On top of abundant wildlife, Kenya offers a variety of landscapes, beaches, hiking trails, culture, and historical attractions. This Kenya itinerary will show you the best this incredible country has to offer.
It’s one of the few destinations in Africa where you can go on a safari, climb a snow-capped mountain, explore a desert, and relax on a magnificent beach all in one trip.
So, if you’re interested in the big five, hiking, birdwatching, beach vacations, watersports, or authentic cultural experiences, this Kenya itinerary has you covered.
I’m from Kenya, and this Kenya itinerary is based on destinations that I have personally lived in, and visited many times, plus a couple of places that are on my bucket list.
Kenya Itinerary Quick Rundown
It’s possible to explore most of Kenya in a short period. However, you’ll have to know what and where to prioritize to best manage your time.
If you’re planning to visit Kenya, here’s a quick summary of how to spend a weekend, 5 days, 1 week, 10 days, or 2 weeks in this magical country.
Keep reading below for more in-depth details.
Weekend in Kenya Itinerary: A weekend in Kenya is enough to taste what the country offers. Spend the 2 days in Nairobi visiting wildlife spots like Nairobi National Park, exploring the city streets, and sampling local dishes.
5-Day Itinerary: A 5-day Kenya itinerary combines a bit of wildlife, some history, and a lot of adventure. It covers the Nairobi circuit and the South Rift circuit, which includes Hell’s Gate National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve.
1 Week in Kenya Itinerary: With 1 week to spend in Kenya, you can explore a lot and leave the country with unforgettable memories. A 7-day Kenya tour involves exploring Nairobi, hiking Mount Longonot, game viewing in Masai Mara, enjoying coastal vibes, and much more.
10-Day Itinerary: A 10-day trip to Kenya covers Nairobi, Hell’s Gate, Masai Mara, Amboseli, and the Kenyan coast. An alternative to this itinerary is a 10-day trip to northern Kenya.
2 Weeks in Kenya Itinerary: A 2-week Kenya itinerary covers all the top highlights in the country. You’ll experience everything from elephants in Amboseli to fascinating architecture in Lamu Old Town.
Top 5 Kenya Itinerary Ideas
Many people planning a visit to Kenya wonder how they should spend a couple of days to a couple of weeks in the country. There’s no simple answer because Kenya is so diverse, and everyone has different interests.
I live in Kenya and love exploring this beautiful country. The call to adventure has taken me to Amboseli, Nairobi National Park, Watamu Beach, Aberdares, Hell’s Gate, and Laikipia, among other places.
If these destinations sound like the places you want to visit, consider these five expertly crafted Kenya itineraries.
2-Day Kenya Itinerary (Wildlife, Culture & History)
If you’re wondering how to spend 2 days in Kenya, here are some ideas for a perfect weekend in Nairobi.
- Visit Nairobi National Park, Elephant Sanctuary, and Giraffe Center Nairobi
- Discover Nairobi City, National Museum, and Ronalo Foods Restaurant Nairobi
Day 1 (Nairobi Wildlife Experience)
Kick off your weekend in Kenya with an early game drive in Nairobi National Park. Once you’ve captured the perfect photo of giraffes with the city’s background, head to the Elephant Sanctuary. The center is open between 11 am and 12 pm.
After watching baby elephants being fed, drive to the Giraffe Center, which takes care of the endangered Rothschild’s giraffes. On your way back to your hotel in Nairobi, pass by the Bomas of Kenya to watch cultural dances. Make sure you enjoy a late lunch of traditional foods at the Utamaduni Restaurant.
Day 2 (Cultural & Historical Experience)
Finish your 2 day Kenya tour by eating fish with Ugali at Ronalo Foods Restaurant and enjoy a nightlife experience at K1 Club House in Westlands. You could also watch a local play at Alliance Française if you’re not so much into partying.
5-Day Kenya Itinerary (Safaris, Adventure & Culture)
A 5-Day Kenya itinerary combines Nairobi, Hell’s Gate, Lake Naivasha, and the Masai Mara into one remarkable Kenya tour. It’s perfect for visitors who want to see the highlights of Kenya in less than a week.
- Explore Nairobi Circuit Nairobi
- Cycle at Hell’s Gate or Hike Mount Longonot Nairobi
- Transfer to Masai Mara National Reserve Masai Mara
- Discover Masai Mara National Reserve Masai Mara
- Explore Nairobi City on Foot Nairobi
Day 1 (Nairobi Wildlife Circuit)
Spend your first-day exploring wildlife spots in Nairobi. You can join a full-day tour of Nairobi National Park, Elephant Sanctuary (open from 11 am to 12 pm), and Giraffe Center. Stop at Karen Blixen Museum and finish off your day by visiting Bomas of Kenya.
Day 2 (Hell’s Gate/Mount Longonot & Lake Naivasha)
On the morning of your second day, drive northwest to Naivasha. From here, you’ve two options for an epic adventure. You can visit Hell’s Gate National Park and Olkaria Geothermal Spa or hike Mount Longonot.
Whichever option you choose, finish the day with a boat ride on Lake Naivasha and return to Nairobi. Trips on Lake Naivasha are usually included in a day trip to Hell’s Gate or Mount Longonot. However, you can drive to the lake yourself and book the tour from there.
You can spend the night in a relaxed hotel like the Radisson Blu which has a nice restaurant for dinner.
Day 3 (Transfer to Masai Mara National Reserve)
After breakfast in Nairobi, fly out of Wilson Airport to your selected safari lodge in the world-renowned Masai Mara Game Reserve. Enjoy a game drive tracking the big five and possibly even experience the great wildebeest migration.
There are many places to stay in Masai Mara, including the famous Mahali Mzuri Camp.
Day 4 (Explore Masai Mara National Reserve)
Wake before dawn for an opportunity to witness the glorious Masai Mara sunrise. After breakfast, head out into the plains for more game drives. Alternatively, you can do other activities like a hot-air balloon safari or a horseback tour. Finish your day by visiting a Maasai village.
Day 5 (Nairobi on Foot Experience)
After breakfast, wave Masai Mara goodbye and fly back to Nairobi. Spend some time sightseeing the capital on foot, visiting a gift market, and taking in the city’s important landmarks and monuments.
You’ll then fly out of Kenya, (perhaps wishing you had more time to explore the Kenyan coast).
7-Day Kenya Itinerary (Wildlife, Culture & Beach Relaxation)
A week in Kenya is the standard Kenya itinerary offering you an opportunity to scrape the surface of what the country offers. You’ll see the wildlife side of the capital, hike Mount Longonot, take a boat ride on Lake Naivasha, go to Masai Mara and explore the Kenyan coast.
To reduce non-safari travel time, consider flying between cities and game reserves. You can also visit attractions that are close to each other.
While it’s possible to visit all the places independently, it’s always recommended to join a guided safari. This way you’ll have everything organized for you including tours, transfers, and accommodation.
- Explore Nairobi City Nairobi
- Visit Nairobi Wildlife Centers and the Karen Blixen Museum Nairobi
- Hike Mount Longonot and Lake Naivasha Boat Ride Naivasha
- Game Drive at Tsavo West National Park Tsavo
- Beach Relaxation and Watersports at the Coast Diani/Watamu
- Beach Relaxation and Watersports at the Coast Diani/Watamu
- Fly to Nairobi and Depart Nairobi
Day 1 (Nairobi City Tour)
Spend your first day wandering along the streets of Nairobi for history and culture. You can do it alone or join a tour with former street youths. While in the city, eat lunch at a local restaurant like the Ronalo Foods Restaurant. You can also visit the Railways Museum, and August 7th Memorial Park, and explore local markets like the City Market.
Day 2 (Nairobi Wildlife Spots)
Start by heading to Nairobi National Park for a game drive. From here, visit the two centers caring for orphaned giraffes and elephants. Watch and feed these baby animals while learning more about the center’s conservation efforts.
Day 3 (Mount Longonot Day Hike)
Lace-up your boots and spend your third day in Kenya on a hiking day trip to Mount Longonot. During the drive, stop at the Great Rift Valley viewpoint and Traveller’s Church in Mai Mahiu. After the hike, drive to Karigata Beach and take a boat trip on Lake Naivasha to view hippos and birds before returning to Nairobi.
Day 4 (Tsavo West National Park)
After breakfast in Nairobi, hit the road south to Tsavo West National Park (280 Km). Upon arrival, enjoy lunch in the wild and set out on safari in this beautiful park. Besides wildlife, Tsavo West has other attractions like Mzima Springs.
The best way to experience Tsavo West National Park is by joining a tour. Besides being reasonably priced it’s conducted by professional guides knowledgeable about the park.
Day 5 – 6 (Beach Relaxation in Diani or Watamu)
Start the day with a game drive and then transfer to Mombasa. You can drive to the city or catch a train in Voi town. From Mombasa, head south to Diani Beach or north to Watamu Beach. Spend two days relaxing, partying, or engaging in watersports activities.
If you happen to choose Watamu Beach, I would recommend staying at the Watamu Doum. The beach cottage is beautiful and it’s located close to some great restaurants such as the Crab Shack Dabaso. The Sands at Nomad is an excellent place to sleep and dine in Diani Beach.
Day 7 (Fly to Nairobi and Depart)
It’s time to wave Kenya goodbye! Enjoy your last day at the beach before flying back to Nairobi. From here, connect with your flight home or to your next destination.
10-Day Kenya Itinerary (Wildlife Experience and Beach Vacation)
Planning an itinerary for a 10-day trip to Kenya isn’t easy. There’s so much to see, and the time is short.
In this 10-day Kenya itinerary, I’ve added some of the best places to visit in Kenya. It includes exploring Nairobi, 3 days in Masai Mara, 2 days in Amboseli, and a short stay along the Kenyan coast.
- Arrive in Kenya via JKIA Nairobi
- Go on a Nairobi City Experience Nairobi
- Hike Mount Longonot and Discover Lake Naivasha Naivasha/Nairobi
- Transfer to the Masai Mara Game Reserve Masai Mara
- Explore The Masai Mara Masai Mara
- Explore The Masai Mara Masai Mara
- Discover the Amboseli National Park Amboseli
- Sun, Sand, and Surf at the Coast Diani/Watamu
- Circle Back to Nairobi and Depart Nairobi
Day 1 (Arrive in Kenya via JKIA)
Your flight will likely land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Once you arrive, spend time getting oriented with Nairobi and Kenya in general.
There are many places to stay in Nairobi including hotels, Airbnbs, and campsites. My favorite is the Wildebeest Eco Camp in Karen. It’s an impressive tented camp and a perfect base for your trips within the city.
Day 2 (Nairobi City Experience)
On your first safari day in Kenya, go for a Nairobi wildlife experience at the Nairobi National Park. From there, visit the nearby wildlife centers and learn about their conservation efforts.
The Elephant Sanctuary is open between 11 am and 12 pm daily, while the Giraffe Center is open until 5 pm. Make sure to stop at the Karen Blixen Museum and Bomas of Kenya.
Day 3 (Mount Longonot & Lake Naivasha)
The boat tour is usually included in the day hike, however, you can drive to Karagita Beach and book a boat ride if you prefer. The ride costs around $20 for a group of up to 6 people. The boat tour can also be arranged from your hotel, campsite, resort, or Airbnb in Naivasha.
Day 4 – 6 (Masai Mara National Reserve)
Continue your trip in the South Rift circuit by transferring to Masai Mara National Reserve. A 3-day adventure here is enough to spot the big five, other wildlife, and many bird species. It’s also an opportunity to experience the spectacular wildebeest migration.
Besides game drives, you can go on a hot air balloon ride, take a horseback safari, and enjoy nature walks in the Mara.
After the 3-day Masai Mara experience, check out of your tented camp and travel to Amboseli. The fastest way to the Amboseli from Masai Mara is by air. However, you’ll most likely be on a guided multi-day safari that takes care of the transfers.
Day 7 (Amboseli National Park)
After transferring from Masai Mara, take a game drive in the famous Amboseli National Park to see elephants and other wild animals. You’ll also get a chance to view Mount Kilimanjaro (the Roof of Africa). Travel to Mombasa the following day after breakfast.
There are several affordable day trips to Amboseli from Nairobi. These trips are usually organized by local travel groups and are listed on social media websites like Facebook. If you’re on a multi-day safari trip, your tour company will cater for the transfers and game drives within the park. All you have to do is turn up ready for adventure!
Day 8 -9 (Sun, Sand & Surf)
Arrive in Mombasa and spend two days exploring the Kenyan coast. If you’re into white sands and diving, travel south to Diani Beach, and if you fancy a mixture of history, sand, and surf, head north to Kilifi and Watamu.
Kilifi is my favorite coastal destination in Kenya. It’s affordable and has everything a traveler looks for in a beach location. Watamu Beach is also close by.
One of my favorite places to stay in Kilifi is Distant Relatives. This backpacker’s hostel brings together a community of global travelers and unites them with good food, partying, and unique experiences. From the hostel, you can go on a dinner dhow cruise, visit a local village or explore the beach.
Day 10 (Circle Back to Nairobi and Depart)
On your last day in Kenya, wake up early for a beach walk. Travel to Nairobi (flight or train) and connect with your departure flight. Make sure to visit a local market for some gifts and mementos to take home with you.
14-Day Kenya Itinerary (The Ultimate Kenya Itinerary)
Two weeks in Kenya is enough time to explore at least one place in each safari circuit. If you want to see wildlife, chase waterfalls, indulge in watersports, experience local culture, and relax in a beach location, this ultimate 14-Day Kenya Itinerary is for you.
- Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Center, and David Sheldrick Nairobi
- National Museum and August 7th Memorial Park Nairobi
- Explore the Aberdare National Park Nairobi
- Visit Nanyuki and Ol Pejeta Conservancy Nanyuki
- Discover the Rift Valley and the South Rift Circuit Naivasha
- Visit Hell’s Gate, Olkaria Geothermal Spa, and Lake Naivasha Naivasha
- Transfer to Masai Mara Masai Mara
- Explore Masai Mara National Reserve Masai Mara
- Visit a Masai Village Masai Mara
- Game Drive at Tsavo East National Park Tsavo
- Beach Relaxation & Water SportsDiani/Watamu
- Beach Relaxation & Water SportsDiani/Watamu
- Visit and Discover the Lamu Archipelago Lamu
- Transfer to Nairobi and Depart Nairobi
Day 1 – 2 (Nairobi Experience)
There’s no better place to begin your two weeks in Kenya than in Nairobi. Spend the first two days exploring the city before heading to the coast and game reserves.
You can spend your evening exploring the food scene or nightlife in Nairobi. For a delicious local meal, go to Kilimanjaro Restaurant or Ronalo Foods Restaurant. The icon Sarova Stanely hotel is a great place to sleep and grab a cold Tusker beer or two.
Day 3 (Central Circuit – Aberdares)
Take a day trip (preferably a guided tour) from Nairobi to the Aberdares. You can choose any activity that takes your fancy in the National Park. These may include chasing the magnificent Karuru Falls or hiking the challenging elephant hills trail.
The best way to explore the Aberdares is to join a hiking event organized by local groups like Let’s Drift.
Day 4 (Central Circuit – Nanyuki)
Travel to Nanyuki in the morning and spend the afternoon on a game drive at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It’s one of the best places in Kenya to get close to rhinos and other wildlife.
Ol Pejeta is located close to Nanyuki town and it’s easily accessible. If you’re not already on a guided safari, request your accommodation facility in Nanyuki to arrange a taxi ride to the conservancy.
Day 5 (Drive to Naivasha Town)
Enjoy breakfast at the Dorman’s Coffee Shop in Nanyuki and head to Naivasha to begin exploring the South Rift circuit. Make sure you stop at the equator crossing, Thomson Falls in Nyahururu, and the Great Rift Valley viewpoint in Subukia.
Naivasha is one of the most popular places to visit in Kenya. There are many tourist attractions, places to stay, and good restaurants.
Day 6 (Hell’s Gate and Lake Naivasha)
Spend the day riding in the wild while enjoying the beautiful landscapes and sights of wildlife at Hell’s Gate National Park. You can also visit the Olkaria Geothermal Spa for a swim or take a boat ride on Lake Naivasha from Karagita Beach.
Hell’s Gate is one of the few parks in Kenya where travelers have the option of driving, walking, or cycling in the wild. You can hire a bike at the main gate and ride in the park viewing wild animals as you enjoy wonderful landscapes and rock towers from a different perspective.
Visits to these places are usually part of a guided safari. However, if you’re traveling independently, you can arrange for a taxi from your accommodation facility in Naivasha. No advance booking is required for these attraction sites.
Day 7 – 9 (Masai Mara National Reserve)
Transfer to the Masai Mara and explore the world-famous game reserve for the next three days. While here, go for game drives and nature walks, and take to the skies in a hot-air balloon safari. In the evening you can relax in a camp and watch the African sunset.
Before you leave the Mara, spend some time with the Maasai people. Visit their homesteads and learn about their beautiful culture and traditions. You can also spend a night in this Maasai traditional clay house for more personal interactions.
Day 10 (Tsavo East National Park)
Voi Wildlife Lodge is the best place to stay while visiting Tsavo East. It features elegant rooms, a restaurant, a spa, and a balcony overlooking a waterhole for elephants.
Day 11 – 12 (Beach Relaxation)
Here you can travel to Diani Beach (south coast) or Watamu Beach (north coast). Both destinations have beautiful beaches and are perfect for diving and other watersport activities.
Day 13 (Lamu Archipelago)
Day 14 (Transfer to Nairobi and Depart)
It’s time to say goodbye to Kenya. Transfer to Nairobi (Bus or flight) and connect to your flight home or your next destination.
Kenya Safari Circuits
Kenya is a significant safari destination in the world. The country is divided into smaller safari destinations called Kenya safari circuits or tourism regions.
A safari circuit is a Kenya route on which at least three tourist destinations are located with well-defined points of entry and exit.
8 Kenya Safari Circuits
Here are 8 of the most popular safari circuits in Kenya.
Central Kenya Circuit: Includes the Aberdares, Mount Kenya, and Mount Longonot.
Coastline Circuit: Consists of 6 marine parks and reserves, Arabuko Sokoke, Tana River Primate Center, and Shimba Hills National Reserve.
Nairobi Circuit: This region includes Nairobi National Park, Safari Walk, and Animal Orphanage.
Eastern Circuit: It includes the Samburu National Reserve, Meru National Park, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba Reserve, among others.
South Rift Circuit: This region is home to Hell’s Gate, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, and the Mara Triangle.
Southern Circuit: Amboseli, Chyulu Hills, Tsavo East, and Tsavo West are members of this region.
Western Circuit: This undiscovered region comprises the Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Kakamega Forest Reserve, Ruma National Park, Mount Elgon, Ndere Island, and Saiwa Swamp national parks.
Getting Around Kenya
When planning your Kenya itinerary, it’s important to know the best modes of transportation to get you from point A to point B in the country. Here, I’ll share the best ways to get around Kenya.
Flying between cities and game reserves in Kenya is the best option. It saves time and allows you to visit more destinations on the Kenya itinerary.
Several local flights and charter services operate to safari parks, beach towns, and major cities. These include AirKenya, Fly 540, Jambojet, and Tropic Air, which cost between $50-$200.
Join an Organized Tour in Kenya
If you’re on a budget safari, chances are you’ll want to avoid the high cost of flying around Kenya. An alternative to flights is joining a guided tour that usually includes transfers to and from your hotel.
Guided tours are run by experienced guides/drivers. They are affordable and cover the most exciting sights in Kenya.
Hire a Personal Driver/Guide
Hiring a driver/guide to take you on the best Kenya tour is highly recommended. You’ll feel much safer traveling around with a local and exploring the country from a local’s perspective. Kenyans are hospitable, and they are always ready to share their knowledge and stories and answer any questions you may have.
You can hire a driver/guide from reputable travel companies in Kenya or request your hotel to arrange for the services. Roadtrip Africa is one of the most professional companies for renting 4×4 vehicles with a driver/guide.
Rent a Vehicle
If you’ll be in Kenya for more than 3 days and feel comfortable driving on Kenyan roads, renting a vehicle is a great option. Several reputable car-hire companies like Road Trip Africa deal with 4WD safari vehicles. Renting a car for a day costs $30 upward daily.
Take a Train Ride
If you plan to visit coastal destinations like Diani Beach, Watamu, and Kilifi, consider taking a train. Kenya has a modern railway with trains connecting Nairobi and Mombasa.
There are daily trains from each city and each train has first-class ($30) and economy-class ($10) coaches. Three more trains connect the capital to Kisumu, Nanyuki, and Suswa.
Hire a Taxi
You can choose to hire a taxi if you’ve limited time on hand. Kenya’s most popular ride-hailing services are Uber, Bolt, and inDriver. However, hiring a taxi isn’t ideal for trips to safari parks and game reserves.
Public Transport (Matatus)
Shared matatus (minibus) are Kenya’s most popular form of public transport. Although they are cheap and offer a local vibe, I don’t recommend them if you’re short on time.
Public Transport (Buses)
Unlike Matatus, long-distance buses are grand. They are fantastic alternatives to trains and flights traveling between towns and cities. These buses are usually affordable, safe, reliable, comfortable, and relatively fast.
Cycling Your Way Around Kenya
If you’re an adventurous traveler, you could cycle around Kenya. The Kenyan climate and terrain are very favorable for biking. You can bring your bike, hire, or even buy one in Nairobi.
Take caution if you choose to cycle on Kenyan roads; lookout for dangerous drivers and be aware of road conditions.
Other Ways Around Kenya
There are other ways of traveling around Kenya. Although they are worth trying, they are not ideal for long journeys. These include taking a motorcycle taxi and riding in a tuk-tuk.
FAQs About Kenya Itinerary
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Kenya Itinerary to help you craft a perfect trip.
A safari is a good bet in January
I suggest spending at least two weeks in Kenya. However, if you’re short on time, five days in Kenya is enough to visit national parks, explore beaches, and experience its culture.
July and October are the best times to visit Kenya and go on safari. It’s the year’s dry season, coinciding with the famous Great Migration in Masai Mara.
If you only have 3 days in Kenya, spend two days visiting Nairobi National Park and exploring the city streets. Take a day trip to Amboseli National Park or Hell’s Gate National Park on the third day.
One week in Kenya is enough time to experience the country’s highlights. This excludes the time spent traveling between game reserves, beaches, and cities.
In my experience as a local tour guide in Kenya, you need 5 – 14 days to enjoy your Kenyan safari sufficiently. This time allows you to visit at least two national parks, explore a city, and relax on the beach.
If you don’t know how many days to spend in Masai Mara, I’d suggest 3 days plus travel time. This is sufficient time to go for game drives, explore the Maasai culture and relax.
The animals include African buffalo, elephant, black rhino, lion, and leopard.
Did You Choose Your Kenya Itinerary?
Kenya is a favorite safari destination for many people for a reason. It’s rich in wildlife, culture, and alluring beaches. Whether you have a day, five days, a week, or a month in the country, there’ll always be something exciting for you to discover.
So, no matter your budget, available time, and interests, I hope this article helps you create a perfect Kenya itinerary.
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