10 Top Outdoor Activities in Kenya

Outdoor activities are a great way to experience Kenya
Outdoor activities are a great way to experience Kenya | © Weldon Kennedy / Flickr
Photo of Nandika Macharia
19 June 2018

Choosing where to start in Kenya can be overwhelming. The country has many different outdoor activities, ranging from adrenaline-pumping adventures to more meditative outings.

Scuba diving on the Kenyan coast

There are many spectacular coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Manda Toto, Watamu, Kiunga Marine National Reserve and various spots in the Lamu archipelago give you a surreal glimpse into the exquisite underwater wildlife of the East African coast. You can see the octopus, parrot fish, Moorish idol and other interesting hidden gems.

Scuba diving in Watamu | © Make it Kenya / Flickr

Kitesurfing in Watamu

Kitesurfing is a fast-growing sport and Kenya has become a premier destination for enthusiasts because of the ideal local weather and beautiful spots for surfers. Before heading off on a safari, enjoy some kitesurfing whether you are a veteran or beginner. There are rentals that provide the latest slingshot kitesurfing equipment so you do not have to worry about gear and there are classes available for beginners, including private coaching. You might just get a glimpse of the world’s best kitesurfer, Sam Light.

Kitesurfing on the Kenyan coast, Watamu | © Make it Kenya / Flickr

Biking on rugged nature trails

Biking on various parts of the beautiful countryside and challenging trails has become quite popular in Kenya. From relaxed biking around the coast to more intense trails, like those found in Hells Gate National Park, it’s a great way to explore the country and get some exercise.

Mt. Kenya Epik cycling challenge | © Make it Kenya / Flickr

Whitewater rafting on Tana River

A favourite rafting spot in Kenya is the Tana River, with boasts powerful rapids and spectacular white water. The river provides whitewater rafting lovers with Class II to Class V rapids, as well as stretches of calm drifts where you can catch your breath and check out the incredible scenery and views. You will also see crocodiles and hippos, among other game, as you drift along.

The intensity of whitewater rafting | © A healthier Michigan / Flickr

Standup paddleboarding

This offshoot of traditional surfing is an excellent way to enjoy lapping waves without the adrenaline rush of actually riding the wave. The Indian Ocean is a great location for a calm, reflective time out in the water and you may just see bottle-nosed dolphin or two.

The serenity of standup paddleboarding | © VSPYCC / Flickr

Rock climbing

Climbing is among the favourite outdoor activities of locals and visitors in Kenya. It requires a good level of fitness and courage, as some peaks can be quite challenging. It is always a good idea to have a climbing partner during an excursion.

The beckoning peaks of various mountains are always a challenge for climbers | © christopher_burns / Unsplash

Bungee jumping in Sagana

Adrenaline junkies are always out in Sagana for a well-deserved bungee jumping fix. The sport is not only popular with adults, but also with families who like the kick of participating in extraordinary activities.

Bungee jumping is not for the faint-hearted | © Mark Harkin / Flickr

Walking safaris among wildlife

Nothing can beat being up close with nature. Walking a few paces away from the animals you only read about or see in documentaries makes the wild beauty of Kenya even more memorable. Of course, make sure your walking safari is chaperoned by a local guide with knowledge of the park you are in.

Walking safari in Naivasha, Crescent Island Game Park | © Ninara / Flickr

Cultural tour of Bomas of Kenya

The Bomas of Kenya is a miniature showcase of Kenya. It showcases the diverse cultures that make up the country, from their various lifestyles to their crafts and traditions. Every weekday, there are traditional dances and acrobatic shows for the public. It is a day well spent when you want a crash course on Kenya.

Luo village at the Bomas of Kenya | © Alexander Leisser / Wikicommons

Ziplining in Karura forest

Karura forest is very adventure friendly. You will find bikers, climbers and ziplining enthusiasts enjoying the strength of the trees. Ziplining is popular with weekend getaway folks who do not want to venture too far from the city.

Ziplining in the forest | © Laura / Flickr

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