Great Kenya Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?

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If you are planning to visit only one African country, make it Kenya! This East African country is home to some of the world’s most famous wildlife reserves, including the iconic Maasai Mara. This enormous reserve is full of lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, hippos, and more. Lake Nakuru, yet another highlight, offers some of the country's most stunning scenery, while the lively capital of Nairobi is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities.

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How much time should I spend in Kenya?

The aerial view of a forest area in Masai Mara
A misty morning from the forest of Masai Mara

If you are wondering how many days to spend in Kenya, then we suggest that you stay in the country as long as possible. However, since this is not an option, our advice is that you go for a Kenya trip that lasts at least five days and covers the highlights of the country’s southern safari circuit. While you will find safari tours that last shorter than that, it might not be worth traveling to a country like Kenya just for a long weekend.

If you have more time, then we suggest that you opt for a trip lasting between ten to 14 days instead. This duration does justice to popular wildlife destinations as well as a few hidden gems. With more time to spend, you can travel further north to Samburu to see rare animal species such as the East African oryx and the Somali ostrich.

Sunset in Amboseli
Witness magnificent sunsets on your tour to Amboseli National Park

Go for the shortest and probably the most popular wildlife safari loop during a five-day stay in Kenya. From Nairobi go for a safari in Maasai Mara, home to the Big Five. Spend two days exploring the wildlife reserve before heading for Lake Nakuru. We suggest giving at least a day to Lake Nakuru. However, just in case you are an avid birder, you might want to spend two days in this area, where thousands of flamingos line the shores and countless avian species flock every year. Drive back to Nairobi on the last day and catch your flight home.

For more inspiration, check out our list of 5-day Kenya trips.

Kenya provides a number of opportunities to enjoy the African savanna
Hot-air ballooning is the best way to enjoy the famous Serengeti National Park in Kenya

You can squeeze a couple more destinations into your itinerary if you are looking forward to spending seven days in Kenya. Drive south from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park, which offers a breathtaking view of Mount Kilimanjaro and is famous for its large herds of wild elephants.

Next, continue to Lake Naivasha and see its extinct volcano, Mount Longonot. Go on an off-road safari trip through the grassy plains of Maasai Mara. A couple of days and safari later, you can then travel to Shaba National Reserve, where large prides of lions congregate under thickets during the day.

Browse through all our 7-day Kenya itineraries for more ideas.

Kenya wildlife safari is famous among locals and tourists equally.
Immerse yourself in the wilderness through the famous wildlife safari on your trip to Kenya

In addition to the destinations mentioned above, you can add the Aberdares range, located nearly four hours away from Nairobi, to your bucket list if you are planning to spend ten days in Kenya. Discover majestic peaks, cascading waterfalls, forested ravines, and vast moorlands as you hike through the mountain. Just in case you are lucky, you might get the chance to see long-haired colobus monkeys and the mountain bongo.

From there, you can continue to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which has the highest concentration of large mammals in Kenya, including the rare reticulated giraffe and Grevy's zebras. Make your final pit stop at Lake Naivasha before returning to the capital.

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? Check out our 10-day itineraries in Kenya.

View of the skyline in Nairobi
Have laid back day in the beautiful city of Nairobi

A two-week Kenya trip can easily include nine stops and take you from the south of the country to its northern tip. Spend a day taking in the sights and sounds of the capital city before heading for your first stop, the archaeological site of Olorgesaille. Here, you can go on a guided tour and learn more about how the first homo sapiens lived. Continue to Magadi Lake thereafter and enjoy a picnic lunch at the hot springs of Soda Ash.

Give two days to Lake Elementaita and Sleeping Warrior Hill, both of which are located in the Great Rift Valley. The shores of the lake provide refuge to numerous animal species, including zebras, gazelles, elands, and the rare Rothschild giraffe. Just in case you want to give your weary muscles some rest, the hot springs and geysers of Lake Bogoria are less than three hours away from the lake.

Next, switch up your trip with a visit to Iten, home to some of the best distance runners in the world. Then discover Lake Turkana and learn more about why this lake is a vast breeding ground for various species of crocodiles before making your way back to the capital city.

Go through our list of 2-week Kenya trips for more itinerary ideas.

Planning a trip to Kenya?

Get in touch with one of our travel experts in Kenya for a customized trip. If you’d like to book a package trip or join a group, check out our tours in Kenya.

Published by David Lee, updated on September 7, 2022
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