While many tours of Kenya focus on the country's spectacular wildlife, few offer a deep dive into East African culture. This lively two-week tour does both. Learn about the history behind the so-called "cradle of humankind," visiting many of Kenya's top museums and cultural sites, including the Nairobi National Museum, the Karen Blixen House, and the Baden-Powell Museum. Then get out and explore the country's famous landscapes, including the Great Rift Valley, Amboseli National Park, and the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Highlights

  • Learn about African history and traditions at some of Kenya's finest museums
  • Visit the homelands of the Kikuyu people, Kenya's largest ethnic group
  • Get up close to East African wildlife at several national parks
  • Chill out in the cosmopolitan coastal city of Mombasa

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nairobi Nairobi
Day 2 Sightsee in the Capital City Nairobi
Day 3 Explore the Museums of Nairobi Nairobi
Day 4 Visit the Homeland of the Kikuyu People Nyeri
Day 5 Tour the Baden-Powell Museum in Nyeri Nyeri
Day 6 See the Kariandusi Prehistoric Site in the Rift Valley Naivasha
Days 7-8 Visit Amboseli National Park Amboseli National Park
Day 9 Discover the Wilderness of Tsavo National Park Tsavo National Park
Day 10 Explore the Lumo Conservancy Taita Taveta
Day 11 Birdwatch at the Taita Wildlife Conservancy Taita Taveta
Day 12 Travel by Train to Mombasa Mombasa
Day 13 Visit a Crocodile Farm in Mombasa Mombasa
Day 14 Depart Kenya - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi

The skyline of Nairobi

Welcome to Kenya! Just before your plane touches down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, you will have a great view of Nairobi National Park. The day is yours to rest at your hotel or do some preliminary sightseeing in the city. Options to visit on your first day include the Giraffe Center, where endangered Rothschild giraffes are cared for, the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Trust, a safe haven for orphaned baby elephants, and the Karen Blixen Museum, where you'll learn more about the Danish author of Out of Africa.

Day 2: Sightsee in the Capital City

Amazing Nairobi National Park
Zebras at Nairobi National Park

One of the best ways to spend your first full day in Kenya is to see wild animals in their natural habitat. Nairobi National Park is just a few miles away from the city center, so it's easy to get there early in the day when the animals are most active. Go on an early-morning drive to see rhinos, lions, giraffes, buffalos, gazelles, zebras, and more. Later, visit the African Heritage House, which houses an invaluable collection of African art and cultural artifacts. 

Day 3: Explore the Museums of Nairobi

Karen Blixen Museum's architecture dates back to 1912

Today you will learn more about Kenyan and East African culture and history. Start at the Nairobi National Museum. Highlights include ethnological exhibits, such as the extraordinary Kalenjin cloak made from the skins of Sykes monkeys, and a mosaic map of Kenya, made from butterfly wings. Check out the spectacular Birds of East Africa exhibit, the Great Hall of Mammals, the Cradle of Humankind exhibition, and the Hominid Skull Room. Upstairs, the History of Kenya display is an engaging journey through Kenyan and East African history. Well presented and well documented, it offers a refreshingly Kenyan counterpoint to colonial history.

If you didn't visit on your day of arrival, you'll head out to the Karen Blixen Museum after lunch. The house, built in 1912 by Swedish engineer Ake Sjogren, was bought by Karen and her then-husband in 1917. Learn more about the Danish author's life and work inside the museum.

Day 4: Visit the Homeland of the Kikuyu People

Traditional huts in a Kikuyu village

Today you'll visit the ancestral home of the Kikuyu people, Kenya's largest ethnic group, to learn about their traditional way of life. The Kikuyu comprise about 22% of the total population of Kenya and speak the Bantu Kikuyu language. Because they resented the occupation of their highlands by European farmers and other settlers, the Kikuyu were the first native ethnic group in Kenya to initiate anti-colonial agitation in the 1920s and ’30s. They staged the Mau Mau Uprising against British rule in 1952 and spearheaded the drive toward Kenyan independence later in the decade. 

Departing early from Nairobi, you'll be driven to Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga. Here, you'll learn about Kikuyu history, interact with elders, try their food, and sample their local beer.

Day 5: Tour the Baden-Powell Museum in Nyeri

Exploring Kenya overland

Today, you'll visit an important pilgrimage site for many Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth (Baden-Powell) was the founder and Chief Scout of the Global Boy Scouts Association and Girl Guides. The Baden-Powell Museum is located along the Nyeri-Kamakwa Road. Not far away is the Baden-Powell Information Center and Graveyard, where he was buried alongside his wife. The graveyard is a national monument. 

Day 6: See the Kariandusi Prehistoric Site in the Rift Valley

Great Rift Valley
The wide expanses of the Great Rift Valley

Shift gears today — literally — and drive down to a prehistoric site in the Rift Valley, where you'll learn why Africa is nicknamed the "cradle of humankind." The Early Stone Age in Africa extended from about 2.6 million years ago to 280,000 years ago. This was when the most well-known human ancestors were evolving: Australopithecus Afarensis, Paranthropus boisei, Homo Habilis (the "Handy Man"), and Homo Erectus. Learn more about this period of history and this region of Kenya's significance to the world at the Kariandusi Prehistoric Site, then continue to Naivasha for your overnight stay.

Days 7-8: Visit Amboseli National Park

Elephants in Amboseli National Park

The adventure continues at Mt. Kilimanjaro! Although the mountain is located in Tanzania, beautiful photos of the mountain can be taken from the Kenyan side. The view from Amboseli National Park is particularly amazing, as you'll discover during your two days at the park. This is also one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close. Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here, ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli to wetlands with sulfur springs, dry savannah, and picturesque woodlands.

Day 9: Discover the Wilderness of Tsavo National Park

Beautiful tsavo park
Tsavo National Park, the largest national park in Kenya

Travel to Tsavo National Park today. Tsavo is made up of two separate parks: Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park. It was split in two to make way for the railway from Mombasa to Kenya's interior. Combined, Tsavo is the largest national park in Kenya, and one of the largest in the world. It's even bigger than Israel! From Mzima Springs to the Shetani lava flows, Tsavo West is a beautiful, rugged wilderness. The savannah ecosystem consists of open grasslands, scrublands, and acacia woodlands. 

Day 10: Explore the Lumo Conservancy

Tsavo National Park
A gorgeous sunset in Tsavo National Park

From Tsavo West, you'll continue to the Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary, bordering Tsavo West. The sanctuary preserves a unique ecosystem rich with wildlife, encompassing one of Africa’s most ancient elephant migratory corridors and an important breeding site for lions. 

Day 11: Birdwatch at the Taita Wildlife Conservancy

Superb Staring
A colorful bird at the Taita Wildlife Conservancy

Bird lovers are in luck today! You'll travel to the Taita Wildlife Conservancy, home to over 300 species. Some birds you'll see include the marsh warbler, river warbler, red-backed shrike, thrush nightingale, common whitethroat, and African eagle. In the evening you'll get particularly good views of eagles. In the company of sharp-eyed guides, you're guaranteed to see a variety of birds here.

Day 12: Take the Train to Mombasa

A beautiful beach in Mombasa

Get an early start this morning to catch your train to the coastal city of Mombasa. Spend the afternoon relaxing, take a seaside walk, or just hit the beach for sunbathing and swimming.

Day 13: Visit a Crocodile Farm in Mombasa

Historical Mombasa Fort Jesus.
Historical Fort Jesus in Mombasa

Spend today getting to know Mombasa's sights. Tour Fort Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site constructed by the Portuguese in 1593-1596. Then head to the Mamba Village Center to visit East Africa’s largest crocodile farm. You'll also have the chance to ride horses and tour the beautiful botanical garden.

Day 14: Depart 

Farewell Kenya
Getting around in Kenya

It's time to say farewell to Kenya today. Take an early morning flight from Mombasa to Nairobi, where you'll connect to your international flight onwards or back home. Safe travels!

More Great Kenya Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Kenya? Check out these other 14-day Kenya itineraries, with wildlife-focused trips, cultural journeys, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.

Map

Map of Cultural Kenya: Wildlife, History, & Art - 14 Days
Map of Cultural Kenya: Wildlife, History, & Art - 14 Days