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Best things to do in Kenya

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Where in the world: Africa  /  Kenya

Top 15 things to do in Kenya

1. Nairobi National Park, Nairobi

See wild giraffes and black rhinos walking across a backdrop of skyscrapers at Nairobi National Park. Situated just 7 km (4 mi) south of the city center, the park is easily one of the country's most accessible nature reserves, yet despite its proximity to humans, it attracts a large and diverse range of wildlife. Tour the plains and see the park's extremely successful rhinoceros sanctuary, as well as hippopotami, Masai giraffes, and several species of big cats. Bring along a picnic and learn about the park's conservation projects on a guided visit.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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Tours including Nairobi National Park:

2. Tsavo East, Tsavo National Park East

One half of one of the oldest national parks in Kenya, Tsavo East acts as the dry, flat counterpart to its wet westerly neighbor. Divided by both road and railway, the eastern side of park supports wildlife with vast plains, the Tsavo River flowing in from the west, and the Galana River creating powerful white-water rapids. See vast numbers of buffaloes, Maasai lions, endangered black rhinos, and hundreds of species of birds, and keep an eye out for red-dusted elephants playing on the water's edge. The park is also home to world's longest lava flow, stretching 290 km (180.2 mi) along the western border.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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3. Giraffe Centre, Nairobi

Come face to face with some of the region's most endangered giraffes at Giraffe Centre. Established in 1983 as part of a long-serving conservation project to protect the East African Rothschild giraffe, this nonprofit organization provides educational programmes for the young people of Kenya. Entrance fees help support the cause, and you'll get to meet, feed, and even touch these towering creatures from a raised observation platform. A forest trail also provides a pleasant walk through the undergrowth (watch out for the warthogs). If you're feeling thirsty, head to the teahouse for some refreshment amid ambient scenery.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi

Meet some of Nairobi's most beloved residents at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a rescue and rehabilitation center for orphaned rhinos and elephants. Established in 1977 in honor of naturalist David Sheldrick, the nonprofit organization lies within the city's national park. Get up close to adolescent and baby elephants during bath time, and watch majestic rhinos playfully romping through their natural habitat. With the animals' welfare at its heart, the center only allows public viewing for a limited morning period, so check the website for visitor times.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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5. Hell's Gate National Park, Naivasha

Admire spectacular limestone ravines cut by a river at Hell's Gate National Park, a small wildlife conservation area featuring two extinct volcanoes. The park features intense geothermal activity and offers an array of options for visitors, including rock climbing, mountain biking, and a natural spa. Spanning 68 sq km (26 sq mi), the park features African buffalos, zebras, elands, gnus, gazelles, and baboons, as well as a wide range of birds, such as vultures, eagles, and buzzards. Visit the onsite cultural center to learn about the Maasai tribe.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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6. Diani Beach, Diani Beach

Nestled just south of the city, Diani Beach lies within a popular coastal resort area. With convenient amenities and nearby shopping malls, the beach provides an ideal respite between busier activities. Stretch out on the sweeping curve of soft sand, then head into the calm seas for a snorkel or swim in the coral-filled waters. Bike tours along the beach also prove a popular pastime. Come prepared for some eager sales pitches from local food and souvenir vendors.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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7. Lake Nakuru, Lake Nakuru National Park

A national park flourishing with life, Lake Nakuru provides a haven for birds and bird-lovers from across the globe. Discover the diverse beauty scattered around on the Rift Valley's great soda lake, with waterfalls, caves, and forest all providing pockets of varying wildlife, including tree-climbing lions, Rothschild giraffes, and endangered black rhinos. Despite rising water levels leading to a depleting flamingo population, the park still provides ample bird-watching, thanks to its position on the African-Eurasian migratory flyway. Pack a picnic and enter through one of the park's three gates, touring each of the safari viewpoints for some spectacular photographs.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Off-Road Tours, Nairobi

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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9. Safaris, Nairobi

Get up-close and personal with African wildlife on a safari tour from Nairobi. With the sprawling city as your jump-off point, you can easily venture on an exciting journey into the wilds guided by a local expert. In addition to observing huge elephant herds, birds of prey, cheeky baboons, and many other species, you'll get to enjoy views of legendary Mount Kilimanjaro and Great Rift Valley Escarpment. One- and two-day tours of national parks are designed as a short introduction into African wildlife, while two- to four-week volunteer programs allow you to work with conservationists on the elephant migration corridor at the Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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10. Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi

Famed as the real-life setting of the classic memoir "Out of Africa," Karen Blixen Museum stands frozen in time, a monument to the life and times of the late author. Danish author Karen Blixen lived here from 1913 to 1931, running the property as a vast coffee plantation, from which she took inspiration for her writing upon returning to Denmark. Delve into Blixen's life and times with a guided tour of the house, where many of the rooms feature original decor and props from the book's 1985 movie adaptation.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Mount Kenya, Mount Kenya National Park

Marvel at the sight of equatorial snow as you hike Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya and a World Heritage Site. A ragged series of peaks marks this extinct volcano, which rises in 5,199 m (17,057 ft) of awe-inspiring scenery revered by locals. The sacred mountain features a number of trails of varying difficulty and a variety of terrains, from rivers with waterfalls to forests and high-altitude glaciers. Lying within a biosphere reserve, the area supports abundant wildlife, including tree hyraxes, antelopes and various monkeys, plus common duikers at higher altitudes. Guides and porters will assist you and estimate your skill and stamina.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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12. Mara Triangle, Maasai Mara National Reserve

See herds of zebras, giraffes, gnus, impalas, and elands (accompanied by the usual predators) at Mara Triangle, the northwestern part of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Open plains with tall grass and acacia forests are home to lions, cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas, and jackals, while along the Mara River you might spot crocodiles in action during migration periods. Run by a nonprofit organization, the triangle spans some 510 sq km (197 sq mi). Tour the reserve on a safari ride, and bring camping gear to stay in one of the public or private sites if you wish.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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13. Safaris, Mombasa

Observe African wildlife on a multiple-day safari tour from Mombasa. The full-day tours are designed for travelers limited in time--they provide an enticing preview or a vivid reminder of all the beauties Kenya has to offer. Multi-day journeys allow you to really immerse yourself in intense African sounds, smells, tastes, and colors, and live like a local for the duration of your vacation.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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14. Haller Park, Mombasa

A thriving ecosystem along the Kenyan coastline, Haller Park invites you to revel in its diverse wildlife and flourishing environments. Once a quarry wasteland, the park stands as a testament to the combined efforts of naturalist Dr. Rene Haller and his team to transform the area into a place of unrivalled natural beauty. Today, the grounds include a reptile park, game sanctuary, giraffe observation deck, and fish farm, all hidden within the verdant mangrove forests. To make the most of your experience, opt for a guided walk and learn the history of the park as you catch glimpses of its abundant wildlife.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Balloon Rides, Maasai Mara National Reserve

Suggested duration: 3 hours
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