Kenya has breathtaking landscapes, spectacular wildlife and a rich cultural heritage. Kenya , more than any other African country, epitomises the image of Africa . The vast open plains of the Masai Mara are the images that most of us have of Africa, and is the home of the traditional 'African safari' as immortalised by Hemingway, Roosevelt , Finch-Hatton and others.
Kenya boasts not only the Masai Mara but great names like Amboseli, Samburu, Laikapia, Meru, Tsavo, Nakuru, Mount Kenya along with the famous wildebeest migration and the open waters of Lake Victoria, not to mention Mombasa and the stunning east coast.
Wherever you choose to travel in Kenya you will encounter spectacular scenery and wildlife as well as a wonderful vibrant and energetic people. Mobile tented safaris and horse riding are just two of the many safari options available.
…so start planning your safari to Kenya today.
Masai Mara GR
Just 390km from Nairobi in the southwest corner of the country, lies a vast rolling plain beneath the Mara escarpment striped back once a year by millions of wildebeest and zebra migrating north from the Serengeti plains. During the annual wildebeest migration (from late July to Nov) the reserve's resident lions lounge prominently in the sun, fat and seemingly placid. Maasai tribes people live on the reserve's fringes and are co-owners of the reserve, sharing in revenues from tourism. This reserve is one of Africa's premier wildlife destinations, and boasts all the big game species. Besides the normal safari activities, it is also possible to go hot air ballooning across the plains, a unique and wonderful safari experience.
Amboseli National Park (Amboseli means "salty dust" in the Maasai language) is an arid region fed by underground water channels that run down from Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain itself making a spectacular backdrop wherever you are in the park. The vista of elephant grazing on the plains below the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of Africa's most stunning.
Situated in the more arid region of northern Kenya, Samburu is an altogether refreshing experience. Not only is the landscape quite unlike elsewhere in Africa it also boasts some of the most distinctive and unique of its wildlife - from the alarming Vulturine Guinea Fowl and cartoon-book appearance of the Reticulated Giraffe and Grevy's Zebra, to the perfectly adapted Gerunuk and Beisa Oryx.
In truth the Samburu region encompasses not only the Samburu but also the Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves and also includes the adjoining grasslands and thorn scrub of Laikipia, Loisaba and Lewa Downs extending to the foothills of Mount Kenya. With the beautiful Ewaso Ngiro river running through the region and with its characteristic landscape of stunning acacia forests, doub palms and distant hills, the Samburu region is more than just well worth a visit.
Home to Kenya's highest mountain and Africa's second highest mountain Mount Kenya (1,600m-5,199m), Mount Kenya National Park is situated approximately 193km's north-east of Nairobi and is located in the central highlands in the districts of Nyeri and Meru. The entire area of the park is situated above 3,200m. Straddling the equator, Mount Kenya's icy peaks reach an altitude of 5,100m.
The Aberdares are a densely wooded mountain range rising to over 4000m, with magnificent views over nearby Mount Kenya to the north, and the Rift Valley to the south. The mountain slopes are covered in dense stands of rare Afro-montane forest, while the high grasslands feature Afro-Alpine and sub-Alpine heath and groundsels. The vistas are often more like those of Scotland than of Africa. A number of crystal clear streams and rivers, all stocked with rainbow trout, criss cross the plateau, with some spectacular waterfalls as the rivers tumble off the escarpment. The plateau is rich in game, with elephant, leopard, lion, giant forest hog, bushbuck, blue monkey, colobus monkey, black rhino, buffalo and suni being some of the characteristic species. Lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of the rare melanistic (pitch black) strains of leopard and serval. This is also one of the last strongholds of the critically endangered bongo.
Once part of Kenya's old Northern Frontier District, Meru National Park is perhaps the least visited of all Kenya's parks. Wildlife is not as abundant as in other places, but this is a spectacular land of kopjes, streams, baobab trees and riverine forests. It is certainly one of the prettiest parks in Kenya and boasts many of the same species as Samburu - Grevy Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, and Gerenuk - but without the crowds! To walk with a professional guide through the bush, stopping en route for 'sundowners' on a rocky outcrop, is to experience raw wild Africa at its most alluring. Meru was also the former home of George & Joy Adamson who helped to return orphaned lion cubs to the wild, in particular Elsa of Born Free fame.
Lewa Downs and Laikapia, once a series of large private cattle ranches and traditional grazing land, changing tunes and fortunes have seen these vast, spectacular tracts of land turned into successful wildlife and conservation areas. Local communities and private ranchers work together to conserve both wildlife and traditional lifestyles and cultures - creating stunning eco-tourist destinations using only natural building materials and features. Beautiful private homesteads can be found amongst herds of Antelope, roaming Elephant and Rhino conservation areas. An ideal area for Camel trekking, walking, riding and biking.
At 21,000 sq kms, this is Kenya's largest park by far, although much of the eastern section is closed to the public. The landscape comprises mostly open savannah and bush woodlands, inhabited by buffalo, lion, antelope, gazelles, giraffe and zebra along with large herds of elephant. Tsavo is a combination of dramatic escarpment landscapes combined with the raw, untamed flavour of one of Africa's great wilderness areas. At Mzima Springs, in Tsavo East, crystal clear water bubbles out of the ground at a rate of 500-million litres (110-million gallons) a day. The spring is fed by snow melt off Mount Kilimanjaro, and a pipeline from the springs provides Mombasa with a large portion of its drinking water.
Kenya is home to many African tribes. Some, including the Maasai, Samburu and Turkana, continue to live according to their traditional way of life and can provide a fascinating insight into the ancient customs and lifestyles of Africa.
Kenya offers both fly-in and private vehicle + driver/guide safaris. This is also the home of traditional mobile tented safaris and has become extremely popular for horse riding safaris and ranch stays.
Fly-in and private vehicle + driver/guide
Scheduled daily flights connect Nairobi to Samburu, Amboseli, Meru and the Samburu region and this is more often the recommended way to get between parks and game reserves. Kenya's roads are not the best but some routes are well rewarded by using a private vehicle and driver/guide. This gives you the added bonus of seeing the landscape from the ground, stopping to meet the people and visiting some of the lesser known attractions - like Lake Nakuru, Mt Kenya and the Aberdares. Perhaps a combination of the two if time allows. Read more..
This is a wonderful way to experience a country like Kenya, with the added advantage of an experienced and knowledgable guide throughout. Read more..
Kenya has always been child (and family) friendly, with children's programs and discounted rates for children under 12 years. The private vehicle + driver/guide style of safaring lends itself well to families and offers maximum flexibility for all ages. Read more..
With an expansive choice of riding locations from Tsavo and the Masai Mara to Laikapia and Meru NP. There are also a number of private game ranches that offer horse riding and a more exclusive safari experience. Read more..
Walking is offered as an activity at a number of safari camps and lodges, although it must be said that Kenya is not generally regarded as a walking safari destination. Ask us for our recommendations.
Special Interest Safaris:
Like many countries in Africa, Kenya offers the avid 'birder' many exciting opportunities. Read more..
Mount Kenya certainly offers excellent hiking (and climbing) should you be seeking these more active adventure persuits. Read more..
Hot-air balloon safaris over the Masai Mara are popular (and quite pricey - around US$450 per person). Ask us about the options. Read more..
Some points to note when planning your Kenyan itinerary:
Nairobi acts as the tourist hub for the safari circuit with Mombasa and the east coast making an excellent add-on to your safari. The domestic airport (Wilson) is on the other side of town to the international airport (Jomo Kenyatta) and a good 45 minutes to an hour needs to be factored in when making onward connections!
Nairobi (and surrounds) does have a number of attractions worth your consideration - including the Giraffe Centre, Daphne Shieldrech Elephant Sanctuary, the Karen Blixen Museum, the Natural History Museum and others. So it is worth considering an overnight stay (or two) if you have had a long flight - some relaxation and recuperation with options of places of interest to visit.
Weight restrictions apply to scheduled flights within Kenya - generally 15kgs ONLY.
Mobile tented safaris are generally 10 or 14 days.
Weather - the weather in Kenya is largely determined by altitude, which varies considerably from area to area. In broad terms the pattern is as follows:
January, February - hot and dry
April, May, June - hot and wet (referred to as the "long rains")
July, August, September - warm and dry
October , November, early December - warm and wet (referred to as the "short rains")
Mid to end December - hot and dry
Visas can be obtained on entry. Check your itinerary prior to arrival in case you might require a multi-entry visa (and request accordingly).
For all your safari planning enquiries (or for more information on any of our safaris or destinations) please complete the Enquiry Form below. Please give as much information as you can on what you have in mind, where you would like to go, what you are interested in, and if possible, an idea of your budget. Thank you.
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