Must See

The Aberdares

The peak of the Aberdares, Ol-Doinyo Lesatima, at 3,999 metres is the third highest in Kenya. The area is rich in wildlife and contains one of the country's largest protected forests; however, catching sight of the animals can sometimes be difficult because of the dense vegetation. Many of the game lodges provide purpose built viewing platforms. Walking is not permitted in the area.


This game park lies on the Tanzanian border 220 km (140 miles) from Nairobi. It is dominated by the imposing snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain at 5895 metres (19,340 ft). The mountain forms an impressive backdrop to equally impressive numbers of lion, hippo and cheetah, along with the large herds of buffalo and elephant.

Lamu Island

Located off the northern coastline of Kenya, Lamu Island is vehicle free with donkeys being the only form of transport. The historic Lamu town has been designated a national monument and funds are being raised to restore the old coral-rag houses. The town has narrow streets, mosques, old buildings with impressive carved wooden doors and a friendly Arab population. It has some good hotels, and guesthouses, and there are also a few recently restored grand houses available for rent, complete with chefs, staff and all comforts.

Attractions include the Swahili House Museum, the Hindu Temple in Mwagogo Road (off Treasury Square), the Lamu Museum, the Fortress and the bazaars. Day trips to the 14th- and 15th-century ruins on the nearby islands of Manda and Pate can be arranged with local boat owners.

Masa Mara

The most famous of the Kenyan reserves, and with good reason. Home to the Maasai tribe, the Mara also hosts the great wildebeest migration. Gazelle, giraffe and zebra roam across the plains, elephant cool off in the swamps, crocodile and hippo can be seen on the banks of the Mara river; hot air balloon rides are available for a bird's eye view of it all.


Mombasa is Kenya's oldest town with its origins dating back as far as 500 BC. Visitors can enjoy the city's Arab flavour in the Old Town with its narrow, crowded streets and street vendors selling all manner of local and imported craftwork. Other main attractions include Fort Jesus, built by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. The fort (the oldest in Africa) is now a national museum and houses well preserved artefacts and relics, some dating back 300 years. The Old Harbour is an interesting place for early morning and late afternoon strolls, and is often filled with sailing dhows from the Yemen and Persian Gulf.

There are also a number of attractions close by to Mombasa, such as:

  • Bamburi Quarry Nature Trail (includes a butterfly farm)
  • Kenya Marineland and Snake Park
  • Ngomongo Villages cultural park
  • Mamba Crocodile Village (in Freretown)

Mount Kenya

Africa's second highest mountain (5,199 metres) is an extinct volcano lying on the equator. On a clear day, its snow capped peaks, Nelion and Batain may be seen for miles around. Lenana, the third peak, is the most popular for climbing as it is relatively easy.


Kenya's capital (also known as the 'Green City in the Sun') is a city of tree lined streets and parks. Mainly a business centre, the city affords great shopping opportunities from large malls to small craft stalls. Some places of interest include:

  • National Museum (where many of the earliest human remains are displayed)
  • National Theatre
  • Bomas of Kenya (traditional dancing and tribal villages)
  • McMillan Memorial Library
  • Nairobi National Park
  • Snake Park
  • Nairobi Races (Sunday horse racing)

The City Market on Muindi Mbingu Street is worth a visit for curios, and visitors well-versed in bartering can get a good bargain for goods such as soapstone carvings, wood carvings or other handicrafts.


Explore the flat arid bush of one of Africa's largest parks, divided into east and west sections. The east is dotted with baobab trees and especially famous for herds of elephant, whilst the west noted for crystal-clear pools in which hippo wallow and crocodile lurk.

The Rift Valley

The Great Africa Rift Valleys runs from North to South through the whole of Kenya. Its narrowest point lies just north of Nairobi and the whole area contains several small game parks, lakes, extinct and volcanoes. The views are stunning, particularly from the top of the Mau escarpment on the Kericho road and at the viewing points just north of Limuiru.

Lake Baringo

The most northerly of the rift valley lakes, and one of Kenya's most popular locations for bird watching. There are over 470 species in the area, including Verreaux's eagle, flamingos, great white egrets, Goliath herons and a wide variety of hornbills. The lake itself is home to crocodiles, hippos, monitor lizards and an abundant variety of fish.

Lake Bogoria

Lying just south of Lake Baringo, Bogoria is a long, thin soda lake with steaming geysers and boiling hot springs set in rocky outcrops. It is also a popular bird watching spot, with plenty of flamingos - especially when Lake Nakuru's water level is low. Other wildlife in the area includes the rare greater kudu, hyena, leopard, cheetah and jackal. As the area is a national park, visitors are charged an entry fee.

Lake Nakuru

This shallow alkaline soda lake set beneath the high cliffs of the eastern Rift Valley offers visitors the spectacular view of up to 2 million flamingos at one time along with hundreds of other species of birds. An area of 190 sq km around the lake is fenced in as a national park - the first and only park in Africa to have been created for the protection of the lesser flamingo. It is also a sanctuary for Rothschild giraffes and black rhinos.

Lake Naivasha

This is the largest freshwater lake along the Kenyan section of the Rift valley. The Naivasha vineyards are located on the southern shoreline. Opposite Hippo Point, a few kilometres past Fisherman's Camp is Elsamere, the former home of the late Joy Adamson of the Born Free fame. This area is now a conservation centre and small museum.

Mount Longonot

At 2,886 metres, this is the highest of the Rift volcanoes. The crater is 1 km in diameter and can be seen from the main Rift viewpoint. Visitors may climb the volcano, and although steep, the journey can be done in 6 hours from the range station and round the circumference of the rim. An admission fee is charged.

Hells Gate

Located close to Lake Naivasha, the Hells Gate National Park covers a small area and visitors may explore the impressive landscape on foot. The entrance to the gorge is marked by Fischer's Tower, a 25 metre tall volcanic pinnacle. Thomson's gazelle, impala, hartebeast, giraffe, eland, buffalo and zebra can be seen grazing on the grasslands.