Kenya
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Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in Kenya

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Nairobi National Park
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334 Tours and Activities

Located just south of the city, Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s first game reserve and the only protected area in the world that sits so close to a nation’s capital. Visitors to the vast wildlife park are likely to spot black rhinos, lions, giraffe, and zebra, as well as some 400 bird species.

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Giraffe Centre
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Home to a towering crew of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes, Nairobi’s Giraffe Centre supports conservation work and educational programs across Kenya. Here, visitors can feed giraffes from a treetop platform, walk a nature trail to the Gogo River, and learn about wildlife conservation at the on-site nature center.

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Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
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A pioneering facility for the protection and rehabilitation of black rhinos and African elephants, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust saves injured and orphaned animals from the wild and rehabilitates them for a return to their natural habitats. This nonprofit park was founded in 1977 and operates within Nairobi National Park.

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Fort Jesus Museum
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During the last years of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese constructed a massive fort to protect the port of Mombasa. Designed by Giovanni Battista Cairati, Fort Jesus is one of the best preserved examples of Portuguese military architecture from the era, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Today, Mombasa’s most visited attraction houses the Fort Jesus Museum. The collection includes archaeological finds not only from Fort Jesus, but from nearby sites as well. Highlights include a collection of ceramics from the Kenyan coast and what’s left of the San Antonio de Tanna, a Portuguese gunner that sank not far from the fort in the late seventeenth century.

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Lake Naivasha
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Known for its rich wildlife, Lake Naivasha is a nature lover’s paradise not far from the Kenyan capital. Situated at around 6,181 feet (1,884 meters) high in the Rift Valley ridge, the lake is home to hippos, exotic birds, and wetland flora, while its fresh water draws all manner of grazers, including zebras, giraffes, and buffalo.

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Bomas of Kenya
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Bomas of Kenya is a cultural center situated around 10 kilometers from Nairobi city, right near the main entrance to Nairobi National Park. Through art, crafts, music, dance, and architecture, it serves to preserve Kenyan culture, with artists performing traditional dances and songs from the country's major ethnic groups.

The center features replicas of traditional villages, which were built according to the same principles and techniques used by local tribes. The site is also home to one of the largest auditoriums in Africa, seating 3500 people. It is here that you can watch a selection of more than 30 traditional dances from the different ethnic groups in Kenya, including impressive performances from the Samburu and Masai warriors. Visitors can also sample a range of traditional African foods at the on site Utamaduni restaurant.

Bomas of Kenya is best enjoyed as part of a Nairobi sightseeing day tour. These take in the best attractions of the city and its surrounds, including the famous Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Nairobi National Park, the Giraffe Center, and the Karen Blixen Museum.

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Hell's Gate National Park
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The inspiration for animators of Disney’sThe Lion King, Hell’s Gate National Park covers roughly 26 square miles (68.25 square kilometers). Named for a gap in the red-tinged cliffs carved by the flowing waters of a prehistoric lake, it’s the only park in East Africa in which you can get out of your safari vehicle and hike freely.

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Karen Blixen Museum
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The Danish author ofOut of Africa lived in a coffee plantation farmhouse at the edge of Kenya’s beautiful Ngong Hills, where a small museum now celebrates her life and work. Since much of the original furniture has been preserved, it’s a fascinating glimpse into a colonial-era home and an interesting stop even if you haven’t read Blixen’s books.

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Mamba Village Centre
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One of the world’s most fearsome predators is on display at Mamba Village Centre, East Africa’s largest crocodile farm. A typical day at Mombasa's Mamba Village begins with an informational video introducing the crocodile, its lifecycle and the important ecological role it plays. Visitors to the farm can observe crocodiles ranging from hatchlings to behemoth adults, including the supposedly 100-year-old Big Daddy.

The highlight of the day occurs in the afternoon at feeding time, when the giant reptiles duke it out for fresh meat. The village also offers horse and camel rides, botanical gardens and a restaurant serving up grilled crocodile among other game meats.

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Masai Mara National Reserve (Maasai Mara National Park)
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Arguably the most popular nature park in Kenya, Maasai Mara National Reserve (Maasai Mara National Park) is near the country’s southern border and spills over into neighboring Tanzania. Take a guided safari tour for a chance to spot big cats—including lions, cheetahs, and leopards—alongside other wildlife.

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More Things to Do in Kenya

Nairobi National Museum

Nairobi National Museum

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With a massive permanent collection that combines history, culture, and artwork, the Nairobi National Museum is a must for travelers interested in Kenya’s rich heritage. Artifacts are displayed across two floors, and a nature trail winds through the surrounding grounds, a botanical garden, and collections of outdoor sculptures.

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

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Once a colonial beef ranch, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is now a leading wildlife sanctuary. Backdropped by Mount Kenya’s snowy peaks, the 90,000-acre (36,422-hectare) savanna preserve is home to several safari must-sees, including East Africa’s largest black rhino population and the last northern white rhinos in the world.

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Tsavo National Park

Tsavo National Park

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Though technically all one nature reserve, Tsavo National Park is split between Tsavo East and Tsavo West, and separated by the Nairobi-Mombasa Road that cuts through the site. Tsavo National Park is one of Kenya’s oldest and largest national parks, and is the country’s largest protected area. It’s home to larger African mammals and a prolific bird population.

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Kenyatta International Convention Centre

Kenyatta International Convention Centre

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The Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) is a 28-story building located in the central business district of Nairobi. At 105 meters tall, the KICC is the third tallest building in Kenya and is used for national and international conferences and exhibitions, along with a variety of other meetings and events.

This terracotta, cylindrical tower reflects traditional African architecture, as does the use of cuboids inside many of the main rooms and halls inside. The KICC features a revolving restaurant with panoramic views of the city, and a number of different conference and meeting rooms. The main auditorium has a capacity of almost 800 people across tiered seating, including three balconies.

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Mt. Kenya

Mt. Kenya

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Mount Kenya is a volcanic peak in the heart of Kenya that stretches to 17,057 feet (5,199 meters. The mountain is primarily a hiking and climbing destination enticing visitors from all over the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is surrounded by breathtaking wilderness, complete with lakes, forests, tarns, and glaciers, and is home to some rare animal species.

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Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park

Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park

The largest urban memorial park in Kenya, Uhuru Gardens was erected after the country gained its independence from British colonizers. Uhuru, Swahili for “freedom,” is comprised of verdant, grassy fields with three major landmarks, and is frequented by local families who like to picnic there on the weekends.

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Kibera

Kibera

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Kibera, the largest slum both in Nairobi and Africa, is home to more than a million residents packed into an area less than a square mile (2.6 square kilometers). While life here isn’t easy—it’s one of Nairobi’s poorest neighborhoods and the lack of running water and electricity are constant problems—the slum has its own buzzing industries, which include rows of tilted shacks selling produce, charcoal, homemade breads, secondhand clothes, and shoes.

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Kenya National Archives

Kenya National Archives

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Far more than just a home to archives and public records, the National Archives in Nairobi also exhibit everything from traditional art to stamps, weapons, and photography. Visitors can explore the small on-site museum, spend a quiet hour paging through a newspaper, or check out the archives’ collection of rare books from across Africa.

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Wild Waters

Wild Waters

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With its exhilarating slides, games, rides, and pools, Wild Waters blends the thrill of an amusement park with the refreshing cool of a water park, making it an ideal place to beat the scorching Kenyan sun. Plus, a food court, bar, and coffee shop ensure you stay hydrated.

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August 7th Memorial Park

August 7th Memorial Park

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On Aug. 7, 1998, at the corner of Moi Avenue and Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi, what was then the United States Embassy was blown up in a terrorist attack, causing 218 deaths and thousands of injuries. The August 7th Memorial Park opened on the same date in 2001 as a tribute to the victims of the blast, and also to serve to educate people about the futility of violence.

The Memorial Park comprises a tranquil landscaped garden, a wall commemorating the names of those who died, and a sculpture made from the debris of the blast. The park also features a Conference Center and a Visitors Center with a Memorial Museum displaying various images and exhibits, plus a documentary about the events surrounding the tragedy.

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Kazuri Beads Factory

Kazuri Beads Factory

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Kazuri beads factory is a fair trade success story in Nairobi that dates back to 1975, when it was founded. Kazuri was the brainchild of Lady Susan Wood, who was born to English parents in Africa. She began with two local women who made ceramic beads by hand – the word “kazuri” means “small and beautiful” in Swahili – and soon realized she could expand and help many more unemployed women.

Today, Kazuri employs more than 300 women, makes over five million beads a year, and exports beads to 20 different countries. The women have also begun to make other pottery goods with the same colorful designs.

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Lamu Island

Lamu Island

Part of a Kenyan archipelago, Lamu Island boasts a landscape of sandy dunes mixed with the occasional, fertile oasis. One of its main draws, however, is Lamu city. Set amid Indian Ocean trade routes, Lamu was once a bustling port established by Arabic traders. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its maze-like streets and centuries-old buildings. 

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Great Rift Valley

Great Rift Valley

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Running through the entirety of Kenya, the Great Rift Valley helped form some of the country’s most iconic landscape features. From dry deserts to sharp cliffs to algae-lined lakes, with some fertile grasslands sprinkled in between, this geographic destination is a rich and diverse natural playground. There is no shortage of animal activity, national parks, and protected reserves to experience along this natural wonder, and the hardest decision you’ll have to make is which one to visit next.

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Jamia Mosque

Jamia Mosque

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Gleaming silver domes and geometric minarets rise above Nairobi’s Jamia Mosque, which is among the most important religious buildings in Kenya. While the interior is generally only accessible to Muslim visitors, all travelers can enjoy outside views of the mosque, easy to do while taking in nearby downtown sights.

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