Kenya is one of the best tourist destinations in Africa and the world. With a population of over a 55million people, Kenya is known for its Grass savannahs, the Great Rift Valley, mountain highlands, and coastline along the Indian Ocean. With 46 Tribes and wildlife, Kenya is full of diversity, making it a popular destination for tourists worldwide. It hosts some of the top 10 best tourist attractions in kenya.
Tourism in Kenya has grown tremendously in the past decade, with an average of over87 a thousand tourists arriving since 2001. You can see the greatest wildlife migration in Maasai Mara Reserve.
You can also visit the Big 5 in Amboseli National Park, go camel riding in northern Kenya, do Black Rhino tracking at Saruni Rhino Lodge, rafting and kayaking In Central Kenya or Watamu Treehouse, and eat breakfast with Giraffes at The Giraffe Manor.
THE TOP 10 BEST TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN KENYA
1. Diani Beach
Diani Beach, located in Kwale County, is one of the best beach destinations in the world. Found 30 kilometers south of Mombasa (2nd Largest City in Kenya). With its sparkling white sands, the beach is lined with palm trees. Diani Beach has been voted the best beach destination in Africa for 5 years in a row. Camel riding, windsurfing, scuba diving, kiteboarding, and boat rides are some of the activities you can do at Diani.
Kaya Kinondo Sacred Forest runs parallel to the beach and is another place you can visit for nature walks, bike rides, and also explore through bird watching and see the colobus monkeys at the Colobus Conservation.
Visit Diani and enjoy different cuisines served at different resorts and restaurants.
2. Watamu Beach, Watamu Marine Park, and Watamu Turtle Watch
Watamu Beach, also known for its White Sands, is located North of Mombasa and South of Malindi on the Indian Ocean. It is in Kilifi County, home to Bajuni People.
Watamu Beach is 105 kilometers from Mombasa, with a population of over 2000. Along the beach is located several islands where you can visit. Coral Reefs are also found along the shores, and you can enjoy watching octopuses and see rays, starfish, and hermit crabs.
Watamu Marine Park, a 90-mile stretch, is located in the beach’s southern part. Also alongside the park is Mida Creek, where you can see the black kite, weaver birds, and crayfish. The park has over 1000 species of fish such as dugong and Olive, Ridley, Hawksbill turtle, manta ray, and the whale shark.
An organization that protects the turtles and their breeding grounds is located in Watamu Turtle Watch, where they educate locals and international communities. Near these breeding grounds are coral reefs where you can find octopus and other colorful fish, snorkel, and see rays.
3. Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve
Malindi Marine Park is located South of Malindi town. This marine park was established in 1968 and is the first protected Marine area in Kenya by UNESCO.
The marine park contains a lot of marine life, such as sea cucumbers, sea stars, sea urchins, crabs, jellyfish, lobsters, and shrimp. Bird watching is also available, where you watch shorebirds like sweetlips, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, damsels, and reel fish. Marine mammals like humpback dolphins and sea turtles are available too.
Coral gardens, which contain different species like Turbinaria, Porites, and Acropora, are found in the park.
Malindi Marine Park offers different activities that you can enjoy, like swimming in the crystal clear waters, including glass bottom boat rides, scuba diving, snorkeling, bird-watching, camping, beach walking, reef walks, picnicking, and various sports, kite surfing, jet skiing, windsurfing and kayaking
A conference facility is also available and educative activities and tours.
4. Maasai Mara National Park
Maasai Mara National Park is one of Kenya’s most popular tourist destinations. It is known for the ‘Great Migration,’ which takes place from July to October when wildebeests, gazelles, and zebra migrate from Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya. They cross the Mara River, which is infested with crocodiles and hippos making it a skeptical site.
The Maasai Mara is also home to the ‘Big 5’ Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, and Elephants, and you can also sight the giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs, and warthogs.
5. Tsavo National Parks
Tsavo is the largest national park in Kenya which was split in two by the railway linking Mombasa and Nairobi. They become the Tsavo East and Tsavo West. The park was named after River Tsavo.
The Tsavo East, which is more expansive, contains more of the savannah grasslands formed after a volcanic eruption. Many of the sites to visit are Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow, the Lugard Falls, and the Galana River.
Being a savannah plain, wild animals like The Tsavo lions, cheetah, buffalo, elephants, leopards, wild boars, and zebras. Bird-watching with over 500 species includes ostrich, vultures, kestrels, buzzards, kingfishers, and hornbills.
The Tsavo West has a volcanic terrain and is more cool and wet, making it the most attractive of the Tsavos. Here the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary is found with over 70 black rhinos, the Mzima Springs, which supply water to most of Mombasa, and the Chamu Crater. Tsavo West has less wildlife, but it compensates with beautiful scenery.
6. Samburu and Shaba National Reserves
These reserves are found in the northern part of Kenya. Samburu is located in the Ewaso Ng’iro River banks and has the rarest wildlife species in Kenya; therefore, it is a protected area. Wildlife includes giraffes, Grevy’s zebras, gerenuk antelopes, lions, elephants, buffalo, cheetah, and hyenas. Birds like the Somali ostriches are also found.
Shaba Reserve, which is found along Shaba Hill, is a woodland and grassland that is home to the warthogs, oryx, kudu, gazelles, Masai lions, and cheetah. Ostriches are also found in abundance.
Rivers also run through these reserves, home to crocodiles and hippos and a sanctuary for over 400 species of birds.
7. Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is located in the Great Rift Valley, southeast of Nairobi City, covering an area of approximately 39,205 hectares near the Tanzanian border. It has a majestic view of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
It is known for its population of elephants which is over 1000. Other animals are buffalos, cheetahs, lions, leopards, eland, Impala, waterbuck, giraffes, and over 600 species of birds.
8. Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya Park is located in the central part of Kenya. It is World Heritage Site protected by UNESCO.
While visiting the park, you get a chance to climb Africa’s second highest mountain, Mount Kenya, which rises to 5,199m. The mountain has three peaks Lenana – the lowest, Nelion, and Batian – the highest point.
The park contains wildlife such as elephants, zebras, rhinos, and buffaloes.
9. Ol Pejeta Conservancy
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located in Central Kenya near the Mount Kenya National Park, about 200 kilometers from Nairobi. The conservancy caters to the Big Five buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, and rhino. It also has cheetahs, hyenas, and hartebeest. In the conservancy is also found the Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which protects mountain chimpanzees.
White rhinos are the most attractive to the conservancy. The northern and southern white rhinos are the most protected animals since a few remain in the world.
10. Lamu Island
Lamu Island is found approximately 350 kilometers from Mombasa. It has a mixture of several cultures, which mostly are Kenyan and Arab cultures. Founded in the 14th century is the oldest town in Kenya. Being a Swahili settlement, it mainly serves Swahili cuisine.
A culture like donkey riding, dhow trips, and beautiful beaches are the top attractions.
The Lamu Old Town is a protected UNESCO site. Lamu Island is a top attraction with its century-old traditions and culture. Make sure to visit it.
Kenya has so many attractions and destinations; therefore, when you visit, enjoy the Kenyan Magical scenes.