To help inspire or plan your trip to Kenya, some of its major attractions
for travellers are shown below, including some of the best natural, historical, cultural and adventure sites in the country.
These include all of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for Kenya which represent the best
of the world's cultural and natural heritage.
Click on the icons below to focus on specific types of features (click again to return to all).
The Masai Mara is the finest wildlife reserve in Kenya and one of the most famous in all of Africa. Though quite small at just 1,500 km², the abundance of wildlife and the rolling plains and riverbank woodlands of the Mara make for great game drives. Part of the Serengeti ecosystem, it hosts the annual migration of wildebeest where immense herds head north from the Serengeti between July and October each year in search of fresh grazing lands. The huge numbers of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles means plentiful food for lions, leopards and cheetahs which can hunt in pristine wilderness. Other animals include elephant, black rhino, hyena and warthog while the Mara River is home to numerous hippos and crocodiles which prey on the game crossing the river during the Migration. The Mara isn't a national park which means the Masai people have retained their traditional way of life within the reserve, allowing visitors to see them herding cattle and learn of their culture during village visits, witnessing a wonderful harmony between people and nature.
Lake Nakuru is a beautiful national park, best know for its huge population of pink flamingos which are attracted to the algae of its soda lake - one of the greatest bird spectacles on earth where entire portions of the lake can be turned pink due to the vast numbers. Over 400 other bird species are also resident here, including 13 globally threatened species and is a major nesting and breeding ground for great white pelicans. On dry land, it's an excellent place to view black and white rhinos, as well as buffalo, cheetah, lion, greater kudu, zebra and the endangered Rothschild giraffe.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley
Lake Naivasha is a picturesque lake in the Great Rift Valley, that allows boat trips to view hippos and the abundant birdlife here, home to over 400 species. Nearby is Crescent Island Sanctuary where you can go on walking safari to view zebra, giraffe and wildebeest, Hell's Gate National Park for bike riding amidst spectacular canyons and hot springs and Elsamere, the former home of Joy Adamson of 'Born Free' fame, where you can learn about her life and work.
|Amboseli National Park|
Amboseli National Park is a small park but one with a rich diversity of game and birdlife. Set just north of the border with Tanzania, it has a spectacular setting in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, making it an ideal and popular spot for game viewing. There are over 50 mammal species, including elephant, leopard, lion, cheetah and buffalo as well as some 400 bird species.
|Lake Turkana National Parks|
The three national parks around Lake Turkana are stopovers for migrant waterfowl and major breeding grounds for the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus and a variety of venomous snakes while the Koobi Fora deposits are rich in mammalian, molluscan and other fossil remains.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Lake Turkana National Parks
|Samburu/Laikipia National Reserve|
Samburu is one of Kenya's lesser known national parks, located north of Nairobi in desert bush with views of Mount Kenya. The Ewaso Ng'iro river runs through the reserve, which is home to numerous crocodiles and attracts the "red elephants of Samburu". Leopard sightings are common in the acacia trees that line the riverbank and in addition to the usual game, Samburu also hosts the rare Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe and the gerenuk antelope.
Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa at 5199m. The trekking route up Mount Kenya has been described as more beautiful than that of Kilimanjaro. The trekking peak reached is Point Lenana at 4985m, higher are the technical peaks of Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m). For the less adventurous, the slopes of Mount Kenya makes for excellent hikes through grasslands, moorlands and dense forests.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest
|Lamu Old Town|
Lamu Old Town is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa and has become an important centre for Muslim studies and festivals. The town is characterised by buildings of coral stone and mangrove timber with inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Lamu Old Town
|Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests|
The remains of 11 fortified villages of the Mijikenda people, known as kayas, are located along the forested coast of Kenya, spread over 200km. Created between the 16th and 20th centuries, the kayas are now regarded as sacred sites of the abodes of ancestors.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests
|Fort Jesus Mombasa|
Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596 to protect the port of Mombasa. Designed by Giovanni Battista Cairati, it is one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th Portuguese military fortification, its layout and form reflecting the Renaissance ideal that perfect proportions and geometric harmony are to be found in the human body.
UNESCO World Heritage Site: Fort Jesus, Mombasa