20 Uniquely Kenyan Things To Experience In A Life Time

In honour of all the quirky & unique things that Kenya has to offer, here are some of the things that are uniquely Kenyan, most of which you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. From getting your hair braided with colourful hand-made beads, exploring the cradle of mankind to unfettered street food experiences.

Enjoy wild meat at the Carnivore

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Carnivore Restaurant Kenya

The Carnivore Restaurant, one of Kenya’s legendary restaurants has an entirely different approach to the Nyama Choma craze as it is the only place in Kenya where you can try unconventional meat dishes like crocodiles & camels. Established in September 1980, the whole experience at carnivore feels like some sort of a medieval feast, an experience that will leave you craving for more. Sample the taste of crocodiles, camels, ostriches, pork, beef, chicken and buffalo balls accompanied by delicious side dishes and an exceptional array of sauces complement this fixed price feast that also includes soup, a selection of desserts and Kenyan coffee.

Find the rare and elusive Bongo Antelope

The rare and elusive Bongo is characterized by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes and long slightly spiralled horns living in the dense forest mosaics of the Aberdare range in Kenya. This is because the forests of Aberdares provide fresh low- level green vegetation. However, their numbers have decreased over the last few decades and sightings are extremely rare which makes the experience a little adventurous.

Get your hair braided with colourful beads.

 

When you’re strolling down the white sands of the Indian Ocean or villages across the Maasai villages, get your hair braided the African way, especially with colourful beads by the local women who happen to sell some local curios as well. There is simply nothing more stylish & authentic than a uniquely crafted African hairstyle, spruced up with braids and carefully accented by layered beads.

Enjoy a Bubbly Sundowner overlooking the parks

 

A sundowner is a different kind of a ‘happy hour’ during sunset over an African Bush. As you round off your afternoon adventures, your trip will be spiced with a Sundowner. Whether you’re in a National Park, a Game Reserve or even a Marine Park in Kenya, the opportunities to enjoy a true African evening with sundowner cocktail drinks overlooking pristine landscapes and wildlife is irresistible.

Crazy Matatu Rides in the City

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Colourful, vibrant and with loud music – a matatu (minibus) ride in Kenya is simply a nostalgic experience. Indulge in one of the craziest rides of your life and learn about the Matau culture expressed through graffiti and art.  The minibuses are decorated inside and out, and most of them are equipped with TV screens, high-speed internet, and power sockets. Be sure to travel light, no jewellery and very little cash or better yet have a local guide help through the experience. The fares to various destinations within Nairobi hardly ever go above KES.100 ($1).

Delve into an Off-road Safari

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An off-road safari with a 4X4 vehicle is the perfect way to explore the country and spot wildlife from your windows or rooftops. Kenya has some of the best off-roading in the world. Enjoy traversing deep rocky gorges and mud swamps in some of the greatest scenic spots across the country.

 

Enjoy a Cool Tusker beer.

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The Tusker beer is brewed with high-quality malt made from equatorial barley grown at the base of Mount Kenya. Tusker’s famous crisp, refreshing taste and finest quality that has continuously earned in Gold Medals in the prestigious International Monde Selection Awards. Tusker beer is best served chilled on a hot Kenyan afternoon. The beer has been brewed in East Africa since 1922, named after an elephant that killed George Hurst, one of the brewery’s founders.

 

Get a Taste of Roasted Maize (Mahinda Choma) from a Street vendor

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This African style of grilled corn on the cob served with lemon, chilli powder, and salt is one of the most popular and available snacks on the streets of Kenya. It is ridiculously affordable, easy to eat and more importantly, delicious!

 

Buy and wear a Kanga, Kikoy or Lesso

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©JCH Travel/Flickr

When you’re in Kenya, you’ve got to get yourself either a kikoy, kanga or lesso. These are colourful printed African style sarongs or wraps for men and women. It is traditionally worn at waist level, but nowadays it serves various purposes such a towel, scarfs, table cloth, duvets, and curtains.

 

Boil an Egg in the Hot Springs of Lake Bogoria

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The breath-taking views of steam and boiling geysers jetting out of underground rocks in Lake Bogoria is a geological wonder one cannot afford to miss. These springs are hot enough to boil an egg within minutes. And yes, you can actually boil the eggs in plastic bags held on long sticks which are then dipped into the hot springs.

 

Discover the Longest Leviathan Tubes in Africa at Chyulu Hills.

 

Popularly known as the Grotte de Leviathan, the Leviathan Cave is a lava tube in Makueni County Kenya, was first discovered in 1975. Although it has been segmented by the movement of tectonic plates, the overall length of the lava tube spans a distance of 11.5 km. The Leviathan Cave is located in the Chyulu Hills National Park at the edge of the Nyiri Desert, northwest of Tsavo West National Park.

Visit the oldest town in Kenya

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Lamu town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Lamu town is also the headquarters of Lamu District and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

The Street Food Experience at the Mombasa LightHouse

 

Mombasa Lighthouse is the most popular relaxation spot for Mombasa residents and even tourists. Located along Mama Ngina street, the lighthouse offers you some of the most gorgeous views of the port and the opportunity to feast on real African street food under the sunshine or shade. Select from a large banquet of cassava crisps, fried or grilled cassava, grilled sweetcorn, coconut, and chilli Mango.  

 

Visit the birth and death place of the Maneaters of Tsavo

Tsavo National Park, opened in 1948,  is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya. In March 1898, the British protectorate commenced the process of building a railway bridge over the Tsavo River. However, this project wouldn’t be as smooth as they thought. A threat of the wilderness emerged that would delay the project for 9 months. Two huge male lions apparently began to attack and drag off many of the bridge workers while they slept at night in their tents. The two-man eaters are believed to have killed and devoured over 135 construction workers. Lt. Col John Patterson, the leader of the building project eventually shot and killed both Lions after months of failed attempts.

 

Visit the Tallest Waterfalls in Kenya

Within the dense forests of the Aberdares National Park lies two of Kenya’s highest waterfalls, Karura and Gura. Although there are still some height disputes between the two, it is believed that Karura is slightly higher (270 Meters). Fortunately, while visiting the Aberdare, you get to see both waterfalls.

 

Discover the 10 Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests

The Mijikenda Kaya Forests are regarded as sacred and play a central role in the identity of the Mijikenda community. They consist of 10 separate forest sites spread over some 200 km along the Kenyan coast containing the remains of numerous protected villages. Each of the Mijikenda groups has a sacred forest called the Kaya; a place of prayer conducted by selected elders of the specific group. Kaya forests were inscribed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 2008.

 

Experience the thrill of rock climbing at Fischer’s Tower

Fishers Tower is 25m high volcanic column, located on the eastern entrance of Hell’s Gate National Park. The tower was named after Gustav Fischer,  a German explorer who reached here in 1882. The Tower is a free-standing spike of rock that offers about 6 climbing routes and on trad. The rock is very good quality from top to bottom with a bolted anchor point for descent. The descent down the shortest side can be done with one 60m rope. Fischer’s tower is, therefore, one of the most thrilling spots to test your courage and rock climbing skills in Kenya.

 

Discover the  Cradle of Mankind

 

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana, is one of the universes’ greatest gifts to Man-kind; the Koobi fora ridge. It is composed of clay stones, siltstones, and sandstones that preserve numerous fossils of terrestrial. Koobi Fora ridge has been very instrumental to the study of human evolution as almost 10,000 fossils have been discovered here, more than 350 from ancient hominin species. The Koobi Fora site was gazetted as a national monument in 1972 and later inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on December 7, 1997. 

 

Deep-Sea Fishing in Watamu 

Watamu on the coast of East Africa is a fishing paradise that is blessed with arguably the greatest variety of fish species to be found anywhere in the Indian Ocean. The waters of Watamu are one of the top five major fishing spots in the world because it’s the migratory path of the big game fish and therefore giving you the ultimate fishing experience in Africa.

Visit the Mida Butterfly Farm

Located in Watamu, 100 km north of Mombasa, Mida Butterfly Farm was established in 1990 to work out the breeding requirements of local species of Lepidoptera and has been exporting to our clients in the UK, the US and Europe since 1993. The farm exports over 60,000 pupae very year.

 

Kajiado County