Few countries can match the combination of a mild and equable climate, magnificent landscapes and superb wildlife reserves and national parks available on a Kenya safari. More than 40 different ethnic groups with different origins and languages form a mix of cultures and traditions. The country is bordered to the north by Sudan and Ethiopia and Somalia to the north-east; to the west by Uganda and to the south by Tanzania. The eastern border is the Indian Ocean. The Equator cuts through the middle and in the course of a Kenya safari may be crossed more than once.
Kenya’s splendid national parks and game reserves visited on a Kenya safari are as varied as the people. The vastness of Tsavo compares with the celebrated and more verdant Maasai Mara, famous for its lions and abundance of species. The Maasai Mara is where, around July and August, nature’s most exciting spectacle begins and lasts until October. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, with attendant zebra, gazelle and predators migrate into the Mara from neighbouring Serengeti to mate and continue their journey back to Tanzania to calve. The Mara on a Kenya safari is one of the very few places in the world where the visitor stands a good chance of seeing and photographing the legendary Big Five in a single trip: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino, to which may be added the elegant and vulnerable cheetah. Explore below our range of Kenya safaris and discover a Kenya safari today!
Encircled by the wild and beautiful moorlands of the third highest mountain range in Kenya, the Aberdare National Park offers a mist-wreathed realm where elephants roam through lichen-hung forests, spectacular waterfalls plunge into churning pools and trout-filled streams cascade through mossy dells. A Kenya safari haven for anglers, walkers and lovers of solitude alike, this atmospheric park plays host to several of Kenya's most famous safari lodges and offers matchless vistas of the glittering coronet of Mount Kenya and the sparkling lakes of the Great Rift Valley.
Towered over by the magnificent bulk of 5,896 m high Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya's oldest and most-visited safari parks. Comparatively compact and dotted with emerald green swamps in which great herds of elephants can often be seen half-submerged amongst the papyrus grasses, its panoramic vistas and stunning backdrop have made it a venue revered by Hollywood professionals and amateur safari photographers alike.
The rugged, hot and arid ‘badlands' of north-eastern Kenya are vast, magnificent and still largely unexplored in terms of safari holidays to Kenya. Constituting more than a third of Kenya's total land area, they are home to less than five per cent of her people; most of whom are hardy nomads. Buffalo Springs takes its name from the pools and springs of fresh clear water, which bubble in its midst, and act as a magnet for large congregations of wild life, especially during the dry season.
A magical land of black-frozen lava flows studded with blazing red-hot poker trees. Of shoals of extinct volcanoes wreathed in dense forests and hung with Spanish moss, the Chyulu Hills coil like a sleeping dragon on the lion-gold plains of his treasure. To the west the pink-haloed peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rises like a Hollywood backdrop and all around stretch the mirage miles of Maasai land, dusty, dry and stalked by scarlet herders and dust-plumed cattle.
Despite its rather alarming title, Hell's Gate National Park provides the ideal venue for a day trip from Nairobi, a truly panoramic picnic spot, or an evocative camping stopover. Cleft deep into the floor of the Great Rift Valley, this relatively small Park provides endless bio-diversity and is one of only two Kenyan Parks to allow walking or cycling without an official KWS escort (the other being Saiwa Swamp National Park). As for the scenery, the towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub-clad volcanoes and belching plumes of geothermal steam make it one of the most atmospheric Parks in Africa.
Kenya’s stunning coastline runs 700 km between the Tanzanian and Somali borders and is renowned for its silken white sandy beaches, coconut palms, sheltered lagoons, pellucid blue waters, remote islands, uncharted mangrove swamps and mysterious Arab and Swahili ruins, many of which date back to the 8th Century AD.
The vast plateau of Laikipia Conservancy rolls from the foothills of Mount Kenya to the arid deserts of what used to be known as the NFD, the Northern Frontier District. Wild and very beautiful it is not part of a national park or reserve, but is mostly occupied by large cattle ranches dating from the colonial period, when vast areas were sold at low cost as part of the ‘soldier-settlement scheme' to soldiers British soldiers returning from the first world war.
The highest of the Great Rift Valley lakes is Lake Naivasha, which lies at about 1880 meters. Lakes are not normally fresh unless water can escape but there is now no visible outlet to Lake Naivasha; the explanation is that there are underground seepages maintaining the movement of fresh water brought into the lake by the Gilgil and Malewa rivers in the north.
Sunk deep in the cleft of the Great Rift Valley, one of earth's most phenomenal geological features, ringed by shoals of extinct and dormant volcanoes and presided over by the Menengai Crater, one of the largest craters in the world, lie the turquoise-shimmering waters of Lake Nakuru. Flamingo-frosted, salt-encrusted, acacia-haloed and guarded by the prehistoric splendour of a grey-green forest of Euphorbia candelabrum, Lake Nakuru National Park offers sanctuary to some of the world's most endangered creatures.
Comprised of 50,000 acres northeast of the Masai Mara National Reserve, Mara Naboisho Conservancy provides an exclusive safari experience. The land includes contributions from over 500 Masai landowners and conservancy fees are directed back to these landowners, providing them with a sustainable livelihood. The Mara Naboisho Conservancy also limits the number of tourists who may enter the area, thereby reducing the crowds of vehicles.
World renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of 'the greatest wildlife show on earth' , the awe inspiring annual wildebeest migration, the Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya's most visited wildlife protected area. Technically an extension of Tanzania's renowned Serengeti National Park, the Mara constitutes only 4% of the entire Serengeti ecosystem but its rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world's most rewarding and evocative African safari wildlife arenas.
One of the world's highest National Parks, Mount Kenya (second only to Kilimanjaro mountain in Tanzania) is an extinct volcano some three and a half million years old. Straddling the equator, the ‘safari mountain' offers a unique mosaic of mountain rivers, forest, moorland, rock and ice and is crowned by the glittering twin peaks of Batian (5,199 m) and Nelion (5,188 m). The sacred home of Ngai, God of the Kikuyu people, Mount Kenya is Kenya's biggest mountain, a national icon, a climbers' Mecca, the nation's namesake, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a Kenya safari destination beyond compare.
Nairobi, (taken from the Maasai Nyrobi meaning place of cool waters) is aptly known as the ‘Safari Capital of the World'. The capital city has a population of approximately 3 million people and came into being in May 1899 as an artificial settlement created by the European builders of the East African railway at Mile 327. Easily the largest city in East Africa, Nairobi is also the youngest, the most modern, the highest (at 1700m) and the fastest growing.
Situated between the foot hills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya, the 110,000-acre private wilderness of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy boasts an astounding variety of wildlife, including all the members of the ‘Big Five' (the endangered black and white rhino , leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion).
Hot and arid, Samburu National Reserve lies on the fringes of the vast desert that was once known as the ‘Northern Frontier District', whose heat-scorched scrublands extend all the way to the jade-green waters of Lake Turkana and beyond. As a Kenya safari, it offers an evocative cocktail of uniquely contrasting habitats; veering from the stark cliffs and boulder-strewn scarps of the central Samburu Reserve to the lush swamps of neighbouring Buffalo Springs.
The joint mass of Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks forms one of the largest national parks in the world and covers a massive 4% of Kenya's total land area. Tsavo East, the larger of the two, lies equidistant between Nairobi and Mombasa and is one of the last great wilderness safari landscapes on Earth. A dramatically presented theatre of the wild, this Kenya safari destination offers a vast arena of parched scrub and heat-shimmering bush which is washed by the azure waters and emerald-fringed meanderings of the Galana River, guarded by the limitless lava reaches of the Yatta Plateau and patrolled by some of the largest safari elephant herds in the world.
Tsavo West, equidistant between Nairobi and Mombasa, is painted on a sprawling canvas of endless skies, emerald hills, liquid lava flows, palm-fringed rivers, teeming wildlife and sparkling oases, set against the unforgettable backdrop of mile upon mile of cloud-shadowed African savannah. The Park acquired its name ‘Tsavo', meaning ‘slaughter' from the Akamba people, who first migrated to the area some five centuries ago.
Less crowds and some excellent airfares make it the right time to catch a seat on the Mara river to watch the Great Migration unfold!Read more