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12 Hollywood Movies Shot in Kenya & Why Stay in Msambweni

On average, Africa produced 5,500 films per year between November 2020 and May 2021. Around 1,500 movies were produced per year in East Africa. East Africa’s Kenya is a fantastic location for a safari. Due to its equator-side location, it enjoys year-round, ideal tropical weather. Kenya is a popular vacation spot because of the amazing adventures and welcoming locals it offers.

south coast beach hotels

Everything else will go smoothly if the people around you are friendly. Kenya’s coastal towns provide the best opportunity for a wild and ideal vacation. However, Kenyans are most proud of the Hollywood movies shot in Kenya that are some of the greatest movies ever made. Are you searching for south coast beach hotels in Kenya? Finding affordable places to visit in Mombasa or best resorts in Mombasa or near? Click below for the top 5-star hotel in Kenya.

10 Awesome Hollywood Movies Shot in Kenya You Didn’t Know About

There are many hotels in south coast Mombasa or near. We will talk about it later so keep on reading. Producers have long had numerous reasons to film in Kenya because of its rich history, diverse culture, and amazing natural setting. Here are some well-known Hollywood movies shot in Kenya that will increase your love for the nation.

[Suggested Read: Top 7 Historical Sites of Kenya & Take a Trip to Msambweni]

1. The Constant Gardner

The Constant Gardener, a 2005 conspiracy thriller, follows a shy British diplomat named Justin Quayle as he and his lovely wife Tessa move to Kenya. When his wife is discovered dead in a small town, Justin quickly falls into the world of detectives. He is committed to discovering who killed his wife.

When his superiors at the British Embassy persuade him to let the matter go away quietly, it becomes obvious that her friend, Dr. Arnold Bluhm, is not the murderer, despite the fact that the circumstances initially point to him. His search for his wife’s killers leads him to learn about the many secrets of both his wife and his strong rivals, which shocks him. It is one of the best Hollywood movies shot in Kenya of all times.

2. Nowhere in Africa

It is a major German film and one of the most notable Hollywood movies shot in Kenya. It is no accident that the 2003 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar went to the movie with the original title Nirgendwo in Africa, which was based on the same-named novel. It tells the tale of a Jewish family that emigrates to Kenya in 1937, just as racism in Germany begins. The movie tells a human story in which Africa brings out conflicts and mental states that became even more unavoidable when the Second World War started.

The family’s patriarch, Jewish lawyer Walter Redlich, is an idealist who sees Kenyans as people who have also been persecuted, while his wife exhibits covert racism. The history of the British capturing and imprisoning non-aligned Europeans is intertwined with the new life in the bucolic but hopeless Rift Valley. For the Jews, who are viewed as German victims, this is not the case. The narration and filming of the story are superb, and Julian Kohler’s acting is noteworthy.

3. The First Grader

movie shot in Kenya
The First Grader movie shot in Kenya.

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In order to shed the weight of his past, one driven man fought for what he believed in—education—in this heartwarming and motivational true story. Old-time Mau Mau veteran Kimani Maruge hears on the radio that the government is providing free primary education.

He enters the nearby primary school to apply for admission because he feels he must also receive the chance at the education that has been long denied. The principal is initially shocked, but after careful thought decides to give Maruge a chance because he gets along well with students as young as six. The first-grader is a testament to how education can change people and focuses on a social cause. Hence, regarded as one of the most critically-acclaimed Hollywood movies shot in Kenya.

4. Tomb Raider

shooting in Kenya
Angelina Jolie shooting in Kenya for Tomb Raider.

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Just two hours from the capital, in Kenya’s breathtaking Hell’s Gate National Park, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life was a Hollywood movies shot in Kenya. Many scenes, including the main ones in the “tomb,” are perfectly framed by the stunning gorges, cliffs, and rocks. In the movie, Pokot tribe members from Kenya played the mysterious tribe that tomb raider Lara Croft found in Africa.

5. Born to be Wild

Born To Be Wild
A scene from Born to be wild movie shot in Kenya.

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This documentary is one of the films in Kenya that was shot in Borneo’s jungles and in Kenya. It sheds light on the efforts to conserve wild animals like elephants. Elephants have a central role in the 40-minute documentary film and are narrated by the voice of Morgan Freeman. Daphne Sheldrick and Birute Galdikas are the leaders of the conservation initiatives.

6. Inception

The coastal city of Mombasa is featured in the 2010 sci-fi thriller Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and an exciting foot chase occurs there. The stunning beaches of Kenya were also used in the film. It is one of the hit Hollywood movies shot in Kenya. The scene even includes props like Taifa Leo, the top local Swahili newspaper in Kenya, and “Nyoike Limited Kenya,” the name of one of the buildings in the background in Kikuyu. The scene, however, was actually filmed in Morocco’s Old Souk in Tangier.

7. Sense

filming in Nairobi Kenya
The cast of Sense 8 filming in Nairobi Kenya.

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Sense is one of Netflix’s most popular science fiction series and is filmed in Nairobi, Kenya. The second season of the science fiction program Sense 8 centers on a group of young people from different parts of the world. They are suddenly connected mentally following a rebirth and are trying to know why.

They don’t even need any gadgets to talk when they are on opposite sides of the globe. Since they are also connected mentally, they can make use of each other’s talents and skills. Since they are being sought after by those who view them as a threat to the global order, their struggles bring them together and they must work together to survive.

8. Cry Freedom

Cry Freedom is an intense South African drama starring Denzel Washington and one of the best Hollywood movies shot in Kenya. It helps expose the true horror of the country’s apartheid regime at the time. The main focus of the film is an unlikely friendship between Steve Biko, a black activist, and Donald Woods, a white chief editor of a liberal newspaper.

Donald initially opposed Biko, but after meeting him, he changes his mind. The majority of the film was filmed in Zimbabwe, but Mombasa, a port city and coastal town in Kenya, served as the location for the beach scenes.

9. The Ghost and the Darkness

Darkness movie shot in Kenya
A scene from The Ghost and the Darkness movie shot in Kenya.

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The amazing tale of the Tsavo man-eaters is well-documented in historic accounts as a thrilling horror that the Nairobi-Mombasa railway workers had to endure. The two male maneless lions that often ate the crew and the man who sets out to hunt them down to put an end to the bloodshed and terror are the central characters in the story.

10. Rise and Fall of Idi Amin

This biopic, also known as Amin: The Rise and Fall stars Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada and was filmed in Kenya in 1981. The controversial deeds and crimes committed by the former dictator who violently seized power in 1971 are shown in the movie.

The movie paints a vivid picture of a ruthless Amin who caused his people great suffering and destroyed the Ugandan economy by driving out the Indian laborers who had been working there. Idi Amin, who is regarded as the African equivalent of Adolf Hitler, is still regarded as one of history’s greatest villains.

11. The Air Up There

This movie in Kenya is based on the life of Jimmy Dolan, an assistant basketball coach for a college team. He wants to become the head coach, but in order to get that job, he needs to make a big discovery. The prospect Saleh’s home video is what he sees. The issue is that Saleh is in Africa. Dolan takes a leap of faith and searches for Saleh all through much of Africa.

Saleh’s father, a chief, initially opposes his mission because he wants his son to carry on his legacy. He finally agrees after much convincing and lets Saleh play. Before they step onto the court for one game with everything on the line, Dolan and Saleh teach each other life lessons as they adjust to the new culture.

12. The Last Safari

Last Safari movie scene shot in Kenya
The Last Safari movie scene shot in Kenya.

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The Last Safari is an enjoyable movie in its own right and was one of the Hollywood movies shot in Kenya. It tells the story of a young man named Miles who goes on a safari in search of the killer elephant that killed his best friend. Along with him is another young man named Casey, a millionaire American who is fascinated by Miles’ tale. Grant, Casey’s half-caste girlfriend, is also with them. Miles believes he must atone for the death of his friend because he is to blame.

Alec, a different hunter, declines to share a meal with Grant because she is half-caste and he is white. This shows how widespread racism is. A group of white hunters who were ambushed in a Masai village are then helped by Casey and Miles. However, they manage to avoid being killed by an elephant herd that is charging. Casey bids Miles goodbye before leaving Africa. But Grant stays behind in the hopes of locating another benefactor.

[Suggested Read: 20 Phrases & Words You Need to Know When Traveling to Kenya]

Hollywood Movies Shot in Kenya Inspire you to Travel to Msambweni

If you’re a movie enthusiast or a traveler, watching Hollywood movies shot in Kenya is sure to inspire you to visit Msambweni and other locations in the nation. Movies such as The Constant Gardener have captured the beauty of Kenya and its diverse landscapes, wildlife, savannahs, and beaches. Seeing these locations on the big screen can spark a sense of curiosity and inspire you to experience the beauty of Kenya for yourself. Want to know more about resorts in Mombasa or near? Or Want to check out the tourist sites in Kenya? Read till the end.

Why do you want to stay at the villas in Diani? Where is Msambweni in Kenya? Msambweni means the land of Msambwe in Swahili. Msambweni weather is pleasant all year round. Just 30 minutes from Ukunda Kenya Airstrip and Diani (south coast of Mombasa), it is a small fishing town in Kwale County in the south of Kenya. Unable to find a private beach in Mombasa? Msambweni Beach House, formerly known as Msambweni Beach House boasts a 3km stretch of white sand that overlooks the Indian Ocean for guests to relax and unwind. Searching for private villas in Msambweni?

swimming pools in Mombasa

Being one of the best hotels in south coast, this Kenya luxury hotel features a main house with 3 opulent rooms and 1 ocean-view room sharing a 14 m infinity pool. Looking for swimming pools in Mombasa or near? This Msambweni beach resort also features 3 private villas not far from the main house with their own swimming pools and a private garden. Each of these luxury beach villas comes with a spacious en-suite bathroom and a terrace or veranda. All rooms and villas have AC, satellite TV, and more.

romantic restaurants in Mombasa

Want to try romantic restaurants in Mombasa or near? Being one of the best Kenya beach houses, dining at this Msambweni beach hotel will be a highlight of your stay. It offers guests a delicious and personalized culinary experience in stunning settings. Enjoy seafood, Swahili dishes, and Belgian and French cuisines prepared by a Belgian celebrity chef and his trained staff. Guests have the option to dine by the pool, beach, or in the comfort of their rooms.

scuba diving in Kenya

Meditate, connect with nature, indulge in indoor and outdoor activities that make your beach holiday even better or try the tourist places in Kenya. Go for a spa on the beach, visit the Curio Shop for the best souvenirs, play beach tennis or volleyball, or even try mountain biking. And if you want more adventures in Kenya, explore the activities in Diani, dhow boat sundowner, Kisite Marine Park, mangrove and sandbank excursion, and much more. What to do in Diani beach? We will guide you further once you are here and tell you more about the Msambweni location.

The Number of Hollywood Movies Shot in Kenya is Rising

Global film producers and directors are always looking for picturesque locations for new projects and the cities of Kenya have unmatched beauty. Friendly people, stunning beaches, great weather, amazing Savannah plains and attractions, and opulent hotels can all be found in Kenya. Hence, it is not surprising that Kenya is the preferred location for the majority of producers who need to shoot all or a part of their films in Africa.

Today, Kenya is well-known for its stunning landscapes and warm people, as well as for being a top filming location for global blockbusters. From award-winning movies like The Constant Gardner to hit American series like Sense8 has been shot in Kenya.

Are you planning to visit the best places in Kenya? Do you want to know more about Hollywood movies shot in Kenya or latest movies in Kenya? Looking for beach hotels in Mombasa Kenya? Take a trip to Msambweni in Kenya, just 45 minutes from Diani (Mombasa south coast) to explore the scenic film locations in reality. While you are there, stay at Msambweni Beach House for unmatched services and luxury. Don’t forget that there are many places to visit in south coast Mombasa.

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