For a country of its size, Kenya sure packs a lot in: mountains and deserts, colourful tribal culture, beaches and coral reefs, and some of Africa’s best wildlife attractions. In fact, to say Kenya is Africa in microcosm would not be stretching the point. There are a million different reasons to come here, and picking just one is nigh impossible. Stunning landscapes set the scene, from Kakamega’s rainforests to Indian Ocean beaches by way of Mt Kenya National Park; the rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara to searing deserts on the shores of the Jade Sea; with The Rift Valley, home to Hell's Gate National Park, cleaving a massive gash through it all.
Wildlife safaris have been the mainstay of Kenya’s tourism for decades, and several Kenyan parks, like Tsavo National Park, are among the best places in Africa to see lions, elephants, leopards and the famous wildebeest migration. Kenya rates as one of the top five bird-watching destinations in the world; other activities for outdoor enthusiasts include trekking the glacial ridges of Mt Kenya, ballooning over the Masai Mara, snorkelling at the Marine National Park in Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast, and much more besides. Kenya's biggest city, Nairobi, with the baddest of reputations, is sidestepped by many visitors, but, in fairness, has an interesting urban appeal with its cafes and nightlife.
The people, too, represent a wide cross-section of everything that is contemporary Africa, and everyday life brings together traditional tribes and urban families; ancient customs and modern sensibilities. Swapping the latest political gossip with the switched-on locals is just one more small pleasure that comes with the culture.
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Best places to stay in Kenya
East Africa travel guide
Gentle gorillas, stampeding wildebeest, snow-capped peaks, paradisiacal beaches and an amazing array of tribal cultures - all this and more await you in East Africa, one of Africa's most enticing corners.
Ten of the world's most mind-blowing landscapes
Gazing at a remarkable view for the first time is one of travel’s greatest thrills - and these 10 landscapes are among the most mind-blowing we’ve ever seen. Straight from our brand-new hardback Lonely Planet's Beautiful World, these landscapes are almost too extraordinary to be real.
Kenya travel guide
Kenya is the Africa you always dreamed of. This is a land of vast savannahs, immense herds of wildlife and peoples with proud traditions on the soil where the human race was born.
Nairobi) is Kenya’s biggest and baddest city, or so the rumour goes.
Wild at heart: best animal adventures
Set your pulse racing with the wildest animal adventures around the world. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures.
Kenya - Plan your trip (Chapter)
Your journey to Kenya starts here. You’ll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus indepth info on spotting the Big Five on safaris into the wild and trekking majestic mountains or rolling hill country and forests.
Road to Zanzibar
Visit Africa and travel along the road to Zanzibar through Kenya and Tanzania. Cross vast savannas where magnificent herds of elephants roam, enjoy warm village welcomes in lush jungles and see where white sand and palm trees meet the deep, blue sea on the coast of the Indian Ocean.
Kenya and Tanzania Safari in Comfort
A classic circuit of some of Kenya and Tanzania's best safari lodges, national parks and wildlife reserves
Five amazing places to experience another culture
Learning about the culture and customs of other people is one of the great experiences of travel. Explore the planet's diversity with one of these locally owned and authentic tribal encounters. H'mong women by Maria Hsu.
Kenya - Southern (Chapter)
Southern Kenya is one of the great wildlife-watching destinations in Africa. Here you find a triumvirate of epic Kenyan parks that are home to the Big Five and so much more. This is Kenya at its wildest and yet most accessible.