Things to do in Kenya
Whether you’re parked up to watch a million wildebeest attempting to cross the Mara River without getting eaten by crocodiles, tracking the huge elephant herds of Amboseli against the backdrop of Kilimanjaro or visiting the highly endangered black and white rhino, a game drive tops our list of things to do in Kenya.
Walking safaris heighten your senses, while nighttime game drives reveal the elusive creatures that emerge after sunset.
Our Kenya Vacations
Meet the Maasai
Of Kenya’s 40-odd ethnic groups, it’s the Maasai who have most successfully tapped into tourism, and no matter how much wildlife you see, a Kenyan safari would not be complete without meeting these elegant people.
Cultural tourism has, thankfully, moved on from the bad old days of looking and pointing. As landowners, the Maasai have a network of communal conservancies where you can stay in Maasai-owned lodges and go out on bush walks and game drives with Maasai guides – discovering as much about them as you do about the wildlife. Evening entertainment may include traditional music and dance – or discussions on tribal traditions and ways of life – and the importance of cattle. If you fancy something a bit more hands on, warrior training sessions will get you throwing spears, fighting with sticks and using bows and arrows.
As fun as this all may be, it’s also a vital source of income for the Maasai, as well as a way for them to preserve their traditions and folklore. And for most visitors, it actually ends up being the most treasured part of their Kenya vacation.
If you'd like to chat about Kenya or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
There’s no shortage of ways to give back to Kenya, and a carefully chosen volunteer placement can have a huge impact on the lives of local people – as well as the volunteer.
Assist science and English teachers in their lively classrooms, run environmental awareness sessions, construct school buildings or be a sports coach. Qualified volunteers can work in healthcare – in rural communities or central hospitals - giving them valuable hands-on experience. You might even be out researching wildlife in the savannah or the sea.
Placements can last from a couple of weeks to several months, but given the time to settle in and get to know the local people you’ll be working with, a longer place means you really can make a difference. It’ll also give you chance to pick up some of the local language, and make genuine friendships.
Remember – this is not a vacation. You won’t be in a luxury lodge but in a local house, probably with other volunteers. Electricity and running water may not always be available, and the food may be basic, but that’s a surefire way to get you focusing on what’s truly important, and help you understand the daily life of your new Kenyan friends.
Kenya's coastline can rival that of any tropical island - from the luxurious resorts to secluded keys, sprinkled in the warm Indian Ocean.
Kick back on the coast
Diani’s 10km of white sands are a classic, palm-fringed retreat – check out the reefs and the colobus monkeys. Lamu offers archaeological sites and Arab and Swahili architecture as well as beaches, and Malindi – the Italian favourite – has a cluster of affordable hotels, restaurants and bars. Wherever you decide to pull up your sunbed Kenya’s beaches are a welcome retreat at the end of your African adventure.
More about Kenya
The best time to visit Kenya depends on whether you’re interested in visiting the Masai Mara, Mombasa or Mount Kenya - but we've covered it all in our guide.
The Maasai, the Mara and the greatest of migrations - our Kenya guide reveals how to explore these vast landscapes and meet the people who live alongside this extraordinary nature.
There are a remarkable amount of places to visit in Kenya with Samburu, Amboseli, Tsavo and the Mara River Crossing all featuring on our interactive map.
Travel to East Africa and you can squeeze the maximum wildlife watching from a single vacation.
Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya’s most popular safari destinations.
Long established as a superb destination for a safari vacation, Kenya has abundant wildlife, iconic landscapes and plentiful accommodation to suit all budgets.
The Masai Mara is one of Kenya’s most compact reserves, yet huge populations of wildlife thrive here, their numbers swelled by the arrival of millions of wildebeest and zebra during the Great Migration.
Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain, a 5,000m+ dormant volcano that features rugged peaks, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes.
Meeting Kenya’s Maasai people is a cultural highlight of any vacation to Kenya and time spent with them brings multiple benefits to you, the visitor, and to the Maasai community.
The annual circular Wildebeest Migration in East Africa sees mega herds moving across the plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti and the Masai Mara in Kenya, on a constant quest for food.
Traveling in Kenya with kids isn't as scary as it might at first sound. There is an abundance of child friendly activities here, and you'll be spoiled for choice.
For first time travelers, Kenya is usually about one thing: wildlife. If you want to cast the net a little wider, our tips on the best time to travel and how long to stay will help. Take a look at our unmissable highlights and see what takes your fancy.
We share our top tips on the Great Rift Valley, climbing a mountain in East Africa and staying safe in Nairobi, plus valuable advice from our vacation reviews.
There are plenty of ways to travel right in Kenya with understanding Kenya responsible tourism issues, the perfect place to start.
Photo credits: [Page banner: MAKE IT KENYA PHOTO / STUART PRICE] [Game drives: Ninara] [Maasai tribe: Kandukuru Nagarjun] [Kenya volunteer: Frontierofficial] [Kenyan beach: Mckay Savage]Back to the top