Kenya Tourist Attractions
Kenya is known as the home of safaris for its sheer diversity of wildlife and safari experiences. Besides offering ample opportunities to see the Big Five, the annual Wildebeest Migration at the Maasai Mara National Reserve is a unique and amazing experience. This migration has been named one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World”.
It occurs between July and October each year, although precise dates are difficult to determine – this is wildlife at its most wild.
Although Wildebeest are the main species involved in the migration, they are joined by zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, eland and other antelopes. Carnivores like lions, cheetahs and hyenas can also be seen, as they await this massive feeding ground.
Top tip: Combine this with a hot air balloon ride for an aerial view of this amazing natural wonder.
Kenya possesses an interesting variety of rock art offering an extraordinary connection through time. Visiting rock art sites will give you the opportunity to support local communities who benefit from their local rock art and the tourism that it attracts.
There are several sites to visit:
Kakapel National Monument - one of Kenya’s premier rock art sites, uniting a variety of styles and artistic traditions over a long period of time in one location
Mfangano Island, Lake Victoria - geometric paintings believed to have been made by Twa hunter-gatherers roughly between 2000 and 4000 years ago
Namoratunga, Turkana County - rock engravings dating back over 2000 years.
Rock Gongs of Lewa Downs - geometric and abstract rock paintings as well as rock gongs. When struck, gongs produce different tones – most likely used to rituals and divination.
Rock Art in the Nairobi National Park - abstract motifs portraying painted shields and dwellings. Can only be visited with an armed ranger and must be arranged in advance.
Rock Art at Loiyangalani - ancient images and symbols that tell to us of different eras when the region, often referred to as the Cradle of Mankind, teamed with wild animals and supported diverse human populations.
Kenya is home to 6 unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites, recognised for their ecological, architectural and cultural importance.
Lamu Old Town – This Swahili settlements has had many influences over the centuries, including Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs. This has resulted in a unique and enduring culture. Because the people of Lamu value tradition and custom so dearly, life in this town moves at a slow pace reminiscent of the past. There are no vehicles on the island – donkeys and dhows are the primary form of transport here.
Fort Jesus – this Portuguese fort was built in 1593 to protect the important Mombasa harbour. Over the centuries, it has protected the harbour from the Omani Arabs, used as barracks for soldiers, and was converted into a prison by the British. Today, it stands as a museum and houses exhibits of archaeological finds as well as Kenya’s colonial past.
Kenya’s Lake Systems - Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita have been inscrived as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it is home to 13 globally threatened bird species and some of the highest bird diversities in the world. It is a particularly important nesting ground for flamingos and pelicans. Black and white rhino’s, Rothschild’s giraffe, lions and cheetahs are amoung the mammals that can also be found here.
The other UNESCO sites are: Lake Turkana National Park, Mount Kenya National Park and Mijikenda Kaya Forests. For a full description, visit: www.magicalkenya.com
Sibiloi National Park lies on Lake Turkana, and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its archeological and ecological importance.
Lake Turkana, known as the Jade Sea due to its colour, is the largest desert lake in the world and is home to world’s largest crocodile population. Sibiloi is also home to several rare species of mammals, and is an important breeding ground for both crocodiles and soft-shelled turtles.
In the heart of the national park lies Koobi Fora, an important fossil site. The hominid specimens collected here have contributed to our understanding of human origins and behaviours, and may well be the true Cradle of Mankind.