Destinations Eastern Africa

4 Incredible Places in Kenya Tourists Don’t Know About

Giraffe Manor
Written by Abraham Odhiambo

From stunning beaches to great safari destinations, Kenya brims with places worth visiting for those who wish to experience a real adventure. However, most tourists who travel to Kenya don’t know about the country’s hidden gems.

If you’re planning a trip to Kenya, be ready to experience a once-in-a-lifetime trip snorkelling through colourful coral reefs, climbing a mountain, or simply watching wild animals roam alongside your jeep. Since tourism in Kenya wouldn’t be complete without exploring the hidden gems, you’d be clever enough to ignore the tourist angles and head to off-the-beaten track gems. Sea Africa Today brings you four secret places that you’ll never forget after visiting them.

1. Blood-Red Alkaline Lake 

Kenya has so many hidden gems, and Blood-Red Alkaline Lake happens to be one of them. Located in Kapedo, Turkana East, the colour of the lake is characteristic of those where high evaporation rates occur.

Blood Red Alkaline Lake

How a Blood-Red Alkaline Lake looks like. Photo/ YouTube.

During the dry season, the salinity level of the lake increases to the point that salt-loving microorganisms begin to thrive. Dunaliella algae are responsible for turning the water blood-red.

2. Mysterious Hill Where Nature Defies Gravity 

Machakos County is home to the Kituluni Hills, where the rules of gravity do not apply. This odd area is one of the hidden gems in Kenya and tourists have been flocking here to witness nature defy gravity. When you park a car in the middle of the road in neutral gear, it immediately starts moving uphill. When you pour water into the road, it flows uphill defying gravity.

If you take a spare tyre from your car and start rolling it downhill, it opposes the motion, but it is easier to roll it uphill. This is exactly what happens at Kituluni Hills. Newton’s Law of Gravity does not seem to apply in this place. Experts say that the gravitational pull of such hills is uneven. The force at the bottom is weaker than higher up, which results in objects moving up the slope.

According to reports, the anomaly was discovered by a white settler who had parked his car along the winding road. He was fetching water from a nearby stream when he noticed his car had moved 50 metres uphill.

3. Saiwa Swamp National Park 

Being the smallest national park in Kenya, Saiwa Swamp National Park qualifies to be among the hidden gems in this beautiful country. The park, which features an abundance of exotic plants and trees, is simply a paradise for nature lovers.

Saiwa Swamp National Park

Saiwa Swamp National Park. Photo/ Tripadvisor.

It is home to over 1000 species of birds and a very rare semi-aquatic Sitatunga antelope. Visiting the park also presents you with the opportunity to see the distinctive De Brazza’s monkey. Flying high in the forest, you’ll find the Noisy Ros’s turaco, Narina trogons and orange-tufted sunbirds.

4. Giraffe Manor 

Set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest on the outskirts of Nairobi, Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel. It is one of the most iconic buildings in Nairobi and has an extraordinary appeal that dates back to the 1930s.

At Giraffe Manor, guests sleep in a stone stately home while endangered giraffes roam past the window. The giraffes may visit in the morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat. They will then retreat to their forest sanctuary afterwards.

Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor. Photo/ Have Clothes, Will Travel.

What are the hidden gems? 

“Hidden gems” is an idiom which is used to refer to something which is extremely outstanding and many people are not aware of. Kenya has several hidden gems which most tourists don’t know about, and we have talked about some of the above.

What gems are in Kenya?

Kenya is famous for Tsavorite Garnet and other glorious gems such as Amethyst, Sapphire, Ruby, Aquamarine and lolite. Tsavorite was first discovered in Kenya in 1970 by Scottish Gemologist Campbell Bridges. Most of the Tsavorite mining takes place in areas such as Kuranze, Voi, Taita Hills, Migama and Kasigau.

Which is the coolest place in Kenya? 

  • Amboseli National Park
  • Mombasa
  • Diani Beach
  • Malindi
  • Mount Kenya National Park
  • Samburu National Reserve

Where is the finest place in Kenya? 

  • Lamu Island.
  • Wasini Island.
  • Mt. Elgon.
  • David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
  • Fourteen Falls.
  • Maasai Mara.
  • Kiboko Bay.
  • Haller Park.
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About the author

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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