#01 Mount Kenya

Many climbers consider Africa’s second-highest peak a tougher test than Kilimanjaro: it’s certainly less of a highway to the top. You’ll be glad of its via ferrata on the last morning.

Mount Kenya© Martin Mwaura/Shutterstock

#02 Mara Naboisho Conservancy

This conservancy in the greater Mara region combines wildlife conservation with community involvement and offers outstanding viewing of big cats, elephants and giraffes.

#02 Mara Naboisho Conservancy

#03 Thimlich Ohinga

Even most Kenyans have never heard of their most impressive upcountry ancient site – huge stone circles in a remote part of western Kenya.

Thimlich Ohinga, an historic 15th century Iron Age village enclosure,Kenya.© Jen Watson/Shutterstock

#04 Graceful Hippos

The chain of lakes at Mzima Springs, fed by subterranean meltwater from Kilimanjaro, is a magical location in an exceptionally beautiful park – Tsavo West.

#04 Graceful Hippos

#05 Stars at Bedtime

Book a night out in the bush under the stars at Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge, sleeping on a specially adapted “star bed” atop a secure platform.

Things not to miss: Giraffes in the bush, Il Ngwesi, Laikipia, Kenya.Il Ngwesi © Danita Delmont/Shutterstock

#06 Lake Baringo

The world record count of bird species seen in 24 hours – 342 – was made at this freshwater lake in the Rift Valley. There’s budget accommodation on the shore and luxury lodges on the islands.

Things not to miss: Flamingos flock of Lake Baringo, Kenya.© Victor Lapaev/Shutterstock

#07 Chameleons

These curious, harmless reptiles can be found all over Kenya, but only the highlands are home to the impressive Jackson’s three-horn species, like a miniature triceratops.

Things not to miss in Kenya: Jackson's chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii), Kenya.© reptiles4all/Shutterstock

#08 Fresh Coconuts

If you’ve never had a fresh coconut, you’re in for a treat – try one at any coast hotel for the price of a tip to the intrepid tree climber.

Things not to miss: Coconut drink being prepared in Kenya.© Maris Dargis/Shutterstock

#09 Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

Join more than a dozen local tribes for three days of traditional song and dance in a chilled, international atmosphere.

Things not to miss: Turkana woman, Kenya.© E X P L O R E R/Shutterstock

#10 Warrior training

Head to a Maasai-run eco-camp and learn the ways of warriorhood – which you'll soon discover involves playfighting with sticks and much singing and jumping.

Things not to miss: Maasai, Ngorongoro Highlands, Kenya.© Thomas Brissiaud/Shutterstock

#11 Lake Naivasha

The perfect getaway from Nairobi: excellent backpackers hostels, boating, a music festival, hippos, a rich array of birdlife and the secluded Crater Lake Game Sanctuary.

Things not to miss: Hippo with cormorant, Lake Naivasha, Kenya.© Mogens Trolle/Shutterstock

#12 Lolling in the Lagoon

The Indian Ocean coast is sheltered by a coral reef for nearly its entire length: you can drift among shoals of fish or skim around on a kite- or surfboard.

Things not to miss: The marine life of the Indian Ocean.© kyslynskahal/Shutterstock 

 

#13 Nairobi National Park

On the city’s doorstep, the park is home to nearly all Kenya’s big mammals, including the largest of Kenya’s antelopes, the eland.

#13 Nairobi National Park

#14 Desert Lake

Venture to the shores of Lake Turkana in the barren lands close to the Ethiopian border where the climate is harsh, life precarious and the landscapes searingly beautiful.

Things not to miss: Desert museum, loyangalani, Lake Turkana, Kenya.© Stefan Haider/Shutterstock

#15 Lake Victoria

Kenya’s biggest lake packs in busy harbours, virtual plains of water hyacinth, pretty beaches and mountains.

Things not to miss: Sunset at Lake Victoria, Kenya.© Stefan Haider/Shutterstock 

#16 David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Get on petting terms with tiny pachyderms at this highly regarded centre.

Things not to miss: Elephant in The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya.© Lenka Krejcova/Shutterstock

#17 Driving with Dragons

Travelling in Kenya's far northern deserts you never know what you'll meet around the next bend – like this fearsome-looking desert monitor.

Things not to miss: Monitor lizard runs from safari jeep, Kenya.© Syrus Neilson/Shutterstock 

#18 Lamu

There is nowhere in the world like the ancient seafaring town of Lamu, with a fort, a maze of alleys and cool lodgings on every corner.

#18 Lamu

#19 Canine Receivers

Endangered wild dogs range hundreds of kilometres: take part in research on a working conservancy in Laikipia by following radio-tagged dogs.

Things not to miss: African wild dog, Laikipia, Kenya.© Lisa Hagan/Shutterstock 

Top image: Mount Kenya © Martin Mwaura/Shutterstock

 

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