In addition to its famous wildlife-spotting opportunities, Kenya offers a wealth of outdoor pursuits for the adventurous visitor, from ocean cruises in Mombasa to multi-day safaris from Nairobi. Here are your options for outdoor adventure in Kenya.
Wildlife Safaris and Excursions
Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the best places in Kenya to safari thanks to its rhinos, giraffes, buffalo, leopards, water bucks, and lions, plus a massive population of flamingos. The park is also within day-trip-distance of Nairobi, making it a popular option for travelers pressed for time. There's also nearby Nairobi National Park, featuring the striking contrast of the far-off Nairobi skyline and the natural beauty in its grassy plains, home to cheetah, gazelle, zebra, hippos, and lions. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy, another day trip option, provides a sanctuary for rhinos, chimpanzees, and a host of other wildlife.
Most African safari experiences require you to stay in your vehicle for safety's sake, but Hell's Gate National Park is one of the only parks you can tour on foot for a chance to spot zebra, gazelle, and a variety of indigenous birds in their natural habitats. Meanwhile, at the Shimba Hills, you can take a guided hike through a rain forest to Sheldrick Falls to cool off and catch views from the top of the trail that extend all the way to the Indian Ocean.
Cruises, Sea Safaris, and Water Sports
Kenya's coast is as beautiful as its interior, and there are myriad ways to explore it. Animal lovers can take the safari experience to the water with a glass-bottom boat trip to Watamu Marine Park, while those looking for a cultural element can hop aboard a traditional Arabian-style dhow for a full-day sea excursion to look for dolphins or snorkel. In the evenings, dhow dinner cruises ply the waters of Tudor Creek in Mombasa and serve traditional Swahili-style cuisine. Water sport lovers should head to Diani Beach, where it's possible to rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks to paddle through Diani Lagoon, or take a kite-surfing lesson in an area with excellent wind conditions.