spot the park’s diverse wildlife, Lake Nakuru National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.


From thrilling wildlife safaris and relaxing on stunning beaches to engaging with local communities and exploring the country’s natural wonders, Kenya offers many unforgettable experiences that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime. So pack your bags and embark on the adventure of a lifetime in this incredible East African gem. Undoubtedly, Kenya will capture your heart and leave you yearning for more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kenya best known for?

Kenya is the world’s best safari destination, known for its stunning landscapes and vast wildlife preserves home to the Big Five – lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo.

It also has a rich history of ports that have been trading points between Asia and East Africa for centuries.

What do people in Kenya do for fun?

Kenyans love outdoor adventure, like safaris and exploring the Maasai Mara and Mount Kenya, or historical sights like Takwa ruins and Fort Jesus.

Locals also like coming together for fun activities such as pool, paintball, bowling, indoor rock climbing, ice skating, and going-kart racing. Whether you’re an adrenaline seeker or a history buff, there’s something fun for everyone in Kenya!

What do tourists come to see in Kenya?

Tourists flock to Kenya for the breathtaking wildlife in its national parks, such as the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve, where you can spot the Big Five and the fascinating Nilotic Maasai tribe with their iconic red shuka.

You can also explore Nairobi’s attractions like the Nairobi National Park, the Karen Blixen Museum, The Giraffe Center, The Bomas of Kenya, and the Nairobi National Museum.

Is Kenya affordable to visit?

Visiting Kenya can be quite affordable – with costs only slightly higher than other African countries due to its more developed tourism industry. However, safaris and long-distance travel can add up.

What is the best time of year to visit Kenya for wildlife safaris?

Experience the best of Kenya’s wildlife on a safari during the dry season, from June to October – the perfect time for spotting animals near water sources!