Kenya is a country of great diversity, both culturally and physically. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. With the wildlife-rich savannas, the beautiful Indian Ocean, tall mountains, there are endless places to visit.
Wildlife safaris have been the greatest tourist attraction for decades now. It attracts both local and international tourists.
But where do the travelers visit when in Kenya? Below are Kenya’s top tourist destinations.
1. Masai Mara National Reserve
The reserve is located in SouSouthwesternnya along the Great Rift Valley in Narok County. It is adjacent to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
It covers 1,510 sq. km, consisting of abundant wildlife and vast plains, and is known for its all-year-round game viewing.
It is home to diverse wild animals, including 450 bird species. Given its diversity, the park is a paradise for those who love nature and photographs.
It’s usually an exciting experience for anyone who plans a safari to Masai Mara between June and September, as it the season for the Great Wildebeest Migration.
You get to witness the over 1.8M wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes cross the crocodile-filled River Mara.
The major tourist attractions include:
- Witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration
- Big cats – Lion, Leopard, and Cheetah
- Giant animals – Elephant, Buffalo, and Giraffe
Activities that you can carry out at Masai mara include; hot-air balloon ride over mara plains, a game drive, a guided walk, and a cultural tour with Maasai.
2. Tsavo National Parks
Tsavo comprises two parks, Tsavo East and Tsavo West, and is in the Coastal Province of Kenya. It is the largest national park in the country and is among the world’s largest wildlife areas.
Tsavo East National Park
It is the Kenyan’s oldest and largest national park, covering 13,747 sq. km. This is not an area that one can exhaustively cover in a single day. The major tourist attractions include:
- Huge heard of “Red” elephants –The most exciting scene is to see elephants wallowing and dust bathing.
- Mudanda Rock – This is a rock that surrounds a natural dam. It acts as an assembly point where elephants gather every day to quench their thirst.
- Lugards Falls – They are lovely falls, passing over some beautifully shaped rocks.
- Yatta plateau – This is another recognized feature in the park. It is an enormous lava flow that stretches for over 300km.
Besides elephants, other animals such as zebra, gazelles, buffalos, giraffe, lion leopards, and cheetah, inhabit the park.
Other activities at the park include horse riding, bushwalk, hiking, and rock climbing.
Tsavo West National Park
Just like the sister park, it is one of the largest wildlife conservancies in Kenya. It is known for its diverse landscape, with volcanic craters and beautiful hills. The major sightseeing features include:
- Chaimu volcanic crater
- Underground viewing hides – This is the most exciting scene, where you view crocodiles and hippos from underwater at the MzimaSprings.
- Shetani Flow – This is where a volcano erupted, creating a river that eventually dried up.
Major activities carried out at the park include; game drive, caving, bushwalk, and rock climbing.
3. Hell’s Gate National Park
Hell’s Gate is a small park located in Naivasha town in Nakuru County. It covers an area of 68.25 Sq.km.
Given the small area, it is an ideal place for a day trip. To spice your trip further, the route to Naivasha from Nairobi is another scenic view, where you see the beauty of the Great Rift Valley.
Major Tourist Attractions
- Wildlife and Birds – There is a variety of wildlife in the park: giraffe, buffalo, reedbuck, gazelle, and birds such as vultures, augur buzzard, eagle, among others.
- Fischer’s Tower – These are volcanic plugs made of hard rock that resisted erosion. They form a perfect rock climbing spot for people visiting the park.
- Hell’s Gate Gorge – This is a deep valley that runs through the park. Its walls consist of hard rock where visitors can climb and have fun.
- Obsidian Caves – The cave is made of dark-colored and shiny rock that resulted from the cooling of lava from an eruption. It is exciting and beautiful scenery for tourists who visit the park.
- Geothermal Power Station – Here visitors can see how underground thermal energy is harnessed to produce electricity.
The activities carried out at the park include nature walks, biking /Cycling, game viewing, rock climbing, hiking, and cultural interaction.
Malindi is a popular tourist destination situated 120km northeast of Mombasa Town. The town has a lot to offer, from the historical ruins to the national parks. You cannot get enough of this town.
Below are the major tourist attraction sites:
- Gedi Ruins – This is a site of significant archeological interest. It is found deep inside a green forest. What draws people is how a settlement happened deep inside a forest and the way it was suddenly deserted.
- Kipepeo Market – As the Kiswahili name suggests, the market deals with butterflies and other insects. Insects are bred here, hatched, and then exported to various national parks. You get an exciting experience when you visit the place.
- Takwa Ruins – This is the remains of 15th -16th-century Swahili town. It is another site of great archeological importance.
- Snake Park – This is a research center that studies reptiles, with the main focus on snake and snake bites. The park houses the largest number of snakes in East Africa.
- Watamu Marine National Park – This is the first Kenya aqua park. It features over 600 species of colorful fish and other sea features. In addition, it has beautiful coral reefs and gardens.
Other sightseeing features include Mayungu Public Beach, Vasco Da Gama Pillar, Portuguese Carpel, Mida creek, and the Falconry of Kenya.
5. Lamu Island
The Island is located in Northern Kenya. It is a beautiful ocean island that has a lot of historical and archeological importance.
There is a lot of natural beauty surrounding the island, which makes it worth visiting. Below are some of the tourist attractions found in Lamu.
- Lamu Museum – This is the second-best museum in Kenya. It is very rich in Swahili culture.
- Shela Beach – This is a white sand beach that is 12 km long. It’s an attractive sport for sunbathing.
- Lamu Fort – The fort houses three tourist exhibition sections: marine, freshwater, and terrestrial section.
Other sightseeing places in Lamu include takwa ruins, tusitiri dhow, the fort of shela, dododri national reserve, kiunga marine national reserve, kipini wildlife, and the list is endless.
Kenya is a country of stunning natural beauty, with several national parks, game reserves, mountains, beaches, and museums. You just get lost of choice when choosing a place to spend your holiday. But the attractions discussed above are the major tourist destinations that never disappoint.