Best Places to Visit In Kenya
Kenya is considered one of the most popular African countries for travelers, and for good reason.
Although this country is one of the most famous destinations to enjoy a safari tour (there are 15 reserves), that’s not all Kenya is known for: it also has a stunning coastline, beautiful jungles, and tropical rainforests, and a thriving food scene.
However, it can be tough figuring out what the best places to visit in Kenya are, especially as a first-time tourist.
No worries: this guide will go over the most popular things to do — all you need to do is apply for your eVisa (the Kenya visa on arrival was recently discontinued) and pack your bags.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the world’s most amazing wildlife sanctuaries and a must-do while in Kenya.
This national reserve stretches across some 1,510 square kilometers (580 sq mi) but feels as if it’s an endless African savannah, with a huge variety of flora and fauna.
The reserve is home to hundreds of different animal breeds, including antelopes, zebras, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, birds, and much more. However, the real stars of the show are the Big Five: the lion, leopard, black rhinoceros, bush elephant, and buffalo.
It’s here where you can cross off your bucket list and see these gentle giants by taking a safari tour. If you’re lucky enough to come here between July to October, you’ll also have a unique opportunity to see the Great Wildebeest Migration.
During this time, tens of thousands of wildebeests (as well as a few other animals) migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
While the Maasai Mara has its migration of wildebeests, there’s a completely different type of migration happening over at Lake Nakuru: millions of pink flamingos.
That’s not a typo: there really are a million flamingos flocking here each and every year, and in some cases, that number even reaches 2 million.
In addition to the breathtaking views of ‘Flamingo Lake,’ as tourists like to call it, you can see other African animals like lions, leopards, pythons, white rhinos, and much more.
If you have a day or two at the lake, be sure to check out the surrounding area. The landscapes range from wide meadows bordering the lake to rocky cliffs and dense forests — everything you need for an epic adventure.
Nairobi is the capital of Kenya and the largest city in the country (and throughout East Africa) that is bustling with modern buildings, interesting museums, up-and-coming restaurants, and much more.
Travelers can get acquainted with the historical heritage of the city by visiting the center, which has plenty of souvenir shops, galleries, and cafes. Speaking of which: while here, don’t miss trendy cafes like Wasp and Sprout, Connect Coffee, and Cafe Dali.
Meanwhile, culture lovers will appreciate the many museums that will acquaint you with the history of Nairobi and Kenya. One of the most popular is the National Museum of Nairobi, which has collected thousands of exhibits devoted to the country’s history, nature, culture, and modern art.
Finally, literature lovers should definitely plan to visit the Karen Blixen Museum. This famous Danish writer once moved to Kenya and was so inspired by the landscapes that she wrote her books here.
Malindi is a true paradise for beach lovers and could rival even the Maldives or Thailand’s azure-blue waters.
This small yet cute town perfectly combines all the charms of modern life with the beautiful old architecture of Kenya’s past.
In fact, Malindi is divided into two parts: the first is a modern zone with many cool hotels, trendy cafes, and clubs, while the second is the historical part with the old Arab quarter, authentic restaurants, small souvenir shops, and sweet mom-and-pop hotels run by local families.
However, that’s not all: the local beaches here are considered some of the best in Kenya thanks to the clean coastline, warm sand, and pleasant temperatures all year-’round.
Just 120-some miles north of Malindi is another Kenyan paradise called Lamu Island.
This small island has retained its old-world charm — so much so that Lamu’s Old Town is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
This was inspired by the fact that the Old Town is Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited town and is full of rich history, narrow streets, and interesting architecture. The local architecture combines elements of Arabic, European, and even Indian traditions, which are all blended together with the local Swahili style to create a mesmerizing scene.
A trip to Lamu Island is like going back in time, especially since there is a lack of cars on the streets, and traditional boats can still be seen sailing near the harbor.
Finish off your whirlwind trip to Kenya by relaxing on a beach. Thankfully, Lamu Island has plenty — just take your pick.
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