Kenya is the heartbeat of East and Central Africa and is one of the cheapest countries to go backpacking. This popular backpacking destination in Africa is an incredibly diverse and great country that has so much to offer. Here are the top backpacking destinations in Kenya.
Kenya’s capital city is known as the safari capital of Africa. It is also often used as a jumping-off point for safari trips elsewhere in Kenya. The Nairobi National Park starts where the city ends and is home to the world’s densest concentration of black rhinos and all other African wildlife such as Lion, Wildebeest, Cheetah, Zebra, Hippo, Buffalo, and Giraffe. Close to the Nairobi National Park is the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage which takes in orphaned elephant calves and rhinos from all over Kenya. You can also experience feeding giraffes by hand and even get a thank you kiss at the Giraffe Centre.
If you are interested to learn about Kenya’s culture and history, then head out to Nairobi National Museum. Another museum you can visit is the National Railway Museum wherein you can learn about the history of Kenya’s railroads and the Kenya/Uganda railway. And if you want to chill for the night after a long day’s adventure, you can go to the bustling Westlands district, the nightlife center of Nairobi, where you can find good restaurants and busy bars.
Located 90 kilometers northwest of Nairobi is a market town called Naivasha. Naivasha is one of the top backpacking destinations in Kenya for its many wonderful attractions and a variety of great accommodation options. You can start your expedition at the Hell’s Gate National Park. Hell’s Gate is known for its breathtaking scenery and a wide variety of wildlife and is equipped with three basic campsites, including a Maasai Cultural Center which provides information about the Maasai tribe’s culture and traditions. You can also take a quick ascent to the top of Mount Longonot. The trail runs 3.1 kilometers from the park entrance up to the crater rim and continues in a 7.2-kilometer loop encircling the crater. The whole tour on Mount Longonot will take about 4-5 hours.
Another interesting destination in Naivasha is the renowned Lake Naivasha, a freshwater lake which forms part of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Naivasha is ideal for bird watching and hippopotamus encounter because it is home to a wide variety of wildlife including over 400 different species of bird and a large population of hippos.
Situated on the foothills of Mount Kenya is the mountain climbing destination in Kenya. This town in central Kenya is a gateway to Mount Kenya and the wilderness of Mount Kenya National Park. Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes of Eastern Africa and the 2nd highest mountain in Africa. Hiking around Mount Kenya is a backpacking adventure you shouldn’t miss.
The Ngare Ndare Forest has some minor grade rock climbing sites and abseiling walls for the experienced adventurer. You can also try the canopy walkway in a 40-feet-high aerial bridge of wire mesh and cables meandering through the tree canopy and extending 450 meters long.
Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya. It is about 48 kilometers from Nairobi. You can ride a bus or a train from Nairobi to Mombasa. This city serves as the entry point for visitors heading to the pristine beaches of Kenya. Mombasa’s shoreline is spread with white sandy beaches and you can get to enjoy the long walk along the beaches of Nyali, Bamburi, and Shanzu. Other places of interest in Mombasa include Haller Park, Mombasa Marine National Park, Fort Jesus, Nguuni Nature Sanctuary, Mamba Village, and the Marikiti and Maasai markets.