© Angama Mara
When one thinks of an African safari, one is generally thinking of Kenya. Kenya is an East African country famed for its scenic landscapes and vast wildlife reserves. The countryside encompasses savanna rich with game, snowcapped 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. A country with endless opportunities for adventure, discovery and relaxation.
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. The city now has twelve golf courses and is an emerging golf destination.
The Masai Mara
Masai Mara National Reserve is an area of savanna wilderness in southwestern 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. The park is also home to over 450 bird species. 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 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 bush land 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 elephant 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. Lamu is a wonderful beach escape.
Mombasa and Malindi
Located on Kenya’s Eastern coastline bordering the Indian Ocean, Mombasa and Malindi is 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:
It’s generally sunny, dry and not too hot for most of the year in Kenya despite being situated on the equator.
- The best time to visit Kenya is during the dry seasons from January to March and July through to October.
- From July to October the annual migration of millions of wildebeest, zebra and gnus descend on the Mara plains with predators close behind. It is an extremely busy and exciting time to visit
- The best time to enjoy Kenya’s magnificent birdlife is from January to March.
- The rainy season is from March to May and November to December.
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