3 day itinerary in Kenya

Ultimate 3 Perfect Days in Kenya (Itinerary)

Your Guide To A Perfect 3 Day Trip To Kenya: 

Do you want to explore the best of Kenya but only have 3 days? Then you’re not alone. 

After spending 12 days exploring everything from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara, I’ve created this perfect 3-day itinerary, plus this ultimate guide to Kenya so you have everything you need for an amazing trip!

While I highly recommend spending at least 10 days in Kenya, to truly experience its magic, this 3-day itinerary guide is your shortcut to an unforgettable experience. So you know exactly what to see, do, and stay to make your next 3 days unforgettable! 

Disclaimer: All my recommendations are based on my personal experience or highly recommended items from other travelers. I am in no way getting compensated for my reviews or recommendations of the activities or accommodations. I simply want to share this great advice with you. If you like this itinerary or want more awesome travel advice, then sign up for my newsletter 🙂 

Day 1: A Day in Nairobi

If you want to make the most out of your day in Nairobi then here are my top recommendations. You can also check out the best things to do in Nairobi if you are interested in exploring other excellent options! 

What To Do:

Nairobi National Park

DV at Nairobi National Park
Rhinos at Nairobi National Park

Start your day off early in the morning by visiting Nairobi National Park, where you can spot lions, giraffes, leopards, rhinos, zebras, and over 400 species of birds while having Nairobi’s city skyline in the backdrop. 

While you can rent a car and do a self-guided tour throughout the park, I highly recommend taking a guided tour. The local guides are fantastic at knowing where the animals like to hide (which you may miss on your own) and share fascinating facts about the wildlife and the park’s ecosystem. 

I recommend getting here at 6:00 AM (the park’s opening hours), so you can spot the most animals while they are most active and catch the last bit of the morning sunrise.

Daisy’s Pro Tip: On your safari adventure, try to wear earth neutral colors! This allows your body to stay cool in the heat, deter bugs and you won’t scare away the animals (like where red or black may). Also, make sure to have all these essential safari items that you must pack like your bug spray, a portable charger, your camera, and binoculars! 

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Elephant in Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya, Africa
Elephant in Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya, Africa

Located in Nairobi National Park, you can also visit the elephant orphanage sanctuary. Here, you can watch the baby elephants and rhinos, eat, play in the mud, and interact with you as their caretakers share the story of the elephant. 

The best part, you can hear how the caretakers rehabilitate each animal until they can be re-introduced into their natural habitats and rejoin the herd. 

What I love about this place is not just the ability to learn how to ethically interact with the animals, but the chance to also understand their stories and join the efforts to protect them. 

Entry starts promptly at 11:00 AM, however, I suggest arriving 20 minutes early so you can get a spot in the front. Especially if you want the chance to pet the elephants as they walk by!

Giraffe Centre

DV at Giraffe Centre, Nairobi Kenya
Giraffe Centre, Nairobi Kenya

After your heartwarming visit with the elephants, head to the Giraffe Centre, approximately a 20-minute drive away. The center is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, giving you plenty of time to interact with the Rothschild giraffes. 

Here, you can feed, receive a kiss, and just observe the giraffes in their natural habitats. 

Plus, you can learn about the important conservation efforts to protect these giraffes. 

Optional Activities:

Maasai Markets:

Shop your heart away at the Maasai market or Nairobi city market for the best-handcrafted souvenirs. From hand-painted fabrics to stunning jewelry and detailed wood carvings, you will find it all at these markets. 

However, be prepared to bargain for a good price. This is one of my top tips to know when visiting Kenya, which most people do not know which leads them to pay 4 times higher than the actual price. 

Night Activities:

Alchemist Nightclub in Nairobi
Alchemist Nightclub in Nairobi

If you’re ready to dance the night away among the locals, then I highly recommend the high-energy atmosphere of B-club, or for a dance underneath the stars with a great music vibe, you must visit Alchemist. 

Alchemist is my personal favorite as you can enjoy drinks with the locals and enjoy the amazing vibe of the club. 

While I felt safe at the club, be sure to always proceed with caution and know these valuable safety tips to stay safe while in Kenya or at the local Nairobi clubs

Daisy’s Pro Tip: Bring Kenyan Shillings in case you have to pay a small “entrance or cover” fee at the door. You may then receive a token that allows you to get a “free drink” at the bar. 

Where to Eat:

Lunch:

Before heading to the Nairobi National Park, grab lunch at The Talisman, a charming restaurant in Karen offering a fusion of European, Pan-Asian, and African cuisine. The garden setting is perfect for a relaxing meal between your morning and afternoon activities.

Dinner

If you enjoy a wide variety of meats roasted over a charcoal pit (including exotic meats) then you will enjoy an upscale meal at the Carnivore. This spot is extremely trendy among tourists and is a great place to eat with amazing staff. 

  • I also love the surprisingly wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options available here. However, please be aware that there is a huge fire pit of roasted animal meat cooking that can easily be seen once walking into the restaurant, which may be difficult or disturbing for my vegans or vegetarians to see. 

Where to Stay:

After a full day (and night) of fun, I recommend staying at the Best Western Plus Meridian Hotel which is an excellent choice for its central location and comfort. 

Day 2: Cultural Insights

Day 2 offers a deep dive into Kenya’s heart through its culture and natural beauty.

What to Do:

Morning Visit to a Maasai Village

Dancing with the Maasai Tribe
Daisy Dancing with the Maasai Tribe

Your day begins with a visit to a Maasai village, offering an authentic look into the lives of one of Kenya’s most iconic communities. Here, you’ll gain a unique understanding and appreciation of the Maasai traditions from their distinctive dress to their sustainable living practices. 

You will also experience the Maasai’s traditional jumping dance, known as the ‘adumu’. It’s a competitive dance where warriors jump as high as possible, symbolizing strength and agility. 

You can also explore their homes and have the opportunity to purchase their handmade crafts. 

Boat Ride Safari at Lake Naivasha

Hippos at Lake Naivasha
Hippos at Lake Naivasha

Next, head to Lake Naivasha for a peaceful 1-hour long boat ride along the freshwater where you can see hundreds of pink flamingos and over 400 species of birds. You can also see giraffes, zebras, and soooo many hippos!

You can enjoy the boat rides from 7am to 11am and 2 pm to 4pm. 

I absolutely loved this safari boat ride, as seeing all the hippos swimming around eating, was one of my favorite things to do in Kenya!

Drive to the Maasai Mara

Drive the 3 ½ hours from Lake Naivasha to Maasai Mara 

If you’re eager to start exploring the Maasai Mara, then make sure to get here before 4-5 pm, so you have enough time to do a quick evening game drive before dark. 

Afterward, you can enjoy your dinner at the included buffet, grab a drink under the stars, and watch the monkeys play outside your window!

Optional Activities:

Explore Hell’s Gate:

Instead of visiting Lake Navisha, you can explore Hell’s Gate which is famous for its georges, and towering cliffs and is even known to have inspired the design of Pride Rock from the Lion King Disney Movie. 

While in Hell’s Gate, you can hike, bike, and even rock climb across this 26-square-mile park as you try to spot new safari animals! 

If you want more options to explore during your second day in Kenya, then check out these best places to visit in Kenya which include Lake Navisha, Hell’s Gate, and many more iconic spots! 

Just keep in mind that you will have a long drive ahead of you to the Maasai Mara. So make sure to plan accordingly so you can make it to the Maasai Mara before dark so you can enjoy an evening drive. 

Where to Eat:

Lunch: Choose a packed lunch to enjoy during your Lake Naivasha visit, allowing for a seamless transition between activities. Most lodges offer this option, featuring a selection of local and international foods.

Dinner at the Lodge: End your day with a meal at the Sarova Mara Tented Camp. Their dining experience includes a variety of local and international dishes served in a setting that lets you take in the natural beauty of your surroundings. 

  • Most buffet style lodges accommodate most dietary restrictions including gluten-free or vegan, as all the foods are clearly labeled. However, make sure to ask if any meat broth was used in the soaps, vegetables, or beans. Any place I ate at, it was clearly labeled so I found eating in Kenya as a vegan plentiful and oh so delicious!

Where to Stay

​​Sarova Mara tented camp provides stunning views of the Maasai Mara and prime access game drives. You can enjoy luxurious pools, glamping style tented camps, and delicious buffet options from breakfast to dinner.

Day 3: A Safari Adventure

Day 3 promises an unforgettable journey into the Maasai Mara, Kenya’s premier wildlife destination and top-ranked as one of the best things to do in Kenya!

What to Do:

Maasai Mara National Reserve

While at the Maasai Mara reserve, you have the opportunity to spot thousands of safari animals including zebra, gazelles, giraffes, and warthogs, and the chance to see the Big Five, which includes the lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos.  

If you travel during the dry season, which is the best time to visit Kenya, you can see the annual wildebeest migration! Where over 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras migrate annually, creating the perfect place to view the wildlife in their natural habitat. 

Daisy’s Pro Tip: If you’re unsure what you should wear, then get inspiration for these best safari outfits for your Kenya adventure. I promise you, that if you do not pack correctly for a safari adventure, then you will have a miserable time!  

Optional Activities: 

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Safari 

Hot air ballon ride over the Masai Mara
Hot air ballon ride over the Masai Mara

Start your morning before dawn, as you track the animals from a hot air balloon ride watching the sunrise along the savanna. There is truly no better way to experience the magnitude or beauty of Kenya, than by a hot air balloon ride. 

This was truly one of the best experiences in my life and every second simply took my breath away! 

After you enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you can brag to your friends that you did a safari tour by land, water, and air! 

Afterward, you can enjoy a nice breakfast and champagne as you watch the animals afar in the distance! way up high in a hot air balloon.

Where to Eat:

Food buffet in Kenya
  • Lunch: Enjoy a packed lunch from your lodge, ideally under the shade of an acacia tree in the Mara. Or you can return back to the lodge for an awesome buffet style lunch. 
  • Dinner: Back at your lodge, dine under the stars for an authentic safari experience.

Where to Stay:

​​Sarova Mara tented camp provides stunning views of the Maasai Mara and prime access for early morning game drives. You can enjoy luxurious pools, glamping style tented camps, and delicious buffet options from breakfast to dinner. 

Extend the fun, so you can explore the best of Kenya in under 10 days. 

Or you can drive the 4 hours back to Nairobi and start planning your next trip back to Kenya, so you can continue to experience its beauty! 

Conclusion: 

Enjoy your 3 perfect days in Kenya! 

This extremely detailed guide is here to help you along your trip, however, for a stress-free ultimate trip planner then sign up below for your FREE and EASY-to-use detailed guide to planning your trip. 

So you can enjoy more of your trip with less stress!

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