Located on the eastern coast of Africa, Kenya experiences tropical climate. The country which lay astride the equator also has the Great Rift Valley passing through it with over 1000 bird’s species from endemic to migrant to water birds and stretching from north-west Kenya into Tanzania. Now this is what makes Kenya the best birding country in the world, the world has a total of 50 species of Cisticola; with this, 46 species are found in Africa, while Kenya host 28 species amounting to over 50% and host a variety of bird species making it one of the best destinations for rare bird sighting. Birding in Kenya is made easier right from the capital city on your arrival with the ability to spot Nairobi birds. With many birding tours and safari companies you are guaranteed to move across the country with ease and comfort. In Kenyan’s rift valley lays Lake Naivasha, a ramsar site with over 300 bird species providing a hot spot for bird twitchers and nature lovers.
The climate and the geographical features of the country contribute to its many tourist attractions, among them being Lake Bogoria in the rift valley province, the many tourist attraction sites in Nairobi, and the popular wildebeest migration. Kenya offers a variety of vacation activities including mountain climbing in Mount Kenya, Kilimanjaro among others.
Popularly known as the ‘green city in the sun,’ Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, offers a varied number of tourist attractions. Amongest them are the spectacular buildings such as the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, located centrally in the city. Completed in 1974, the building hosts many meetings, exhibitions, conferences and seminars. Architecturally designed in the shape of a hut, the 33-storey building offers a spectacular view in the city centre. Also within central Nairobi is the Parliament House, an iconic building whose main attraction is the clock tower. Adjacent to it, is the mausoleum of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, another tourist attraction. Another major iconic structure within the city is the Jamia Mosque, designed in Arabic Muslim architecture. Built to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the Kenyan people, the Bomas of Kenya situated in Lang’ata, is a major custodian of artifacts and values of the Kenyan people. The Kenya National Archives along Moi Avenue is another attraction that boasts a huge art gallery.
The National Museum of Kenya, a world-class museum located at Museum Hill, has a rich collection of animal exhibitions, art galleries, artifacts and ancient tools including weapons and instruments. National Museum has been conducting bird ringing in the country together with likeminded organization such as Kenya Wildlife Service, AROCHA Kenya among others. Bird ringing exercise helps in bird identify new migrants and resident species.
Another museum in Nairobi is the Karen Blixen Museum, at the foot of Ngong Hills, designed in Danish architecture. The building was owned by Karen Blixen, and after her departure, it was donated to the Kenyan government by the Danish government after Kenya gained independence. Also within the city is the Railway Museum near the Nairobi Railway Station. It exhibits ancient steam locomotives and the engineering designs of ancient railway construction. For the lovers of wildlife, the Giraffe Centre in Lang’ata offers tourists a close encounter with the tall ungulate mammals, while the Mamba Village in Karen is a great place to see crocodiles, different bird species, amongst them ostriches, and giraffes. The major wildlife attraction site in the city is the Nairobi National Park, located 7 kilometres from central Nairobi. It boasts a wide variety of wildlife and bird species, with the Nairobi orphanage situated within it. The orphanage offers refuge for injured and abandoned wildlife. Close to the National Museum is the Snake Park that prides itself in a wide range of snake species. Nairobi National park a few minutes ride from the city centre, in fact the only capital city with a national park hosting a number of birds and wildlife making it one of the best destination for bird watching. Kenya has a recorded over 1000 bird species from migrant to endemic.
In the volcanic region of the Rift Valley, lies the equatorial Lake Bogoria, a shallow and long basin of saline water estimated to cover 34 square kilometers. Located 260 kilometers from Nairobi, the lake offers an aesthetic view of flamingoes and pelicans, among other bird species. It is also famous for its blowholes, hot springs, geysers, fumaroles and steam jets along the western shore. From the lake, one has a scenic view of the Laikipia escarpment.
Wildebeests are large hoofed antelopes with an approximate height of 50 inches at the shoulder. Considered a ‘Wonder of The World’, watching the wildebeest migration is an amazing experience, as they move in search of water and fresh grass. The Serengeti Plains in Tanzania experience rains in the months of March and April, which is the mating season for the wildebeests. In May, the amount of rainfall starts decreasing and the animals start travelling north towards Kenya. The animals move in huge numbers, with the strong bulls defending secured grazing areas. In July, the animals cross River Grumeti in Tanzania, a major attraction site, as the animals cross the crocodile-infested river. The grass in this region dries by July and the animals move further north into Kenya. Crossing the Mara River is another struggle for the animals as they try to get past the many crocodiles preying on them in the river. The animals graze in Kenya until November. Rains start in Serengeti by early December and the wildebeests move back south to Tanzania.
These, among many other tourist attraction sites in the country, place Kenya among major tourist destinations in the world. The country receives millions of tourists annually, both local and international.