Taita Taveta County, famously known as the “Kenyan Switzerland”, can’t miss on your bucket list.
This prime location has four sub-counties with activities and views you only see in movies. Whether you go to Wundanyi, Voi, Taveta, or Mwatate, you won’t miss a James Bond or Gal Gadot moment! A true marvel, some would say.
Our team (Digital Nomads Kenya) was fortunate enough to spend 30 days in County 006, and the experience was truly remarkable.
This exhilarating, memorable, and thrilling trip wouldn’t have been possible without you. Of course, we didn’t come back empty-handed. We have all sorts of digital gifts for you!
In addition to giving you authentic experiences and details of Taita Taveta County in Kenya……. You have to become a member of this revelation or just read this entire piece.
9 Best Destinations To Visit In Taita Taveta County
Whether you want to pitch your tent in Voi, Wundanyi, Mwatate, or Taveta, you can’t afford to miss to visit any of these iconic spots. These top 9 Taita Taveta destinations will take your bucket list from beginner to seasoned traveler.
1. Take A Dip In Lake Chala
Lake Chala Courtesy of Digital Nomads Kenya
Like no other, this volcanic caldera is shared by two prime East African countries: Kenya and Tanzania.
The lake at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro stretches over 4km and runs 90 meters deep. That makes you wonder, can you swim here?
Well, if you are my niece(shout out to Shana Baby, hehe), Kathleen Ledecky or Michael Phelps, pack a bathing suit or two.
Known for its pristine blue-green waters, you can just bask by the shores and let the beautiful breeze blow all your problems away.
Oh, why the color? Minerals! Lots and lots of minerals. It’s almost surreal how the waters reflect the rays of the midday sun.
Nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers can trek around the crater lake or kayak. Be keen on the wildlife as well. There are crabs, monkeys, birds, and reptiles in the area.
The peaceful escape and thrilling adventures of Lake Chala will definitely help you reconnect with nature.
2. Go For A Boat Ride On Lake Jipe
This is another lake straddling the borders of Kenya and Tanzania. The shallow lake stretches over 28km and runs 3m deep.
So, swimming here is relatively safe. But is it worth it? Not really! The murky waters are not safe even for fish, so I wouldn’t advise you to wade through these waters even if your name is Ms. Tubman.
The changing water quality has made fishing impossible. This is due to increased salinity, human activities, and abstractions from the main inflow- Mt Kilimanjaro.
Despite the downside, you can still enjoy a beautiful boat ride while witnessing Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance. The backdrop makes you forget everything that ever was or is.
3. Glimpse of Nature At Mzima Springs
Don’t leave Tsavo National Park without checking off Mzima Springs on your bucket list.
Fed by Chyulu Hills, the four springs are home to crocodiles and hippos.
So, how exactly do the springs form?
Chyulu Hills are mainly composed of volcanic rocks and ash. This makes it impossible for rivers to flow. So when rainwater percolates through the rocks, it stays underground for over two decades before emerging at the Mzima, 40km away.
The rapids and pools formed as Mzima Springs run for about 2 km. The water then goes underground due to the solidified lava flow.
For a better view of the springs, go for the underground glass windowed viewing room. Keep an eye out for primeval-looking fish—a true sight for sore eyes.
This oasis in Tsavo West National Park feeds more than hippos and crocodiles. The 250 million litre daily water production also caters to Mombasa’s freshwater consumption.
4. Instagram At Lugard Falls
Located in Tsavo East National Park, these falls offer much-needed respite to wildlife and tourists.
The rocks blocking the Galana River form white water rapids that result in Lugard Falls. You can almost hear the waters plunging into the large pool before disappearing into the narrow gorge.
If you enjoy water-sculpted channels and striated rocks, the rock patterns cooled from lava are enough. The strips of pink, light grey, and white are enough to leave you in awe. To get a better view of the rapids, you can climb down the rocks or walk down the river for a better view.
From here, you can also spot the Yatta Plateau.
5. Go Wild At The Tsavo National Parks
Tsavo National Park is the largest park in Kenya.
Split by a railway running from Mombasa to the interior of Kenya, you’ll find Tsavo East National Park near Voi and Tsavo West National Park in Coast Province.
So should you go East or West? Well, it all depends.
If you want to add Lake Jipe and Mzima Springs to your bucket list, go West.
But if you want to witness the beauty of Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls, go East.
However, both parks have much to offer besides these pristine attractions.
You’ll find the black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, hippo, and Masai lion on the west side. You should also watch for bush babies, hartebeest, lesser kudu, and Masai Giraffe.
To access this side of the park, go to Mtito Gate, Man-Eaters Gate, or Chyulu Gate.
Tsavo East National Park, one of the oldest national parks, is home to several wild animals.
So, what’s the difference between Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park? Birds!
Yup, the east side has recorded over 500 species of birds. So, if you enjoy seeing the beauty of avians, you best head over to this side.
You’ll also spot the infamous red elephant, Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, pods of hippo, crocodile, waterbucks, lesser Kudu, and gerenuk.
To access Tsavo East National Park, go through the Mtito Wa Ndei or Sala Gate.
There are also airstrips such as Voi, Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo, Bachuma, and Cottars, for those who prefer fine living.
6. Experience Serenity At Yatta Plateau
Have you heard of Aruba Dam? I might be going too fast.
So, Yatta Plateau is one of the areas rich in dense bushland filled with Baobab trees. Compared to the rest of Tsavo East National Park, the plateau receives an average rainpour of 450mm daily.
So you’ll see plenty of “life” here.
So, how did it come to be? All thanks to the Oldonyo Sabuk mountain eruption. The plateau runs 290km above the Athi River and River Tiva. It offers breathtaking views of volcanic mountains and views on the western side.
The perfect time to visit is July and February; thank us later.
7. Relive History At The Jomo Kenyatta Caves
It’s in the name! Dubbed “Kenyatta Caves,” you can still feel the spirit of our freedom fighters before you encroach on this area.
Bildad Kaggia, Achieng Oneko, Ronald Ngala, Paul Ngei, Tom Mboya, and Mzee himself hid in these caves in the 1950s.
Aided by the late Zephaniah Nyambu Mwakio and his family, Kapenguria Six sought refuge in the caves for years during the colonial era.
I should also mention Mwakishaluwa Mkamba’s contributions as a traditional medicine man. He helped protect and advise ( a sought of consigliere) the freedom fighters.
It’s sentimental. It’s refreshing. And we ate with our hands in honor of our heroes.
8. Shop At The Teita Sisal Estate
Would you say you’ve visited Taita Taveta County if you don’t go to the sisal plantation?
Have you ever seen 32,000 acres of land? Prime land? This estate reminds me of Yellowstone (series).
And sadly enough, colonialists were quick to grab this land back in the day…so much so they even ferried luos to the land since the owners (Mdawidas) refused to break their backs for any kind of nonsense.
We kept singing Harriet Tubman’s song “Wade Through the Water” as we walked through the plantation. Reliving our ancestor’s pain, loss, and frustrations almost masked the beauty of Taita.
We found a new profound appreciation of those who came before us. The dreams that were never realized, the laughter muffled by cries, the families left for the cracks….history buffs will have a field day here.
Adventurers like us were left brokenhearted and more in love with our beautiful country.
9. Go Hiking On Vuria Hill
Are you an outdoor enthusiast? Find out by climbing this 2,228m high hill in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta.
The hill stretches well into Tanzania as well, but it’s relatively easy if you have big forearms. It can take you 45 minutes to get to the peak.
And don’t hesitate to carry your camping gear and fresh meat for barbeque. You’ll enjoy the views and shelter from the multiple caves.
Don’t miss witnessing Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance.
Explore Taita Taveta County
Taita Taveta County has the most scenic and pristine offerings in Kenya. However, without reliable information and proper planning, you’ll end up going for game drives alone. With our list, you get to explore Taita Taveta’s roads less traveled. So, how about bumping your vacation up a notch and using our affordable guides? All you have to do is join the Digital Nomads Kenya Community and get all the insider secrets and contacts of all prime areas in Kenya—no need to get duped when you can help.