fun things to do with kids in kenya - family travel   Travel for Kids


Just imagine kids at eye level with a hippo, feeding a giraffe, or coming upon a lion paw print in the dirt. Kenya is a fabulous landscape where you can see animals in their natural habitat – flocks of pink flamingos in the lakes, bush babies and monkeys in the forest, lions, rhinos, zebras, elephants and giraffes in the savanna. Kenyans love kids, and families are warmly received as you travel through this equatorial country.
    The Rift Valley
    Western Kenya
      Tip: Don’t swim in the lakes or rivers. Bilharzia is present, and lakes and rivers are also home to crocodiles. Be sure to bring along binoculars for wildlife viewing.

Fun food


In Kenya it’s traditional to eat with your hands, so kids will enjoy eating without utensils in restaurants (wash your hands first). Try ugali (similar to polenta) – use ugali to scoop up other dishes. Mandazi is a fried sweet, like a doughnut. Restaurants and hotels often have buffet meals, so kids can pick what they like.




Shop for carved wooden animals (pick your favorite animal), knives and spears (select ones that come apart so they can fit in your luggage), jewelry and beaded necklaces.

family tours kenya tanzania

An African safari is an experience that will stay with your kids forever.

Here's our editors' choice for a East Africa family safari to experience amazing wildlife and interact with tribal cultures. Whether it's game drives, spotting lions, leopards, elephants, and rare black rhinos, camping in the bush or staying in lodges, this tour company will arrange an unforgettable trip:

    Quivertree Family Expeditions
kids books kenya
Mama Panya's Pancakes kenya childrens books  
Mama Panya's Pancakes
Mary and Rich Camberlin, Julia Cairns

Mama Panya is making pancakes tonight, and on the way to market, her son Adika invites all their friends. Mama wonders how many pancakes she can make, but everyone brings milk, butter, plantains, fish, spices and it’s a feast under the baobab tree. A sparkling story that expresses Kenyan village life based on sharing, beautifully illustrated. (Picture book)


Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
Verna Aardema, Beatriz Vidal

A Kenyan folktale retold, the grass is brown and the cows are hungry, but the rain won’t fall on Kapiti Plain. A clever herdsman fashions an arrow to shoot the cloud and drop the rain. Delightful rhyming text, colorfully illustrated. (Picture book)


kids folktale kenya Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
First Come the Zebra kids kenya  
First Come the Zebra
Lynne Barasch

When a Maasai boy takes his cattle out to graze, he meets a Kikuyu boy, whose family farms the land. At first the boys dislike each other, but then they find a way to share cow's milk in exchange for fruits and vegetables. (Picture book)


Facing the Lion
Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton

Captivating childhood memories of Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton, growing up today in a nomadic Maasai tribe, where cows are a way of life, clothing is a nanga and beads, and hunting lions with spears is every warrior’s challenge. Joseph is a super storyteller, bringing traditional Maasai culture to us. (Chapter book)


Facing the Lion kids biography maasai kenya
kids masai maasai kenya Papa, Do You Love Me  
Papa, Do You Love Me
Barabara M. Joose, Barbara Lavallee

“I love you more than the warrior loves to leap, more than the bush baby loves the moon, more than the elder loves his stories.” A Maasai father tells his son how he’ll care for him, teach him, and how much he loves him. Watercolor illustrations shimmer on each page. (Picture book)


Lions at Lunchtime (Magic Tree House)
Mary Pope Osborne

Annie and Jack are whirled to the plains of Kenya, right in the middle of a zebra migration crossing the Mara River. Searching to solve the riddle of something sweet and gold, they encounter hyenas, elephants, lions, and a Maasai warrior. (Easy reader)


lions at lunchtime
animals of the savanna  
Animals of the Savanna
Olivia Cosneau

Learn about animals of the African savanna (e.g. no two zebra stripes are alike), color and add stickers to savanna scenes of giraffes, termites, anteaters, elephants, leopards, hippos, lions and more. (Sticker activity book)



Ella and Ethan are visiting the Maasai Mara game reserve - their mission is to see the Big Five game animals. They meet Maasai villagers and spot elephants, Cape buffalo, leopard, rhinocerous, but how do you find a lion? (Easy reader)


the mystery of the lions tail
childrens books kenya Wangari's Trees of Peace  
Wangari's Trees of Peace
Jeanette Winter

Wangari Maathai looks at the barren land where all the trees have been cut down, and she starts by planting nine seedlings. She convinces village women to the seeds of hope, and in time, a green umbrella spreads all over Africa. Vibrant illustrations capture Wangari’s vision, and the beauty and wonder of the Earth. (Picture book)


Mama Miti and the Trees of Kenya
Donna Jo Napoli, Kadir Nelson

Mama Miti, Wangari Maathai, winner of Nobel Peace Prize, organized women in Kenya to re-plant millions of trees, restoring the land and changing people's lives. Each kind of native tree planted provided fruits, firewood, fodder for goats, branches to train yam vines, filter water, and muringa plants for the joy of their pure white flowers. (Picture book)


mama miti
rhino in the house  
Rhino in the House
Daniel Kirk

True story of Anna Merz, and Samia, a black rhino. Finding an abandoned baby rhino, Anna brings Samia home to care for her - what an adventure watching Samia grow up. Fabulous illustrations by Daniel Kirk! (Picture book.)

And in Kenya you can visit Lewa Conservancy (created by Anna Merz) to see endangered black and white rhinos.


travel for kids | kenya
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