The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Kenya (With Photos)

Updated on July 7, 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.

From magnificent urban centers and gorgeous beaches to overwhelming safari destinations and breathtaking terrains, Kenya is home to a huge number of incredible tourist attractions.

The country has become an ultimate destination for seasoned travel enthusiasts. Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers flock to the country every year to enjoy exceptional leisure time. Read on to see the top 10 best places to visit in Kenya.

The Top 10 Must-See Places in Kenya

  1. Maasai Mara National Reserve
  2. Tsavo National Park
  3. Lake Nakuru National Park
  4. Amboseli Game Reserve
  5. Mount Kenya
  6. Lamu
  7. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
  8. Malindi and Watamu
  9. Lake Turkana
  10. Samburu, Shaba, and Buffalo Springs National Reserves

Continue scrolling for details about each of these amazing locations!

10. Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves

Located in northeastern Kenya, the Samburu, Shaba, and Buffalo Springs National Reserves are three wildlife-rich parks that border one another. They are home to a wide range of animals such as leopards, elephants, zebras, and giraffes.

A large population of birds has also been reported in these natural habitats. The Ewaso Ngiro River flows through the reserves and provides water to the wildlife. Other major highlights in this dry area are the Samburu people and Laikipia Plateau.

Tip: The game reserves are served by few tour guides, so you may find it hard to get someone to show you around. If you are planning to visit these reserves, I recommend that you go with enough drinking water and snacks as this region lacks good shopping and dining facilities.

Giraffe in Samburu National Reserve
Giraffe in Samburu National Reserve | Source

9. Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana has a lunar landscape that is worth seeing. The lake is one of the striking features of the northern part of the Great Rift Valley. Surprisingly, Turkana is the world’s largest permanent desert lake.

The region surrounding the lake has been a study ground for paleontologists. The residents have interesting cultural practices and traditions, so Turkana is definitely a place of a major interest.

I had a chance to tour this lake when I was visiting northern Kenya and I can say that it is one of the best holiday things I have done in the country. The area is occupied by Nilotes, who have amazing traditional and cultural practices, so you will definitely experience something new in this area.

Lake Turkana
Lake Turkana | Source

8. Malindi and Watamu

Malindi and Watamu are coastal towns that are famous for their spectacular beaches and marine parks. The beaches are great places for indulging in exciting activities such as sunset sails, sunbathing, diving, and dolphin watching.

The towns are lined with plenty of luxury hotels, villas, and resorts. The history of the towns is an amazing one. They have a number of historical sites where you can learn about the people who lived in the region in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Tip: I found the culture of the residents of these towns quite interesting. If you love to indulge in cultures and traditions, I encourage you to tour the towns and taste their delicious foods.

Malindi Coastline
Malindi Coastline | Source

7. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy was established to protect the black rhino, Grevy’s zebra, and sitatunga. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Kenya in terms of wildlife.

The excellently maintained private reserve has over 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds. You can become part of the conservancy by adopting some of its animals.

I have visited this wildlife conservancy a dozen times, and I have found it quite fascinating. It is near the capital and has enough tour guides and rangers. If you want to see a lot of wildlife in a short time, I recommend that you try this establishment.

Elephant at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Elephant at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy | Source

6. Lamu

Lamu is one of the oldest towns in the country. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to thrilling cultural festivals. Its most popular tourist attractions include the Lamu Museum, Lamu Port, Donkey Sanctuary, and Riyadh Mosque.

Tip: If you want to enjoy the Lamu’s charm to the fullest, you need to explore the island on a dhow and hit the narrow streets of the town on foot.

Another thing that I liked about this town is donkey riding which is the main transport method in the area. Cabs also operate in the area, so if you cannot ride a donkey, you can always use a taxi.

Lamu | Source

5. Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in the country and the second highest in Africa. Its slopes and the surrounding area are covered by a thick forest and moorland, making the place one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in the country.

If you are a mountaineering guru, you should visit Mount Kenya. It is quite challenging to get to the top of the mountain, something which is good for a climber. The mountain is part of the Mount Kenya National Park, which means that you will have an opportunity to see some animals when visiting the mountain.

The best time to visit Mout Kenya is during a dry season when there is less vegetation and the trails are passable. Tour services and entrance charges are pretty cheap, so you can be sure to save some cash when visiting the area.

Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya | Source

4. Amboseli National Park

If you are looking for a place to enjoy the breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro, look no further than Amboseli. The park has an observation point that allows visitors to enjoy the stunning views of the mountain and the surrounding plains.

The game reserve is home to many species of mammals and birds. Some notable animals found in the area include elephant, cheetah, and hippo.

Tip: According to my own experience, you need to tour the park between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm as this is the time when animals are out of their hiding zones. You can operate from within as the area has enough lodges, campsites, and hotels, and many safari companies are based there.

Elephants at Amboseli
Elephants at Amboseli | Source

3. Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is well known worldwide for its huge number of flamingoes and other birds. The lake has alkaline water and planktons that support the huge population of birds.

The park is also home to lions, hippos, giraffes, warthogs, ostriches, and white rhinos. It is easily accessible from Nairobi, which makes it a good place to visit when staying in Kenya's capital.

This is a premium park, so you should be ready to part with some more cash. It is surrounded by great lodges, hotels, and restaurants, so you should not be worried about accommodation and dining.

Flamingos at Lake Nakuru
Flamingos at Lake Nakuru | Source

2. Tsavo National Park

Tsavo National Park consists of the Tsavo East and Tsavo West game reserves. The two parks cover a vast area of land and are home to a wide range of wildlife.

The Tsavo West is more scenic than the Tsavo East. The Big Five and many other herbivores and carnivores live in this area. According to wildlife conservationists, the reserves have almost all species of non-rare animals.

Tip: I have visited this game park for at least three times, and I have come to know that you need a vehicle to cover all the most interesting areas of the reserve. I have also learnt that the park’s admission and tour services are costly, so you need to visit it with good cash.

Elephant at Tsavo
Elephant at Tsavo | Source

1. Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve is the best tourist attraction in Kenya. The game reserve is globally well known for its incredible annual migration of wildebeests and zebras.

Tip 1: If you want to see an unbelievable population of animals in one location, you should visit this place between July and October. The best way to watch the breathtaking natural wonder is from a hot-air balloon.

Tip 2: This is an expansive game reserve, and I recommend that you stay within the area if you want to cover a large part of it within a short period of time. If you love camping, this is the best place to do so as it has awesome campsites.

Giraffes at Maasai Mara
Giraffes at Maasai Mara | Source

The above attractions do not disappoint tourists who visit the country. When looking for the best places to visit in Kenya, you can consider these 10 attractions. There are more tourist attractions to explore in the country, but if you have limited time, you can start by visiting these places, and you will surely enjoy your trip.

Have you ever visited any of these top tourist attractions?

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If so, how would you describe the experience in one word?

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© 2015 Januaris Saint Fores


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