Things to do in Kenya
You’re in Africa, so inevitably you came here to experience a safari. Congratulations, you’re in the right country. Here are a few handy tips for your Kenya wilderness adventure: pack some heavy duty mosquito repellent to minimise your risk of contracting malaria and wear subtle, subdued tones when you’re on safari – no use trying to sneak up on a pride of lions in a neon t-shirt! You can totally get your explorer on by packing a Swiss Army knife, binoculars and a wide-brimmed hat.
While the obvious choice for many is to head Maasai Mara on safari, don’t neglect your other options. There are several national parks in Kenya each with unique qualities – Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, for one, is set on a beautiful volcanic crater lake and hikers can ascend the steep rim of the crater. On the ground, giraffes, zebras and buffalos wander the plains. There’s even a small turquoise lake here that locals believe has healing properties for the animals.
At Fort Jesus, an old Portuguese military fort located on Mombasa Island, you’ll see well-preserved examples of 16th-century Portuguese military defences. The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1593 to enforce their decree over the coastal Swahilis, but they didn’t manage to hold on to it for long with at least 9 recorded bloody sieges between 1631 and 1875 until it finally landed under British control.
Also not to be overlooked is the Kenyan coast - the Lamu, Malindi and Mombasa coastal stretches feature some amazing beaches and marine life with plenty of adventures to be had out on the water from sailing to scuba diving. Just inland from the coast of Watamu Beach are the Gede ruins. Hidden away in the forest are the remains of a forgotten civilisation’s houses, palaces and mosques and what’s even more intriguing is there are no records of the Gede’s existence in any historic tomes. For our top places to go in Kenya, read on.
Situated in southwest Kenya, Maasai Mara National Reserve is named in honour of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the land, who are well known for their distinctive customs and dress.
Once the charming farmhouse of acclaimed Danish author Karen Blixen, famous for her popular novel, ‘Out of Africa’, and the subsequent film, the Karen Blixen Museum is a tribute to her life and times in Africa, and Kenya in particular.
The only protected area in the world in such close proximity to a capital city, Nairobi National Park is a true city safari where you can spy lions, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles, giraffes and many more African wildlife just 7 kilometres from Kenya's capital.
An Indian Ocean seaside resort in Kenya, Diani Beach offers white sand, crystal-clear waters fringed with coral reefs and cheeky monkeys hiding in palm trees by the shore. Head here for a beach retreat with a wildlife reserve at your doorstep.
Resplendent in pink, Lake Nakuru National Park in central Kenya is home to the magnificent sight of thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that congregate at the lake to feed, as well as providing the habitat for 56 different species of mammals in this unique ecosystem.
The largest park in Kenya, Tsavo East National Park covers a massive 4 percent of the country's total land area. Head here to see huge numbers of elephants as they lumber through the red dust of the Tsavo and cool off in the Galana River.