© Angama Mara
Situated on the east coast of Africa, Kenya is famed for its scenic landscapes and vast wildlife reserves. Kenya is the home of the original African safari. The countryside encompasses savanna rich with game, snow-capped mountains, equatorial forests, searing deserts, and cool highland retreats. The Kenyan coastline is a stretch of 490 km (304 miles) of white coastline with swaying palms, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs. This is a country with endless opportunities for adventure, discovery, and relaxation.
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital and largest city. This is the only city in the world that grew out of a national park. The Nairobi national park, a world heritage site, is just 20 minutes south of the city. Most guests spend at least one night in Nairobi before or after their safari. While there they can visit attractions such as the Karen Blixen Museum and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which is an orphanage for elephant, rhino, and other animals. There is a large range of excellent hotels in Nairobi and its surrounding areas.
The Masai Mara
Masai Mara National Reserve is an area of savanna wilderness in southwestern Kenya and one of the most visited parks in Kenya. It is separated from the equally famous Serengeti in Tanzania by the Mara River. The reserve is a photographer’s paradise, with abundant elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion, and cheetah alongside wildebeest and zebra and a large variety of birds. This landscape of grassy plains and rolling hills is famous for playing host to the world’s greatest natural spectacle, the Great Wildebeest Migration. There are numerous superb lodges and camps in this reserve.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli is Kenya’s second most popular national park. It is known for its wide dry plains with spectacular views of snowcapped Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain) in the distance and its great herds of elephant below.
The Samburu National Reserve is a game reserve on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river in Kenya. On the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. It is made up of scrubby, open bushland, and savanna, with the fringing riverine forest of acacias and large doum palms extending along the edge of the Ewaso Ngiro. This river makes it a beautiful and very photogenic park (contrasting against the bright and dry red soil) and attracts a diversity of wildlife all year round. It is home to all the big cats and a large number of elephants as well as some species that don’t occur in the bigger game reserves. A Samburu safari also offers the opportunity to explore on foot and by mountain bike as well as the chance to visit Samburu villages.
Tsavo is made up of two separate parks, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Tsavo is the largest national park in Kenya and one of the largest in the world. The park was split into two due to the railway going from Mombasa to the interior of Kenya. Tsavo is one of the less populated game areas in Kenya and known for its large herds of elephant. A highlight of Tsavo National Park is the spectacular Mzima Springs, where crystal-clear water flows through volcanic rock. Tsavo combines well with a coastal stay at Mombasa or Malindi.
Lamu Town is a small stone town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago. Founded in the 14th century, Lamu is the best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. Over the centuries, the island has been inhabited by Asians, Persians, Indians, Europeans, and Kenyans, and as a result, it has a unique charm of blended cultures. The island itself is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless beaches, where tiny villages nestle among coconut and mango plantations and lateen sailed dhows ply the waters.
Mombasa and Malindi
Located on Kenya’s Eastern coastline bordering the Indian Ocean, Mombasa and Malindi are known for its string of tropical beaches dotted with hotels and resorts. Malindi Marine National Park and nearby Watamu Marine National Park are home to turtles and colorful fish. The coast of Kenya has a well-deserved reputation for big game fishing and is an excellent add on to a safari.
Best time to travel:
Kenya is is too close to the equator to experience a real winter and summer. There is, however, both a Dry and Wet season. Kenya’s climate varies hugely depending on which area you are visiting.
- January – March: is the dry summer season. February is the hottest month of the year in most places.
- April – May: is the rainy season known as the big rainy season.
- June – October: are the cool dry winter months. July is the coldest month. At some stage at this time, usually August, the animals migrate into the Mara Reserve. This is therefore a busy time to visit.
- November: is mostly dry and not too busy. The short rains usually start in the second half of the month.
- December: The short rains usually finish by mid-December and after that the weather is good. Not too hot and dry.
Talk to us about your travel plans
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