Must-see attractions in Kenya

  • A car stopped on an african road in the amboseli park under mount Kilimanjaro while a giraffe is crossing the road

    Amboseli National Park


    Amboseli belongs in the elite of Kenya’s national parks, and it’s easy to see why. Its signature attraction is the sight of hundreds of big-tusked…

  • Fort Jesus in Mombasa, Kenya.

    Fort Jesus


    This 16th-century fort and Unesco World Heritage treasure is Mombasa’s most visited site. The metre-thick walls, frescoed interiors, traces of European…

  • Locals and tourists enjoying the Sheldrick Trust Elephant Orphans Project on a cloudy day in Nairobi, Kenya.

    David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust


    Occupying a plot within Nairobi National Park, this nonprofit trust was established in 1977, shortly after the death of David Sheldrick, who served as the…

  • Zebras in a field at Nairobi National Park with Nairobi city in the background.

    Nairobi National Park


    Welcome to Kenya’s most accessible yet incongruous safari experience. Set on the city’s southern outskirts, Nairobi National Park (at 117 sq km, one of…

  • Entrance of Nairobi National Museum.

    National Museum


    Kenya’s wonderful National Museum, housed in an imposing building amid lush, leafy grounds just outside the centre, has a good range of cultural and…

  • A Masai Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchii aka Kilimanjaro giraffe) and her calf in Nairobi National Park with the city in the background.
giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchii, kilimanjaro giraffe

    Giraffe Centre


    This centre, which protects the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, combines serious conservation with enjoyable activities. You can observe, hand…

  • The Lamu Museum in Lamu, Kenya.

    Lamu Museum

    Lamu Island

    The best museum in town (and the second best in Kenya) is housed in a grand Swahili warehouse on the waterfront. This is as good a gateway as you’ll get…

  • Galana River, Tsavo East National Park, Kenya.

    Galana River


    Running through the heart of the park and marking the northernmost point in the park that most visitors are allowed to visit, the Galana River, which…

  • Mzima Springs, Tsavo West National Park, Kenya.

    Mzima Springs

    Tsavo West National Park

    Mzima Springs is an oasis of green in the west of the park that produces an incredible 250 million litres of fresh water a day. The springs, whose source…

  • Landscape in Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya.

    Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary

    Tsavo West National Park

    At the base of Ngulia Hills, this 90-sq-km area is surrounded by a 1m-high electric fence and provides a measure of security for around 80 of the park's…

  • Wild zebras in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya.

    Tsavo West National Park


    Welcome to the wilderness. Tsavo West is one of Kenya’s larger national parks (9065 sq km), covering a huge variety of landscapes from swamps, natural…

  • The Karen Blixen house

    Karen Blixen's House & Museum


    If you loved Out of Africa, you'll love this museum in the farmhouse where author Karen Blixen lived between 1914 and 1931. She left after a series of…

  • Wasini Island and Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park, Kenya.

    Kisite Marine National Park

    Wasini Island

    Off the south coast of Wasini, this gorgeous marine park, which also incorporates the Mpunguti Marine National Reserve and the two tiny Penguti islands,…

  • Elephants in Tsavo East National Park in Kenya.

    Tsavo East National Park


    Kenya’s largest national park, Tsavo East has an undeniable wild and primordial charm and is a terrific wildlife-watching destination. Although one of…

  • A bench with a view in Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kenya.

    Shimba Hills National Reserve

    South Coast

    This park is among the easiest to visit in Kenya, within spitting distance of Diani Beach, with numerous driving routes and a couple of hiking trails. Its…

  • Shela beach in Lamu, Kenya.

    Shela Beach

    Lamu Island

    Most people are here for the beach – a 12km-long, wide sweep of pristine white sand where you’re guaranteed an isolated spot (at least if you’re…

  • Kanderi Swamp


    Around 10km from Voi Gate, the lovely area of green known as Kanderi Swamp is home to a resident pride of lions, and elephants also congregate near here;…

  • Bio-Ken Snake Farm & Laboratory


    This humble-looking place is one of the world's most renowned snake research centres. Bio-Ken specialises in antivenin research and acts as an emergency…

  • Ngulia Hills

    Tsavo West National Park

    Rising more than 600m above the valley floor and to a height of over 1800m above sea level, this jagged ridgeline ranks among the prettiest of all Tsavo…

  • Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary

    South Coast

    This sanctuary is a good example of community-based conservation, with local people acting as stakeholders in the project. It was opened in October 1995…

  • Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary


    The innovative community-run Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary covers 657 sq km and was formed from three community-owned ranches in 1996, but only opened…

  • Karunguru Coffee Estate


    This estate has been cultivating coffee since 1928, and its five-hour tours (which must be pre-booked) are outstanding, taking in an explanation of the…

  • Kaya Kinondo

    Diani Beach

    This forest, sacred to the Digo people, is the only one of the area's sacred forests that's open to visitors. Visiting this small grove is a nature walk,…

  • Jumba la Mtwana

    South Coast

    These Swahili ruins, just north of Mtwapa Creek, have as much archaeological grandeur as the more famous Gede ruins. Jumba la Mtwana means ‘Big House of…

  • Marafa Depression


    One of the more intriguing sights inland from the north Kenyan coast is Hell’s Kitchen or Nyari (‘the place broken by itself’). About 30km northeast of…

  • Making pottery at Kazuri Bead Factory, Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
making pottery, beads, kazuri bead factory

    Kazuri Beads & Pottery Centre


    An interesting diversion in Karen, this craft centre was started by an English expat in 1975 as a place where single mothers could learn a marketable…

  • Shetani Lava Flows

    Tsavo West National Park

    About 4km west of the Chyulu gate of Tsavo West National Park, on the road to Amboseli, are the spectacular Shetani lava flows. ‘Shetani’ means ‘devil’ in…

  • Elsamere

    Lake Naivasha

    Stippled with sisal, yellow fever trees and candelabra euphorbia, this is the former home of the late Joy Adamson of Born Free fame. She bought the house…

  • Haller Park

    South Coast

    This lovely wildlife sanctuary, part of the Baobab Adventure complex, includes a fish farm and reptile park. Guided walks around the park last about 1½…

  • Vuma Cliffs


    Just outside the village of Takaungu, you fly on the back of a motorbike down dirt roads, past spiky fields of sisal and giant baobabs towering above…

  • Colobus Conservation Centre

    Diani Beach

    Notice the monkeys clambering on rope ladders over the road? The 'colobridges' are the work of the Colobus Conservation Centre, which aims to protect the…

  • Takwa Ruins

    Lamu Archipelago

    What sets these ruins, the remains of a city that existed between the 15th and 17th centuries, apart from other archaeological sites on the coast? Quiet…

  • Gede Ruins


    This extensive collection of 13th- to 17th-century coral palaces, mosques and town houses – some of Kenya's most important Swahili ruins – lies quietly in…

  • Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve


    This 420-sq-km tract of natural forest – the largest indigenous coastal forest remaining in East Africa – is most famous as the home of the golden-rumped…

  • Watamu Turtle Watch


    This excellent organisation protects the approximately 50 hawksbill and green turtles that lay their eggs on Watamu Beach. The centre provides much-needed…

  • Endangered Species Enclosure

    Laikipia Plateau

    This 283-hectare drive-through enclosure next to the Morani Information Centre is home to the last three remaining northern white rhinos (one male and two…

  • Crescent Island

    Lake Naivasha

    This private island sanctuary can be reached by boat, or by driving across the narrow, swampy causeway from Sanctuary Farm. It's one of the few places in…

  • Go-Down Arts Centre


    The Go-Down Arts Centre, a converted warehouse in Industrial Area, contains 10 separate studios and is a hub for Nairobi's burgeoning arts scene, bringing…

  • Kisumu Main Market


    Kisumu’s main market is one of Kenya’s most animated markets and certainly one of its largest – it spills out onto the surrounding roads. If you’re…

  • Maasai tribesmen in the Maasai Mara National Park. Kenya. Africa.

    Masai Mara National Reserve

    Masai Mara

    The world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve needs little in the way of introduction. Its tawny, wildlife-stuffed savannahs are familiar to anyone who…

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