Top 7 travel destinations for a Kenyan Christmas

family packing for a trip

It is December and do you know what that means? It is the holidays. A time for families to get together and spend some quality time in some of the best holiday destinations Kenya has to offer.

The Christmas season is the perfect time to visit fantastic places, and bond with your family while making lasting memories.

Our country Kenya is one of the most beautiful destinations on this planet if you’re looking for fun and memorable experiences. From white sandy beaches to expansive savannahs habited by some of the most exotic wildlife in the world, the only limit is your imagination (and your budget, of course!).

At Ngao Credit, we believe in financial empowerment so you can take care of your family and loved ones. After all, it is only fair that you offer your family the best.

Especially after years indoors following the Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent restrictions on travel.

Last year (2021), many holiday destinations such as the beach and safari locations were restricted while hotels were closed due to the pandemic. This year, the situation is different as hotels are open and holiday destinations are welcoming visitors.

So this Christmas, consider planning a truly unforgettable experience with friends and loved ones by exploring a destination in Kenya that you’ve never been to.

We understand finances may be a challenge but that should not stop you from giving your family the best, especially after two years under lockdown.

 To help you offer the best holiday to your family, Ngao is offering easily accessible, affordable, and low-interest loans to boost your holiday experience.

To help simplify the planning process, we’ve compiled a list of our top recommendations for your best holiday.

a terrace overlooking the vast savannah
A wide-angle view from Lions Bluff Lodge

Holiday destinations you should consider for an unforgettable Kenyan Christmas holiday

1. Nakuru

Nakuru has no shortage of exciting opportunities for you, your friends, and your family. Recently elevated to a city, Nakuru boasts a myriad of travel destinations for adventure seekers and those looking for a quiet place to relax and enjoy the breathtaking sites.

For the adventurous spirit, there is no shortage of fun outdoor activities to do around Nakuru.

What to do

Less than 30 minutes drive from Nakuru town, there is Lake Nakuru one of the soda lakes of the Rift Valley. The lake forms part of the Lake Nakuru national park famous for its vast number of flamingos.

flamingos in Lake Nakuru Photo by Bibhash on Unsplash

Game drives – The park is also home to giraffes, baboons, black rhinos, cheetahs, lion leopards, and much more wildlife. A trip to the park is a good chance for you and your family to experience the wild.

Bird watching – Ideal for bird watchers. In addition to the flamingos, the park is home to various bird species such as eagles, pelicans, cranes and so much more.

Hiking – The park offers a great hiking experience with breathtaking viewpoints and destinations such as the Makalia waterfall.

There are also camps and lodges within the park for you and your family to dine and spend the night.

Some top holiday accommodations for your Nakuru trip

  1. Sarova Woodlands

Located a few kilometers from Nakuru town and a short drive from Lake Nakuru, Sarova Woodlands is one of the best holiday spots in Nakuru. 

The hotel is close to game parks and lakes, historical and architectural sites; providing a wide range of activities for you and your family to engage in over the holidays.

  1. Lake Nakuru lodge

The hotel is located inside the Lake Nakuru national park, providing all visitors an opportunity to enjoy the landscape and view the wildlife without leaving their hotel room.

The Lake Nakuru Lodge has the following facilities: Spas, Horseback rides, Gift shops, Bush barbecue, and Bird watching

  1. Ziwa bush lodge

If you are looking for a holiday destination to rejuvenate in nature, Ziwa lodge might be an ideal spot for you. Full of outdoor activities such as fishing, bird watching, and playgrounds, Ziwa lodge offers you a great opportunity to get away this holiday.

2. Naivasha

Located one hour away from Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Naivasha is a popular destination for the tours and travel industry. It has countless attractions and has developed into a holiday spot for both domestic and international tourists.

Naivasha offers opportunities for game drives, bird watching, boat rides, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, picnics, camping, and natural spas. The town also boasts a variety of hotels, lounges, and campsites for you to spend some time with your family.

game drive in a national park -Photo by on Unsplash

Holiday destinations around Naivasha

Hells gate national park – has spectacular sceneries such as water gouges, volcanoes, rock towers, and wildlife.

Crescent Island – an island on lake Naivasha where you can enjoy nature walks and view wildlife. It is also a bird sanctuary.

Lake Naivasha is home to a vast population of hippos and over 400 species of birds.

Hippo family (Hippopotamus amphibius) -(CC0)

Lake Oloiden – Its greenish color makes the lake a sight to behold.

Lake Elementatita – is popular for its hot springs and birds such as flamingos.

Olkaria -is known for its geothermal spa used for recreational and therapeutic properties.

Horseback Safaris – a getaway for horse riding, bird watching, and cycling while enjoying the wildlife.

Leleshwa: Wine lovers get to experience a wine-tasting adventure and exercise their palettes at the first winery in Kenya, Leleshwa.

Hyrax Hill Museum: This is an ideal destination for lovers of archaeology and history. The museum showcases early man stone-age tools and early man skulls of Australopithecus Boisei and Homo erectus. 

Naivasha has a lot more to offer the adventurous spirit; from hiking Mt Longonot, game drives across the parks, rock climbing at Hells Gate to boat rides on Lake Naivasha.

Some top accommodations for your Naivasha trip

a) Lake Naivasha Resort

Located close to the shores of Lake Naivasha, this resort boasts of the following facilities: water world – with three outdoor pools, a jacuzzi, and a pool bar

Spa – for traditional massages, hydrotherapy, and facials.

Fully fitted gym.

Naivasha Sopa lodge -By shankar s. (CC BY 2.0.)

b) Sawela lodge

With 18 deluxe rooms and 24 superior rooms combining African decor with a modern finish. Sawela lodge offers one of the best getaway destinations for the holidays. Situated south of Lake Naivasha, the lodge offers incredible views of the Lake and Mt Longonot. 

Rated 4.5 on TripAdvisor, the lodge has no shortage of fun activities for you and your family.

Other exquisite accommodations for your holiday include Sopa Resort, Enashipai Resort & Spa, Chui lodge, and many more.

3. Laikipia

In recent years, Laikipia has emerged as one of the most sought holiday destinations. This is because the county is a host to several wildlife conservancies, and offers direct access to Mt. Kenya.

a view of Mt. Kenya -By John Spooner – CC BY 2.0

The county has two urban centers Nanyuki in the Southeast and Nyahururu in the Southwest. Nyahururu is a famous tourist destination because of the magnificent Thomson Falls.

Laikipia is home to one of the highest populations of endangered species such as the black rhino, Grevy zebra, and Reticulated giraffe.

To meet the demand for holiday travel, there has been an increase in the number of lounges, camps, and hotels to more than 2000 to meet the demand for holiday homes.

Places to visit and what to do

Ol Pejeta conservancy: a great destination for game viewing and camping. Home to different wildlife including the endangered white rhino.

Ol Jogi conservancy – game drives and camping

Thomson Falls – cool off and take photos for lasting memories.

Thomson Falls -By Raidarmax – CC BY-SA 3.0

Mount Kenya conservancy – camping, game drives, and hiking Mt. Kenya.

Loisaba Conservancy – game drives and camping.

Mugie wildlife conservancy – Kayaking in the dams where elephants also frequently drink.

Ol Lentile Conservancy– game drives and wild tracking.

Sosian Conservancy – camping and game drives

Some notable accommodations in Laikipia

  • Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari club – located in Nanyuki, the Fairmont has over 120 luxury rooms and provides a magnificent view of Mt. Kenya. Visitors can enjoy various activities such as horse riding, golfing, and swimming.

  • Maiyan – Situated in Nanyuki, Maiyan is one of the top holiday destinations in the region. Activities include horse riding, boat rides, nature walks, cycling, fishing, and outdoor basketball and golf.

  • Sweetwaters Serena Camp- for the adventurous spirits, this camp has it all. Some activities at the camp include bush dining experience, camel rides, game drives, and lion tracking.

  • Loisaba Lodo Springs: It offers a private experience with eight tented rooms that had amazing views of the northern rangelands and Mt. Kenya. Some activities include game drives, camel safaris, horse riding, and mountain biking.
Mt. Kenya Fairmont By John Hickey-Fry (CC BY 2.0)

Laikipia has no shortage of hotels and accommodations for family outings, the county’s main towns of Nanyuki and Nyahururu combined have a lot to offer weekend travelers and holiday seekers.

4. Mombasa

Mombasa is one of the most favored holiday destinations in Kenya for tourists and Kenyans alike. The sandy beaches, historical sites, and marine life provide spectacular sceneries for all visitors to the coastal city.

a view of the sea and beach in Mombasa

In this coastal city, holiday seekers can do anything from relaxing at the white sandy beaches to extremes such as sky diving.

Places to visit

Haller park – for animal lovers this is a nice spot to visit. The park has a fish farm, animal sanctuary, reptile parks, and crocodile pens.
Fort Jesus: For history buffs, this is the place to be. Fort Jesus is a UNESCO world heritage site showcasing 16th-century Portuguese military architecture.

Mombasa marine national park: It is the most visited marine park in Kenya. Some of the top activities in the park are diving and snorkeling.

Mamba village: This is considered the largest crocodile farm in East Africa. Visitors can learn about the crocodile lifecycle with highlights being watching them fight during feeding time. Mamba village also offers horseback rides and a chance to try wild meat at its restaurant.

The beach: of course, we had to mention the beaches. Especially the south coast beaches. The turquoise sea and the sandy beaches provide the perfect spot for relaxation and family outings.

Further south there is Diani Beach: this famous beach offers a chance for adventurous spirits to do something extreme. Diani is home to Skydiving Diani the only skydiving school on the Kenyan coast.

Some top accommodations in this coastal city

Mombasa is the top holiday destination for many Kenyans and to live up to its name, the region is home to numerous exquisite hotels including:

  • Voyager Beach Resort
  • PrideInn Paradise Beach Resort
  • Sarova Whitesands
  • Nyali Sunafrica Beach Hotel & Spa
  • Travellers Beach Hotel

5. The Mara

Located in Narok, Kenya, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the most important wildlife destinations in Africa. The mara is known globally for its huge population of lions, elephants, cheetahs, and leopards.

The game reserve is mostly famous for the wildebeest migration known as the Great Migration and is acknowledged as one of the Ten Natural Wonders of the World.

wildebeest lining up at the Mara river -Image by Danijel Mihajlovic CC BY-SA 4.0

What to do in the Mara

Game drives: This is the most popular activity in Maasai Mara, the national reserve is home to a variety of animal species including all the big five (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo). The Mara offers both day and night game drives giving you the rarest opportunity to see all the animals including nocturnal animals hunting in the cool breeze of the night.

Nature walks: Reignite your spirit for adventure with guided walks across the expansive Mara. Walking through the park gives you one of the rarest opportunities of getting a close view of the wildlife.

Camping: If you like the outdoors, then camping within the Mara will be an exhilarating experience. Spending the night under the starry skies and seeping with the background noise of the wild come to life near you is an opportunity you should not let pass you by.

Balloon Safari – Photo by sutirta budiman on Unsplash

Balloon Safari: At the Mara, you can start your day with a bird’s eye view of all nature has to offer. You can take one to two hours on the hot air balloons experiencing an eagle view of all the wildlife and sceneries of the Mara.

Horseback safaris: The Mara is one of the few destinations offering horse riding across the reserve giving you an opportunity to experience the landscape closely and the wildlife close.

Notable accommodations around the Mara

  • Mara Explorer Camp
  • Elewana Sand River Masai Mara
  • Olare Mara Kempinski
  • Fairmont Mara Safari Club
  • Zebra Plains Mara Camp

6. Tsavo

One of the oldest national parks in Kenya, Tsavo is famous for its legendary man-eating lions. The park is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West, separated by a railway line, and is the largest park in the country.

The two parts of the Tsavo are distinct with the East characterized by its wide savannah and grassland while the West consists of a landscape of mountains and wooden grassland.

Tsavo Gate CC BY-SA 3.0

What to do & favorite spots

Game drives: drives within the park give you a chance to come across vast populations of wildlife including; rhinos, elephants, lions, buffaloes, cheetahs, giraffes, leopards, crocodiles, hippos and so much more.

Walking safaris: Under the guidance of a park ranger, you can go for walks across the Tsavo and experience nature firsthand by observing the wildlife close.

 Favorite spots

Mzima springs: Located in Tsavo West, this is a crucial source of water for wildlife. The clear waters are also home to crocodiles and hippos.

Nguila Rhino sanctuary: This is home to endangered species of rhinos, which are cared for by the park rangers.

Shetani lava flow: Spreading over 50 KM, this is a vast stretch of folded black lava across the grassland of the Tsavo. It was formed over 500 years ago.

Lugard Falls: Located in Tsavo East, the falls are an ideal place to view wildlife as most gather to drink water at the pools formed at the bottom of the falls.

Hotels & Accommodations near Tsavo

There are splendid accommodations for holiday seekers in both Tsavo East and Tsavo West. Here are some hotels and accommodations for a magical holiday.

Salt Lick Safari Lodge Tsavo – CC BY-SA 4.0,

Tsavo East

  • Ashnil Aruba Lodge
  • Sentrim Tsavo East
  • Voi Wildlife Lodge
  • Voi Safari Lodge
  • Satao Tented Camp

Tsavo West

  • Salt Lick Safari Lodge
  • Severin Safari Camp
  • Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
  • Taita Hills Safari Resort & Spa
  • Man Eaters Camp

7. Nairobi

Do you know that you don’t have to leave the city, of Nairobi, to have an amazing holiday experience with your family?

Nairobi is the only capital city in the world that is home to a National park. Located less than 7 kilometers from the capital, Nairobi National Park, despite its small size compared to other parks in the country, is home to a diverse wildlife population including the big five.

A Masai Giraffe and her calf in Nairobi National Park with the city in the background.

The park is considered a lion and rhino sanctuary and it is one of the few parks globally where you can see the endangered black rhinos in their natural habitat.

Not everyone is a wildlife enthusiast, and you don’t have to be to enjoy your time in Nairobi. The city offers a lot of exciting destinations to spend a memorable holiday with your family.

What to do and some great spots to visit

Game drives and safari walks: For nature and animal lovers, Nairobi National Park is the place to be. You get to drive or walk around various parts of the park and explore nature and the wildlife in their natural habitat. 

Feed the wild: On the edge of the Nairobi National park, visitors get a rare opportunity to feed the endangered Rothschild giraffes at the giraffe center.

Hiking and picnics: If you are looking for some outdoor activities near the city, then the Karura forest is the place for you. It is one of the largest urban forests in the world and is open to all visitors.

Karura forest trail Nairobi – By guyvail, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Nairobi museum: for history lovers, the museum offers insights into the history of Kenya, its people, culture, and art.

For those who like to spend their time indoors, Nairobi has something for you too. The city is full of activities such as indoor rock climbing at Diamond Plaza and Ice Skating at the Panari Sky Centre.

Some top accommodations for your Nairobi Holiday

The capital Nairobi and one of the most dynamic cities in Africa also serve as a holiday destination with spots far away from the hustle and bustle of the busy work life in the city. Some exquisite hotels and accommodations for your holiday in Nairobi include:

  • Villa Rosa Kempinski
  • Fairmont the Norfolk
  • Hemingways Nairobi
  • Nairobi Serena Hotel
  • Giraffe Manor
  • African Heritage House
  • Emara Ole Sereni
  • Ololo Safari Lodge

To Sum Up

Kenya has a lot more to offer than the mentioned holiday destinations above. As a matter of fact, each of the 47 counties in the country has a lot of exciting and exciting holiday destinations waiting for you.

Just remember that before choosing a destination it all depends on your budget. Planning a budget in advance helps you avoid any unnecessary spending and surprises.

Always remember that it is just a holiday and that life will have to continue. As the holiday ends, other expenses such as school fees, rent, and travel costs for the new year come into play.

This is not to say that your family has to spend the holidays doing the ordinary when they can experience the extraordinary. If you are facing some financial downtimes, there are always options.

Affordable bank loans can help you give your family the best holiday experience. Note that bank loans may take some time to process and require paperwork to verify the credit history and viability of the loan.

 Alternatively, a secure loan on an asset you already own such as a car would be the simplest option. Institutions such as Ngao credit offer easily accessible and quick logbook loans at affordable rates.

You do not have to go through any credit score tests or wait days for cash, with your car as security, you can get the loan in under six hours.

Enjoy your holiday trip.

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