Forget bucket list traveling, explore Kenya off the beaten track.

There is so much to discover in Kenya that many places are skipped by the main tour operators. They tend to stick to the well-known and hence touristy and expensive highlights, but for us, road trippers, there is a completely different sight of Kenya that becomes accessible when you drive around in your own vehicle with camp gear in the back of your car.

Meet authentic locals and inspiring fellow travellers, design your itinerary on the go, and eat and sleep for a dime. Forget bucket list traveling, explore Kenya off the beaten track! 

Below are a number of great off the beaten track destinations for an adventurous roadtrip in Kenya. Drop us an email in case you have discovered a new hidden gem! 

Hidden gems of Western Kenya 

Western Kenya comprises of green jungle, many lakes, a gigantic mountain, several national parks and very few tourists. 

Mount Elgon – is an extinct volcano, divided by the Kenya-Uganda border. To climb the summit takes around 4 days. But this area is also great for day hikes, with many beautiful and serene walking trails to choose from. 

Kerio Valley Drive - amazing rollercoaster drive up the wall of the Rift Valley to Iten. Enjoy a great lunch and amazing views at Kerio View Hotel. Potentially stay overnight at Lelin Overland Campsite.

Kakamega Forest Reserve - this isolated piece of dense, tropical rain forest is a remnant of jungle that once stretched from Congo to Kenya. There are many walking trails to enjoy and the local guides are well trained. Forest Guest House is a pretty camp ground, where you can build your own camp fire and enjoy the sounds of the forest. 

Saiwa Swamp - is a small and secluded National Park, only accessible by foot via boardwalks and hiking trails. It’s a great birding destination with over 370 species. The public campsite is well maintained.

Ruma National Park – Another small and secluded National Park, which has a very specific habitat and is home to rare hooved animals such as the Roan antelopes and Bohor’s reedbuck which can;t be seen somewhere else. Prepare to be self-sufficient, as the campsite has no facilities. 

Meru National Park and Ol Pejeta Conservancy, must sees on your North- Central Kenya itineary 

Meru National Park - Meru is increasingly re-appearing on safari itineraries, and for good reason. The park fell into neglect in the 1980s and wildlife suffered greatly from out-of-control poaching. With great efforts from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Kenya Wildlife Services, the park was restored, with new tracks, a dedicated force of rangers, and a new poacher-proof rhino sanctuary near the main gate. 

Game viewing in Meru now easily matches the sort of safari experience you’ll have in the more popular parks such as Tsavo, with increasingly frequent sightings of all the ‘Big Five’, plus cheetah and numerous other savannah species. Birdlife in Meru National Park is also exceptional. 

One of Meru’s biggest draw is the successful rhino sanctuary, home to both white and black rhinos. The sanctuary is located near the main gate.  
Recommended places to stay are Offbeat Meru, Ikweta Safari Camp, Rhino River Camp and, for those who can afford it, the fabulous Elsa’s Kopje.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Back in the colonial days, Ol Pejeta was a cattle ranch. Nowadays, Ol Pajeta is praised for being one of the most beautiful and successful private conservancy. There are many activities on offer in Ol-Pejeta. You can do a night game drive, walking safari or horse ride safari. There is a rhino sanctuary, the Moran Rhino centre, and also a chimpanzee sanctuary. 

Plan your visit to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Entrance tickets and activities can easily be arranged online, via the conservancy website, here

Visit Lumo Sanctuary, must see on your Southern Kenya travel itineary 

Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary - is a beautiful fenceless space between Tsavo West and Taita Hills. LUMO is an association of the Lualenyi, Mramba and Oza ranches, whose communities have come together to benefit from wildlife tourism. The best place to explore this sanctuary is from Lion’s Bluff Lodge. You can arrange a number of activities through them, such as night game drives, bush breakfast and guided walking safaris.