- Ranking of the best sights in Kenya
- Kenya’s best national parks and reserves
- Masai Mara National Park
- Samburu National Wildlife Refuge
- Ol Pejeta Reserve
- Nairobi National Park
- Watamu National Park
- Kenya’s Best Beaches
- Che Chalet
- Kenya’s best natural attractions
- Thomson’s Falls
- Sheldrick Falls
- Lugard Falls
- Mount Kenya
- Elephant Hill
- Kenya’s Best Museums
- Gede Ruins
- Karen Blixen Museum
- National Museum of Nairobi
- Bomas in Kenya
- Fort Gieses Museum
Kenya is one of the most popular countries for travel in Africa. On a relatively small area there are 60 national parks. Tourists visit the state for safari, animal-watching and savannah rides. Especially interesting are the spontaneous migrations of animals, when more than 2 million cloven-hoofed animals begin to move in search of food and water. Here there are many beaches, and if you cross the southern border with Tanzania, you can see with your own eyes the largest mountain in Africa – Kilimanjaro. Discover the best sights, national parks, nature sites and museums in Kenya from our ranking.
Ranking of the best sights in Kenya
|Kenya’s best national parks and reserves||1||Masai Mara National Park||5.0|
|2||Samburu National Reserve||4.9|
|3||Ol Pejeta Reserve||4.8|
|4||Nairobi National Park||4.7|
|5||Watamu National Park||4.7|
|Best Beaches in Kenya||1||Diani||5.0|
|KENYA’S BEST NATURAL ATTRACTIONS||1||Thomson’s Falls||5.0|
|Kenya’s Best Museums||1||Gede Ruins||5.0|
|2||Karen Blixen Museum||4.9|
|3||National Museum of Nairobi||4.8|
|4||Bomas in Kenya||4.7|
|5||Fort Gesas Museum||4.6|
Kenya’s best national parks and reserves
Masai Mara National Park
The best place for those who want to see animals living in the wild can be called the Masai Mara Reserve – it is one of the most visited places in Kenya, located in Narok County. An extension of the Serengeti Park. The name was derived from the tribe that inhabited the region and the corresponding river. The main attractions are the huge number of predatory and herbivorous animals, as well as the early autumn migration of antelope.
The total area of the protected area is 1,510 square kilometers. The area’s landscapes are savannah with lots of grass and acacia groves. The western boundary is formed by a rift, and this is where large herds of herbivores and carnivores inhabit. Among the rare species found here are cheetahs, black rhinos, leopards and other members of the big five. According to tourists, it is the Masai Mara National Park where you can find the best places for walking, photo shoots and unity with nature.
Samburu National Wildlife Refuge
Second place went to Samburu National Park, a large national park located 350 kilometers from the capital city. Almost 10 times the size of the previous park, but with much greater elevation differences. A large Buffalo Springs Wildlife Refuge is nearby. The terrain is also savannah, and the many palm trees and other plants provide excellent habitat for animals. Dry plains and hills are the characteristic scenery here. Temperatures can range from 18 to 30 degrees. The dry season lasts most of the summer, during which herds of animals begin to congregate en masse.
A vacation spot rich in flora and fauna. Large felines live here, and they are much less likely to leave the area than in the larger park, due to fear of humans. Currently, a large population of elephants can be found here, as well as other members of the big five. In addition, the national park is quite rich in birds, of which more than 350 species reside. Everyone can take memorable photos.
Ol Pejeta Reserve
This attraction is close to another major and memorable place – Mount Kenya. It is considered one of the best in terms of keeping animals, making it a reservoir for many endangered species. In addition to members of the well-known “Big Five”, the large complex has become a habitat for more than 1,000 different taxonomic groups of animals. During safari here you can meet chimpanzees and other amazing creatures.
Visitors enjoy listening to guide stories, as well as observing animals in their natural life. For example, for the rare black rhinoceroses, which have been included in the red book. At the moment there are 88 animals here as well as a few northern white rhinos that are almost extinct on the planet. In this park everyone will have a chance to experience the extraordinary nature of Africa.
Nairobi National Park
The oldest wildlife watching spot in Kenya is ranked #4 in this section. The reserve has become a habitat for about 500 species of animals and birds. This park is the most successful conservation area for endangered rhino species. The peculiarity of its location is that it is not far from the capital. This also creates a number of problems, as residents may disturb the animals. The park was opened in 1946.
The total area is 117.2 square kilometers, which allows you to cross most of the tourist routes in a short time. The climate of the area is mostly dry. You can get here directly from the airport or the city center. To the south is the large Mbagati River. The park is dominated by flat terrain and dry forests. Tourists highlight the beautiful nature of the area.
Watamu National Park
Lastly, we would like to highlight the National Marine Park in Kenya, which was founded in 1968. This part of the large Malindi Marine Reserve is part of the Biosphere Reserve. The humid coastal climate makes for excellent living conditions for many animals and birds. The warm water provides an ideal environment for fish. Large coral reefs are close to the shore and are considered the backbone of the park’s biosphere. There are up to 150 species of polyps and sponges that provide food for waterfowl.
Watamu is home to many species of turtles, and there is a conservation program to prevent damage to the clutches. In addition, this place is a typical nesting area for more than 100 species of birds, including birds of prey and found exclusively here. You can capture them in the wild as well as on poles and wires.
Kenya’s Best Beaches
In first place is the main beach of the country, located on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It is located 19 km south of Mombasa. Diani Beach covers over 17 km. The large area contains many different sites for diving, and an extensive infrastructure for entertainment allows for a passive holiday that takes into account local traditions. In the northern part of the beach you can find many species of birds that nest here.
Among the advantages is the absence of dangerous predators, large coral reefs and beautiful scenery. It maintains a stable temperature all year round. The climate is warm and humid and the water is very pleasant. Even in the wintertime in the equatorial country, it is safe to swim. For those who like to save money, you can highlight the rainy season in early summer, when prices will be significantly lower.
Next up is another amazing natural attraction, the large village of Watamu, which is surrounded by many picturesque beaches. It’s an eco-tourist’s dream. From here you can sail to the large national parks of Watamu and Malindi where you can spot more amazing species of fish and animals than anywhere else in the world. There are a lot of shops with accessories where tourists can buy many things of local culture. From the village with beaches you get to the ruins of Gede.
The water temperature almost never drops below 20 degrees. And in the summertime can exceed +34. The beach and village are surrounded by many coral reefs that stretch more than 300 meters from the shore and are a recognized landmark of the country. Diving enthusiasts can meet many species of underwater fauna. Visitors to this region highlight the huge number of activities and beautiful views.
Nyali Beach is firmly ranked #3 on Kenya’s Best Beaches list. It is close to Mombasa, so there is no problem getting here. The beautiful and large beach with powdery sand is great for sunbathing. The long tides have ensured a clean ocean bottom, and the locals are constantly trying to get rid of algae for the comfort of tourists.
Nearby are hotels with all amenities and balconies. For those who don’t want to stay in a room, there are plenty of facilities for active and passive recreation along the coastline. According to tourist reviews, this place is one of the best, not only in terms of diving or swimming, but also to get acquainted with the cultural traditions and attractions of Mombasa. There are 123 restaurants nearby as well as numerous parks including the Fort Jesus Museum.
In fourth place was a beach that rarely makes the top. That’s why it’s so good, there’s almost no characteristic rampart of people in this region. The golden sand here is pleasantly shimmering in the sun and has a great texture. Located on the Kenyan coast, the large beach is one of the most beautiful in the country, attracting tourists all year round.
It is known for its soft sand and very clear water, which is a nice place to relax, which has become the reason why tourists constantly come here. The beach is great for water sports, including swimming and diving. It is located near Malindi. There is a proper national park, as well as many hotels that are located on the shoreline. The place is open throughout the seasons and the Indian Ocean always has a pleasant temperature. Entrance is completely free.
Bamburi is a unique beach as it is the only free and unrestricted beach in Mombasa. Locals even gave it the name pirate beach. The main advantage is that it is cheap. There are hotels here with the price of a night not more than $200. In addition, this beach is relatively easy to get to. However, you have to fly in from Mombasa International Airport in Nairobi.
The climate on the beaches is excellent. You can swim all year round. The rainy season begins in May and lasts until July. Water temperature practically never drops below 27 degrees, and outside holds up to 30. The humidity is also quite pleasant, as for a region like this. Tourists highlight the large number of entertainment and people on this beach. If you want a more secluded spot, choose other options.
Kenya’s best natural attractions
A large waterfall is sure to take the lead because of its size and location. Thomson’s Falls is a large natural feature with a height of 74 meters on the Evaso Ngiro River, which is a tributary of the Evaso Ngiro, one of the largest rivers in Africa. The waterfall is located in the north of the city in the Laikipia region.
The elevation is 2,360 meters above sea level. It was discovered by Joseph Thomson, a naturalist from Scotland, who reached the site in 1886. Here you can always admire the flow of water falling from a huge height, and ensure yourself an interesting vacation, being immersed in local traditions. All visitors who have been there note the majesty and beauty of this place. Locals always offer to buy a large number of souvenirs.
In second place are the beautiful waterfalls, which are located in southeastern Kenya, near the city of Mombasa. A characteristic feature of this place is the large number of plants that frame it. Lianas and other flora surround a large waterfall on all sides.
The local government (Kenya Wildlife Conservancy) has organized 2 kilometers of walking areas. The height of the waterfall is 21 meters. “Sheldrick” has been declared a protected area by the government, and special services constantly monitor its cleanliness. The water flowing from this waterfall connects with the Mkurumuzi River and Ramisi. It is actively used by locals for household chores. Tourists remark on the fascinating walk along tree-covered paths, making a visit to this place unforgettable.
The bronze medalist is the waterfall, which is formed where the Galana River flows through volcanic rocks, creating a series of rapids through which the water moves very quickly. Discovered it by Frederick Lugard, who traveled to Uganda. This is one of the few places in the Tsavo National Park designed for hiking. Here you can see atypical for this region geological formations, drawings on the rocks, which appeared after the cooling lava.
You can also explore the area from different sides of the river with many places. The Kenya Nature Conservancy has set up several observation decks with a beautiful view of volcanic rock, the Yatta Plateau, and crocodiles. You can safely visit this place at any time. Lugarda Falls is located in southern Kenya. Visitors highlight a huge number of natural attractions in a relatively small area.
The highest mountain in Kenya, and the second largest after Kilimanjaro volcano, was also included in the rating. The height of the peak is 5199 meters. It is located in the central part of the country, 150 km north of the capital Nairobi. In fact, it is a layered volcano, and relatively young. The mountain was discovered in 1849 and explored in 1887. Throughout its area are 8 natural areas that have become habitats for various animals and plants. That’s why Mount Kenya National Park, a World Heritage site, was founded here. Over 15,000 tourists visit each year.
There are 9 tribes living around the mountain, which differ in their cultural characteristics. The forest area is full of mammals and birds. Beginning at 2,000 meters, the slopes are covered in equatorial forests and home to cedars, olives, ferns and giant bamboos. The dense vegetation has become a habitat for birds and animals, as well as large felines. Tourists report an unforgettable experience in the area.
Elephant Hill is in the south of the Aberder Range and about 90 kilometers north of Nairobi. It is a great place to train climbers, especially those who are going to conquer mountains such as Kenya or Kilimanjaro. The Aberder Range is west of Mount Kenya and is almost 90 kilometers long. The same place is the catchment area for all of Nairobi.
There are many hiking trails that circle Elephant Hill. You can reach it from the Nyabini forest station, which is about 4 kilometers from the city center. There are plenty of trails on the slopes of the ridge as well as resting places and viewing platforms. It is worth preparing for the high humidity in the jungle. According to tourists, the ridge and the mountain are some of Kenya’s best natural attractions, thanks to the lush vegetation and outdoor activities.
Kenya’s Best Museums
The ruins of Gedi are one of the most important archaeological sites located in eastern Kenya. They are located next to the town of the same name in the forest of Arabuco-Sokoke. This is one of the many Swahili settlements founded in the Middle Ages that have survived from Somalia to the Zambezi. It is also the most actively excavated and studied area of Arab ruins.
Gedi includes a fortress and surrounding houses built of stone. Uneven distribution throughout the city can already tell a lot about the visitor. In addition, there are a number of large areas that have been built up with straw and earth houses. Gedi was formerly a major trading center, one of the most important on the ocean coast. Here you can also find cultural memorabilia from all over the region: beads, coins, and pottery, which shows the connection of different nationalities here. Tourists highlight this place as one of the oldest in the country.
Karen Blixen Museum
In second place is a large museum complex located near Nairobi. A famous Danish writer lived here from 1917 to 1930. The museum’s collection includes personal interior items that were sold by the author when she moved and later purchased by the government to create the museum. Among them, the bookcase built for Denis Hutton’s work occupies a special place. Some of the museum contains props from the movie “Out of Africa”.
The building was built in 1912, and the cultural landmark was established in 1986. Here the writer and her husband were actively growing coffee, later they left Africa. Subsequently, an autobiographical novel was written. The Nairobi Karen suburb of Nairobi has sprung up around this site. After the release of Out of Africa, the Kenyan government bought the building and set up a museum.
National Museum of Nairobi
The large national cultural center is located 10 minutes from the center of the capital. It is housed in the largest city in the country, and there are many exhibits that focus on the cultural and historical milestones of the country. It was opened in 1930, and in 1963., When Kenya became independent, a corporation of National Museums of the State was established.
In 2008, the Karen Blixen Museum in Nairobi was ranked second. Museum was reopened under a new name, and many exhibits were added to the show. Among them are a stuffed elephant, exhibits that talk about geology, anthropology and other cultural milestones in the country, including the skull of the primitive people who inhabited the region in ancient. Among the most valuable exhibits are the findings of paleoanthropologists, as well as stands with the cultural traditions of the local population. The museum is great for tourists who enjoy visiting cultural heritage sites in other countries.
Bomas in Kenya
Bomas in Kenya is a small tourist village located in Langate, near Nairobi. Here you can explore all the major milestones in the sociological development of Kenya’s tribes. The village was established in 1971 as an affiliate of the major Kenya Tourism Organization and has since become a cultural landmark and mass tourism destination.
Tourists say they find it interesting to learn about the way of life of people who lived more than 100 years ago in another country with a different way of life. Here you can see an unconventional look at clay and wooden houses, and on holidays and exhibits learn about traditional dances. The organizers regularly hold concerts and fire shows, which are very spectacular against a backdrop of wood and clay decorations.
Fort Gieses Museum
Fort Giesus is a major Portuguese structure that was built in the late 16th century. Passed to the Turks several times and was later captured by the British. After that it was used as a prison. After Kenya gained independence the fort became a World Heritage Site. There are a lot of interesting things for tourists to see here, from unconventional architectural solutions to the weaponry used by modern superpowers in the region to control the strait.
The fort is 2.36 hectares in size and is shaped like a square. The exterior of the building looks like a Renaissance structure. After the conquest by the Turks, they fortified the fort, but the original idea of the late 16th century remains. In the middle area you can find the museum, which contains many artefacts from the Portuguese shipwrecks in the Indian Ocean. You can also find ruins of a chapel from that time here.