Events & Festivals
Kenya’s energy and cultural vibrancy are on full display year-round through its many events and festivities. Immerse yourself in the one-of-a-kind Kenyan culture and customs while enjoying a variety of activities.
Experience the rich Swahili culture of the Lamu area by attending the famous Lamu Cultural Festival, held annually in the ancient town of Lamu. Enjoy traditional dances, meals, and music, along with dhow and donkey races and boat-building contests. This festival, held in the last week of November, aims to promote Swahili heritage and preserve island culture and is supported by international embassies and private sponsors. Immerse yourself in the richness of Swahili culture with storytellers’ readings, traditional poetry performances, and musical performances in the main square. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness all of the archipelago’s traditional dances (Ngoma) performed in the streets of Lamu Town.
You will also witness showcases of traditional dances, music, and meals, along with thrilling events such as donkey races and dhow races along the Lamu seafront. You can witness the construction of traditional dhows and fish traps, admire henna painting and palm weaving, and try your hand at bao games. Don’t miss the highlight of the festival – the fast and elegant Mozambique dhow racing events. It’s a feast for everyone’s senses!
In the coastal town of Mombasa, the Mombasa Carnival is a popular event that celebrates the city’s diverse cultures and traditions. The carnival is a lively festival that features traditional dances, music, and performances from various communities in the region. Visitors can expect to be entertained by a mix of modern and traditional sounds, ranging from sassy Afropop to soothing religious melodies. Taarab music, which is a blend of music from Mozambique to Egypt, is a popular genre played by many sound systems during the carnival.
The parades showcase floats, costumes, and dancers representing the various communities that make Mombasa. Visitors can also browse stalls selling a range of items, from traditional wood carvings to the popular Maasai shukas. Alongside the live music and dance performances, the carnival is also an opportunity to experience the creative works of artists from across Kenya and gain an appreciation for the diverse culture of East Africa.
Every year from July to October, nature enthusiasts can witness the wildebeest migration at the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The Great Migration, considered one of the most sought-after wildlife experiences, involves over a million animals following a circular path across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in search of water and grazing. The wildebeest, accompanied by other animals, move constantly and follow a traditional path, starting from calving in the southern Serengeti near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, moving clockwise through the Serengeti to reach the Masai Mara in Kenya, and then returning towards the end of the year. This Migration is a cycle of life where many animals are taken by predators, and many are born, sustaining and replenishing the population.
The Kenyan International Sports Film Festival in Nairobi showcases some of the finest sports films from around the world. It explores the symbiotic relationship between sports and films. The festival team sifts through thousands of films and curates hundreds of new programs every year. Attendees can watch movies, participate in workshops and panel discussions, and network with industry professionals. The festival is an excellent opportunity to immerse oneself in the world of sports cinema and gain insights into the creative process behind some of the best sports films.
A Kenyan holiday is a bucket list item.