Kenya has always epitomized everything that is Africa. It hosted the first real wildlife holidays and its diversity of landscape, people and wildlife has drawn more people to safari in Kenya than any other country in Africa.

Kenya has always epitomized everything that is Africa. It hosted the first real wildlife holidays and its diversity of landscape, people and wildlife has drawn more people to safari in here than any other country in Africa.

There is such a huge choice of national park and private concession areas in Kenya that it is possible for the discerning visitor to admire breathtaking scenery and dense game populations in peaceful surroundings. Servicing these quieter Kenya safari areas is a wide range of excellent, small, little known safari camps.

Among the better known areas for a safari holiday are the Masai Mara Reserve, host to the incredible wildebeest and zebra migration between July and October; and Amboseli National Park with stunning views of snowcapped Kilimanjaro. Less famous regions our clients enjoy for safaris include the wildlife areas of Lewa Conservancy and Meru National Park. We also receive excellent feedback from areas with less big game but more varied activities (walking, horse and camel safaris, fishing and rivers to swim in) such as the beautiful Chyulu Hills, the dramatic Rift Valley scenery of Laikipia and Kenya’s lakes, and the remote Mathews Range in the north.

Kenya offers a fantastic safari destination to enjoy a diversity of incredible and iconic African wildlife. Here we list some of the 25 best attractions and things to do in Kenya with links to different tours, accommodation, and some travel bloggers who have visited the areas to give you their own opinions.

Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Masai Mara

As a fantastic draw to Kenya, you can enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara to see some truly remarkable wildlife spectacles from a very unique perspective. Enjoy a stay at the Governors Camp mentioned above or treat yourself to a more intimate and comfortable safari from the Little Governors Camp or the IL Moran Camp.

The Little Governors Camp and IL Moran Camp offer a more comfortable experience with more privacy while at camp and while on safari. IL Moran is one of the Mara’s top safari lodges right on the doorstep of some of the richest wildlife areas. There are different touches to the accommodation and service to rank this as a top safari and it’s positioned right at the bank of the Mara River.

In addition to fantastic game drives to find elephants, rhinos, giraffes and many other animals, one of the best activity options from these camps is the hot air balloon ride and the experience from these camps is fantastic.

Float over the Masai Mara on a before-dawn hot air balloon ride from a launch site just behind Little Governors Camp. The flames from the burners inflate the craft and light the morning’s darkness, with the crew preparing the balloon for your adventure. The balloon rises with daybreak as the first glimpses of sunlight illuminate the savanna. You will then be on your adventure in the suspended basked beneath the balloon with your camera poised for some fantastic images.

The flight over the Mara lasts around 60 minutes and we will drift where the wind takes us. There will be many opportunities for photographs or filming a unique angle on the animals. In keeping with true hot air ballooning tradition, your flight then ends with a champagne breakfast, which will be cooked where we land followed by a transfer back to your Masai Mara camp.

Amboseli National Park

Positioned in the Rift Valley, Amboseli National Park is just southeast of Nairobi and is the second most popular protected area in Kenya after the Masai Mara National Reserve. One of the best places to see wild elephants, the Amboseli National Park is a world famous protected area among wildlife lovers and safari goers. The park covers 39,206 hectares and is located across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The park is world famous for how easy it is to see wild African elephants, but there is a lot more to see here. The park provides great opportunities to see different iconic African animals, including the elephants, buffalo, impala, kudu, wild dogs, lions, cheetahs, wildebeest, hyena, zebra, and giraffes. Not only mammals, Amboseli is home to around 400 different species of birds, including kingfishers, raptors, and pelicans.

In addition to incredible wildlife safaris, the park provides a great cultural experience where you can meet some of the Maasai and visit a traditional village. Of course, this is also a fantastic place to see the world-famous Mount Kilimanjaro. As the world’s highest free-standing mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro is the jewel in the park and makes a fantastic backdrop while on safari, which is actually located just across the border in Tanzania.

The habitats to enjoy in the park include savanna grasslands, wetlands, and woods. The scenery of the park is incredible and although the mountain itself can be obscured with could cover, the mountain often reveals itself at dawn and dusk. You will have some fantastic wildlife experiences within the park and you can choose to explore the park on game drives, horseback rides, and walking safaris. There are a number of fantastic lodges in the park, including some very comfortable luxury options.

Tsavo East National Park & Tsavo West National Park

When taken together, this is one of the largest national parks in Kenya and the Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest in the country. The park is named after the Tsavo River, which flows through the protected area. The park was split because of the railway that links Nairobi with Mombasa, which means you will have fantastic views on the train journey and opportunities for seeing different wild animals.

There are a few different natural attractions in the park, such as the Yatta Plateau, which is the world’s longest lava flow at 290 km. You can also enjoy the Lugard Falls, which is a series of white water rapids on the Galana River. But the main attraction is the wildlife and you can see many of the African icons, such as the park’s famous Tsavo lions that lack the usual lion mane. Other animals to see include cheetah, buffalo, African hunting dog, elephants, duiker, gazelle, hyena, leopards, and a variety of others.

In addition to the fantastic mammal sightings in the park, you can enjoy 500 different birds including kingfishers, hornbills, kestrels, buzzards, and ostriches.

Tsavo East National Park

This is the largest of the park sections and contains the flattest ground. The section contains the Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls. Because of the flatter area and lack of vegetation, it’s often easier to spot more wildlife in this section.

Tsavo West National Park

This section of the park contains more fascinating geography and is more mountainous. The area also contains more swamps and lakes, which makes it the favored section for bird watchers, but also for seeing some of the big game animals, such as elephants, rhino, hippo, lions, and leopards.

There are some fantastic lodges to enjoy in both the Tsavo East National Park & Tsavo West National Park to make the most of your stay and to enjoy safaris to see the animals. Many of the lodges have a waterhole close-by, which means the wildlife comes to you.

Nairobi National Park

The main tourist attraction in Nairobi, the Nairobi National Park is unique as the only national park within a city boundary. From the edge of the city, you can even see giraffes in the distance. The wide open grasslands of the national park are backed by the city’s buildings and you can find a wide variety of iconic wildlife living here, such as lions, giraffes, cheetah, hyenas, buffalo, and a diversity of birdlife.

A historically important protected area, this was Kenya’s first national park and is just 7 km south of the city. You can see the Ivory Burning Monument where the Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi made a statement for conservation by burning 12 tons of ivory at the site back in 1989. This was during a time when hunting of large animals in East Africa was at an all-time high.

Although a small national park at 117 square kilometers (28,963 acres), many animals call the park home and it’s the destination of choice for a great many migrating herbivores. The park is also home to one of Kenya’s healthiest rhino populations.

The park joins to a conservation corridor for the Athi-Kapiti plains towards the south of the park making is such a draw for wildlife. In addition to the iconic larger animals, there are a number of others to be found here including ostriches, baboons, gazelles, eland, impala, and a very high diversity of birds. Including migrants, there are around 500 different bird species found within the park boundaries making it a great place for birders.

The park includes a rhinoceros sanctuary, which was originally set up in 1963 and become one of the most successful in Kenya. The Nairobi National Park is, therefore, one of the only places where visitors have an almost certain chance of seeing black rhinoceros in their natural habitat.

The Giraffe Center

Another must-visit attraction to see, the center cares for different Rothschild giraffes as part of a breeding program to help restock national parks and aid the conservation of giraffe populations. Happily, the sanctuary has had high success and is now a major tourist attraction in Nairobi.

Thanks to the founders who established the breeding sanctuary back in 1979, the center has provided many breeding pairs of giraffes to several protected areas in Kenya. As well as the breeding pairs, young calves born at the sanctuary are also introduced into the parks.

The main draw of the center for visitors is the raised observation platform where people can feed the giraffes. To add a little diversity, the center is also inhabited by a number of warthogs that live happily with their larger long-necked friends. Visitors can even stay at the Giraffe Manor to enjoy an immersive giraffe-experience for your stay in Nairobi.

The Giraffe center is about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from Nairobi center and makes the perfect activity if you find yourself in Nairobi for a few days before or after your African safari.

Not only actively involved in Kenya’s conservation programs, the sanctuary also has different education programs for Kenyan schoolchildren as part of the community outreach program. Visitors can hear about the work the center is doing in the auditorium to enjoy talks about giraffe conservation and the center’s various programs, such as the annual environmental competition for local children.

As an additional surprise, the center contains a 95 acre nature sanctuary, which is composed of both Ngong and Ololua forest, including the Gogo River. You can enjoy a trail walk through the forest to see different monkeys, warthogs, and antelope. Of course, the center also includes a tea house with wonderful views of the giraffes to enjoy a light meal and drink.

Lake Naivasha

Just northwest of Nairobi and southeast of Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha is the highest lake in the Great Rift Valley and offers a fantastic place to observe some of the 400 different birds in the region. You can enjoy a visit to the lake from Loldia House, which which sits at the lake edge and makes a great base before your visit to the Masai Mara. Visit the lake with Loldia’s resident ornithologist for great changes of seeing and learning about these fascinating species. You will then spot various animals on game drives and river cruises, such as the hippos and different birds.

Enjoy cruises on the lake to spot cormorants, pelicans, herons, kingfishers, and eagles. The other birds include jacanas, egrets, bee-eaters, and storks. You will then see the millions of greater and lesser flamingos at the lake edges.

With a surface area of 139 km², when standing on one side of the lake you cannot even see the other other. The name Naivasha is derived from a word in the the Maasai language meaning rough water as sudden storms can occur on the lake.

In addition to being a great lake for tourists, this is the only economically important inland lake in Kenya with horticulture and floriculture businesses. Because it’s such a great area for these industries, the balance is starting to be thrown. Kenya supplies a lot of the flowers used by Europe and much of this industry is around the lake. There are some changes to the lake, which have started to mobilize conversation groups. For instance, the flamingos should really only visit salt lakes such as the nearby Lake Nakuru and their presence indicates some major changes.

Mount Kenya

The mountain that named a country, Mount Kenya is Kenya’s highest mountain and the second largest in Africa after Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain is about 150 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. Over 10,000 people visit the park each year to see the site.

The mountain formed around 3 million years ago and the highest peak is named Batian at 5,199 meters high. Around 715 km2 around the mountain has been protected in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Mount Kenya National Park.

The reason for the protection was to conserve the area’s biodiversity, increase tourism to the area, and to protect the scenic beauty of the mountain and surrounding habitats.

There are a total of three major peaks in the central area and 12 remaining glaciers lay on the mountains, which are all receding. The habitats included in the park contain a number of animals, such as elephants, buffalo, zebra, and rhino.

Climbers are increasingly turning to Mount Kenya for their African climbing experience as Kilimanjaro becomes too crowded. Not only will you escape the crowds, but the mountain can offer more interesting scenery with the many different lakes and a higher diversity of animals and plants to see en-route.


THE ABERDARES are a beautiful mountain range in the central highlands of Kenya, for the most part, over 3000m (10, 000ft) in altitude. Within the heart of these mountains is the Aberdares National Park, a magical place of dense forest, and misty moorlands, where icy rivers plunge in glorious cascades and waterfalls. This area is rich in wildlife. Amongst a variety of mammals more commonly seen are elephant, buffalo, rhino, forest-hog, colobus and Sykes monkeys and a wide variety of antelope including the legendary and rare bongo. Birdlife is abundant and varied. 200 species have been recorded, perhaps the most conspicuous group of which is the sunbirds. Birds of prey such as the crowned eagle, mountain buzzard and African goshawk are of special interest. A game viewing drive, possibly en route to Treetops or the Ark, is a worthwhile inclusion.

ABERDARE COUNTRY CLUB – A romantic, quiet and relaxing getaway with a game sanctuary. Guests stay in cozy grey stone cottages nestling among lush gardens.

THE ARK – An architectural masterpiece standing high above ground in a secluded forest glade where viewing of wildlife takes place at close range. Not recommended for children.

TREETOPS – Overlooking water-holes and a salt lick, this is a functional lookout lodge solely dedicated to game viewing at close range.


AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK lies below the most famous symbol of Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro 5, 895m (19, 340 ft) the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free Standing Mountain in the world. The surrounding area is flat, covered by savannah and acacia scrub and the animals stand in silhouette against this towering majestic giant, its snow-clad peak floating in the stark blue African sky. A large part of the park consists of the alluvial dried-up bed of the seasonal Lake Amboseli, which in the rainy season can transform into a shallow flood whilst the dry season brings strange mirages above the lake’s dry shimmering surface.

Towards the Centre of the park are a series of swamps, fed by the underground rivers running off the mountain. It is here, closer to the water, that the concentration of wildlife intensifies, from the ever present ponderous herds of elephant to abundant birdlife. This includes a wide variety of waterbirds such as grey heron, saddle bill stork, Egyptian goose as well as long-toed lapwing. Yellow throated sand grouse and up to 6 species of vulture. The rare Madagascar Squacco Heron is a frequent visitor. Other game frequently seen include buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, Maasai giraffe, lion and cheetah.


MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE is situated to the west of Nairobi, on Tanzania’s northern border. This 1, 812 km² (700 sq. miles) Reserve is the northern extension of the larger Serengeti National Park – a massive 56, 000 km² (5, 600 sq. miles).

The Masai Mara offers wonderful scenery and an abundance of big game. It is perhaps the only region left in Kenya where the visitor may see animals in the same super-abundance as existed a century ago. It is a reserve of breathtaking vistas, panoramas of vast rolling plains, hills and woodland groves, well watered by the lovely Mara River which bisects the Reserve from north to south.

The Mara is home to the largest population of lions in Kenya, these magnificent beasts spending most of the day sleeping in the shade of acacia trees. Vast herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest roam the plains. Impala, gazelle, giraffe and hartebeest grace the landscape, the cautious topi may also be seen standing sentinel on earth mounds on constant look-out for predators. The waters of the Mara River are home to crocodiles and pools of hippo, the acacia woodlands and riverine forests favored by leopard and elephant, and the open savannah and dry bush areas host to the plains game and their attendant predators such as lion, cheetah, hyena and jackal.

The birdlife of the Mara is as profuse as the animal life. On the open plains there is a variety of bustards and ground hornbills. Birds of prey are abundant – no less than 53 species have been recorded, including the magnificent Bateleur eagle. In the sky there are always opportunistic vultures circling and waiting in anticipation, and distinctive secretary birds are a common sight as they stalk sedately over the open plains.


The wildebeest migration takes place within Kenya and Tanzania and is one of the greatest wildlife shows on earth. Between the open plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, thousands of wildebeest and zebras migrate to greener pastures as the seasons change. The precise timing of the Wildebeest Migration changes annually and it is a very unpredictable and spontaneous natural event. The calving season takes place in the Serengeti between the months of January and mid-March before the Wildebeest Migration begins heading towards the Western Serengeti in June. The best time to see the migration is usually between June and August when the wildebeest congregate and prepare to cross the famous Grumeti River. If you are in the Masai Mara you can expect the wildebeest to make their arrival as early as July, but they generally arrive between August and September and remain in the Mara between October and November. Between December and January the wildebeest gradually begin their migration back towards the Serengeti. As this is a natural phenomenon, the monthly migration patterns can change from year to year and this is to be used as a general guide.


Situated between Lakes Naivasha and Baringo, beneath the high cliffs of the Eastern Rift, lies Lake Nakuru. This is a shallow soda lake surrounded by yellow-barked acacia woodland and grasslands, rocky cliffs and hillsides covered with the unusual giant Euphorbia trees.

Lake Nakuru is world famous as the home of myriad flocks of greater and lesser flamingoes which frequently form a stunning pink ribbon along the edges of the lake. But flamingoes are unpredictable and are not always found here in such vast numbers – they migrate up and down the Rift Valley from Natron to Turkana in search of the best food supply. An entertaining spectacle is the large flocks of pelicans found fishing and washing at the southern end of the Lake. Over 400 species of birdlife have been recorded at the lake, making this yet another of Kenya’s major ornithological sites.

In addition to the birdlife, the park is home to herds of buffalo, waterbuck, impala, Rothschild giraffe, and leopard. A defined area of the park has now been designated a rhino sanctuary.


Kigio Wildlife Conservancy is a noteworthy 3, 500-acre conservancy between Nakuru and Naivasha in Kenya. The beautiful Conservancy with its wide ranging habitats, from riverine and euphorbia woodlands to short grass and Leleshwa shrub, holds approx. 3, 500 heads of wildlife (including the endangered White Rhino and Rothschild Giraffe, a 200 strong herd of buffalo, impala, Grants and Thomson’s gazelle, eland, hyena, leopard, hippo and over 200 bird species) which are protected by an electric fence on three sides and the Malewa River on one.

The Conservancy’s rich bio-diversity has been recognized internationally by Tusk Trust, Born Free Trust, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and several private donors who have provided funds to improve the infrastructure in the conservancy and to help wildlife conservation and surrounding communities. The Conservancy is at the forefront of Eco-tourism in the Rift Valley lakes area.


Rugged and remote, these wildlife reserves lie within the fascinating semi-desert area of Kenya’s Northern Frontier District.

The Samburu National Reserve – a lava plain with steep-sided gullies and rounded hills – is physically dramatic with the great Ololokwe table mountain in the background. The central feature of the reserve is the winding and looping Ewaso Nyiro River. On either side of the river, a green ribbon presents a gallery of forest acacia, doum palm and Tamarind, which act as host to a multitude of birdlife. Some of Kenya’s rarer species like the long-necked gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx and blue-shanked Somali ostrich can be seen here.

The Buffalo Springs Reserve butts onto Samburu in the south and is more or less an extension of the same kind of environment. However, as the name implies, the major source of relief in this reserve is an outflow of clear spring water which attracts migrant game and predators from miles around. This reserve is bounded in the north by the Ewaso Nyiro which doesn’t reach the sea but buries itself into the Lorien Swamp to the east.


Silver white sandy beaches – fringed with palms, casaurinas, bright bougainvillea, mangrove swamps and magical creeks, all washed by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The air is scented with the sweetness of frangipani and refreshed by gentle monsoon breezes. Welcome to the exotic paradise of Kenya’s 480 kilometre-long coast. Gazing calmly out across magical coral reefs to the open sea, this is one of the most idyllic resort areas in the world. Most come to enjoy the simple pleasures of this sun, sand and water wonderland. For those inclined to snorkel or scuba dive, the reefs, coral gardens and lagoons are some of the most beautiful.

For much of its length, from Malindi in the north to Vanga in the south, the shore is protected by the fascinating coral reef. Inside this protected environment in sheltered lagoons grow magical marine plants and other creatures and contains over 250 brilliantly coloured species of fish. National marine parks off Watamu, Malindi, Mombasa and Shimoni protect these reefs and the waters they embrace.

Mombasa is the old and colourful gateway to Kenya and is a vibrant mixture of the ancient and modern, with an interesting blend of African, Arab and Asian cultures. This beautiful port, evocative of the east, is actually an island. Fringing the dhow harbour is the old town, a maze of narrow streets, quaint shuttered houses and open fronted shops. The ancient Portuguese ‘Fort Jesus’ still stands sentinel – now a fine museum of antiques. The experience of Mombasa somehow isn’t quite complete without a trip aboard the exclusive Tamarind Dhow.