The 10 Best Things to Do on a Safari in Kenya (With Photos)

Updated on July 30, 2018
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Januaris is a tour and travel enthusiast. He runs an online travel platform that specializes in Africa tours, trips, vacations, and safaris.

Based on my own experience, Kenya is one of the African countries that offers the most satisfying safaris. The wildlife expeditions take place in the country’s magnificent game parks and reserves. In addition to watching animals, you can explore breathtakingly rugged terrains and expansive plains and get involved in a lot of other thrilling activities.

The Top 10 Things to Do on a Kenyan Safari

  1. Enjoy a world-class wildlife tour.
  2. Explore the coast.
  3. Watch the wildebeest and zebra migration.
  4. Climb mountains.
  5. Hang out in the lakes.
  6. Hike in the Great Rift Valley.
  7. Watch birds.
  8. Go river rafting on the major rivers.
  9. Explore cities.
  10. Indulge in Kenyan culture.

10. Indulge in Kenyan Culture

Kenyan culture is one of the most varied in the world and is well-expressed through language, food, music, and art. You will be amazed by the Maasai jewelry and attire, colorful sisal baskets, wood sculptures, and traditional kikoys.

When it comes to the food, you will definitely love the country’s traditional foods, commonly known as Kienyeji. Local foods, such as Nyama Choma (charcoal-grilled meat) and Chai (milky tea), are also not to be missed.

To experience the most amazing traditional and cultural practices, you need to visit areas that are occupied by plain Nilotes who are Maasai, Samburu, and Turkana, among other tribes.

Maasai Warriors
Maasai Warriors | Source

9. Explore Kenya's Cities

Kenya has three cities: Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu. These cities are home to vibrant shopping malls, bars, clubs, pubs, discotheques, restaurants, parks, and many tourist attractions.

When visiting the country, you will have an opportunity to shop, dine, visit the attractions, and make your nightlife enjoyable by visiting the nightclubs.

Tip: According to my own experience, Nairobi is the center of urban entertainment. Most entertainment zones are affordable in the city, and shopkeepers offer fair prices for their items.

A Street in Nairobi
A Street in Nairobi | Source

8. Go River Rafting on the Major Rivers

With many permanent rivers, the country offers exciting water activities such as rafting and kayaking. These activities are some of the best ways to explore the spectacular beauty of the country's valleys and aquatic life.

Tip: I recommend visiting the Tana and Athi rivers, which are the largest in the country. If you want to explore river valleys, I recommend that you visit the Rift Valley region.

A Section of the Tana River
A Section of the Tana River | Source

7. Try Bird-Watching

Kenya is home to at least 1,070 species of birds. The country’s moderate climate and a variety of disturbance-free habitats favor the survival of the birds.

The most popular bird-watching places in Kenya include Lake Naivasha, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kakamega Forest, Lake Nakuru, and Maasai Mara.

Tip: Lake Nakuru is one of the leading bird-watching destinations in the world, so you should not miss it when visiting Kenya. The lake is a premium park, so you should be ready to spend some cash when visiting it.

One of the Popular Birds in Kenya
One of the Popular Birds in Kenya | Source

6. Hike in the Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley has a myriad of escarpments and volcanoes that are suitable for a number of hiking activities. The natural feature covers a large portion of Kenya, which means that you will need at least a few days to explore it fully.

Note: However, not all areas in the Great Rift Valley are suitable for hiking. The best places to take your hiking activities include Hell’s Gate, Ngong Hills, Menengai, and around the lakes.

Tip: When visiting these places, I recommend that you wear protective clothing in order to ensure that you are safe from thorny plants, harsh weather, and insects, among other harmful things.

A Section of Rift Valley
A Section of Rift Valley | Source

5. Hang Out in the Lakes

One of the best ways to enjoy a pleasant, serene atmosphere in Kenya is to visit the lakes. There is a lot you can explore while hanging out in the lakes. These bodies of water are home to huge populations of birds and other wildlife. They are also great places for hiking and camping.

Some lakes that I have found particularly interesting include Nakuru, Naivasha, Turkana, and Victoria.

Note: Most of the lakes have an entrance fee, so you should carry some money when visiting them.

A Section of Lake Naivasha
A Section of Lake Naivasha | Source

4. Climb Mountains

Mount Kenya is the ultimate destination for mountaineers in the country. Most mountain climbers find it a challenge to access the highest peak of the mountain. When climbing the mountain, you will enjoy seeing rich wildlife and breathtaking views of the surroundings.

Other mountains that provide great climbing experiences include Kilimanjaro, Longonot, and Suswa.

Tip: As with hiking, I recommend that you look for protective clothing when planning to mountaineer in the country. I also recommend that you carry plenty of drinking water and some snacks.

One of the Mount Kenya's Peaks
One of the Mount Kenya's Peaks | Source

3. Watch the Wildebeest and Zebra Migration

Popularly known as the "Great Migration," this natural phenomenon is one of the main reasons people visit Kenya for safaris. It happens between July and October in the extensive stretch between Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve.

When visiting Maasai Mara during this time of the year, you will enjoy seeing an unbelievable population of animals on an enormous piece of grassland at an affordable cost.

Tip: In order to experience this wonder of the world adequately, you need to hire a tour service provider. With a tour guide, you will be able to reach the most wonderful zones where the real migration takes place.

A Herd of Wildebeest at Maasai Mara
A Herd of Wildebeest at Maasai Mara | Source

2. Explore the Coast

The Kenyan coast offers a big number of incredible things to do and activities to try. It has several beaches that allow you to participate in thrilling water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and deep-sea fishing.

When touring the coast, you will have the opportunity to explore marine parks, reserves, and historic sites such as Fort Jesus and Vasco da Gama. The most popular parks in the coast include Mombasa Marine National Park and Haller Park.

Note: Most of these attractions charge a fee for admission, so you should carry some money when visiting them.

Tip: I recommend that you get clothes (like swimsuits) that will enable you to explore the sites better.

A Beach in the Kenyan Coast
A Beach in the Kenyan Coast | Source

1. Enjoy a World-Class Wildlife Tour

Going for a wildlife tour is the best thing you can do in Kenya. It gives you the opportunity of a lifetime to see a wide variety of animals in their natural habitats, including the Big Five and the endangered species.

Most areas in the country—including the highlands, savanna plains, and the coast—have stunning national parks and reserves that you can explore on safari at a relatively low cost.

Tip: Based on my own experience, you need to hire a tour service provider to help you explore these wildlife destinations adequately. Most tour agencies charge around $200 per person per day, but you can enjoy lower prices during the off-peak seasons.

Tourists at Nairobi National Park
Tourists at Nairobi National Park | Source

As you can see, there are a lot of tourist activities to explore in Kenya. When holidaying in the country, take some time to indulge in one or more of these awesome safari activities. It will definitely spice up your holiday!

Have you ever indulged in one of these tourist activities in Kenya?

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If yes, how was the experience in one word?

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© 2015 Januaris Saint Fores


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