The Best Kenya Travel Tips - Top Ten Things To Do In Kenya

Want to know my best Kenya travel tips? Here's my list of the real highlights - a mini Kenya travel guide...

If you enjoy the pictures on this page, you can find more of them in the picture galleries.



What's YOUR single best Kenya travel tip?
Share your secret with us!


1 - GO ON A SAFARI

common-or-burchells-zebra-crossing-mara-river-masai-mara-kenya

Common or burchells zebras crossing Mara River at Masai Mara
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


Buffalos forging through rivers in the mid of the jungle, elephants going slowly over the endless plains, lions stalking their preys through the savannah grass...

For many the safari is the main reason for coming to Kenya. Kenya enjoys the reputation of being the safari country of Africa, and indeed – the enormous variety of landscapes and wildlife between the national parks make it a very attractive safari country. Read more Kenya travel tips at the national parks overview page.


2 - WATCH THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION

wildebeest-migration-crocodile-attacking-mara-river-masai-mara

A crocodile attacks wildebeests during the Wildebeest Migration
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


Each year between July and October, the famous Wildebeest migration takes place from Tanzania to Kenya. It has been called the greatest wildlife show on earth.

Each year, always on a different moment, hundreds of thousands of wildebeests suddenly gather at the Serengeti plains to trek to greener places. After making a big circle through Tanzania and Kenya, they come back to the Serengeti plains again. At the point where they have to cross the Grumeti River, there are camps from where you can watch this extraordinary phenomenon.

Check out this great Wildebeest Migration movie at my movie gallery.


3 - VISIT A TRADITIONAL TRIBAL VILLAGE

samburu-people-dance-kenya

Samburu warriors engaged in a dancing ritual
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


A number of tribes in Kenya still live more or less the same as their ancestors have done for thousands of years. The Masai are the most famous of them. Nowadays they earn some extra cash through receiving tourists for a 'cultural' visit. You get to meet the eldermen who explain their way of life, have a cup of chai, perform traditional dances, etcetera. The few Masai who speak English will function as an interpreter.

Just be aware - while these visits can be very interesting, they've also be known to turn into 'cash cow' events. Tourists have to pay anyway for the visit, but they may also be pressured to buy goods, etcetera.


4 – VISIT THE SWAHILI COAST REGION

arab-style-door-mombasa-kenya

Arab style door in Mombasa
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


The coast region stands apart within Kenya. This is where the vibrant mix between African, Arabic and Indian influences has created the famous Swahili culture. Swahili has become the lingua franca in all of East Africa. Places to visit are the island city of Lamu and the harbour city of Mombasa, where Fort Jesus - built in the 16th century by the Portugese - gives an insight into colonial times.

Oh, and don't forget the coast has over 500 kilometres of beautiful white sand beaches, often with private Hawaii-style resorts where you can have dinner in the open air with a Bacardi coke while looking over the Indian Ocean... Find more Kenya travel tips at the travel stories archive.


5 – TAKE A BALLOON TRIP

hot air balloon safari, masai mara, kenya

Air balloon gliding over Masai Mara National Reserve
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


Going over one of the national parks is very different in an air balloon! It's a very special experience to flow over the country and have a 360 degrees view over all the wild animals walking beneath you.

Alhtough they are advertised as "balloon safaris", they aren't really full safaris. Trips typically start at dawn and take a few hours, after which there's a champagne breakfast on the ground. They can be arranged through many top end lodges. The price is around 400 dollars.



6 – TREK MOUNT KENYA

mount kenya, africa

Mount Kenya, the country's highest mountain
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


Going to the almost vertical top (Batian, 5199 metres) is only for trained and fully equiped climbers. But anyone who is reasonably fit can take tracks that go up to 4000 metres, or even higher.

Be aware that above 4000 metres it's not tropical anymore, but freezing cold, foggy and windy... Hiring guides is usually pretty expensive.


7 – MAKE A DHOW TRIP

dhow lamu indian ocean kenya

A traditional dhow for the coast, near Lamu island
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


Making a sailing trip along the coast in a traditional dhow vessels is a great experience. Dhows were used by Arab traders to frequent East Africa from the 8th century on, and are still fully in use today.

Both cheaper, more basic and luxurious trips are available. People usually sleep on the ships and seafood is caught fresh every day. Many dhows leave from Lamu. The bigger boats also have motors while the smaller boats rely on the wind only.


8 - GO DIVING AT KENYA BEACH

kenya coast, areal view

Areal view of the Kenyan coast
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


The diving and snorkeling possibilities of (for example) Watamu National Park along the coast are highly rated, even by professional standards.

The reef is in excellent condition and there are big numbers of extremely exotic fish, in every shape and colour conceivable. Harmless whale sharks also visit the are regularly, a highlight for any diver. The waters are totally excluded for fishers.


9 – VISIT NAIROBI

Nairobi, Moi Avenue street scene, Kenya

Nairobi, Moi Avenue (named after former dictator Daniel arap Moi
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


'Big Bad Nairoby' – the hub to East Africa - doesn't have the best reputation in the world, but it's in a class by itself. Delve into the city's night life in one of the many nightclubs crowded with hustlers, hookers, expats and adventurers. Next morning around noon, take a lunch at Simmers with the Daily Nation.

Then take a matatu (overcrowded public-private minibuses) for 40 dollar cents to the Masai Market and the National Museum of Nairobi, where some of the oldest remains of human's ancestors – Kenya has been called the 'Cradle of Mankind' – are on display. And Nairobi National Park, with many wild animals, is right outside the city. More Kenya travel tips about this at the Nairobi National Park page.


10 – AND SIMPLY... EXPERIENCE AFRICA!

Local musician in Kebirigo, Kenya

A local musician in Kebirigo, Kenya
Kenya art poster - View at Allposters.com


And finally... it’s worth to remember that simply being in Kenya, going for dinner or making a little walk in your neighbourhood, is already special… Because if you are from Europe or North America, Kenya is just another planet...

I personally have the best memories not of the safaris or the visit to a tribal village or the white sand beaches (though they were all great), but simply of taking matatus somewhere... drinking beer with young Kenyans and talking about how they see the world... buying my groceries... at the end of the day, those are my real Kenya travel tips.



What's YOUR best Kenya travel tip?

Did you come accross a particularly nice place, a great activity, a great hotel or restaurant, or any other special thing in Kenya? Tell us about it!

Enter Your Title

Tell Us Your Travel Tip![ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]

Add a Picture/Graphic Caption (optional) 

Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

Your Name

(first or full name)

Your Location

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

Check box to agree to these submission guidelines.


(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

A vist to the Rift Valley 
My Kenya travel tip: the Great Rift Valley. About one hours drive and one is ushered to the Great Rift Valley at Lake Naivasha. The region is home to Lake …

Drink a lot of water in Kenya 
My tip: it's very hot in Kenya so drink a lot of water when you're there. If you don't, you'll run a risk of getting sun stroke or getting dehydrated. …

Always bring bug spray 
My best Kenya tip: Always bring bug spray because there are tones of bugs!

Flying in a hot air balloon in Kenya 
Living and working in south africa for 40 years and having visited most of the state game parks and private game parks, and working in a few, I also am …

Ready to book a ticket to Kenya 
Anytime I read a travel piece I am ready to book a ticket. I'm such a sucker for any cultural experience. Kenya sounds amazing! I've done Europe, much …

Spend a day at a children's charity in Kenya! 
I recently came across an amazing charitable organization in Thika, about an hour's ride north of Nairobi. Action for Children in Conflict is an organization …

Honeymoon trip to Lamu 
Our stay in Lamu was the highlight of our honeymoon trip to Kenya. My single best Kenya travel tip: get to Lamu! I happened to run across this website …

Going Fishing In Kenya 
When I was in Kenya, we fished and fished and fished and fished and fished and fished! It was awesome, we caught 40 fish!! Then we gave them …

Mombasa Go-Kart 
Flood-lit Go Karting - till 10pm. Go Karting at night with a burger to follow! A good laugh, Swiss-run, pretty well managed track and cheap …

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi 
The nicest place in Kenya where we stayed was the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi (Langata). But it's not in the city, but on the outskirts on a big piece …

Simmers in Nairobi 
Arjen, thanks for this helpful site. Just like to mention that I had a great time at the Simmers restaurant in downtown Nairobi. When I stayed …

Take a slum tour in Kibera, Nairobi 
To experience a part of Kenya unseen by most tourists, visit the friendliest slum of the world in Nairobi. Take a tour to Kibera. There are guides …

Do Not Take Hot Air Balloon Safaris In Kenya 
I'm uncomfortable with people talking about hot air balloon "safaris" in Kenya. Going in a hot air balloon over the national parks is known to …

Pinklakeman, a great eco lodge north-west from Nairobi 
There is lovely little place i visited a while back, so beautiful and extremely affordable... Pinklakeman Eco Lodge. This little Kenyan paradise …

Kongoni restaurant in Nanyuki 
My Kenya travel tip: Nanyuki is a lovely town at the base of Mt. Kenya and Kongoni restaurant is a great place to go. They are reasonably prices around …

Simmers Restaurant, Nairobi, Kenya 
We ate at the amazing Simmers restaurant. It was so good, the service was on time and kind. The food was excellent. This is definitely …

Mare Sure Your Hotel Rating Is Correct 
Having been to Kenya on several visits, both on business and holiday, enjoying both and realising Kenya has both good and bad, our last trip has enlightend …

Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Not rated yet
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is mainly known for taking care of orphaned elephants and rhinos but generally they exist to protect the wildlife in …

Biking in Kenya Not rated yet
Discover Africa off the beaten track with mountain bikes: local people in their traditional settlements, palm and mango forests; fantastic views on …

Click here to write your own.


Related pages:

Kenya Movie Gallery
National Parks and Reserves

Travel stories archive

Back to Homepage