Weirdest Places in Kenya: 6 Unusual Hidden Gems to Visit


Are you drawn to the unusual? Here are some of the weirdest places in Kenya that are nature’s own masterpieces. Most of these places are relatively easy to reach and largely off the tourist radar. Immerse yourself in these enchanting landscapes and see some of the country’s most fascinating natural attractions:

Kyamwilu Hill, Machakos

One of the most fascinating wonders of nature in the country is a hill that seemingly defies Newton’s law of gravity. Also known as Kituluni Hill, Kyamwilu Hill is located along the Machakos-Kangundo Road. To confirm the anti-gravity claims, visitors often pour water on the road surface. Instead of streaming downhill, it makes its way uphill. Similarly, ones who release tires are stunned to see them rolling up the hill. Vehicles left in neutral gear also start inching their way up the hill.

Scientists attribute this strange phenomenon to an optical illusion. Though the road appears to be winding up a hill, there could in fact be a slight slope. Not surprisingly, some visitors claim that it is much easier to run uphill than downhill in Kyamwilu.

God’s Bridge (Ndaraca ya Ngai), Kirinyaga

There is a mysterious natural bridge in Kirinyaga that locals have named God’s Bridge. Behind this intriguing name is a conviction that God made this artistic masterpiece himself. Underneath the bridge is an intricate pattern of rocks that fit together like puzzle pieces. The rocks, shale and tangled roots weave a natural mesh so strong that it resembles a gigantic slab. Due to this mind-numbing design, locals believe that it has to be of divine origin.

Underneath this natural bridge flows the mighty River Nyamindi. River Nyamindi traces its origins to the melting glaciers on Mount Kenya. It joins a host of other rivers from the region to form River Tana, which then flows all the way into the Indian Ocean.

The site holds some historical significance as one of the hideouts of the Mau Mau during the fierce battle for independence.

Mysterious Dancing Stones of Namoratunga (Kalokol Pillar Site), Turkana

One of the weirdest places in Kenya is a megalithic site in northwestern Kenya, close to Lake Turkana. Its name loosely translates to ‘People of Stone.’ Legend has it that the 19 basalt pillars that define this unusual place are in fact petrified men.

The stones rise to a height of about a meter each and have small pebbles resting on their tops. Some are almost perfect cylinders while others are a bit more abstract. Some have fallen over and others are slightly tilted. Their alignment is similarly curious as they are arranged in rows. Researchers have drawn a link between the pillars and certain constellations. This has led some to believe that they in fact constitute an ancient astronomical calendar system.

Ondiri Swamp, Kikuyu

Separating fact from fiction is nearly impossible at Ondiri Swamp. Everything about this weird natural attraction is eerie and shrouded in mystery. Located in Kiambu County close to the Kenyan capital, this wetland is the source of the infamous Nairobi River. Covering about 3.7 million square feet, it is home to about 76 species of birds thanks to conservationists efforts.

Ondiri Swamp makes our list of weirdest places in Kenya due to the wobbly feel of the ground all around it. Walking around the wetland will give you a sinking sensation as the ground feels like it is constantly shifting underneath your feet. Surprisingly though, you do not actually sink, but it is a surreal experience that you live to remember. Other remarkable aspects about it include its tendency to shape-shift and the fact that it is Kenya’s only quaking swamp.

Birdwatchers will appreciate the opportunity to spot rare birds like the yellow bishop and the red-throated wryneck. The beautiful long-tailed widowbird also calls this wetland home, as does the crested crane.

Hell’s Kitchen (Marafa Depression)

Often referred to as the “mini grand canyon,” The Marafa Depression is certainly one of the weirdest places in Kenya. It is an unusual masterpiece of nature that is yet to get on the tourist radar. This natural wonder derives its name Hell’s Kitchen from the high daytime temperature. It sometimes reaches as high as 50 degrees Celsius.

Situated a short drive from Kenya’s coastal town of Malindi, it is a living work of art that keeps transforming. It is a sandstone canyon consisting of deep gorges and jagged sculptures that nature has carved out. A wide spectrum of colours brings it to life every single day when sunlight hits the dramatic landscape. Shades of orange, white, red and pink create an otherworldly look and feel. It is particularly popular with sunrise and sunset lovers.

Though this strange landscape traces its origins to erosion and weathering, it is steeped in myth. Locals tell a story of a wealthy family that bathed and washed in cow’s milk. To punish them for their wastefulness, the ground opened up and swallowed the entire family. The milky white sandstone in the depression represents this milk while the crimson stands for blood.

Lake Magadi – the Pink Lake


Located on the Great Rift Valley, Lake Magadi is a saline and alkaline lake spanning about 100 square kilometers. This lake is one of very few places on the planet where a mineral known as trona forms naturally.

Trona is used to create soda ash (sodium carbonate), a raw material for paper and glass production. It forms on the bed of the lake as rainwater and surface runoff deposits volcanic material in its waters. Thanks to the fascinating blend of minerals present in this water, sometimes it changes colour to a vivid pink.

Aside from the captivating hue, the lake’s mineral deposits also attract a variety of water birds such as the iconic pink flamingo. Hot springs around the lake also make a great attraction if you fancy a natural spa experience.

A Touch of the Eccentric in Kenya’s Weirdest Places

Africa is full of natural wonders for the curious soul to explore, and Kenya is a great place to start. These are just a tip of the iceberg, some of the weirdest places in Kenya that still remain relatively unknown to the world. Be sure to bring along your sense of wonder as you explore these quirky landscapes that defy logic.

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