Kenya is a country that embodies the spirit of adventure. From its iconic national parks and wildlife to its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, Kenya is a destination that will leave you in awe.
I’ve spent several weeks exploring Kenya and have visited most of the main sights, as well as several off-the-beaten-track destinations in the country. It’s a fantastic place and one that I’d love to go back to.
7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Kenya in 2024
Kenya is synonymous with wildlife and safari, and for good reason. But this diverse and spectacular country has a lot else to offer too. Snow-capped peaks, sparkling lakes, lush valleys, burning deserts, and idyllic beach paradises – Kenya has them all.
If you haven’t yet visited this incredible country, make 2024 the year that you finally do! Here’s why:
1. The Great Migration
The Great Migration is one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles on earth, unrivalled in its sheer scale and drama.
Every year, millions of animals make the treacherous journey from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara in search of water and greener grazing lands. It usually starts around May, when the Serengeti dries up.
If you time your visit right, you can witness thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles crossing the Mara River as they make their way to the Masai Mara National Reserve.
The huge herds of migrating animals attract predators such as lions, crocodiles, and cheetahs, which prey on the weak and vulnerable. It’s a raw, powerful experience that will stir up emotions and leave you with a deep appreciation for the wild beauty of nature.
The migration also brings excellent opportunities for bird watching. Numerous predatory birds are attracted to this feast, offering spectacular sightings of eagles, vultures, and other raptors.
2. World-Class Safaris
Even if you can’t time your visit to coincide with the Great Migration, Kenya is also home to some of the best year-round safari experiences in the world. With over 50 national parks and reserves, you’ll have no shortage of options for spotting wildlife.
From the iconic Masai Mara to lesser-known gems like Samburu National Reserve, Kenya has a diverse range of habitats that are home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) as well as countless other species.
Get up close and personal with nature on a walking safari in Hell’s Gate National Park, spot animals on a leisurely boat cruise on Lake Naivasha, or take in the epic landscapes from above on a hot air balloon ride.
3. Rich Cultural Diversity
Kenya is a melting pot of cultures, with over 40 different ethnic groups living within its borders. Each group has its own unique customs and traditions that add to the rich cultural tapestry of the country.
From the Maasai tribe’s iconic dances to the Swahili people’s rich Arab and Bantu influences, Kenya’s cultural heritage is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.
Delve into the rhythmic beats of traditional music, witness age-old rituals, and indulge in mouthwatering cuisine. The blend of modern influences and ancient practices contributes to this fascinating cultural kaleidoscope.
4. World-Class Beaches
After adventuring in the wild, unwind on Kenya’s picturesque beaches along its stunning Indian Ocean coastline. With azure waters, powdery white sand, and swaying palms, Kenya is also a fantastic beach destination.
Visit the famous Diani Beach, or head to Watamu for excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. For more secluded beaches, check out Lamu Island, Funzi Island, or Tiwi Beach.
Kenya’s coasts also offer a fantastic range of water sports including surfing, kitesurfing, deep-sea fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving, and more.
5. Unforgettable Snorkelling and Diving
Kenya’s marine life is just as diverse as the wildlife on land. Its coastline, particularly around Mombasa Marine National Park, is teeming with colourful coral reefs and a plethora of marine species.
Whether you’re an experienced diver or a first-timer, the underwater world of Kenya will leave you spellbound. Swim alongside tropical fish, admire the vibrant corals, and if you’re lucky, you might even come across sea turtles, dolphins, or whale sharks.
With visibility best between October and March, you can plan your visit to make the most of this incredible underwater experience.
6. Breathtaking Natural Landscapes
Kenya has a huge range of spectacular natural landscapes. From rolling savannahs and vast plains to misty mountains and lush forests, Kenya’s natural beauty will take your breath away.
Embark on a hike in Mount Kenya National Park, the second-highest peak in Africa. Or take a walking safari through Hell’s Gate National Park, where you can see stunning rock formations and get up close with wildlife.
For adrenaline junkies, these landscapes make unforgettable backdrops for a range of pulse-raising activities like white-water rafting, paragliding, skydiving, and bungee jumping.
For a more relaxed experience, take a tour of the Great Rift Valley, a natural wonder that stretches over 6,000 kilometres with dramatic escarpments, sparkling lakes, and picturesque villages.
7. Sustainable Tourism
In recent years, Kenya has made great strides in promoting sustainable tourism practices. Today, the country is at the forefront of the eco-tourism movement in Africa with its innovative and sustainable practices.
Eco-lodges and eco-friendly camps are becoming increasingly common. These often use renewable energy sources (like solar power), harvest rainwater, and recycle waste to minimise their environmental impact.
Conservation is another key aspect of Kenya’s approach to sustainable tourism. Many lodges and reserves are actively involved in wildlife conservation efforts, working to protect endangered species and their habitats.
Many establishments also focus on cultural preservation, ensuring local communities benefit from tourism revenue, providing local employment, and educating guests about local customs and traditions.
For me, Kenya’s allure lies in its iconic wildlife, scenic beauty, and the warmth of its people. The country offers an unforgettable mix of wild adventures, spellbinding scenery, and unique culture.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you should make Kenya your next travel destination. Start planning your Kenyan adventure today and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime!
Additional Information on Visiting Kenya
Kenya Travel Tips:
- Most of Kenya is generally safe to visit, although most governments advise against visiting areas close to the eastern border with Somalia.
- Always stay up to date with the latest official travel advice, as the situation does change from time to time.
- Stay vigilant, especially in crowded areas.
- English and Swahili are the official languages of Kenya, and you’ll find English widely spoken in tourist areas.
- Book with reputable tour operators for safaris and wildlife adventures to ensure a memorable and safe experience.
Best Time to Visit Kenya:
- The best time to visit Kenya depends on your interests. The dry season from June to October is excellent for wildlife safaris, with animals gathering around water sources.
- The Great Migration occurs in the Maasai Mara from July to October.
- If you prefer birdwatching and lush landscapes, consider visiting during the rainy season from November to May.
Top Destinations to Visit:
- Maasai Mara National Reserve: Experience the world-famous wildlife and witness the Great Migration.
- Tsavo East and West: Known for their red soils, rich biodiversity, and abundance of iconic African animals, including the Big Five.
- Nairobi: Explore the capital city’s vibrant culture, markets, and Nairobi National Park.
- Amboseli National Park: Enjoy stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro and encounters with wild elephants.
- Samburu National Reserve: Discover unique wildlife species in this remote and beautiful reserve.
- Diani Beach: Chill out on the white sandy beaches of the Kenyan coast, perfect for water sports and relaxation.