Here at Gametrackers we believe that Kenya is a great choice for either a ‘first timer’ in Africa or the more seasoned safari traveler. We believe that as a holiday destination, this country has everything that you can possibly imagine Africa to be: From the wide plains filled with a wide variety of animals, from the predators such as the lion and leopard to the gentler antelope and Zebra. The country has an amazing diversity of habitats from the semi-desert of the north to the volcanic highlands in the center and the wide open plains of the south. There are some world-class national parks within easy reach of Nairobi, the capital, and Diani on the Indian Ocean, the centre of beach holidays, so if you only have a week to spare Kenya’s good infrastructure and roads make the country a top option.
When you’re talking safaris, there’s really nowhere quite like Kenya, and that’s largely because Kenya’s portfolio of wildlife is outstanding. It was here that elephants and rhinos were pushed to the brink of extinction by poachers and it is here that these two very special species are making stirring recoveries. Lions, too, are something of a Kenyan specialty, as are leopards and buffaloes. As such, Kenya is one of the best places on the continent to see the Big Five, with the Masai Mara and Tsavo just two of the places where you could see all of them in a day if you’re lucky.
In the Masai Mara, the annual wildebeest migration, usually from July to October, is surely the greatest wildlife show on earth, an astonishing spectacle on an astonishing scale and the like of which you’ll see nowhere else on the planet. In Amboseli, you can get up close and personal with the Maasai and with elephants while Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro, looms in the background. In the lakes… Read more
Laikipia County is in the middle of Kenya. The conservancies here (mostly former ranches) are leading the way in black rhino protection, with around half the country’s population in their care – and more. Ol Pejeta Conservancy, for example, is home to the last two northern white rhinos in the world (which you can meet) and has a special endangered species enclosure for black rhinos, Grevy’s zebras, Jackson’s hartebeests and other at-risk animals. The jagged peaks of Mount Kenya, the country’s highest point, are visible when the weather’s clear; it’s a beautiful landscape of rolling hills. It’s also an easy drive (around four hours) from Nairobi and there’s a variety of accommodation options from super-luxe to budget/self-drive. I love all the activities available in Laikipia, expanding the offering beyond game drives – from running through Borana Conservancy with the rangers to meeting the anti-poaching dogs at Ol Pejeta.
Far more rewarding, in fact, were other trips to some of the lesser-known gems. These included the picturesque Lake Nakuru National Park, with its abundance of rhinos and the millions of flamingoes that cover the lake’s surface in a great pink cloud. Lake Elementaita is also a beautiful, tranquil spot to see the flamingoes against the backdrop of the Great Rift Valley escarpment.
It’s the variety and density of wildlife interspersed among a network of parks and reserves that are so varied and intricately woven into Africa’s rich fabric of landscapes, that it sometimes feels like you’re on a different planet.
The parks are backed by a well-developed infrastructure, a sophisticated nightlife and culinary scene in the urban centres, and accessible traditional cultures including the famed Maasai. In fact, many parks and conservancies employ Maasai warriors to guard the camps at night, which usually involves chasing away inquisitive elephants, cheeky baboons or hyenas who like chewing through exposed water pipes….
But it’s the wildlife and the Big Five especially that visitors come to see and Kenya doesn’t disappoint. Don’t forget that the Masai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in neighboring Tanzania are host to possibly the greatest wildlife show on Earth during the annual Great Migration. It’s an event not to be missed if you’re in the region at the right time of year.
From the classic African savannah of the Masai Mara, to the mist shrouded mountains of the Aberdares, or the arid, scrubby, gnarly beauty of Samburu, and the stunning Rift Valley scenery of parks like Lake Bogoria and Lake Nakuru, the mesh of landscapes is as much of an attraction as their inhabitants.
Kenya may surprise, it may enchant, it may become an addiction but if you are up for a safari it rarely disappoints. Kenya has one of the oldest safari industry on the continent, and we believe that we run a smooth operation when it comes to safaris. We know that over the past 35 years of running this business most of our guests walk away happy and fulfilled, with many returning year after year.
As an Adventure travel company, we love going off the beaten track to share our love to go to the Masai Mara. I’ve been lucky to witness one of the biggest wildlife spectacles in the world here: the annual wildebeest migration. The timing for this is hard to predict exactly, but the Masai Mara offers some of the best all-year game viewing in a big eco-system. It is especially rewarding for big cats.
Amboseli National Park with its big-tusked elephants is another one of my favourites. The Rift valley lakes in Kenya are some of the most accessible in East Africa, and seeing big flocks of flamingos in Nakuru National Park is another highlight. Deviating a little bit from the main tourist hotspots, I love going to Samburu National Reserve. This arid environment is home to many desert-adapted species, not easily seen elsewhere.
Some people might like to end their safari with some time on the beach, and Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline is one of the finest. I’m not a beach person, but I love heading to some of the pristine coastal forests. Shimba Hills with its sable antelope and many forest creatures is excellent for birding as well.
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