Itinerary for a 7 to 2 Week Backpacking Trip in Kenya

Cultural Destinations


This itinerary will take you to some of Kenya’s most beautiful and cultural destinations. We’ve included a mix of Nairobi’s nightlife, wildlife safaris, and culture. Keep reading for our recommendations on what to see and do at each stop along the way.

Start in Nairobi

  • Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, and it’s also a great place to start your trip. Nairobi is a vibrant city with plenty of things to do and see, so it’s a good idea to spend several days here before heading into the wilderness.
  • Nairobi has many historical sites that are worth visiting while you’re in town. You can visit the National Museum of Kenya or the Karen Blixen Museum & Outbuilding (aka “Out of Africa”). If you’re into art, then head over to The Museum at Eldoret and check out its collection of African art.

Spend a day in Lamu

Spending a day in Lamu is a good idea, but you must be sure to get there early. There are many things to see and do in this small town on an island in the Indian Ocean, but it’s very crowded with tourists during peak season (December through March).

The Lamu Museum has displays of traditional Swahili life as well as artifacts from early Portuguese explorers who visited Lamu centuries ago. You can also visit the ruins of Lamu Fort which date back to around 1550 AD. These ruins include wells, walls, and other structures that are still standing today; these were once used by Portuguese settlers during their occupation of this area from 1505 – 1832 AD!

Another popular attraction is the Stone Town which includes both historical buildings such as mosques and churches along with modern-day shops selling souvenirs made by locals such as baskets made out of coconut leaves or woven mats made from banana leaves!”

Go to the Kenyan coast

If you’re in Kenya for a few weeks and have time to explore, take a trip to the Kenyan coast. Head either north or south Mombasa is the most popular destination, but Malindi, Diani Beach, and Watamu are other options that offer plenty of things to do between their white beaches and beautiful landscapes. Some less-tourist places on the coast include Shimoni, Lamu, and Malindi (which has amazing coral reefs).

Take a wildlife safari

If you’re traveling for 2 weeks or less, I would suggest taking a safari in any of the national parks listed below. These are some of the most popular and well-known national parks in Kenya.

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve: This park is famous for its wildlife viewing and game drives, including cheetahs, lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and many birds. Samburu National Reserve is another great option nearby with similar wildlife viewing opportunities but fewer tourists than Maasai Mara.
  • Amboseli National Park: This park is mainly known for its elephants but there are also leopards here too! You can take a 4×4 drive into this park if you want to go off-roading while looking out for animals around Mt Kilimanjaro as well as hippos near Lake Amboseli itself (if they haven’t migrated). There are plenty of campsites within walking distance of where we recommend going on safari so visiting here wouldn’t require much planning ahead before arriving in Kenya either!
Cultural Destinations

Take in culture and tradition in Maasai Mara, Samburu, or Nanyuki

While you’re in Kenya, take time to learn about the Maasai people. The Maasai are an indigenous ethnic group that lives in central Kenya and northern Tanzania. They’re known for their vibrant red shuka (dress) and beaded jewelry, and they are famous for herding cattle.

If you want to visit a Maasai village, there is one in Nairobi called Kijabe that’s worth checking out. In this town, you can learn about their history, customs, and way of life by taking part in activities such as weaving baskets or making your own beaded jewelry. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn their language – which is only spoken by men so if you’d like to impress everyone back home with your linguistic knowledge then this is a great opportunity!

Connect with local kids at an orphanage

The next day, you’ll head south to the northeastern region of Kenya and make your way to Kakamega Forest. The drive takes about five hours from Nairobi, which gives you plenty of time to think about how much fun you had at the orphanage or what you want to do when you get there.

If you’re staying in Kakamega for longer than one night, consider signing up for an overnight volunteer stint at an orphanage. You can sign up on VolunteerMatch’s website or directly through the organization itself (the latter option is easiest). If possible, bring some supplies with you: clothes are always appreciated; so are shoes (especially sneakers), toiletries like toothpaste and shampoo, and other non-perishable food items such as rice or pasta noodles. Once there, set aside a few hours each day to spend playing with the kids and helping out with chores like washing dishes or sweeping floors if needed after all, it’s part of your job!

Volunteer at a primary school

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the local community and make a difference. You can find volunteering opportunities through companies such as International Volunteer HQ, or you can use your network of friends and family to find out about opportunities.

Before you go:

  • Research the organization thoroughly. Make sure they are reputable and have good reviews online from past volunteers.
  • Speak with one of their volunteers who has returned from the trip recently (at least 2 months prior). Ask them what they did on their trip, how much time they spent each day volunteering, what type of accommodation was provided (if any), and if there were any unexpected expenses or surprises that came up during their trip that wasn’t budgeted for.

Amazing trip but be safe

The following is a list of important safety precautions to take while traveling in Kenya:

  • Take a guide. While many locals are friendly and helpful, it’s still important to have someone who can make sure you stay safe.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, even when you’re taking photos or just walking around town. You never know when an animal might be nearby!
  • Be respectful of the local culture and customs, or you might offend someone unintentionally and that could put your life in danger!
  • Always carry a first aid kit with basic supplies like bandages and disinfectant wipes in case someone gets injured during hiking trips through nature reserves; these kinds of injuries happen more often than one would think!


I hope that this post has helped you get a better idea of what to expect on your trip to Kenya. It is an amazing country with so much to offer, so make sure you plan carefully and enjoy yourself!