Kenya is a vast country with so much to explore and experience.
Sure you could spend 5 days in Nairobi and probably see everything mentioned below, but this itinerary is for those who want to make the most of their time and take it slow. Within your 10 days you will even get the chance to get out of the city a little too.
Day 1 – Acclimate
Depending on where you arrived from you may be jet lagged. If possible, plan to arrive in the evening so you can go straight to bed. If you have to arrive in the middle of the day or the morning spend the day acclimatising and sit by the pool with a Tusker until it’s time for bed. Get your rest because tomorrow it’s time to explore!
Day 2 – Museum, lunch, giraffes.
Start your trip with an educational visit to the West Lands where you will find the informative Nairobi National Museum. Learn about the history of Kenya and ask the friendly staff any questions you have. Learning about Kenya before exploring it is a great way to immerse yourself into the local culture.
Grab yourself some lunch.
Head to the Giraffe Conservation centre and have an incredible time being up close and personal on the balcony. Don’t forget to grab a food bag as you enter so that you can feed them!
Spend your evening in your hotel and rest up for your early start tomorrow.
Day 3 – Safari!
It’s day 3 but by now you should already know that Safari translates to ‘journey’.
Today’s safari will take you into the bizarre Nairobi National Park – (bizarre because you’ll be watching lions and rhinos with skyscrapers in the background!) You’ll ride in a car or an open top jeep and your guide will provide you with information as you drive around the reserve.
To avoid disappointment, it is recommended that you book you’re a safari either before you arrive in Kenya, or a day or two before you intend to go on safari. Enquire at your hotel for the best prices.
Aim to go on safari early in the morning. This way you will avoid the heat, and you will have a higher chance of seeing more of the animals.
Tip: Ask your diver to stop at the elephant ivory memorial site during the safari. The site is a great opportunity to sit and relax, use the toilet, and take in the emotional ivory burning site. (Toilet warning – There is a block of toilets here… They are not the cleanest, so it’s recommended that you pee before you start the safari.)
After your safari, if possible, ask your driver to take you to a viewpoint on the way back to your hotel. For a little extra cash the driver should be able to find a nice spot for you to watch the sun go down. There are so many around the national park!
Day 4 – Fashion and Food
Spend today looking (and buying) as much as you can from the various markets in Nairobi. Kariokor Market is a great market to begin with as it’s generally quite cheap and will give you an idea of what to expect price wise in other markets. Gikomba Market and of course the Maasai Market are a MUST. I hope you made room for souvenirs.
Once you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped take a stroll around the city for a few hours before dinner.
There are so many incredible restaurants in Nairobi. Just google ‘best Nairobi restaurants’ and choose one that looks the most quirky to you. Whilst I wasn’t interested in eating crocodile, there are so many places offering foods that you may not have encountered before and if you can find a restaurant where the food is cooked in front of you then you are in for a treat. Carnivore comes highly recommended but I opted for a lesser known restaurant which was equally as incredible.
Day 5 – Elephants, night drives, culture.
Today will be amazing, because a day full of baby elephants will never be forgotten.
Book a taxi from your hotel and head to the David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage. Save yourself money by going it alone. You don’t need a tour because the men looking after the elephants speak throughout the whole experience. They will introduce you to each elephant, provide their back story and more.
If you have an incredible experience (you will) you may want to sponsor an elephant afterwards. If you don’t have the funds to sponsor an elephant, be sure to buy a little something from the gift shop to support the elephants care on your way out.
If you aren’t all ‘animalled’ out (is that even possible) I would recommend that you spend your evening on a Night Game Drive. It’s a completely different experience to the day drives! If you don’t fancy seeing any more animals today then scout out some live music or theatre to enjoy your night in style.
Day 6 – Escape the city, Lake Naivasha
Whilst in Kenya you should definitely head out to see the Maasai Mara for a couple of days. The journey can be a little long so make sure that you arrange to stop off at Lake Naivasha first.
Lake Naivasha is home to a huge pod of hippos. Despite this, you can still jump on a boat and head out to see them! Seeing the hippos is both a scary and magical experience, you will probably hear them before you see them, and the boat drivers will probably get closer than you would thing was safe.
Before and after seeing the hippos you will also see an incredible variety of birds. The boat drivers are incredibly proud of the wildlife in the lake and will do all in their power to give you a show.
The lake tour is 100% worth it and makes for a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Make sure you book a Maasai Mara experience that allows you to do the lake either on the way or the way back.
After the lake tour, jump back in the car and continue your journey onto the Maasai Mara for the next two days of fun!
Day 7 & 8 – Maasai Mara
It’s up to you which tour you choose but I recommend that you pick one with the ability to meet some of the Maasai people simply because it’s an experience that I will never forget.
The safari experiences and game drives are incredible, but meeting the Maasai people was a major highlight. We danced, sang, tried to communicate with hand signals, I still have a bracelet that was made for me the first time I met them in 2012.
Day 9 – Using your legs!
Use your first day back in Nairobi to revisit Nairobi Safari but this time let’s do it by foot. The Nairobi Safari Walk is a wooden bridge across the safari park. You may have been on safari already, but this will give you a totally different perspective on the park.
After you’ve warmed up your legs and said another hello to the wildlife it’s time for a mini hike. Jump in a taxi and head for the Ngong Hills for a hike uphill.
You don’t have to climb all of the hills, just do whatever you feel comfortable with. I recommend that you take a packed lunch with you so you can have a snack when you reach the top.
Enjoy the view before heading back down and into the city for a stroll around town or back to your hotel.
Day 10 – Home time
Today is your last day! Try not to cry, revisit your favourite places, eat as much yummy Kenyan food as you can stomach, and wish you’d stayed a little longer.
Have an incredible trip to Kenya.
Soak in the people, the culture and all that you can whilst you are there.