Rusinga island

Top Hidden Destinations in Kenya


Top Hidden Destinations in Kenya

Despite Kenya being a famous safari destination, there are so many top hidden destinations in Kenya with amazing attractions. Kenya safari is not just about the Masai Mara, there are many less visited, but unique destinations for any adventure traveler. If you want to discover and enjoy attractions a bit outside the tourist setup and still marvel at the wonderful nature and magnificent scenery, Nomadic Holidays and Safaris offers some off the beaten track Kenya safaris to various destinations.

Rusinga Island

Rusinga Island lies to the East of Lake Victoria, in Homa Bay County, with the most stunning views of the lake Victoria. The Island has an elongated shape approximately 16 km from end to end and 5 km at its widest point, lies in the eastern part of Lake Victoria. It is about 8 hours drive from Nairobi, approximately 450Km, via the Kisumu to Homa Bay route. Rusinga Island is connected to Mbita, via a Causeway that takes you to the island.

If you choose Rusinga Island Lodge, you get to enjoy the serene tranquility relaxing at the well-manicured lawns that stretch to the lake. There are exotic trees that are home to numerous bird species, some of which are only found in this region.

Activities that you can indulge in include Birdwatching, boat riding, walking, mountain biking and fishing.

Ruma National Park

Ruma National Park is 425 Kilometers West of Nairobi, 10 Kilometers East of Lake Victoria & 23 Kilometers South West of Homabay.

Ruma National Park promises undiscovered wildlife treasures and undisturbed peace.  It is also Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope. Ruma lies on the flat floor of the seasonally watered Lambwe River Valley bordered by the Kanyamwa Escarpment to the South-East, and by the volcanic plugs of the Ruri Hills to the north. Ruma’s birdlife is exceptional. The park is also the only protected area in Kenya where the globally threatened blue swallow, a scarce intra-African migrant, is regularly recorded. Blue swallows, which depend upon moist grassland for both feeding and roosting, arrive in Kenya from their breeding grounds in Southern Tanzania around April and depart again in September.

Activities: Ruma provides a perfect place for birdwatching, one can also combine with a game drive.

Saiwa Swamp National Park

Saiwa Swamp is located near Kitale town, in the Rift Valley of Kenya. It is 385km northwest of Nairobi, close to the Ugandan border.

Saiwa Swamp National Park is the smallest national park in Kenya. It covers an area of just 2.9km² and was established to protect and preserve the strange and rare Sitatunga (an aquatic antelope). Apart from this rare swamp dweller, it is also home to the rare De Brazza’s monkeys. You will also love the exotic flowers, a wide variety of trees and bird species such as Narina trogons, the collared and orange-tufted sunbird, the yellow bishop, Hatlaub’s marsh widow bird and the Noisy Ross’s turacos.

Activities: game viewing, bird watching and trail walking.

Kakamega Forest Reserve

Kakamega forest is located in Western Kenya, Kakamega county 418 KM from Nairobi city through, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu Kakamega town. The forest including reserves encloses about 238 square kilometers, a little less than half of which currently remains as indigenous forest. Kakamega being a tropical rainforest has a temperate, warm climate and can be visited at any time during the year.  The forest is elevated at predominantly between 1500 m and 1600 m above sea level. Kakamega rain forest has over 360 species of birds, 380 species of plants, 400 species of butterflies, 7 species of primates. This beautiful forest is home to various mammals including bush pigs, giant forest hedgehogs, colobus monkeys, De brazzas’ monkeys and pottos. Some of the birds to be seen here include the Blue Headed Bee Eater, Black Billed Turaco, Turner’s Eremomela and Grey Parrots.

Activities that can be enjoyed here include Bird watching, hiking and rock climbing .

Lake Turkana

Lake Turkana is located in the remote northern Kenya. Lake Turkana also known as the Jade Sea, was originally named Lake Rudolph in 1888 and was renamed Lake Turkana in 1975. Lake Turkana is famous for it’s remarkable greenish-blue colours, hence the nickname the Jade Sea. It is the largest alkaline lake in the world.

This lake is over 250km long and 50km wide, it is a source of life for some of Kenya’s most remote tribes. The communities that live around the lake are the Turkana, who live a semi-nomadic existence around the lake. The country’s smallest tribe, the El Molo, live a hunter-gatherer existence on the shores.

This is a rarely visited part of Kenya, as it is fairly remote, but those who make it are well rewarded with a memorable experience.The island parks are breeding habitats for Nile crocodiles, hippopotamus and several snake species. The island is home to a variety of birdlife including 34 species of European migrants most spectacularly viewed as they return home between March and May. At least 23 species breed here, including Goliath heron, and African skimmer, while African open-billed stork, Duck and Gulls feed on the shores and the volcanic island lakes attract lesser flamingos. Birds of prey are also abundant, especially swallow-tailed kites.

Activities here are Bird watching and game viewing considering this park has the largest concentrations of crocodiles.

Solio Ranch

Solio Ranch or Solio Game Reserve is a fenced, privately owned wildlife conservancy. The ranch which is only 22km north of Nyeri town is recognized as one of the most successful private rhino breeding reserves in Kenya. The reserve plays a major role in the protection and breeding of black rhinos in Kenya. The conservancy is also inhabited by other wildlife species such as buffalos, zebras, giraffes, oryx, antelopes, Thompson gazelles, Impala, waterbucks and warthogs. Predators such as lions, leopards and cheetahs are also easy to spot.

To have an unforgettable experience, some of the activities you can indulge in include: game drive, walking safaris and horse riding.

Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo, after Lake Turkana, is the most northern of the Kenyan Rift Valley lakes, with a surface area of 130 square kilometers and an elevation of 970 metres. Lake Baringo is also a Ramsar site, having been recognized internationally as a vitally important wetland.

The views are just amazing especially during the sunset. A wide variety of birdlife, hippos and crocodiles and also the local fishing Njemps community makes this destination unique.

The lake is a well-known birding destination, with a local record set at 300 species recorded in one hour at the Baringo Club. Boat trips are the best way of exploring this area. The Baringo Community museum displays several species of snakes, including the Black Mamba, Puff Adder, Boomslang (tree snake) and Spitting Cobra as well as Monitor Lizards, Crocodiles and a central pit shared by endangered tortoises and harmless Stripe Bellied Sand Snakes.


Laikipia plateau is located north of Nairobi and north-east of the Great Rift Valley, north-west of snow-capped Mount Kenya. The Laikipia plateau stretches from Aberdare ranges to Samburu land. The high plains of Laikipia are recognized as one of Kenya’s best safari destinations. Much of this region is occupied by private wildlife sanctuaries that contain a large variety of animals including the big five. Laikipia has one of the most successful conservation initiatives in Kenya.

One is certain to see the big 5 and some endemic species such as Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffes and Jackson’s hartebeests. The highest number of rhinos are found in this region.

Some of the unique and most exciting conservancies worth visiting are:

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Borana Conservancy, Lekurruki Group Ranch, El Karama Ranch, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sosian Ranch, Il Ngwesi Conservancy and Ol Doinyo Lemboro Ranch

Activities that you can take part in include: lion tracking in Ol Pejeta, walking safaris, horse riding, cultural visits, game drives and bird watching.

Chyulu Hills

Chyulu Hills National Park is located in Makueni County in South-West Kenya and lies between the Tsavo and Amboseli ecosystems. The height is 2188m at its highest and extending 150km long.

The Chyulu hills consists of several hundred small flows and cones characterized by endless green and spectacular landscape views. Within the hills there are numerous lava tube caves that criss cross.  The 11km Leviathan cave is one of the longest lava tubes in the world. The Chyulu Hills do not have any permanent rivers, yet it is a vital catchment area for Tsavo and Galana rivers and Mzima Springs on the surrounding plains.

Large mammals include buffalo, bushbucks, elands, elephants, leopards, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, reedbucks and giraffes along with various reptiles and insects.

Horse riding, hiking, camping, mountain climbing, wildlife and bird watching can be enjoyed in this hidden part of paradise.

Nomadic Holidays and Safaris organizes tailor made safaris to Chyulu hills and adjacent parks