The Scenic Drives You Have to Take in Kenya

Views | © Unsplash /Pexels
Views | © Unsplash /Pexels
Photo of Jean Wandimi
6 May 2017

Get your best friends in a car, grab a camera, and pump up the volume; we are going on a road trip! From the gridlocked city to honking matatus and fast-paced pedestrians walking haphazardly in Nairobi city, you could use a little peace and quiet and beautiful scenery. Couldn’t you?

Some of the roads in Kenya are very easy to navigate, but some routes (like those in Northern Kenya) need a car that can handle off-road terrain. This guide will focus on different routes to different countries – and exclude national parks because every national park is scenic.

Nyeri to Nanyuki to Timau to Isiolo to Meru (I-B-C-D)

This is one of the best routes. After crossing the very scary winding roads on the Nyeri-Kiganjo route, you can stop over and soak in all the views of valleys. This route is very beautiful when it rains because of the greenery. After Nanyuki to Timau, you get to see big wheat fields that mimic soft silk with every soft breeze. Nothing beats this view over sunset. Behind the wheat farms are views of mountain ranges and escarpments.

Kiganjo | © Jean Wandimi

Western Highlands – Kericho, Tugen Hills, Cherang’any Hills (F)

Kericho is such a beautiful place, and it is a favorite for many because of the beautiful tea farms, and the Mau Forest. It is also an area with beautiful rolling hills. There are some winding turns after Kapsoit that are awe-inspiring. The road network here is favorable, and people can drive to the farms in the north or south. The escarpments and highlands of the North Rift Valley and the Elgeyo Escarpment are also a must-see. Nyaru is the best place to view this, and it is even known as the “World’s End” viewpoint. There are also waterfalls in the western highlands. In Cheploch, people can visit the valley floor where streams flow in different natural gorges. Another fascinating place to drive is near Tugen Hills where people can have more views. In the western highlands, people can proceed to the Cherang’any Hills to soak in even more views.

Kericho tea farms | © Victor Ochieng /Flickr

Nakuru to Nyahururu to Nyeri (G-H-I)

On this route, you get to see the majestic Nyandarua ranges. In Nyahururu, the Thomson Falls are a must visit. The stretches of land and ranges in the horizon ensure that you do not shift your eyes. The farms on either side are so beautiful especially when the sun is setting. On Saturdays, you will pass cars of ‘roadtrippers’ on this route.

Views | © Jean Wandimi

The Great Rift Valley Viewpoint (J)

The viewpoint is one of the most popular stopovers in Kenya and travelers can soak in the views, take photos or buy some jewelry at the curio shops. It is perfect in the evenings. The land forms a V-shape, and you can see roads and hills on the sides of the vast valley. When the sun is setting behind the mountains, the rays make it look spectacular.

The Great Rift Valley Curio Shop | © Christine und Hagen Graf /Flickr
The Great Rift Valley | © Ninara /Flickr

Isiolo to Marsabit to Moyale (ABC)

Since the Isiolo-Marsabit Road was constructed, it is easier to access this route because, a few years back, only trucks and lorries would manage to use the rough road. There are many hills in the landscape, and it is a different experience for those who are used to the hustle and bustle of the city. If people are lucky, they can even spot some wild animals. This route would take three days but now takes about 10 hours. The road eventually takes you to Ethiopia (if you are feeling adventurous).

Machakos to Wote or Machakos to Mitaboni and Makindu (D-E-F)

These routes have fantastic scenery, and travelers can stop on their way to catch a glimpse of the hills, valleys, and towns. At night, the little lights from the villages and towns from Mitaboni are a sight to behold.

Kerio Valley to Iten (G)

Kerio Valley is in the Elgeyo Marakwet County, and it has steep hills and steps with acacia trees. This makes the area have a magical view. It is a perfect place for those panoramic drone shots. Iten is 40 kilometers from Eldoret. A perfect road trip would start from Nakuru, Eldama Ravine to Kabarnet, then to Iten. Some of the sights and attractions on this route include Torok Falls, Kerio Valley, Cheploch Gorge, Tugen Hills and Lake Kamnarok.


Kenyans on Twitter also suggested some more scenic routes worth checking out.

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