Kenya is a land full of surprises, treasures, and adventures. However, not enough attention is paid to Kenya’s authentic towns and natural wonders, which, despite their beauty, are rarely visited by tourists. This article is for those of you who like to travel off the beaten path.
Here are some of Kenya’s hidden gems, from the Blood-Red Alkaline Lake to the Haunted Pillar of Mbaraki, which you’ve probably never heard of. One thing is certain: it’s unclear why these places are still relatively undiscovered — they’re absolutely incredible.
1. Blood-Red Alkaline Lake
🌳 Where? Blood-Red Alkaline Lake is located in Kapedo, Turkana East
😍 Why: The Lake is naturally alkaline, and as it dries out, the alkalinity rises. The warm water, combined with the high salt concentration, creates an ideal breeding environment for the Dunaliella algae, which turns the water blood red.
2. Marafa-Hell’s Kitchen
🌳 Where? Hell’s Kitchen Marafa or Marafa Canyon, also known as “Cucina del Diavolo”, is a surreal place located just outside of Malindi Town, Kenya
😍 Why: Known locally as Nyari – The sandstone’s layer-cake colors reveal whites, pinks, oranges, and deep crimsons, making the gorge especially beautiful at sunset when the tones of the ribbed sandstone gullies are highlighted and mirrored by those of the setting sun.
3. The Chalbi Desert
🌳 Where? The Chalbi Desert is a small desert located near Marsabit town, east of Lake Turkana.
😍 Why: Chalbi Desert is a perfect place for safaris, motorsports, camel derbies and caravans, nature treks, and filming, among other experiences.
4. Lake Chala
🌳 Where? Lake Chala is located on the Tanzania-Kenya border, near Lake Jipe.
😍 Why: Take a stroll down the 100m-deep crater rim to the lakeshore, where you can cool your feet among the rocks while watching the water ripple peacefully through the lake in shimmering delight.
5. Eliye Springs Beach
🌳 Where? Lake Turkana Eliye Springs Beach is located 50 kilometers east of Lodwar. It is without a doubt a fantastic hidden Gem Attraction in Kenya.
😍 Why: A fantastic place to unwind with a laid-back atmosphere and endless palm-fringed sandy beaches with a panoramic view of Lake Turkana in complete peace and fun.
6. Dragon Teeth, Aberdares
🌳 Where? Dragon’s Teeth, also known as Oldoinyo Lesatima, is the highest of the Aberdares peaks and is located on the Aberdare Range’s northern side.
😍 Why: Dragon’s Teeth gives you the opportunity to prepare for climbing mountains like Mt. Kenya, Kilimanjaro, or Rwenzori. Satima, at 4001 meters above sea level, is considered the highest peak in the Aberdares Ranges.
7. Takawiri Island
🌳 Where? Takawiri Island, located approximately 15 kilometers from the mainland, is one of the most unspoiled islands on Lake Victoria.
😍 Why: The Island features white sand beaches and cool breezes from palm trees, and it is also endowed with a variety of activities including snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing, and sailing.
8. Haunted Pillar of Mbaraki
🌳 Where? The 300-year-old Mbaraki Pillar, which stands about 50 feet tall, is located just west of the Likoni Ferry roundabout, behind G4S headquarters.
😍 Why: Mbaraki Pillar is Kenya’s second oldest monument after Fort Jesus and it is one of the most contentious areas on the Kenyan coast. Historians and archaeologists have never agreed on what it was used for in ancient times. Some believe it was an early form of a lighthouse, while others believe it served another purpose. According to local folklore, an Arab spirit resides within its walls and possesses powerful magical healing abilities. Women have been known to travel long distances in the hope of bearing children by performing fertility rituals at the base of the pillar. The sick also leave offerings in the hope of being cured.
9. Mida Creek
🌳 Where? Mida Creek is a natural entrance in the coast about 5 kilometers south of Watamu that stands out from the surrounding nature for having a completely different fauna and flora, resulting in a unique ecosystem.
😍 Why: Mida Creek can best be explored by boat and if you want to kayak, the creek is a great place to go because there are so many small channels and passages through the mangroves to explore where kingfishers hunt in the shallow waters and fish eagles perch in the overhead trees.
10. Mzima Springs
🌳 Where? Mzima Springs is located in Tsavo West National Park, approximately 48 kilometers from Mtito Andei.
😍 Why: The springs’ source is a natural reservoir beneath the Chyulu Hills to the north, and some of the attractions include a hiking path alongside the ponds and springs, as well as an underground glass-windowed viewing room, all of which provide incredible views of the flora and fauna.
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