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Kenyan sun | © Jean Wandimi
Kenyan sun | © Jean Wandimi
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10 Top Things to See and Do in Kenya

Picture of Jean Wandimi
Updated: 28 May 2017
Kenya is both distinct and incredible, and you will never run out of exciting and memorable things to do. Below we’ve rounded up the top 10 activities that you must engage in, and the best places to see when visiting Kenya.

Explore Kenya with an unforgettable safari

Kenya is a vast country with many places to take a safari. You can visit the beautiful national parks and conservancies and discover what makes each one unique. Some activities include watching the wildebeest migration in Massai Mara and visiting the last remaining northern white rhino in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. You can also witness the big five and other incredible animals. If you love camping, pick one or two camping spots out of the countless options.

Zebra
Zebra | © Jean Wandimi/Authors Own

Head down to the coast and enjoy the water sports

The Kenyan coast is diverse, and it’s ideal for trying out water sports. Go fishing surfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kitesurfing and even skydiving at Diani Beach. You’re guaranteed to have lots of fun, and you’ll get to experience the beauty that is the Kenyan coast. Ensure that you stay in a Swahili-themed beach house and also try some Swahili food.

Go hiking and biking through picturesque hills and valleys

Run and hike in the best hiking trails in the country, and be rewarded with views of some of the most beautiful rolling hills of the countryside. You can also climb mountains, like Mt. Longonot and Mt. Elgon. Ensure that you visit Timau and the beautiful tea farms in Kericho. If you are into biking, join Baiskeli Adventures or Utalii Kwa Baiskeli for some fun trips and a chance to interact with other bikers.

Hiking
Hiking | © Jean Wandimi/Authors Own

Watch some majestic whales in Watamu

Watch the humpback whales in Watamu Protected Area on the Kenyan coast. Visitors get to see the whales jumping out of the water with their calves, while you can also watch other species of whale and dolphin. Watching these majestic mammals really is a must-do activity if you are on the Kenyan coast.

Visit Kenya’s major cities

Immerse yourself in city life in Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nairobi. Each city in Kenya is unique and offers a different experience. Nairobi is the capital city, which is fast-paced but riddled with exciting experiences and spots to discover. Kisumu also has fantastic hotels to stay in and places to check out, including some of the islands, like Rusinga and Takawiri Island. Also, visit Lake Victoria and eat some delicious food while you are there. Explore and learn more about Mombasa, a city with historical and cultural significance, and, while you are there, fall in love with Swahili cuisine. Also, there are fabulous beaches and places to visit along the Kenyan coast, including Lamu Archipelago and Diani Beach.

Taste the best tea and coffee of your life

Kenya boasts the highest quality of tea and coffee, and this explains why Kenyan coffee is used as a blend for many other coffees from around the world, as it is rich in taste. The soil, climate, and topography all contribute to this. An example of a must-visit coffee farm is the Fairview Coffee Estate. The trip is a sensory experience in itself, complete with a farm tour, factory tour, and coffee-tasting session conducted by a skilled barista. After this, you get to enjoy a great cup of your favorite blend in the lush gardens, surrounded by waterfalls, birds, and unique flowers.

Tasting and smelling different coffee blends
Tasting and smelling different coffee blends | © Jean Wandimi/Authors Own

Visit the only true desert in the north

The Chalbi Desert is in Marsabit County, east of Lake Turkana, and is not talked or written about nearly enough. Traverse the bleached soils and walk on coarse sand and rocks. The name ‘Chalbi’ means bare and salty in the Gabbra language, and this desert lives up to that name. The place is so salty that animals use it as a naturally occurring salt lick. There is an oasis in this desert called Kalacha, where travelers, animals, and pastoralists go to quench their thirst under the palm and acacia trees.

Desert
Desert | © Uncoated/Pexels

Paraglide over the scenic Kerio Valley

Kerio Valley is an enormous valley at the edge of the Kerio Valley Escarpment in the Great Rift Valley overlooking the Tugen Hills. In the valley, there is Lake Kamnarok in Rimoi Game Reserve. Paragliding in this spot is a popular activity with adrenaline junkies. Stay in the beautiful Kerio Valley Hotel and enjoy dinner accompanied by beautiful views.

Paragliding
Paragliding | © Pixabay / Pexels

Visit the largest alkaline lake in the world

Lake Victoria might be the largest lake in Kenya, but it is shared by Uganda and Tanzania. Lesser-known Lake Turkana – also known as the Jade Sea thanks to its beautiful blue and turquoise color – is the largest alkaline lake in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is part of what they call The Cradle of Mankind, as the Leakey family discovered the first hominid remains here. A truly unique place, now there are only a few livestock keepers and fishermen who live here.

Climb Africa’s second-highest mountain

Climbing Mt Kenya is an activity for seasoned mountain climbers. The mountain is approximately 200 meters from Nairobi city and there are many routes to get to the top, including the Naromoru route in Naromoru, and the Sirimon route in Nanyuki. Another route is the Chogoria route from Chogoria town. The best times to climb the mountain are the dry seasons of January to February, and August to September. There are incredible views and some alpine vegetation to feast your eyes on as well. There are also animals, like antelopes, lions and leopards among other wildlife, and vegetation includes bamboo, grasslands, forests, heath and moorland.