Kenya is one of the foremost safari destinations in the world because of the concentration of game. The wide plains of the Masai Mara make it easy to see the animals and the open landscape is perfect for cheetahs to run down their prey. Prides of lion make the most of the herbivores, lying in wait for the throngs of wildebeest that crash over the Mara River at midyear during their circular annual migration. The rich grazing is ideal for large herds of buffalo and zebra, while reticulated and Masai giraffe, leopard, hyena and beisa oryx are all found here. It is a photographer and wildlife lover’s dream destination, with beautiful sunrises and dramatic sunsets. Take one morning to get up before dawn and watch the sun warm the earth from the peace of a hot-air balloon.
If you want to see rhino, then head to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy where conservation efforts have ensured the survival of these incredible creatures. Further afield in Samburu, find unusual animals like Grevy’s zebra (paler stripes and white underbellies) and gerenuk (an antelope that can stand on its hind legs for minutes at a time, feeding from a tree). If that’s not enough, Kenya also offers an array of little-known beaches and islands with villages dating back to the days of Portuguese and Arabian traders. This is truly an all-rounder destination that will give you a taste of everything in one safari.
MEET ADELE OUR KENYA EXPERT
I’ve been privileged to spend months at a time in Kenya, seeing how the Masai Mara works and exploring more far-flung destinations like Samburu and Ol Pejeta. A major highlight was being lucky enough to see the wildebeest cross the Mara River – truly heart-stopping action!
ITINERARIES TO INSPIRE YOU
Here are our favourite Kenya Itineraries to inspire you. All of our itineraries can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.
An overnight stay in Nairobi gives you so much to see and do: feed orphaned elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, kiss an endangered Rothschild’s giraffe at Giraffe Manor, shop for beaded jewellery handmade from clay taken from the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro…
Nairobi is a modern African city full of contrasts like heaving traffic but also the peace of Nairobi National Park where you could photograph lions and elephants against distant skyscrapers. Accommodation ranges from the historic farm owned by the writer of Out of Africa to super-luxe hotels with views of the famous Ngong Hills.
The Mara is synonymous with Kenya – it’s easy to conjure up images of golden grass, large prides of lion and a blood-red setting sun. The Mara is home to the Maa people who herd mottled cattle with impressive horns in their iconic red shukas. This is a large area that borders Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the west and encompasses the Masai Mara National Reserve (which is public) and the Mara Triangle (a group of conservancies that are private). If you are a new visitor to Africa, this is an exceptional place to have your first-ever safari.
An easy flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Amboseli is unusual in that it offers a variety of landscapes and habitats. You can go from dusty plains to marshes, tangles of trees to rocky outcrops. Although it is a small park by East African standards, it is a great way to ease into your safari and get your eye ‘in’ to spot animals after a long journey. One of the highlights is that Amboseli has the best views of glacier-capped Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, even though it is in neighbouring Tanzania.
After all the early wake-up calls and long nights around the fire, we love ending a safari with a few days on the beach. Kenya offers powdery sand, warm water, good snorkeling and a laidback vibe. Diani has bigger resorts with plenty of fun options if you’re travelling with children who will love going for camel rides on the beach.
If you want a more secluded beach experience, head down to Galu for more privacy and intimate, upscale accommodation. Spend your days on a hammock in a cool breeze from the Indian Ocean, unwinding in the perfect stillness…
OPTIONS TO EXTEND YOUR KENYA ITINERARY
Here are a few of our favourite options to add to your Kenya itinerary. These extensions are here for inspiration. We know that time is a precious commodity and we can tailor them to meet your requirements.