Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley, mountain highlands and abundant wildlife such as lions, elephants and rhinos. From Nairobi, the capital, safaris visit the Maasai Mara reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania’s 5,895m Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Popular Destinations in Kenya
Known as the safari capital of Africa, Nairobi is an energetic, modern city that serves as a fascinating introduction to both wildlife and nightlife. Music clubs pulse with life, shops and markets bustle, and a mélange of restaurants will tempt your palate in this former Maasai watering hole. Top sights include the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre and the black rhinos of Nairobi National Park. The compact city center is safe to walk in and taxis make other areas accessible.
Mombasa, with a population of 900,000, is no sleepy seaside village. Its beachfront hotels appeal to travelers in search of sun, sand and surf, while its Arab, Indian and colonial European heritage makes for a wide variety of sights to see. Can’t find a taxi? Travel by tuk-tuk, a three-wheeled auto rickshaw.
About an hour south of Mombasa, the sparkling white sands and lush greenery of Diani invite you to relax under a beach umbrella with a refreshing drink. Try a camel ride for the tourist experience or book a bike tour inland for a glimpse of life in local villages. Diani is also a base for several safari companies.
Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama stopped at Malindi on his way to India in 1498 and erected a pillar that remains overlooking the harbor, however precariously, to this day. Still popular with Europeans, Malindi is famed for coral reefs that lie just 1,000 feet off its shore, best seen at Malindi National Marine Park or nearby Watamu. Game fishing, surfing and simply relaxing on the beach are popular local pastimes. The narrow streets and market of Malindi’s old town are worth a visit.
The delightful village of Watamu is an eco-tourist’s dream, lined with sandy white beaches and hotels dedicated to sustainable tourism. Watamu is a quick snorkel away from the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, and Turtle Beach is the ideal spot for a swim and a tanning session. The village proper features quaint Kenyan shopping stalls called dukas, where you can stock up with supplies. Make sure to visit the Gede Ruins, a mysterious and heavily overgrown 12th century Swahili village, and the beautifully fluttery Kipepeo Butterfly Project.