KENYA TRAVEL GUIDE
From the sky above or at ground level, travel through Kenya is full of inspiring sights. Soaring above the Masai Mara in a hot-air balloon at dawn, the views are jaw-dropping. Gazelles and springboks graze in the immense plains, giraffes and elephants chomp leaves off acacia trees. En route to the park, what joy it is to come upon a million pink flamingos feeding on algae and frolicking in the waters of Lake Nakuru. Some take flight in a huge “V” formation against a splendid azure sky, adding to the wondrous sight.
At day’s end, after a guided bush walk through Tsavo, one of Kenya’s largest national parks, you return to your camp offering the highest standards of luxury and comfort in the wilderness. At Randu Safaris we know more than a thing or two about comfort. You can count on one of our expert travel consultants to build you an itinerary that includes either high-intensity game-viewing or a low-key more intimate safari experience. Or both.
Kenya’s protected national parks and community-run conservancies guarantee you will witness a great spectacle of wildlife. Those traveling during the wildebeest migration are in for an extra special treat. Kenya’s brilliant landscapes and varied terrains will never cease to surprise you—maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of Mount Kenya’s jagged peak striking out through a misty morning! Wind up your Kenya holiday with a few days near Mombasa at a beach with white sand and turquoise blue waters, and a spa treatment or two.
Experience harambee! A Bantu word that means togetherness, is exactly what drives Kenya. Community-focused, the family structure is incredibly important. Kenya tours introduce you to a melting pot of people, where traditional and modern norms mark its unique character today, bursting with linguistic and cultural diversity. The current estimated population is about 46.7 million. Over 40 ethnic groups reside in Kenya, the largest being the Kikuyu, who migrated to Kenya at the turn of the 18th century.
The varied cultural influences in Kenya are seen most prevalent in the country’s cuisines. Only on the coast will you discover a distinctive regional culinary style. On your Kenya safari, you’ll find that many of the foods are simple yet often quite heavy and starchy and include potatoes and rice.
When is the best time to visit Kenya? Our destination experts share an overview.
The best time to visit Kenya depends on what you want to do. Kenya is divided by the equator and is characterized by a tropical climate.
The weather in Kenya is often ideal, although the coast can be very humid and there are hot, desert-like conditions around Lake Magadi and in the northern areas of the country around Lake Turkana. Most regions in Kenya have temperatures between 71-91°F a day, and they rarely drop below 55°F at night. Even during the short rains, the humidity during the day is mostly low and the sky is clear enough to see the Milky Way at night.
During the coolest months of June, July and August, temperatures in Nairobi are around 60°F, which can drop to about 50°F in the Aberdare region and the Mount Kenya massif.
Best time to visit Kenya by season
Hot months: January to March
Long rains: April to June
Cold months: June to August
Short rains: November to December. It is rarely raining all day. Short, heavy rainfalls are usually replaced by sunny periods, which makes this time in Kenya very pleasant.
What to Pack
Safari wear should be comfortable and casual. Evenings and early mornings can be chilly so warm sweaters are recommended. Low heeled comfortable sports or trekking shoes are the most suitable walking shoes, should you intend joining any walking safaris.
We recommend you bring warm clothes, including a fleece or light wool sweater and socks, apart from the normal safari gear. During the day it can get quite hot so don’t forget sunglasses and a high factor sunscreen, as well as a sun hat with a small brim.
Some specialist trips, i.e. mountain climbing, require extra items of clothing and footwear. Many hotels, lodges and camps have swimming pools so you are advised to bring swimsuits.
Due to limited space in the vehicle and light aircraft, we advise you to keep your luggage to the minimum. We suggest you pack your luggage into a small bag of no more than 15 kgs – the luggage limit for local flights issued by the airlines. Almost all safari lodges and camps provide same day laundry service.
Top 10 Things to do in Kenya
Plan your Kenya holidays around the top ten things to do in Kenya.
For many travelers, a safari in Kenya is the highlight of their trip – after all, you cannot get a more exhilarating and enriching wildlife experience than witnessing the Great Migration of the Masai Mara. But the beauty of Kenya lies in the fact that it offers much more than wildlife viewing. Experience outdoor adventures, beach relaxation and lively culture and history – there are so many quintessential Kenyan experiences that make a trip to this country in East Africa a must-do!
The capital city of Nairobi is the largest city in East Africa and beckons with its wealth of options – immerse yourself in African life in Nairobi with colorful street markets, authentic African cuisine, and buzzing nightlife. There’s also the Nairobi National Park to visit in Nairobi as well as museums like the Nairobi National Museum and wildlife centers that provide an immersive experience in Kenyan traditions and, of course, African wildlife! If you want a break from a safari, head to Mombasa with its stunning beaches and architectural and cultural treasures.
- WITNESS THE GREAT MIGRATION IN THE MASAI MARA
The ultimate adventure on Kenya safaris! Witness the Great Migration in the Masai Mara National Reserve, where thousands of antelopes, zebras, and wildebeest cross the savanna landscape from July to October. Witness dramatic crossings over the crocodile-infested Mara River, one of the best things to do in Kenya. A safari in The Masai Mara is a quintessential African experience – expect a stunning landscape of savannah grasslands and acacia trees filled with wildlife through the year and not just during the Great Migration. On a safari, you will see a host of animals, from lions, herds of elephants and giraffe to hyena, huge Nile crocodiles, and, of course cheetahs and leopards and many other animals! In the conservation areas surrounding the Masai Mara, you can also embark on beautiful bush walks, visit colorful local markets, and Maasai villages. You can also choose to be part of a very special walking safari in the Masai Mara – during which you can stay overnight at camp, sleep under the stars and cook under the stars as well, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the African bush!
- With a little luck you can see the Big Five in Tsavo East National Park! This park is less developed than its western counterpart. Hippos and crocodiles are also found here and you can also spot giraffe, dik diks and zebras that venture to the watering holes in the dry summer months. The variety of species and the endless bush landscapes are a highlight during your trip to Africa Tsavo East National Park is home to one of the largest elephant populations in the world and it is largely easy to spot game from afar, here, thanks to the landscape. Also visit the scenic Livingstone Falls on the Galana River, with is scenic surrounds of palm trees and the Yatta escarpment in the background
- The northern coast of Kenya, traversed by dream beaches, is the ultimate destination for outdoor adventures and relaxation. Discover a colorful underwater world when you go snorkeling, or soak up the sun on one of the palm-lined beaches. Tucked away from the tourist crowds, some of these beaches have been described as the most beautiful beaches in the world! They include Diani Beach, Gallu Beach, Tiwi Beach, Msambweni (with its long reefs), and Malindi. Apart from watersports also enjoy sunset dhow trips, birdwatching and guided forest walks. The coastal town of Mombasa, with its diverse cultural influences, is also a popular beach destination.
- Bird watching in the Amboseli National Park is particularly varied due to the 400 plus native bird species. The park at the foot of the imposing Mount Kilimanjaro is also one of the best places to see African elephants. The Amboseli landscape is replete with swamps, plains, woodlands and bush country, all supporting diverse wildlife and birdlife. Apart from game drives, immerse yourself in the scenic surrounds as you embark on bushwalks.
- Witnessing the flamingos at Lake Nakuru is a very special natural spectacle. Over one million of these graceful birds can be found fishing in the lake for their feast of delicious algae. Get up close with the wildlife and birdlife in this region as you head out on game drives
- The old town of Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The unique architecture reflects Portuguese, Arabic and Indian influences. This almost car-free town has preserved its charm to this day and is particularly interesting if you are seeking more of a cultural tour of Kenya. Lamu is the oldest surviving Swahili town in Kenya. Much of its old-world charm, culture and traditions have been carefully preserved, adding to its appeal. The streets are only wide enough for donkeys and pedestrians! A truly unique and relaxing experience!
- If you are yearning the great outdoors then we recommend a hike in the foothills of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest mountain. In addition to the fantastic views of this snow-capped mountain range, you may also see rare rhinos. Savor walks around the peak during which you can admire the stunning surrounds in this truly scenic region in East Africa – one of the top things to do in Kenya.
- An insider tip from our experts: The journey to the remote Lake Turkana is painstaking, but a most worthwhile adventure. Once you have made it, the world’s largest desert lake awaits you, surrounded by a surreal landscape. Be on your guard for sharp teeth! Nowhere else in Africa are there so many Nile crocodiles as in Lake Turkana!
- In the rough and rocky landscape of Samburu, you can witness giant elephant herds that follow centuries-long hiking trails. On the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River, numerous other animal species find shelter from the dazzling heat of northern Kenya, including rare Grevy zebras and Beisa antelopes. There are many things to do here – apart from game drives, embark on walking safaris understand local culture as you discover the villages of the Samburu people.
- Fans of the book ‘Out of Africa‘ should plan a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum in Nairobi. This is where the shootings of the movie of the same name were filmed. You will not only learn about the life of the famous Danish author but also the changing history of Kenya. One of the top things to do in Kenya. There are a host of other attractions that make Nairobi a must-visit city. They include the Nairobi National Park – a short drive away from the CBD in Nairobi – here you can marvel at the sight of lions against the backdrop of skyscrapers! For other exciting wildlife experiences in Nairobi, visit the Giraffe Center where you can feed giraffes or head to the David Sheldrick Center and animal orphanage where you can get up close and personal with baby elephants. The nearby Ngong Hills beckon with the prospect of walks and sundowners amid scenic surrounds.
Is Kenya safe?
Is Kenya safe? Here’s the good news: Kenya is generally considered safe for travel. While there are some regions that are not as safe as others, most of these lie on the border with Somalia and are non-touristic destinations. Traveling in a group or with your local guide during your Africa vacations is definitely safer than exploring on your own.
Naturally, all our Kenya travel itineraries are planned only for areas that are considered completely safe for tourists. With our office in Diani, local presence, and trusted relationships with our partners that we have built over the years, you are always in safe hands while traveling in Kenya. All our vehicles, accommodations and activities are personally tested by our team to ensure your safety and comfort. Kenyan people are warm, welcoming and friendly – we are sure you will be as excited to interact with the local people are we are.