Stunning national parks, superb beaches and rich tribal culture
Lapped by the Indian Ocean, straddling the equator, and with Mount Kenya rising above a magnificent landscape of forested hills, patchwork farms and wooded savanna, Kenya is a richly rewarding place to travel. The country’s dramatic geography has resulted in a great range of natural habitats, harbouring a huge variety of wildlife, while its history of migration and conquest has brought about a fascinating social panorama, which includes the Swahili city-states of the coast and the Maasai of the Rift Valley.
Kenya’s world-famous national parks, tribal peoples and superb beaches lend the country an exotic image with magnetic appeal. Treating it as a succession of tourist sights, however, is not the most stimulating way to experience Kenya. If you get off the beaten track, you can enter the world inhabited by most Kenyans: a ceaselessly active scene of muddy farm tracks, corrugated-iron huts, tea shops and lodging houses, crammed buses and streets wandered by goats and children. Both on and off the tourist routes, you’ll find warmth and openness, and an abundance of superb scenery – rolling savanna dotted with Maasai herds and wild animals, high Kikuyu moorlands grazed by cattle and sheep, and dense forests full of monkeys and birdsong. Of course the country is not all postcard-perfect: Kenya’s role in fighting Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia has resulted in reprisal attacks, while if you start a conversation with any local you’ll soon find out about the country’s deep economic and social tensions.
Planning your trip to Kenya
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
Travel offers; book through Rough Guides
Everything you need to know before you set off.
The Rough Guide to Kenya
An in-depth, easy-to-use guide filled with expert advice.
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
Saving the elephants: on the poaching frontline in Kenya
The African elephant is under constant threat from poachers, and numbers have fallen by one third in seven years. Joe Minihane journeyed to the Samburu reserv…
6 reasons to stay in Nairobi before you head off on safari
Most people coming into Kenya will arrive in Nairobi, but head straight for the country’s vast national parks and beautiful coastline. Stay a little longer in…
7 amazing African journeys
Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …
After Kenya, where next?
Check out Egypt