The Lamu Cultural Festival is yet another great excuse to visit Kenya’s idyllic Lamu archipelago. An original Swahili settlements dating back to 1370, Lamu is one of the oldest towns in Kenya, with deep historical and cultural roots, which are celebrated together with the present day and future of Lamu life in this annual 7-day event.
Lake Turkana Festival
Lake Turkana Festival is a 3-day event held in June each year, with an underlying purpose of promoting peace and cross-cultural interaction amongst various Kenyan tribes. 14 communities from Marsabit County come together in a spectacular display of music, dance, arts, crafts and tradition.
Dubbed a multicultural street party and the biggest festival in Kenya, Mombasa Carnival brings displays the varied influence of the country’s second largest city. Highlighted by two parades held in November, expect a lively flurry of colour, costume and culture - a festival worth timing your trip with.
International Camel Derby Festival
Sport & Culture
Though there are many camel races held across Kenya, none are quite as extravagant and highly regarded as the The Maralal International Camel Derby. The unique festivities of this event draw in travellers from across the globe, many of which rent a camel rider and partake in the 10-kilometre race.
An Islamic festival with almost a century of history, the Maulidi Festival honours the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. Thousands of Muslims from across the country visit the historic island of Lamu to celebrate this month long event, which climaxes on the final 4-days with activities like henna, tug-of war, and donkey races.
Top 5 Festivals in Kenya
Don traditional beaded jewellery and drape yourself in brightly coloured cloth - these Kenya festivals call upon travellers to submerge deep into the roots of this culture. From the archipelago of Lamu to city of Mombasa, you could find yourself drifting through this country to the call of its many events.
Karen Blixen Museum
The Karen Blixen Museum honours the famous Danish author who lived in Kenya from 1917 to 1931, operating a coffee farm from a bungalow by the Ngong Hills. Blixen’s book, ‘Out of Africa,’ was a global success that went on to become a film, with many of the props on show at the museum.
Fort Jesus was built in the late 1500’s along the coastline of the city of Mombasa by the then king of Portugal, and switched ownership numerous times during battles for the lands of Kenya. The well-preserved grounds are now a declared national park and World Heritage Site, and one of the most popular Kenya attractions.
Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site and Museum
Hyrax Hill is a site of immeasurable history, with archeological excavations unearthing evidence of life some 5000-years-old. The humble yet fascinating museum and former farmhouse showcases over 400 pieces found on the hill, ranging from musical instruments to hunting gadgets.
The western town of Kitale is home to the popular Kitale Museum where traditional Kenyan home and historical artefacts can admired. Unfortunately the important space is usually trumped by Kitale’s Nature Conservancy, where a bizarre collection of deformed animals are cared for to save local families from the ‘curse’ of having them in their home.
Bomas of Kenya
Take a visit to Bomas of Kenya for an inspiring look at the traditional mud homes of many Kenyan tribes. Peppered around the biggest auditorium in Africa, you may get to witness traditional dance and a few monkeys whilst learning about local culture.
Top 5 Museums and Galleries in Kenya
Before you visit Kenya you will likely envisage barren lands and endless days spent outside gawking at wild animals at play. Very few anticipate the incredible array of museums on offer here. Celebrate a Danish author and marvel at archaeological discoveries, before taking in traditional homes at Bomas of Kenya.
Though ugali itself is a fairly bland, doughy item, when used as a base for other dishes it offers an easy fill up and makes a meal complete. Commonly used to dip into saucy curries or as a side for salads, it would be hard to venture to this part of the world without trying at least one ugali.
Best eaten at Mama Oliech's Restaurant, Nairobi
Almost as fun to eat as it is to pronounce, nyama choma is a hallmark of family celebrations in Kenya and Tanzania. Though the name refers to many varieties or roast meat, it’s most commonly goat, best eaten with your hands and washed down with a chilled beer.
Best eaten at Mombasa Village, Mji Mpya Rd, Mombasa
Once you’ve tried the omelette filled with potato fries known as ‘chips mayai’, no other omelette will suffice. A popular street food across East Africa, this is dish you will grab again and again, and most likely want to whip up when you return home.
Best eaten at any local market
Githeri is a Kenyan staple of corn and beans in a soupy sauce, often used as a base for other more substantial dishes with meat and vegetables. Visit Bridges Organic Restaurant to experience traditional githeri along with many other healthy and colourful Kenyan dishes.
Best eaten at Bridges Organic Restaurant, Tubman Road, Nairobi
Food in Kenya
The bean stew like dish of githeri is sure to impress, and the barbecued meats of nyama choma will satisfy after a long day of travel. But there’s one Kenyan food that you will rave about for years to come and want to sample numerous times - the omelette stuffed with French fries known as ‘chips mayai.’