Top Tourist Destinations in Kenya on TripAdvisor
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and has an international airport, hence the first place you land when coming from outside the country via air. It is also known as a capital city with a National Park.
If you are coming to Nairobi for a business trip or for a stopover to connect to another country, it is possible to have a mini safari on the same day. The Nairobi National Park is only a few kilometres from the Airport. The main park entrance houses the Kenya Wildlife Service offices, The Nairobi Safari Walk as well as the Animal Orphanage. Some of the wild animals you can spot here include; the black rhino, lions, antelopes, warthog, baboons, monkeys etc.
A few kilometres from the Nairobi National Park, we have other favourite tourist destinations like The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that houses orphaned baby elephants, The Giraffe Centre, Bomas of Kenya and the Karen Blixen Museum.
The National Museum of Kenya is a short distance from the central business district. There is also a railway museum at the railway station if you would love to learn more about old train locomotives. If you love nature, Karura Forest is a good place to go for short hikes, picnic. Other nature-related places you can go for short hikes, nature walk within Nairobi include Ololua Nature Trail, The Arboretum and Ngong Hills.
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Some of the top-rated hotels and apartment suites in Nairobi include; Hemingways Nairobi, Palacina Residents & Suites, Radisson Blue Hotels & Residence, Four Points by Sheraton, Woodmere Serviced Apartments etc.
Mombasa Island is the second most popular city after Nairobi. It is the port hub connecting East Africa to the rest of the world through the Indian Ocean. It is a popular tourist destination due to its sandy beaches.
Additionally, there is so much history in this Island dating back to many centuries ago. There are many explorers as well as colonizers who used the Mombasa Port as their point of entry.
There many attractive places to visit especially for history lovers like Mombasa Old Town, Fort Jesus, Uhuru Gardens. Some historical building like the Mandhry Mosque, The African Hotel Museum among others.
The Island is covered by beautiful warm sandy beaches. Two of the most popular public beaches are Nyali beach and Jomo Kenyatta/Pirates beach. There are many hotels and resorts along the beach as well as in the city.
Access to Mombasa city from Nairobi is by road (488.1 km – 8hrs), by train (SGR express train 5hrs), by air (1 hr).
Diani is located on the southern side of the Indian Ocean. It is characterised by white sandy beaches and clear blue warm ocean water. In addition, it is rated as one of the leading beach destinations in Africa.
Due to this, Diani has the best luxury resorts and beach hotels. Some of these resorts include; The Maji Beach Boutique Hotel, Elewana AfroChic Diani Beach, The Sands at Chale Beach, Baobab Beach Resort & Spa, Kusini Beach Cottages etc.
Activities to undertake while in Diani include; Dhow cruising for lunch or dinner, snorkelling, kite surfing, beach spa treatment etc.
In conclusion, you can get to Diani through the air, flying to the Ukunda Air Strip or through Mombasa via the Likoni Ferry.
Watamu is located on the Northern side of the Indian Ocean. It is popular for its rich marine wildlife both in the ocean and the surrounding land. This is the best place to see dolphins, beautiful coral gardens and in some seasons the migratory humpback whale. In addition, this is the nesting area for the green turtle.
To enjoy this rich marine nature, you can stay in some of the best eco-friendly beach resorts. Some of the resorts and hotels include; Turtle Bay Beach Club, Mimi Na Wewe, Hemingways Watamu, Rock and Sea Resort, The Charming Lonno Lodge etc.
Some of the activities in Watamu include; snorkelling, fishing, dhow cruises, turtle watch, deep diving, bird watching, hiking etc.
Malindi is on the Northern side of Mombasa. The town is popular with Italian tourist hence most resorts and hotels serve Italian cuisine. Additionally, the town is very laid back with minimal activities but holds some of the best 5-star luxury resorts along the coastal strip.
Malindi is accessible by road from Mombasa through the Mombasa-Malindi-Lamu highway or through chartered planes.
Some of the activities to undertake while in Malindi include; visit historical sites like The Vasco De Gama Pillar, excursions like a visit to the Marafa Depression, hiking along Arabuko Sokoke Forest and Gede Ruins etc.
Naivasha is a small town along the Great Rift Valley accessible from Nairobi through road along the Naivasha-Nakuru highway. It is very popular with Nairobi dwellers who love day road trips to escape the busy city life.
It takes approximately 2 hours by road from Nairobi to Naivasha (93.6 km) with a stopover at the Rift Valley viewpoint. In addition, Naivasha has one of the freshwater lakes found in Kenya, Lake Naivasha.
Some of the activities to do in Naivasha include; site seeing, camping along the Lake Shore, birdwatching etc. Lastly, the best accommodation facilities include; Sawela Lodges, Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort, Enashipai Resort and Spa, Lake Naivasha Country Club etc.
Nakuru is the fourth-largest urban centre in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. This particular town is popular with party lovers from Nairobi who love merrymaking away from their home area.
In addition, Nakuru has a National Park which is home to the black rhino, giraffe, lions, leopards, warthogs among other wild animals. There is also an algae-filled soda lake that attracts thousands of flamingos.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular national parks in Kenya. This is due to the great wildebeest migration that happens annually around the months of July and August.
In addition, it is one of the game reserves that you can spot different species of wildlife in a short time while on safari. It houses all the big five, a large species of antelope, the Maasai giraffe, cheetahs, large clans of hyenas, jackals, bat-eared fox, serval cats, large herds of buffalos and much more wildlife.
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Due to its diversity and rich ecosystem, there are many bird species. These include birds of prey, different species of vultures, ground birds like the crane, ground hornbill, stocks and many more. This makes it a good place for bird watchers.
Some of the activities to consider while at Maasai Mara include; game drives, picnics in the wild, bird watching, wildlife photography and a visit to the Maasai villages.
There are quite a large number of lodges around the park ranging from 5-star lodges to budget camps. Some of the top-rated include; Porini Mara Camp, Angama Mara, Mara Intrepids Tented Camp, Sarova Mara Game Camp etc.
Nanyuki town is found in the central highlands of Kenya and is known as the gateway to Mount Kenya. This town is graced by big ranches some of which have been turned into wildlife conservancies.
If planning to climb Mount Kenya, there are several trails that can be accessed from Nanyuki like the Naro Moru and Sirimon Trails. Secondly, Mount Kenya National Park is easily accessible through this town.
In addition, there are other private conservancies like the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to the last two Northern White Rhinos, Chimpanzee Sanctuary and other wildlife. The Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy which houses the only bear in Africa is also found here.
Kisumu is the third-largest city after Nairobi and Mombasa. It is located at the shores of Lake Victoria. It is popular for its high supply of fresh tilapia fish.
Kisumu is a long distance from Nairobi, hence it is accessible through the air with daily scheduled flights. There those who still prefer to make the long trip on road with stopovers in different towns.
Some of the activities to partake in while in Kisumu include; visit Dunga Beach, where you can go fishing in Lake Victoria. In addition, you can enjoy fresh fried fish at the beach in some of the popular restaurants. There is also a nice place to view hippos on the lake without causing any danger.
Kisumu also has a small wildlife sanctuary called Impala Sanctuary open to all. The Kisumu museum is also a nice place to learn some history about the origin of this town.