Tourist attractions in Kenya are innumerable owing to the country’s breathtakingly diverse landscapes and captivating culture. No other country on earth can offer the visitor as much to see and do. Within the borders of a single country, you will find savannahs rich with big game, timeless cultures unchanged by the modern world, pristine beaches and coral reef, equatorial forests and mighty snow-capped mountains, searing deserts and cool highland retreats and endless opportunities for adventure, discovery, relaxation; more than you would ever expect .
From powder-soft secluded beaches, national parks teeming with millions of wildlife (including the much sought-after “Big Cats” and “Big Five”) to lakes brimming with fish and birds as well as mountains, cities and museums, Kenya truly offers the traveler an unparalleled range of options including activities such as film production. Hollywood has a long standing affair with Kenya that dates back to the 1930’s. Many classic adventure films were shot on location in Kenya, including the snows of Kilimanjaro starring Gregory Peck, King Solomon’s mines with Stewart Granger and Mogambo featuring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner.
Top tourist destinations in Kenya
You can get unedited glimpses into the lives of the Kenyan wild at the following spots:
• Masai Mara which is Kenya’s (and the world’s) original “lion country.” It is famed for its surreal annual wildebeest migration and an up-close encounter with Masai Warriors.
• Amboseli National Park which offers unbelievable concentrations of elephants and breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
• Tsavo west & Tsavo East National Parks, which is an excellent place for visitors who enjoy walking and who have time to spend days visiting the surroundings and the diverse habitats that the park provides.: open plains with scattered savannah bushes and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands, rocky ridges and outcrops and isolated hills, riverine vegetation, palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountane forest.
• Lake Nakuru National Park which is home to considerable populations of Kenya animals, it is more famous for its millions of flamingoes whose plumes turn Lake Nakuru into a “sea of pink.”
• Nairobi National Park which offers an unbelievable wilderness experience in the heart of the capital of Kenya. Equally astounding is that it is home to all the ‘Big Five’ except the mighty elephant.
• The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which runs an orphanage for elephants and rhinos. Here we get nerve-tingly close to some adorable orphaned baby elephants.
• Giraffe Center When we want to see a giraffe close up, to pose with it and feed the world’s tallest mammals
• The Nairobi Safari Walk, which is a family favorite and one of the popular tourist attractions in Kenya which is great for anyone craving a quasi-wild experience
• The Mamba Villages in Mombasa and Nairobi which offers you an opportunity to witness Nile crocodiles jostling for meat at feeding time.
• Haller Park which sits on a disused cement quarry in Mombasa. It is a fascinating lesson in reclamation. Haller Park was the site of an unusual friendship between a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-year old male tortoise!
The best places to laze on the Kenya beaches, reputed to be the finest in Africa are:
• Mombasa, which is the gateway to the Kenyan coast, its home to some secluded, dazzling white and powder-soft beaches.
• Lamu, an island town famous for using donkeys and dhows as the main modes of transport and its laid back attitude
• Malindi, which boasts as being the water sports and deep sea fishing capital of Kenya
• Watamu, home to some of the best coral reefs in the world offering some great snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Lakes and Rivers
• Lake Victoria which is the second largest fresh water lake in the world. It is great for Nile Perch fishing and unwinding.
• Lake Naivasha which is a fresh water lake located in Naivasha town, about an hour’s drive from Nairobi.
• Lake Bogoria which is a saline lake located in Kenya’s Rift Valley that is famous for its geysers and hot springs
• Lake Turkana, formerly referred to as Lake Rudolf, it is located in Northeastern Kenya. It is the world’s largest permanent desert lake and is home to crocodiles, vipers and even scorpions
• Tana River which is crocodile-infested and is the country’s longest and hosts the country’s largest Hydro electric power stations.
• Mount Kenya which is the highest mountain in Kenya. Its jagged edges offer a lifetime adventure for those with a knack for high altitudes.
• Mount Elgon which straddles the Kenya-Uganda border. It has 5 major peaks, the highest of which is Wagagai located in Uganda
• Mount Kilimanjaro also known as “roof of Africa,”which is located in neighboring Tanzania and the best views of it are in Kenya
• Nairobi National Museum which displays some impressive archeological exhibits such as those of Mary and Louis Leakey which confirmed Kenya as “the cradle of humankind”
• Karen Blixen Museum which is the former house occupied by Karen Blixen, the Danish author of the bestselling Out of Africa novel.
• Fort Jesus which was built in the sixteenth century and was the scene of several gruesome battles between the Portuguese and Omani Arabs
• Kisumu Museum whose notable displays include hissing snakes, crocodiles, a Luo homestead and traditional artifacts from the Luo community
• Gedi Ruins which are the remains of a Swahili town constructed in the twelfth century. It is one of the popular tourist attractions in Kenya and is highly recommended for archeologically inquisitive minds.
To savor all these stunning attractions, one, of course, has to visit Kenya and experience a lifetime encounter where the “world meets the wild”.