Kenya Travel Guide
Aug 27, 2023 By Juliana Daniel

Kenya is one of Africa's most captivating destinations, with its spectacular wildlife, stunning beaches, and fascinating cultural experiences.

It’s home to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where millions of wildebeest migrate across the plains. The country's Indian Ocean coastline boasts idyllic white sand beaches and tranquil islands like Lamu and Manda. Beyond its famous safaris and seascapes, Kenya charms visitors with rich traditions, exciting cities, and welcoming people.

This Kenya travel guide outlines everything you need to know to plan your ideal Kenyan adventure. So get ready for the journey of a lifetime; a memorable voyage into Kenya awaits!

When to Visit Kenya?

The best time to visit Kenya depends on your interests and priorities. From June to October, the dry season is best for ideal wildlife viewing in the savannahs. The Great Migration occurs during these months, as over a million wildebeest travel across the Maasai Mara and congregate around water sources; that’s why they are easier to spot.

December through March is ideal for beach vacations, as the coast's drier and less humid. The rainy seasons should generally be avoided if possible, as you may get stuck on muddy roads, making it harder for you to explore.

Regarding crowds, June through October is the peak season for the parks and beaches. Consider the shoulder seasons of November and May for fewer crowds and lower prices.

Where To Go In Kenya?


Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is a vibrant melting pot of cultures and attractions at the top of Kenya travel itinerary. It is the only city in the world with a wildlife park on its doorstep. Top sights include the National Museum, Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center, David Sheldrick Wildlife, and many more.

You can try Kenya’s best delightful cuisines in the city, like Nyama Choma (grilled meat), Ugali (staple food), Swahili cuisine, and other street food.

Check out the popular Maasai Market, where you can buy handmade crafts and souvenirs from local artisans.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

You can witness the iconic annual Great Migration at the expansive Maasai Mara National Reserve when over 2 million wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles travel across the plains from July to October.

Here you can see dramatic river crossings and predators in action on safari. You can soar over the wildlife in a hot air balloon safari for stunning aerial perspectives. Accommodation options range from luxury lodges to intimate tented camps.

Mombasa And The Kenyan Coast

You can soak up sunny beaches, explore historic sites, encounter marine wildlife, and discover Swahili culture along the idyllic Kenyan coastline.

Top spots near Mombasa include Fort Jesus, Old Town, and marine parks teeming with colorful fish. Further north, the islands of Lamu and Manda feature UNESCO sites and tranquil village life.

You can also try exhilarating watersports, snorkeling over coral reefs, and going on dhow boat tours.

Amboseli National Park

In Amboseli National Park, you can experience spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro's snowy peak rising above open plains. Here you can spot large herds of elephants, stalking lions, and over 400 species of birds.

Hike up Observation Hill for the most iconic photos of elephants with Kilimanjaro as the backdrop. You can also gain insight into the local Maasai culture.

Wildlife and Safari Experiences

Kenya offers incredible biodiversity and abundant wildlife you can experience up close on exhilarating safaris. You can spot the "Big Five" - lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos roaming across the savanna.

At Mara River, thousands of migrating, including white rhinos, wildebeest, big cats, lions, and others. If you are lucky enough, you may get a chance to see a rare black rhino.

Exciting safari options include Maasai Mara game drives to see the Great Migration, walking safaris in Amboseli to approach elephants, and Lake Nakuru drives to behold thousands of shimmering flamingos.

Check out destinations like the Maasai Mara or Laikipia for a luxury-tented safari. Kidepo Valley and Meru Parks promise you wild beauty without the crowds.

Cultural Immersion

You can gain meaningful insight into indigenous cultures by interacting directly with local Kenyan communities. Spend time with the Maasai, learning about their semi-nomadic pastoralist lifestyle. Visit a Samburu village to see their distinctive beaded jewelry. Witness traditional Turkana dances and ceremonies in different villages.

Outdoor Adventures

Mount Kenya

You can take on the exhilarating challenge of climbing Mount Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak. The technical summit routes require mountaineering skills, but there are also routes suitable for hikers of all levels.

You'll be rewarded with dramatic glacier valleys and stunning viewpoints through enchanting bamboo forests and Afro-alpine moorlands. Reaching the summit completes an adventure of a lifetime.

Rift Valley Adventures

The massive Rift Valley offers many adventures to excite your inner explorer. Hike through Hell's Gate National Park, marveling at its geothermal activity and wildlife. Spend a day on Lake Naivasha, spotting hippos and birdlife. Witness thousands of flamingos turning Lake Nakuru pink. Visit Lake Bogoria to photograph hot springs and geysers set against scenic vistas. The Rift Valley landscapes never cease to amaze.

Lamu Island

Lamu Island is a tropical paradise off the coast of northern Kenya that offers a tranquil escape from the world. This remote island has retained its ancient Swahili culture and traditional architecture, earning it a UNESCO World Heritage designation.

As you explore the narrow winding streets of Lamu town, you’ll feel transported back in time. Pass carved wooden doors and see intricate coralline structures from the 14th century onwards. Stop by small markets and mingle with the local population descended from Persian, Arab, and Bantu settlers.

Cuisine And Dining

Kenya's cuisine reflects global influences from African, British, Indian, and Arabic traditions. You can sample flavorful dishes like nyama choma (grilled meat), ugali (cooked maize flour), sukuma wiki (sautéed greens), biryani, pilau, and masala fish.

Be sure to try savory samosas, kebabs, and curry dishes. For an authentic street food experience, stop by bustling kiosks to try roasted maize, mandazi doughnuts, and chai tea.

Shopping Souvenirs

Kenya offers many unique handicrafts and souvenirs to take home. You can shop for intricately carved wood sculptures, ceramic pots, colorful textiles and bags, beaded jewelry, and Maasai shields at local markets and galleries. Nairobi's Maasai Market and Mombasa Old Town are prime spots.

Avoid buying ivory, animal skins, and other products detrimental to Kenyan wildlife.

Final Words

So whether you are a first-time safari goer or an experienced global explorer, Kenya travel requirements are simple for everyone. Kenya promises profound experiences that will stay with you long after your trip ends. Karibu Kenya – welcome to Kenya!