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Exploring the Top 15 Cities in Kenya

There are Kenya; some of the most modern and diverse cities in the continent can be found. For instance, the capital city of Nairobi, the coastal city of Mombasa, and the ancient city of Lamu among others, are cities that are unique in as much as they portray the cultural and economic might of Kenya and the country’s tourist attractions. Below are the fifteen cities that contribute to the enhancement of this country as a tourist and economic hub in East Africa.

1. Nairobi

Nairobi is the energetic capital taking the status of the largest city in the country offering home to over 4 million inhabitants. Popularly referred to as the Green City in the Sun due to the beautiful greenery especially the suburbs and the active nightlife. Important tourist sites are Nairobi National Park, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi National Museum, and markets like Maasai Market and City Market among others. It also has a vibrant café, restaurant, and shopping business.

2. Mombasa

Mombasa plays a strategic economic role as it is the largest port city in Kenya and a famous tourist attraction along the Indian Ocean shoreline. This historic city has historical attraction sites such the Fort Jesus, Old Town which has Portuguese architecture, and several beaches. Some of the things to do here involve snorkeling, diving, and kitesurfing among others; parks such as Tsavo East and Nairobi Marine. It is characterized by Swahili and Arab Food and the nightlife operates around areas such as Casuarina Road.

3. Kisumu

Kisumu is among the third largest cities in Kenya located on the shores of Lake Victoria with its major economic activities being fishing and an up-and-coming industrial base. Tourist attractions are; Impala Sanctuary, local markets and also water sports, and boat cruises on the lake. Besides, it has cultural museums such as the Kisumu Museum and Dunga Site Museum that depict the ecological and historical aspects of the area.

4. Nakuru

Today Nakuru is a rapidly growing urban centre with a population exceeding 500,000 and is situated in the Great Rift Valley region of Kenya. It is the capital of Nakuru County and one of the destinations that offer attractions such as Lake Nakuru National Park, Menengaai Crater, Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site, and Car Markets downtown. People come to watch animals, go to Menengai[SR output 19], or see some shamba.

5. Eldoret

Eldoret is a fast-growing town in Kenya, best known for universities, athletics, and farming. Offering a vantage view of the Uasin Gishu plateau, key landmarks in Elli include the Doinyo Lessons Creameries cheese factory, the town’s botanical gardens, and the conservation center. Two of the major stadiums for athletics are the Kamariny and Endoii athletics stadiums, thus making Eldoret a Mecca for runners.

6. Malindi

On the Kenyan coast slightly north of Mombasa lies Malindi, an area that has heavy Swahili-Arab influences in its buildings and food such as coconut sauce dishes. People visit here to enjoy the sun, sea, and coral gardens packed with schools of fish, Malindi National Park, the Vasco Da Gama Pillar, and the Falconry of Kenya Center where one learns about birds of prey.

7. Diani Beach

Diani Beach is perhaps one of the most picturesque beaches of white sand stretching along Kenya’s southeastern coast 30km from Mombasa. It is also suited for both high-end travelers and those who do not mind trekking up with beautiful scenes such as the coral reef and the marine life around. It targets activities from playing golf to kitesurfing, even skydiving to visiting cultural sites at Shimba Hills Reserve and Longo Village.

8. Lamu Island

Off the northern coast of Kenya, Lamu Island still maintains the medieval Swahili architecture that extends from the stone-paved narrow streets to the absence of cars, mosques, old mansions, and open-air markets. This is because it boasts tourist attractions such as the Shella Beach, Lake Kenyatta, Maulidi Festival which is a cultural celebration of the Islamic faith, and boat rides to places like the Takwa Ruins.

9. Naivasha

Naivasha is on the floor of the Great Rift Valley with an eye-appealing lake famous for fishing and water sports. People also visit Hell’s Gate National Park which features such; gorges, geothermal spouts, and hot springs among other wildlife features such as hippos. Other sites include Elsamere House, a house where Joy and George Adamson of ‘Born Free’ film fame.

10. Nyeri

Nyeri town is located in central Nyeri County at the base of Mt. Kenya and is the largest town in central Kenya. Outspan Hotel, graves of Baden Powell, Mathari Consolata Shrine, Dedan Kimathi’s hiding place, and Chinga Dam for trout fishing are among the places that can be explored while in the mountain. Nyeri is also known as Kenya’s white water rafting hub.

11. Watamu

Watamu is situated within the Kenyan coastline about 15 kilometers south of Malindi characterized by sandy beaches, marine parks, and a slow-paced lifestyle. Snorkeling and diving are some of the things that tourists engage in because Watamu is part of the Malindi Marine National Park. Other attractions include ruins that are of historical significance and believed to be of the 12-15th century Swahili traders.

12. Kericho

Kericho boasts of an aesthetically appealing scenery of Kenya’s premiere tea ranches; undulating terrains of tea plantations, and richly colored flower farms. Some of the tourist attraction sites include Rainforest Canopy Walkway, Kakamega rainforest, the famous Songhor Cricket Oval, and Rware Tea Zone where they can tour around the factory. There is also a steep climb of the Magura Falls or take the outdoor adventure at Lake Kamnarok.

13. Meru

Meru town is found on the eastern side of Mount Kenya and it is the biggest commercial centre of that zone. Some of the interesting tourist destinations include the Meru National Park which is home to black rhine and bongo antelopes, the McElligott’s Pool, and Kora National Reserve. It also includes areas for hiking and camping around Mount Kenya.

14. Kakamega

Kakamega is located in the rainforest aptly named Kakamega and it is the source of lumber in the country. Accommodation is also facilitated by tourist attractions such as hiking/ camping, and boating/fishing at places like Udo’s Camp and the Kisere Virgin Rainforest. Wildlife includes more than 400 species of birds, rare colobus monkeys, and flying squirrels to enhance the view of the visitors.

15. Kilifi

Kilifi is located to the North of Mombasa famously known for its white sandy beaches, marine parks, and unique ethnically diverse area with a touch of African, Arabic, and European. Some major attractions are the Mnarani Ruins, marine activities such as diving and snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and carnivals such as the Kilifi New Year Celebration Festival.

It’s with this list that you can get to experience the Muslim flair of Mombasa, the British colonial influence of Nairobi, the natural beauty in Watamu or Kericho, and the burgeoning culture of cities such as Kisumu. Be it wildlife and nature or beach and cultural tourism, historical tourism, outdoor tourism, and city tourism, Kenya’s cities are a must-visit for travelers.