15 Lesser-Known Things To Do In Kenya : Kenya is widely regarded as the birthplace of safari and is without a doubt one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. The country is home to world-class wildlife reserves such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli, as well as jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches along its Indian Ocean coastline.

Kenya provides the kind of safari vacation experiences that dreams are made of, from seeing the Big 5 on daily game drives to witnessing the Wildebeest Migration from a hot-air balloon. But what if you’re looking for activities in Kenya other than traditional safaris? There is no need to look any further!

Apart from going on a Kenya traditional safari, here are the best things to do in Kenya aside from fly fishing on the country’s highest mountain and exploring an island that has been the center of Swahili culture for over 700 years.

  1. Conquer Mount Kenya.

Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in the nation and the second-highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro, standing at just over 3,800 meters (17,000 feet) in height. The massif consists of three main peaks: Batian, Nelion, which is the highest and requires highly technical climbing skills, and Point Lenana, which is less technical but still difficult.

 The three main routes, Naro Moru, Sirimon, and Chogoria, are frequently combined by climbers and typically take five days to complete. One of the best things to do in Kenya if you’re an active traveler is to go on a trek through the breathtaking mountain scenery of glaciers, lakes, mineral springs, and alpine forests.

For the more daring, the mountain has a number of campsites, and there are a number of lodges that provide additional activities like guided nature hikes, horseback riding excursions, and trout fishing in Kenya. Some of the best fly fishing spots in Kenya can be found on the mountain, which is home to a number of streams and lakes where rainbow trout of legendary sizes can be found.

  1. Cycle through Hell’s Gate.

As there are no dangerous animals, Hell’s Gate National Park is one of the few parks in Africa that visitors can explore on foot or by bicycle. Two dormant volcanoes within the park shaped the distinctive lava-carved landscape and a number of geothermal features, including hot springs and natural geysers.

It’s highly advised to explore the wide-open spaces and winding trails of Hell’s Gate if you’re looking for enjoyable things to do in Kenya. You lack personal wheels. No issue! Both inside the park and from vendors outside the main gate, bicycles are available for rent.

  1. Scuba Dive, Wind Surf, and Jet Ski at Diani Beach

Diani Beach is where you go to enjoy activities like snorkeling and scuba diving in Kenya because it’s regarded as one of the best water sports destinations in all of East Africa. A lively atmosphere and its proximity to Mombasa, which is 30 kilometers (19 miles) south, have long drawn beach lovers looking for a traditional sun and sea vacation.

With its flawless white sands and calm, shallow waters, Diani Beach offers a variety of luxurious boutique hotels and private villas, all of which are conveniently close to activities like kayaking, jet skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and paddle boarding. Additionally, Diani has some of Kenya’s best scuba diving if you want to spend some time underwater. Green and hawksbill turtles, triggerfish, moray eels, clownfish, stingrays, and even enormous manta rays and whale sharks live in the surrounding coral reefs and pinnacles.

 The best months to go scuba diving in Kenya are November through April, or January through March if you want to see whale sharks and manta rays that are migrating.

  1. Dine at Ali Barbour’s Cave.

Imagine enjoying a delicious glass of wine and some sea-fresh seafood while sitting in a naturally formed coral cave with an open ceiling, admiring the moon and stars. Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant in Diani Beach is pleased to have you.

 The cave, which is thought to be about 150,000 years old, is made up of several interconnected open-air chambers that can be found at depths of up to 10 meters (33 feet). The restaurant, which is renowned throughout the world for its unrivaled romantic ambiance, serves delectable food and specializes in seafood dishes (though it also serves chicken, red meat, and vegetarian options). The chili crab is unquestionably delicious!

In a unique setting, Ali Barbour’s offers a fantastic fine dining experience. Make a reservation at Ali Barbour’s Cave if you’re looking for one of the most unusual things to do in Kenya while spending a few days on the coast close to Diani. The majority of hotels along Diani Beach are served by the restaurant’s free pick-up and drop-off service.

  1. Swim with bioluminescent plankton in Kilifi.

The production and emission of light by a living organism is known as bioluminescence. Terrestrial arthropods like fireflies, marine vertebrates, and invertebrates frequently exhibit bioluminescence. Further up the coast from Diani Beach, Kilifi Creek is renowned for its bioluminescent plankton.

 There are only a handful of places in the world where glowing plankton can be seen, but Kilifi is one of them. After sunset, the tidal creek’s natural bioluminescence transforms Kilifi into a magical place where you can go swimming at night. As you splash around, the water is illuminated by this fascinating phenomenon, in which the plankton are motion-activated. Choose a trip between May and October for the best experience.

The annual Kilifi Wellness Festival, the first boutique wellness festival in Kenya, is held in Kilifi. Through wellness sessions, treatments, and workshops held on the alluring outdoor waterfronts of Bofa Beach and Kilifi Creek, this four-day event promotes holistic healing.

  1. Adopt an elephant or rhino at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Elephants, rhinos, and other animals from all over Africa that have become orphaned are saved, taken care of, and rehabilitated by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. With poaching, habitat loss due to human conflict, deforestation, and drought as threats, Kenya’s populations of elephants and rhinos are given hope by the Orphans’ Project.

 You can help the Orphans’ Project by adopting one of the animals in need that is being cared for by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi for as little as USD 50 per year. Your digital adoption will include:

  • An adoption certificate that is unique.
  • A once-a-month email update on the project and your orphan
  • Angela Sheldrick creates a watercolor painting every month.
  • The ability to access exclusive content such as the Keepers’ Diaries, videos, and photos

Every day from 11:00 to 12:00, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust offers a public viewing that can get quite crowded with people. If you’ve adopted an animal, the private viewings at 15:00 can help you get to know it better. One of the most moving things to do in Kenya is to walk among the baby elephants with their keepers.

  1. Tick off your bird checklist at Lake Nakuru.

A day trip to Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the best things to do in Kenya while on a road safari between the Masai Mara and Samburu because the park is home to thriving populations of large mammals in a contained area. It guarantees sightings of the rare Rothschild giraffe, white rhino, buffalo, eland, waterbuck, and lion. The Great Rift Valley’s Kenya Lake System, which includes Lake Nakuru, is a part of a natural heritage site with stunning photographic opportunities.

The enormous flamingo flocks that covered a large portion of Lake Nakuru’s shallow waters made the lake famous. Sadly, their population has significantly declined since the severe flooding that occurred between 2012 and 2014. The type of saline ecosystem required by flamingos to feed or reproduce cannot be supported by the lake’s now deeper, less alkaline waters. Flamingos are still present in Lake Nakuru, but they are not in the large flocks they once were.

15 Lesser-Known Things To Do In Kenya
Lake Nakuru

The park’s outstanding birdlife at Lake Nakuru, however, is the highlight for serious birdwatchers. More than 400 different species call it home, including the great white pelican, lesser and greater flamingos, Hottentot teal, greater blue-eared starling, long-tailed widowbird, and an amazing array of raptors like Verreaux’s and long-crested eagles. The months of November through April are ideal for birdwatching in the park.

  1. Step back in time in Lamu Town.

The stunning islands of Lamu, Manda, Pate, Kiwayu, and Manda Toto make up the fabled Lamu Archipelago, which is situated just off the northern coast of Kenya. If you’re looking for blissfully quiet, away from the crowds, beach vacations, these jewels of the Indian Ocean are definitely worth a trip.

 For cultural tourists, one of the best things to do in Kenya is to visit Lamu Island, one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa. Even though it is a small town, Lamu Town on the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and continues to serve some of its original purposes. The town, which was built from coral stone and mangrove wood, is distinguished by its historic layout, classic tall, narrow Swahili architecture, winding lanes, and intricately carved wooden doors. The island also has some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa, as well as a variety of activities, delicious food, and discreet, friendly service.

  1. See Lake Turkana from the Sky

Turkana is the largest alkaline lake and the largest permanent lake in a desert, and it is one of Kenya’s Rift Valley Lakes. Despite being inhospitable, this arid region of Northern Kenya’s Lake Turkana boasts a hauntingly beautiful, post-apocalyptic atmosphere where time seems to have stood still for more than three million years.

Although the Nile crocodile and migrant birds both use Lake Turkana as a major breeding ground, it is not a typical wildlife destination. However, if you can make the trip to this undiscovered region of Kenya, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most extraordinary scenery on earth.

A helicopter safari is among the best ways to view Lake Turkana from above. As you admire some of the last remaining untamed wilderness areas on our planet, fly over rocky outcrops, dry plains, winding riverbeds, volcanic craters, and ancient cycad forests. This extraordinary excursion is one of the best things to do in Kenya if you have some extra cash to spend on vacation, especially if you’re staying at safari lodges like Sirikoi in Lewa.

  1. Explore the Ruins of Gedi

One of the most enjoyable things to do in Kenya is to take a trip to the Gedi (or Gede) Ruins if you enjoy exploring historical and cultural landmarks. This archaeological site is situated outside of Malindi, in eastern Kenya, close to the coast of the Indian Ocean.

 There is little written evidence of the Swahili city’s existence, but the mysterious ruins seem to indicate that it once thrived within a substantial indigenous forest. Gedi, which was entirely constructed of rocks and stones, is thought to have been built in the 12th century; however, it was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. Mosques, a palace, and houses are all signs that the city prospered and reached its apex after being rebuilt. It is assumed that a number of factors, including the 1589 coastal raids by Congolese tribes, a declining water table, and threats from a hostile nomadic tribe from Somalia, led to the city’s abandonment and return to nature.

 While butterflies flit through the dappled shadows of an ancient forest alive with birds and curious monkeys, explore this puzzling lost city. Gedi’s surrounding native forest continues to be a revered location for local customs and ceremonies.

  1. Deep-sea fishing in Watamu

About 105 kilometers (65 miles) north of Mombasa, on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast, lies a small town called Watamu. The Watamu Marine National Park, one of Kenya’s first marine parks, protects the area’s shoreline’s lovely white-sand beaches and coral gardens.

In Kenya’s waters farther offshore, Watamu is known for its world-class deep-sea fishing. It is one of the few places in the world where fishing is possible for sailfish, broadbill swordfish, shortbill spearfish, and three different types of marlin.

Local community organizations and the region’s tourism industry are instrumental in preserving the Watamu Marine National Park and were among Kenya’s early adopters of the “tag-and-release” fishing technique. Businesses like Hemingways Watamu offer guests professional tag-and-release fishing charters and present certificates in appreciation of anglers’ catches. These excursions, which range from half a day to a full day, give anglers of any skill level the chance to enjoy the unparalleled rush of a big catch while supporting ecotourism in Africa.

  1. Bungee Jump in Sagana

Located in central Kenya, Sagana is a small town that is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Nairobi. Additionally, if bungee jumping is something you want to do while visiting Kenya, you should go to Sagana.

 The Tana River, the longest in Kenya, is viewed from a scenic location by a dreadful bungee tower that rises 60 meters (197 feet) high. Then, after ascending the 220 steps to the top, you’ll connect to the chord, muster up your courage, and watch for the countdown. Five, four, three, two, one, wham! You can reach out and touch the Sagana River with your fingertips just before the cord tightens, ending the free fall. Adrenaline only!

  1. Saddle up a camel and explore Samburu.

Did you know that you could leave the 4×4 behind, mount a camel, and travel through the African wilderness on one of these humped ungulates? It’s a wonderful alternative to watching games the old-fashioned way!

 The Samburu National Reserve is the ideal location for a camelback safari because camels are well-suited to desert environments like those in northern Kenya. Through this unique experience, you can approach plains game like zebra, giraffe, and ostrich up close as you stroll through the wilderness while camel bells chime, completely in tune with the rhythm of nature. It undoubtedly ranks among the best things to do in Kenya in terms of fun.

  1. Trek Mount Elgon

Despite being less popular than Kilimanjaro, Mount Elgon’s serene slopes offer incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing. Climbing the mountain is an experience not to be missed, and there are many waterfalls and hot springs to relax in.

On the border between Kenya and Uganda, Mount Elgon is an extinct shield volcano that can be reached from either country. The three most popular routes in Kenya are from Kitale, Endebess, and Masara through Mount Elgon National Park. The third route is via Kimilili, which is regarded as the best route from the Kenyan side. It should be noted that a 4WD vehicle is advised and that walking along the road is not permitted in Mount Elgon National Park.

  1. Brave the Tana River Rapids.

The excitement of a white-water rafting trip down the Tana River will not disappoint if you’re looking for adventurous things to do in Kenya. Less than two hours’ drive from Nairobi takes you to the longest river in Kenya, which features Class II to V rapids.

 The Tana is a drop-pool river that features exhilarating white-water rafting excursions lasting anywhere from a few hours to overnight river excursions. After each rapid, there is a calm pool where you can gather your strength before the next rapid.

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