Everything you need to know about Tourist Circuits in Kenya
Simply defined, a tourist circuit is a route on which at least three major tourist destinations are located such that none of these are in the same town or city with well defined entry and exit points. At the same time they are not separated by a long distance.
In Kenya we have about 8 circuits of which will be discussed shortly. However did you know you probably may have visited all the circuits more than once?
- South Rift Circuit
The Rift Valley circuit is divided into two. North and South. The south is enriched with, beautiful volcanic lakes, conservancies,national parks, pre-historic sites, breath-taking view points, craters and gorges.
Must visit Places include: Mau Forest (largest indigenous montane forest) Lake Magadi (Kenya’s largest soda lake) Menengai Crater (The 2nd largest crater in the world) Lake Oloiden ( A volcanic crater lake which is home to Kenya’s largest flower farms)
Lake Nakuru National Park (A haven for birdwatchers with over 450 bird species) Mt. Longonot National Park, Lake Elementaita National Reserve, Crescent Island, Mt.Suswa and last but not least The Egerton Castle (A love-hate castle history)
- North Rift Circuit
It transcends from Nandi, Uasin- Gishu, Baringo, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Trans-nzoia, West-pokot, Lake Turkana and Turkana.
Here you will find ‘Blessed’ Conservancy (Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust) Springs of life (Eliye Springs- West of Lake Turkana) Sleeping warrior and Ugali Hills, Kesubo swamp(Ideal for birdwatchers) Cherangani Hills Forest and Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy- In maasai language it means ‘ The Place of Springs’ (The conservancy comprises of indigenous relic forest in the area and cut in half by the stunning Mukutan Gorge. It hosts over 400 species of birds and animals like elephants, lions, black rhino, leopard and antelopes.)
- Eastern Circuit
The Eastern Circuit has the least attraction points according to Magical Kenya. Namely, Chyulu Hills National Park (The park has breathtaking views from the Chyulu Hills. Main attractions include buffalo, elephants and bush-bucks as well as reptiles such as black mamba, puff adder and rock python)
Shompole Conservancy, Occupying a vast area, this conservancy is privately owned. It houses two alkaline lakes namely lakes Natron and Magadi as well as riverine thickets along the river banks. Wildlife here include giraffe, buffalo, elephants, gerenuk and oryx.
- Western Circuits
This circuit is located along, within or around Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is the origin of the world’s longest River. The Nile.
Kisumu Hippo Point (An open viewing point for Lake Victoria, fishing port and camping site) Mfangano Rusinga-Island Complex (Rich in fossils and evidence of the early man, the complex is home to monitor lizzards and over 100 bird species) Mount Elgon National Park, Mfangano Island (An oasis of tranquility)
Crying stone of Ihesi (It is about 40m high with a small rock perched on top, revealing a unique formation of a wailing human being.)
Kakapel National Monument (The remarkable site has art forms dating over 2000 years ago and maybe as much as 4000 years old, combining many different styles and periods.) Ndere Island National Park- Ndere means ‘Meeting Place’ in luo language, Wildlife includes De Brazzas monkeys, Olive baboons, Sitatunga antelopes, hippos, impalas, Monitor lizards, and variety of fish species.
- Nairobi Circuit
Nairobi is the heart of Africa. The only city in the world with a park within. Nairobi National Park is a must visit. Do you know the 11 most crucial park rules in Kenya that will keep you safe? Other than visiting the park which is a must do for every Citizen, Resident or Non-resident these are the remaining points of interest: Nairobi Arboretum(It holds over 350 species of indigenous and exotic plants, most of which are labelled. Its also home to over 100 species of birds, and a significant population of Sykes and Velvet monkeys.)
Karura forest. (A forest within the metropolitan), ever wanted to ride on the largest bird on earth. Maasai Ostrich Farm, gives you an opportunity. Paradise lost (The numerous Caves here were used as hiding places for the Mau Mau freedom fighters) Girraffe Center (Meet Daisy IV and discover her story)
- Central Kenya/ Mt- Kenya Circuit
Kenya is trully rich. Mt. Kenya National park is key in the central Kenya tourism circuit. Mt Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hiking here should be on your bucket list.
Laikipia plateau also recently gazetted to Laikipia National Park, is strategically located. With a backdrop of Mt. Kenya. It is home to one of Kenyas highest population of endangered species including black rhinos and half of the worlds Grevy zebra.
Waterfalls; Chania falls,Nyahururu; Thompsons fall, Fourteen falls, Sagana Rapid Camp (Great for Rafting) Kereita forest (Dense trees and hosts East Africa’s longest zipline)
- Coastline Circuit
The Kenyan Coast is beautiful it is not only about the tropical beaches with idyllic views but also rich marine life, national parks and mangrove trees. This circuit is rich in Historic sites, Wildlife, Scenery and Landscape. Siyu Fort (Siyu is the only town that built a fort without foreign assistance)
Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, Tana River Primate Reserve (Established to protect the two endangered primates: mangabeys and the red colobus monkeys) Boni National Reserve, Shimba Hills National Reserve, Dodori National Reserve (Breeding place for dugongs) Kiwegu Mangrove Forest (The forests prevent coastal erosion and protect coral reefs by preventing siltation)
- Southern and South West Circuits
The two are probably the most visited circuits. In the South- West, we have Maasai Mara. This is the ultimate destination for tourists in Kenya because of the world wonder wilderbeest migration. (Find out why the animals migrate and what makes them tick)
Southern region safari circuit is dominated by Tsavo (Tsavo East and Tsavo West) Kenya’s largest national park. Further is Amboseli – Kilimanjaro’s home and Chyulu hills rocky volcanic outcrops harboring a huge amount of game and Lake Jipe – a lake fed by Mount Kilimanjaro’s run-off.
Parks in the southern region safari circuit are close to the Kenya Coast (The coastline Safari circuit region) making them ideal for 1 to 4 days safari excursions.
Parks and attraction in this safari circuit region include; Amboseli National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park
We have accommodation and experiences that fit every budget in all the circuits. Call us today on +254707009009 or Drop us that email on Bookings@cloud9xp.com
Written with love ❤