The 15 Best Documentaries About Kenya

Aug 26, 2023 | Best Of, Culture, History

The sun rises on the African savannah, its rays piercing through the morning mist. The distant silhouette of Nairobi’s skyscrapers is visible as far as the eye can see. It is in this beautiful country that some of the most captivating documentaries about Kenya have been created and shared with the world. From examining tribal rituals to exploring modern-day stories, these documentaries offer a unique and intimate look into Kenyan culture. Whether you are looking to learn about the past or gain insight into current events, these films provide a fascinating glimpse of Kenya like no other. So grab your popcorn and settle in for an unforgettable experience as you explore the best documentaries about Kenya.


1. Everyday life in Kenya’s capital

Mogaka, Jacky and Saidi – three people whose lives are intertwined with the bridge connecting Kangemi and the more prosperous parts of Nairobi. This bridge is a symbol of their hopes for a better future. Back in 2015, ARD’s Nairobi bureau chief Sabine Bohland reported on the thriving commerce taking place on the bridge. She spoke to the three of them, and each shared their dreams with her. Five years later she returns to find out how they’re dealing with the current pandemic, and if they have managed to make these dreams come true.


2. Hunting and being hunted in Kenya’s Masai Mara

When wildlife in the Masai Mara is abundant, it’s a paradise for predators and prey alike. Every year, African species such as wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and antelopes make their journey from the southern reaches of the Serengeti to the northern lands of Kenya. As they brave their way through this treacherous trek, they must also pass through the Mara River – a natural trap that has been laid out by Mother. Submerged shots of this unique ecosystem show crocodiles lurking beneath the surface in anticipation of their potential bounty. On land too, predators lurk on the banks ready to pounce at any moment.


3. A Very British Way of Torture

It was a tumultuous time in the history of Kenya. During the 1950s and 60s, Britain and the anti-colonial Mau Mau movement waged an intense battle for control that resulted in tragedy for both sides. Civilians were caught in the midst of this bloody conflict, suffering from horrific atrocities committed by both parties.


4. 🇰🇪Not Yet Kenyan

The beautiful and unique North Eastern Province of Kenya borders with Somalia. It is the country’s third-largest region, inhabited by ethnic Somalis who have faced persecution and systematic intimidation for 50 years since Kenya gained independence.Mohammed Adow, a Kenyan native from this part of the world, has experienced these atrocities firsthand. He returns to his homeland to investigate how things have changed in the past decades. But instead of joy and prosperity, Mohammed discovers that al-Shabab has taken hold of this region and caused a new wave of fears. The documentary Not Yet Kenyan follows Mohammed’s journey to uncover the truth about his home country and its people.


5. Kenya’s Hidden Epidemic

When the pandemic hit Kenya, a surge of gender-based violence cases went unreported. This “hidden epidemic” is one that is rooted in fear, stigma, and distrust of police. Despite the urgent need for help, victims remain silent due to a lack of reliable resources and support. In many cases, it’s too dangerous to come forward or seek justice. This silent epidemic has caused immense suffering to those who are most vulnerable, and the effects will be felt for years to come. Documentaries about Kenya have started to shine a light on this problem. They capture stories of resilience and hope in the face of adversity, as well as the courage of victims who bravely come forward despite all odds.


6. The Fight For Water – Kenya’s Cattle Wars

In the wild and untamed plains of northern Kenya, young warriors from different tribes compete for the increasingly scarce resources in a desperate fight for survival. Cattle rustling has become an all-too-familiar occurrence between Samburu, Boran, Pokot & Turkana herders as they struggle to graze their animals on land that is quickly drying up due to climate change. Unfortunately, these clashes have resulted in hundreds of deaths and are now responsible for more casualties than terrorism in the region.Kenya’s premier investigative journalist has taken it upon himself to document this crisis through an eye-opening film that shines a light on the plight of these rural communities and their struggle to survive.


7. Most Dangerous Ways To School

The Great Rift Valley of Kenya has been home to the Massai people for centuries. While they have resisted assimilation into modern society, life in their remote homeland has not been without its difficulties. Education remains a pressing issue for this ancient culture, as many Massai children are unable to gain access to traditional schooling opportunities. To make matters worse, the constant upheavals in Kenya mean that the Massai are at risk of losing their traditions and culture. This is why it’s so important to learn more about this fascinating group of people, who have managed to preserve so much despite considerable external pressures.


8. Ross Kemp On Gangs – Kenya

Travel to Kenya and explore the hidden secrets of Mungiki, an organization known for its deadly activities. Ross Kemp, a renowned documentary maker, along with his team, takes a journey to uncover the intricate details about this group. They reveal how it has developed into one of the most feared gangs in Africa and investigate its criminal activities. Uncovering clues from interviews, surveillance footage and more, this documentary shows a side of Kenya that many locals may be unaware of. Witness the story unfold as you go down a deep rabbit hole of the Mungiki’s operations and understand what has made them so powerful in today’s world. From their unique tactics to their mysterious inner workings – this African exploration leaves no stone unturned.


9. Kenya’s Killer Roads

The roads that criss-cross Kenya have become a deadly hazard to the people of the country. In 2020 and 2021, fatalities from road accidents rose by more than 20%. Last year, over 4500 people were killed and 16000 injured in various accidents. The Kenyan government cites drunk driving, overloading, and speeding as some of the leading causes of these tragedies. However, could corruption be a factor as well? With increasing fatalities and injuries, the government is doing its utmost to tackle these issues. The authorities are implementing stricter laws against drunk driving, overloading, and speeding – while also working towards reducing corrupt activities in order to improve road safety for all Kenyans.


10. Uhuru Kenyatta Vs William Ruto

We examine the rollercoaster of a decade that encapsulates Kenyan politics, from 2012 to 2022. It is a time period riddled with contention between President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. We look into how their quarrels have affected the country’s political landscape and further explore what has caused the division amongst them. In addition, we consider the steps taken towards promoting cohesion between these leaders and their constituents. The Best Documentaries About Kenya aims to portray a comprehensive picture of the dynamics in this East African nation during this period in history.


11. Kenyan History: The European Invasion

From the time of its colonial beginnings to its eventual independence, Kenya has seen a tumultuous past. This documentary examines how European settlers took advantage of the African population and slowly chipped away at their land ownership. Through interviews with former colonists, harrowing accounts of the Imperial British East Africa Company are revealed. Private letters and journals help piece together the motives behind those who sought to make Kenya an extension of Britain, with very little consideration for its original inhabitants. As the story unfolds, a much larger picture of the country’s history slowly takes shape. From colonialism to independence, this documentary will take you on a journey through one of Africa’s most compelling stories.


12. Kenya’s ‘Spy Queen’:

Detective Jane Mugo is the talk of Kenya – a woman who some say has written her own rules to get to the bottom of hundreds of cases. Known as ‘Spy Queen’, she’s a force to be reckoned with, and for good reason. Jane is the best private investigator in the country, unlocking mysteries that had been left unsolved before her arrival.She’s no ordinary detective, either – Jane’s stories have been featured by media outlets around the world. All of them are captivating tales of her bold and daring investigations, as well as her determination to uncover the truth. This is a documentary that celebrates Kenya’s real-life James Bond and takes us into the life of its most controversial private investigator.



The late President Daniel Arap Moi’s 24-year reign in power was a political chess game, with opponents aiming to end this dictator’s rule. It took a gamble and historic victory for an opposition outfit led by former President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to finally win the battle. This documentary dives into the battles, losses, and eventual victory that came with this momentous political event in Kenyan history. It delves into the strategies of both sides and brings to life an tale of courage, determination, and resilience that ultimately led to a moment of triumph for Kenya. From exploring how the opposition party was formed to uncovering the tactics used by President Moi’s regime.


14. Kenya: A Trip through Wildness

Kenya is known for its spectacular landscapes and remarkable wildlife. From giraffes to elephants, leopards to rhinos, this area is home to the incredible animals of Africa which are fiercely protected by the people. Not only providing a safe haven for these creatures, Kenya also has immense cultural beauty, with vibrant cities and breathtaking beaches. There are many documentaries showcasing the wonders of this country, giving viewers the chance to travel around Kenya from the comfort of their own homes. Take a journey through this unique landscape and explore its captivating wildlife with some of the best documentaries about Kenya.


15. Kenyan Marathon Runner’s Training To Win Gold

Geoffrey Kipsang of Kenya is on a mission to bring running into the spotlight. He hopes to share the stories of those who push themselves and their limits on the track, making it more than just an old sport. Through his documentary series, viewers will get unprecedented access to see what it really takes to become a champion runner. From intense training regimens to heart-breaking losses, they’ll watch as the athletes push their bodies to their ultimate limits in pursuit of victory. This series will provide an inspiring look into one of Kenya’s most beloved sports and its incredible athletes. Follow Geoffrey Kipsang on his journey to put a face behind the finish line.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B