Are you struggling to find the best things to do in Kenya?
Then you’re in the perfect spot to find all the iconic and not so touristy things to do in Kenya. So you can ensure that you have a safe and wonderful trip!
This past summer, I explored Kenya’s diverse landscape and explored many of the activities recommended on this list for you.
From spotting the famous Big Five at Maasai Mara National Reserve to engaging with the Maasai tribe, this guide will ensure you experience the best of Kenya.
So let’s dive in on these best things to do in Kenya!
1. See the Big Five at the Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is renowned for being one of the best places in the world to spot wildlife including the Big Five.
The Big 5 includes the lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos.
These animals are not just Kenya’s pride but are crucial to the ecosystem. In fact, the Maasai Mara is one of the few reserves that are home to all of these animals and more.
The Maasai Mara is part of the Serengeti ecosystem, where over 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras migrate annually, creating the perfect place to view the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Plus, if traveling during the dry season, which is the best time to visit Kenya, you can see the annual wildebeest migration!
Seeing hundreds of animals running in sync in front of you during the great migration, is truly one of the best feelings in the world. It quite literally takes your breathe away.
During my trip to Kenya, I spent several days exploring the Maasai Mara, and saw the great migration myself and I absolutely loved it!
When scheduling your game drives, try to go as early as possible or before dawn as this is when the animals are most active typically hunting their prey.
During mid-day, it’s difficult to spot animals as they are resting after finishing their meal or they are hiding away from the afternoon sun.
As you explore the Maasai Mara, make sure to use best animal encounter practices to ensure that you are safely and ethically interacting within these animals.
Trust me, the wildlife and landscape views from the Maasai Mara is something straight out of the Lion king movie or National Geographic is and is truly a sight to see!
2. Dance With the Maasai Tribe at the Maasai Village
The Maasai people are an important part to Kenyan culture, known for their distinctive customs and attire.
While in Kenya, I highly encourage you to visit a Maasai village where you can gain a unique understanding and appreciation of their lifestyle. While you’re here, you can explore their homes, purchase local crafts, and even sing and dance within them!
When you first arrive, you will 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.
Since the Maasai people commonly practice polygamy, it’s common for the highest jumper to have the most girlfriends or wives.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to marry anyone! But you should join in on the fun and dance and jump along with the tribe!
One of the best part of exploring the Maasai tribe is how they share their sustainable practices and how they coexist with the wildlife.
If you want to have an authentic and immersive experience in Kenya, then you should absolutely visit a Maasai tribe.
3. Take A Safari Boat Ride Along Lake Naivasha
Just a two-hour drive from Nairobi, Lake Naivasha is a must-do activity.
Here, you can enjoy a 1-2 hour long boat ride along the freshwater where your wildlife spotting opportunities are endless. It’s kinda like going on a safari ride, but on the water!
Lake Naivasha is known to have great bird watching opportunities as you can watch hundreds of pink flamingos and dozens of birds interact with one another. You can see giraffes, zebras, and soooo many hippos!
I absolutely loved seeing all the hippos swimming around and eating, so this was one of my favorite things to do in Kenya!
The best time to go on a boat ride is during the early morning where the lighting is perfect and the animals are just starting to get active.
However, remember to bring a jacket as the mornings can be chilly, especially when canoeing fast on their motorized canoe boats.
4. Explore Hell’s Gate National Park
Just a short 30 minute drive from Lake Navisha, is the iconic Hell’s Gate National Park.
Hell’s Gate is famous for its georges, 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 travel through the park, you can see the amazing wonders of zebras, baboons, buffalo, and more!
While there are no predators in Hell’s Gate, there are wild animals, so proceed with caution and maintain a safe distance from animals when your hiking or biking.
5. Hike through the Ol Njorowa Gorge
Ol Njorowa Gorge in Hell’s Gate National Park offers a unique hiking experience. This gorge, formed from volcanic activity, is a striking geological feature with steep walls.
There are three different hiking options, from easy, medium, and hard.
I would advise hiking with a park ranger or a tour group, as the paths are not parked and some of the sections can get pretty steep.
But the best part of Ol Njorowa Gorge are the countless opportunities to take absolutely stunning pictures!
6. Watch Elephants at Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park, is personally, one of my favorite parks across Kenya and should be a must do activity on your itinerary.
The word Amboseli derives from a Maasai word Empusel meaning “salty dust place”. This is absolutely true, as you are sure to leave with tons of dust and stunning pictures at any park you enter.
Due to Amboseli flat terrain, you can easily spot any animals, including the dozens of elephants walking in front of Mount Kilimanjaro! In fact, Amboseli offers some of the best elephant viewing opportunities in the word!
Yup! In fact, according to world heritage convention, this park is over 3,100 square miles and is home to over 400 bird species, and 47 raptor species.
So trust me, that you are sure to see tons of animals, and maybe even see a couple of animals that you didn’t even know existed!
If you’re deciding between going to Massai Mara or Amboseli National Park, then let me encourage you to explore both. Both parks have absolutely stunning views, and each park offers something different to keep you coming back for more!
7. Eat With the Giraffes at Giraffe Manor
The Giraffe Manor is actually a hotel located just on the outskirts of Nairobi.
This is a 12 acre estate and offers intimate encounters with giraffes. The Giraffes have been known to peek through windows and dine with guests as they are enjoying breakfast or lunch on the baconlines!
How cool is this! Unfortunately, this is one of the only things I was unable to do while in Kenya. However, this will be first on the list the next time I return!
There you have it, the top 7 best things to do in Kenya.
Many of these activities that I have personally experienced and enjoyed. I hope that when you travel to Kenya, you fall in love with the wildlife, landscapes, and people, just like I did.
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