Kenya still holds a fascination and out of Africa romance from the colonial days. The word safari means ‘journey’ in Swahili, one of Kenya’s local languages and a visit to this beautiful country is indeed that. The history of Kenya is both long and diverse from its beginnings as a grazing land for Nilotic tribes such as the red-robed Masai, to the country as it is now, a beautiful land.
Today, a Kenya safari holiday is ideal for first timers, safari purists, honeymooners, families and adventurers offering savannahs rich with big game wildlife, timeless cultures unchanged by the modern world, pristine beaches and coral reef, equatorial forests and mighty snow-capped mountains, searing deserts and cool highland retreats.
There are endless opportunities on a Kenya holiday like adventure, discovery and relaxation not to mention an unparalleled range of safari options. By going on a Kenya African safari holiday, you will also be supporting the ideals of conservation for the rare animals of this magnificent continent as this country leads the way in sustainability.
Kenya’s population is estimated at 43 million people. Home to 42 different unique cultures, Kenya is also inhabited by Europeans, Asians, Indians and nationalities from all over the world. It is Africa’s most diverse country second to South Africa. Here they speak Swahili and English although there are dozens of other languages spoken in various parts of the country. The country is 582,650 square kilometres with a beautiful coastline on the Indian Ocean, rift valley lakes, open savanna plains, mountains and forests.
Undoubtedly Kenya’s finest safari destination, ‘The Mara’ as it’s affectionately known as, offers phenomenal wildlife viewing, breathtaking views over the savannah and gentle rolling hills. Home to all the big cats and Africa’s largest lion population it certainly is an outstanding safari region worth exploring.
Amboseli & Chyulu Hills
Amboseli National Park is a small, well established and maintained national park named after a Masai word meaning salty dust because of thousands of years ago, Mt. Kilimanjaro erupted and covered this area with volcanic ash. Today, an Amboseli safari or Chyulu Hills safari offers fantastic game viewing all year round.
Tsavo East & West
Tsavo East and West are located in Southeast Kenya and consist of largely open arid plains with Kilimanjaro in the distance. Tsavo East has a special place in many hearts as it was founded by famous naturalist, David Sheldrick and is where the orphaned elephants are rehabilitated from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Laikipia stretches from the Great Rift Valley to the magnificent escarpments which descend into the Northern Frontier District. Its plains are covered by open grasslands, basalt hills, lonely kopjes and dense cedar forests fed by the Ewaso Nyiro and Ewaso Narok rivers. This is a spectacular location for those seeking culture, diverse safari experiences, horseriding and photographic safaris.
Shaba & Samburu
Two of the most remote and least visited of Kenya’s game parks Shaba & Samburu are situated 325 kilometres north of Nairobi in the tribal lands of the Samburu people. As well as elephant, buffalo, cheetah, leopard and lion, Samburu national Park contains several species that are rarely seen elsewhere: Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx and the long-necked gerenuk.
Often overlooked, this is an ideal paradise that you may recognise and remember from the work of wildlife champions Joy and George Adamson who hand raised lioness Elsa. It is a national park that straddles the equator and is home to a great variety of habitats including scrub land dotted with baobab trees, lush green grasslands and riverine forests.
Rift Valley Lakes
The Great Rift stretches 9,600 kilometres from Lebanon to Mozambique and it’s a special crack in the earth’s crust that has formed dramatic scenery, notably several stunning freshwater lakes. The diverse habitats attract herds of elephant, buffalo and healthy numbers of predators. It is also one of the highlight areas for bird watching in Kenya.
The starting point for most East Africa safaris, Nairobi is a cosmopolitan city with a colonial past. A place of contrasts, it is not unusual to see a red-robed Maasai tribesman pass a sharp-suited banker in the street. Highlights are the giraffe centre at Giraffe Manor and the elephant orphanage as part of the famous Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Many of our guests have adopted a baby elephant and returned to see it grown up and one even back in the wild!
Migration in the Masai Mara
Masai Mara safaris are great all year round with resident game. Yet it’s the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara between July and November that many go to see. In the Masai Mara, the herds are hunted, stalked and pulled down by the large predators and with one of the largest densities of lion in the world, it makes sense to visit here for big impact wildlife interactions.
Walk with Samburu
Walk in the wilds of northern Kenya with Samburu is a truly enchanting way to see a very different side of the country and meet some of the most vibrant people. You will walk with Samburu with the support of camels and camp is set up for you. By day enjoy landscapes, Samburu stories and expert tuition in tracking. By night sleep under the stars in simple, comfortable tents with campfire nights.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Visit the trust’s elephant orphanage in Nairobi to see first hand how orphaned elephants are rescued and hand raised by Dame Daphne Sheldrick, her daughters and highly dedicated team of staff. Some 150 elephants have been successfully reared since 1987 and many released into Tsavo East.
A safari on horseback is a truly incredible experience because it affords you the opportunity to get up close with wildlife in landscapes beyond the reach of many roads. Kenya has some of our favourite horse riding properties where you can ride for a few hours to multiple days.
Hot Air Ballooning
The best way to explore the vastness and scale of East Africa’s wildebeest migration is from a hot air balloon. It’s an early start and worth it as you fly across the Masai Mara and its resident and migrating wildlife. Enjoy the champagne breakfast finale.
Built in Nairobi during the 1930s, this luxury boutique hotel has maintained all the charm of the era and is now famous for its resident herd of Rothschild Giraffe. Giraffe Manor offers you an unparalleled experience of the giraffes, with them vying for your attention at the breakfast table, the front door and even your bedroom window. The hotel offers a rich blend of welcoming accommodation, highly trained and friendly staff, as well as one of Nairobi’s finest kitchens.
Perched on top of a granite mountain in the heart of remote Kalama (a conservation area), Saruni Samburu boasts views that stretch for miles, a seriously stunning lodge with spacious and private safari accommodation, excellent hospitality and outstanding guides. Experience morning and night game drives, rock climbs, walks and star gazing. The traditions and semi-nomadic heritage of the local Samburu people are an important part of the experience and all activities are led by professional Samburu safari guides.
An award winning authentic eco-safari property built with a sensitive eye to its surrounding environment, Tortilis Camp sits nestled in a verdant acacia grove at the foot of the majestic, snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. There are 16 spacious ensuite tents raised on wooden decks plus a stunning private house ideal for families. Activities include 4×4 game drives, walking safaris with Masai guide and visits to local Masai villages. We love this property as there are no age restrictions, so children of all ages are warmly welcomed.
Set on the shores of Lake Naivasha, this beautiful homestead style accommodation is a working ranch some 6,500 acres in size giving you a glimpse of early settler life in Kenya. The lawns around the house see hippos grazing at night. Here you can horse ride, game drive, play tennis or head out bird watching, fishing, boating on the Lake to Crescent Island and visit Hell’s Gate National Park.
From the era of safari romance comes this five star platinum camp boasting big five safari wildlife, remote wilderness and masai guides. Located on a private concession between the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Loliondo Reserves, there are no mini buses or nearby accommodations or low flying aircraft to disturb your safari experience. Sleep in luxury white canvas tents that are luxuriously appointed with original safari antiques from the 1920s and savour the romance of private ensuite bathroom complete with large bath and dressing area.
Wow, where do I start, our trip was amazing, truly life changing experience for myself and my daughter, Angie. The people of Kenya are incredible and just changes your perspective on life and realise how spoilt we are. We saw the “Big Five” in the first couple of days of our African safari tour and always overwhelmed to see them again and again.
Just a quick email to let you know we had an absolutely awesome time. It was all just an unforgettable experience. It was structured well and I can see how we were given just something a little different in each place we went. What we loved the most, Sentinal camp and just Kenya itself. We saw so much in those first few days I don’t think we got to close our mouths the whole time.
Our list of highlights in Kenya could go on forever, but here are our top 3: 1. Our patience paid off & we witnessed the migration Mara river crossing! 2. Sitting in the vehicle surrounded by a pride of lions at sunset & the 4 lioness started to roar, an experience we will never forget, 3. seeing a black rhino in the wild.
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