Top tourist destinations in Kenya
Kenya is known for exciting Africa safaris, world-class beaches, cultural and historical scenes that attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. The top tourist cities include Nairobi, Malindi, Watamu, Tiwi, Lamu, Samburu and Kisumu. However, each city in Kenya has its own heritage that gives it a unique tourist advantage.
Here are the top tourist destinations in Kenya
#1: Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Mara national reserve is famous for hot air balloon trips that take up your first 60 minutes in the morning. You can view the big five from the sky. The best time to visit this reserve is around July when wildebeests are crossing from the dry grass in Tanzania to Mara’s green savanna.
There are many camps in the Mara, but the best for sightseeing at the park is the Governors Camp which was reserved for colonial governors. This is at the heart of the Mara, giving you a spectacular view of lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, hippos and crocodiles.
#2: Mt Kilimanjaro
You have probably heard this mount being referred to as the cradle of mankind in the movie ‘Tomb Raider.’ The highest mountain in Africa and 4th free-standing mountain in the world, Mt Kilimanjaro is famous for its three volcanic cones which make it a popular African safari destination. Sitting at the border between Kenya and Tanzania, this mountain receives over 25,000 climbers every year. Hikers can view various types of ecological systems including cultivated land, rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and an arctic summit.
#3: Mt Kenya
This is the highest mountain in Kenya and 2nd highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. Known as the ‘Place of Light,’ Mt Kenya was originally known as ‘Kianyaga,’ home of the Kikuyu god Ngai. It has 3 snow-capped peaks, with Batian being the highest. The mountain is part of the Mt Kenya National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#4: Nairobi national park
This is one of the largest national parks in Kenya, located only 20 km from the Capital city Nairobi. Apart from the wildlife inside the park, you can enjoy game meat in the lodgings within the park. The KWS organizes safari walk inside Nairobi national park where visitors walk along the trails viewing wildlife in their natural habitat.
#5: Tsavo national park
Tsavo is one of the largest national parks in the world, having been divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West to give way to the Nairobi-Mombasa railway line. It is named after Tsavo River which passes through the conservation. Tsavo East, which is one of the oldest parks in the country, is an open savanna grazing land while Tsavo West national has a volcanic landscape and is home to most of the wildlife. Many tourists book the Nairobi-Mombasa train so as to get a chance to view wildlife on their way.
The park is famous for the Tsavo lions that have no mane, Lugard falls and over 500 bird species. You can also view Yatta plateau, the longest lava flow in the world at 290km.
#6: Samburu national park
This Park is located in Northern Kenya and is home to rare wildlife species. Tourists visit Samburu to view lions, leopards and cheetahs. Uaso Nyiro river cuts through the park, making it a strategic sightseeing spot. Samburu national reserve borders Buffalo Springs and Shaba, which are other famous tourist destinations in Samburu.
#7: Lake Victoria
This is the second largest freshwater lake in the world, named after Queen Victoria. This lake feeds into River Nile and is shared by 3 countries. Lake Victoria has over 200 fish species, with the Kisumu Tilapia being a favourite among fish lovers. You can take boat rides to Migingo and Mfangano Islands, where you can explore tropical gardens and bird watching. Experience Luo culture, visit villages and see historical sites from these Islands.
#8: Amboseli national park
It sits on 39,206 hectares of land at the border of Kenya and Tanzania, boasting of wildlife such as elephants, lions, cheetahs, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, impala, hyenas and kudus. Bird species at the Park include pelicans, kingfishers and raptors. You can view the towering Mt Kilimanjaro from this park.
Other tourist attractions in Kenya include:
- Lake Bogoria
- Karura forest reserve
- Giraffe centre
- Bomas of Kenya
- Ngong Hills
- Mamba village
- Tana river primate reserve
- Lamu old house
- Diani beach
- Malindi marine park
- Lake Nakuru
- Lord Egerton castle
- Menengai Crater
- Giraffe centre
- Hell’s Gate