Kenya is one of Africa’s most popular countries and well-loved travel destinations. When you consider that this beautiful East African country offers unique landscapes (everything from imposing mountains to savannahs, lakes and even beach paradise), rich wildlife and some excellent cities, like its capital, Nairobi, and lovely accommodation offerings – it is easy to see why that is.
In this post, we look at five of the most unmissable experiences that locals and international travellers can enjoy in Kenya:
1) Explore the Capital City, Nairobi
As Kenya’s bustling, vibrant capital city, Nairobi is an important and key city that is well worth visiting. Situated in the south-central part of Kenya, this beautiful city offers plenty for locals and travellers alike to see and do.
With everything from quality local markets to historical landmarks and gorgeous parks, Nairobi offers something ideally suited to every type of traveller.
Some of the best things to see in and around Kenya’s capital city include:
- Giraffe Centre: A haven for endangered giraffes. It is located some 20 kilometres outside Nairobi making it perfect for a day trip.
- Karen Blixen Museum: This is one of Kenya’s most famous national museums. It is also famously the former African home base of Danish author, Karen Blixen, who actually wrote ‘Out of Africa’ around her life in Kenya.
- Nairobi National Park: This national park is home to rich wildlife. It lies just 7 kilometres outside of Nairobi so again, it’s close by and easy to access!
Other great experiences in or near Nairobi include The Maasai Market (for all the local, colourful crafts and ornaments you could want); David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (an elephant orphanage and rescue and rehabilitation centre) and Nairobi National Museum, which offers rich, insightful glimpses into Kenya’s rich history and unique culture.
2) Check-in to the Famous Giraffe Manor
While Kenya offers plenty of incredible accommodation picks – everything from dreamy camps to luxurious resorts – arguably one of the country’s most well-known accommodation offerings is the now-world-famous Giraffe Manor.
This incredible, exclusive boutique hotel is one of the most beautiful, unique accommodation gems you will unearth anywhere in the world – so naturally, it is an iconic part of Kenya too.
Set amid 12 acres of private land, within a further 140 acres of indigenous forest in Nairobi’s Langata suburb, Giraffe Manor ensures an unforgettable stay. And one that is famed for the herd of Rothschild’s giraffe who sometimes even stick their long necks into the windows or explore the hotel grounds.
In addition to being able to stay at a hotel that is literally home to free-roaming giraffes, you can also enjoy the hotel’s stately exteriors and opulent interiors, green gardens and beautiful sunny terraces. Not to mention, every possible creature comfort that it has to offer!
Note: Due to its global popularity and uniqueness, Giraffe Manor makes for a pretty pricey stay. However, if you can afford to, you should definitely consider a stay here! Just keep in mind that it normally books up months in advance…
3) Head on a Safari in Masai Mara National Reserve
Found in southwest Kenya, the vast, incomparably beautiful Masai Mara National Reserve is certainly one of Kenya – and Africa’s – most unmissable attractions.
Covering some 1 510 square kilometres, this incredible national reserve – which offers everything from amazing photo opportunities to rich wildlife and stunning scenery – is perfect for memorable Kenyan safaris.
Happily, this reserve also has a wonderful concentration of wildlife year-round. It is home to some two million antelopes, wildebeest, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetahs and giraffes to name only a few of the great animals that call this special national treasure home.
The reserve also offers some excellent accommodation so travellers can enjoy either day outings or extended trips to this gorgeous place.
4) Explore the Stunning Serengeti
This amazing geographical region, which spans from northern Tanzania into Kenya, is one of the most beloved, world-famous regions in all of Africa.
Here, in what is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, guests can witness one of the largest terrestrial mammal migrations in the world – namely, the phenomenal Great Migration.
Aside from that, visitors can also enjoy exploring a range of different parks and reserves, including Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s own Masai Mara National Reserve.
The Serengeti is also home to one of the best concentrations of game and wildlife in Africa – so even without the Great Migration, it is a pretty wonderful place to visit for wildlife viewing and outdoor safaris.
You can choose to soak up this special part of Africa through a glorious safari experience, luxurious overnight stay (in either mobile camps or permanent lodges) – or even simply by admiring the vast, endless plains and natural beauty that make the Serengeti so beautifully vital and unique.
5) Witness the Great Migration
Glimpsing the Great Migration, otherwise called the Wildebeest Migration – one of the world’s largest terrestrial mammal migrations – first-hand is one of those highly sought-after travel experiences that everyone dreams about seeing unfold.
Yet, this is something that not many of us will be fortunate enough to witness during our lifetimes.
If you can be one of the fortunate few though – there is no question that you should add witnessing the Great Migration to your Kenya travel bucket list.
Annually, though at slightly varying times (as this migration is entirely dependent on rainfall patterns and other natural factors), some two million Serengeti wildebeest – as well as zebra and gazelles – migrate from Tanzania’s southern Serengeti north into Kenya’s Masai Mara National Park.
If you are in Kenya, one of the best places to witness the migration can be near the Mara River, as this is where the herds cross.
This makes the river a special part of this unique natural occurrence – although it is not guaranteed that you will be able to time your visit for just when the river crossing occurs.
These are just five of the most unmissable travel experiences to enjoy in Kenya. Which is top of your list?