Popular Attractions in Kenya

National Museums of Kenya

National Museums of KenyaThe recently renovated Nairobi National Museum is a good place to learn more about Kenya's history and culture. It has an excellent display of fossils and a stunning recreation of a prehistoric rock site. There is also an extraordinary cast on the floor, which clearly records the footprints of Man's direct ancestor (Homo erectus) dating 4 million years ago. The Casting Department also sells casts of important fossil discoveries to Museums worldwide, both for study and for exhibition. Other museums are located in Kitale, Meru, Kisumu, Lamu and Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

Nairobi Snake Park was built with the aim to educate the public about snakes and the common reptiles of Kenya. The Snake Park continues to be a big attraction in the Museum.

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National ParkNairobi National Park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city. The park which is located about 7 km from the city centre has a rich & diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded including black rhinoceros, large predators – lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah; aggregations of large herbivores – eland, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest and diverse birdlife. Other available attractions are the Ivory Burning Site Monument; Nairobi Safari Walk, walking trails at hippo pools and spacious picnic sites.

Gedi Ruins - Malindi

Gedi Ruins, MalindiGedi is one of Kenya's great unknown treasures, a wonderful lost city lying in the depths of the great Arabuko Sokoke forest. It is also a place of great mystery, an archaeological puzzle that continues to engender debate among historians. This once great civilization was a powerful and complex Swahili settlement with a population of over 2500, built during the 13th century. The ruins of Gedi include many houses, mansions, mosques and elaborate tombs and cemeteries. Today there is an excellent museum and well trained guides on hand to take visitors through the ruins.
Wandering through Gedi is an ideal way to spend a morning or afternoon, lost among the secrets of the past and attempt to figure out its mystery.

Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Blixen MuseumThis home is a must see for anyone interested in Karen Blixen's book 'Out of Africa' and the subsequent film. The author lived on a coffee estate in a house known as Bogani from 1914 until 1931 and the area has now developed into the modern suburb of Karen on the outskirts of Nairobi. Those who have read the book, or seen the film (which was filmed on location here) will recognize the house with its sprawling tropical garden and views of the nearby Ngong Hills. The house is now a National Museum, and is furnished with a mixture of original decor and props from the 1985 film production. The Museum is easily accessible from Nairobi, by taxi or bus.

Haller Wildlife Park - Mombasa

Haller Wildlife ParkHaller Wildlife Park (Lafarge Ecosystems) is a former disused quarry that has been reborn as a small private game sanctuary. A major initiative has been made to "green" the quarry, and these efforts have literally blossomed into an area of lush beauty. The onetime quarry is now a thriving game sanctuary, fully stocked with game including Giraffe, Eland, Hippo, Oryx and more. Haller Park is also home to Owen (a hippo) and Mzee (a giant 120 year old tortoise) who adopted Owen while he was still a calf.

Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Sheldrick Elephant OrphanageSheldrick Elephant Orphanage, which is located near Nairobi National Park, cares for elephant and rhino calves from all over Kenya. It was founded and is still managed by Daphne Sheldrick, the widow of one of Kenya's best known Game Wardens David Sheldrick. Elephant calves orphaned by poaching are brought here from all over the country and they receive extremely specialized treatment and personal care 24 hours a day from highly dedicated staff who become surrogate mothers to the calves. Eventually the calves are moved to Tsavo National Park, where they are carefully reintroduced into wild herds. The centre is open to the public each morning (11am-12pm). At this time the calves are being exercised and bathed and visitors are free to watch.

AFEW Giraffe Centre

Giraffe CentreThe AFEW (African Fund for Endangered Wildlife) Giraffe Centre is located in Langata, just outside Nairobi. The centre has been ostensibly set up as a breeding centre for the endangered Rothschild giraffe, but now operates conservation/education programs for Kenyan school children. It offers good information on giraffes available and an elevated feeding platform where visitors meet the resident giraffes face to face. Hand-feeding giraffes is an education in itself and one will see, close at hand, how they use their long, prehensile tongues to remove leaves from prickly acacia branches. Guests can watch the centre's giraffe population as they wander freely through the lush gardens.

The Fort Jesus - Mombasa

Fort JesusThe majestic Fort Jesus is a National Monument, standing high over the Mombasa harbour. Visitors can spend the day exploring the gun turrets, battlements and houses within the walls. There is an excellent Museum and trained guides available. For those who want to learn more about the struggle for Fort Jesus, the Fort plays host to a spectacular sound and light show 3 nights each week. Visitors are welcomed into the Fort by guards in flowing robes brandishing flaming torches. They are led to a specially designed and choreographed show that uses lights, sound effects and costumed actors to bring to life the long and turbulent history of the Fort. At the end of the show, a candlelit dinner is served in the open courtyard of the Fort, under the stars.

Maasai Mara - Home of the Great Wildebeest Migration (NEW SEVENTH WONDER OF THE WORLD)

Maasai Mara, The Great Wildebeest MigrationThere is no better time to visit the Mara than during the Great Migration. This is one of the remarkable wildlife attractions that make's Kenya one of the best wildlife destinations in the world. The migration can be experienced on early morning game drives in customized vehicles, walking safaris with Maasai Warrior guides, horseback safaris in areas surrounding the Mara, or even from hot air Balloon safaris over the herds.

The annual Wildebeest Migration at the Maasai Mara is a natural cycle that replenishes and renews the grasslands of East Africa. Each June, around 1.3 million Wildebeest gather in the Serengeti to calve and are attracted to the Mara by the scent of rain thus initiating the planet's greatest animal migration. In the Maasai Mara, Africa's largest concentrations of predators like lions and packs of hyenas are drawn to this perfect opportunity for easy hunting. Predators are not the only obstacles that the wildebeest face. Kenya's heavy rainfall in the highland Mau escarpment turns the Mara River into a raging torrent and in the struggle across the Mara River; many are drowned or swept away by strong currents. The crossing attracts massive crocodiles who each year, awaits this season of bounty. By September the herds will begin reaching their goal, and spread out to graze across the expanse of the Mara.

For this beautiful game reserve, it is a time of renewal, as the dung from the visiting herds fertilizes the plains. October will see the herds turn southward and repeat the same journey back to the Serengeti, where the renewed grasslands await.

Safaris outside Nairobi can be arranged. More information on destinations can be found in Magical Kenya.