Animal migrations, camel derbies, and lively carnivals are just some of the Kenya events and festivals that you could include in your Kenya vacation. Should you be in Kenya for one of the official Kenya holidays, you might also be treated to a rather interesting experience. Various Kenyan events, festivals, and holidays can add considerable depth to your Kenya vacation, not to mention give you further insight into Kenya's culture and people. We'll discuss some of the more prominent and popular Kenya events and holidays here, but by all means, you should always be on the lookout for those that might affect your trip wherever in Kenya you choose to go.
Without question, the annual wildebeest migration is
one of the most famous Kenya events. Every year in either
July or August, millions of wildebeest from the Serengeti
plains in nearby Tanzania come flowing into Kenya looking
for greener pastures. Ask anyone, and they'll tell
you that the best place to see the wildebeest migration
is the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Also migrating into Kenya
during this time are vast amounts of zebras, which are
amazing creatures to witness. Predators such as lions and leopards are also in good
supply, looking for a prospective meal, no doubt. The
Masai Mara is one of Africa's best safari destinations,
and it's a good place to visit any time of the year,
but come July and August, it's truly at its best.
For those that like animals, one of the more fun Kenyan
festivals is the Malaral Camel Derby. This is held every
August in northern Kenya, where the landscape is more
desert than it is anywhere else in the country. Curiously
enough, camel racing is quite the international sport,
which may be news to many, and this festival also features
cycling races, donkey rides, and interesting cultural
dance performances. This is surely one of the Kenya festivals
that campers might add to their lists, as camping is the
norm during this weekend. There is also an upscale safari
lodge close by for those looking for more in the way
of service and comfort.
Another one of the best Kenyan festivals would have
to be the Mombasa Carnival, which is held annually in
November. Kenya's rich culture is surely on display
during the Mombasa Carnival, as groups from all over Kenya
join the parades. Awesome floats, great costumes, and
lively Kenyan music are part of the festivities, and the
traditional Kenyan dance performances are a treat to behold.
Scores of boats take to the Indian Ocean during this celebration,
and if you are up for some Kenya
shopping, you might browse the arts and crafts stalls.
Film buffs will likely place the Kenya International Film
Festival high on their lists of Kenyan festivals to consider
experiencing. Though this festival is young, it is unique
enough to warrant further inspection. Film-makers from
various East African countries put their work on display
at the KIFF, which is held in the fall in Nairobi.
An all around good time, the Concours d'Elegance is one of the more interesting Kenya events, especially for car and motorcycle enthusiasts. Taking place annually in September, this race is held at the Nairobi Race Course, and competitors from around the world bring their cars or bikes. There are different classes for the various crafts, and at the end, a procession of all the competitors takes place, which is perhaps the best part of it all. Side activities like parachute jumps keep the fun rolling for visitors, and it's simply just one of the more fun Kenyan festivals. Other Kenyan events and festivals worth checking out include the Kenyan Music Festival, which runs all through August in Nairobi, and the Rhino Charge, which is a 4x4 fundraising event. It closes out the last weekend in May, and is held within the Aberdare National Park.
As for the Kenya holidays, some pertain to the Christian calendar, while others are more in tune with Muslim customs. Kenya's largest Muslim populations are found near the coast, so during Muslim holidays in Kenya, you'll notice the influence that they have in destinations like Malindi and Lamu. Other important or notable holidays in Kenya include New Year's Day, Christmas Day, Madaraka Day, and Kenyatta Day. Madaraka Day, which is observed on June 1, celebrates Kenya's Independence, which occurred in 1963. Kenyatta Day, which is celebrated on October 20, honors the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta. Banks and offices tend to close on major holidays in Kenya, and if Kenya holidays fall on a Sunday, they are usually then observed on Monday.