Famed for its picturesque landscapes and enormous wildlife conservancies, Kenya is the ideal destination for a safari. Her land rises from a low coastal plain alongside the warm Indian Ocean to mountainous highlands at her center, making this incredibly diverse country an alluring option for wilderness-seeking safari enthusiasts.
Weather-wise, Kenya is a year-round destination. Most of Kenya experiences two rainy seasons. It rains quite a bit from March to May, but you will experience shorter rainfalls from October to December. The months of June to August are mostly warm and dry over most parts of the country. Still, overall the mild climes of Kenya are well thought of by travelers the world over. As one of the most famed safari destinations in the world, in this article, we’ll highlight some of our favorite spots.
Lake Nakuru and Naivasha
© Loldia House
Two of the more well-known and most visited lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Naivasha, are relatively close to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Each of these unique lakes offers an authentic safari experience.
Lake Nakuru is a soda lake and is a must-visit location because of the substantial flamingo population. The best time to visit here is during the dry-hot season in January and February. Seeing Nakuru’s flamingo population truly is a sight to behold and will leave you breathless. Nakuru Park offers diversity of wildlife that includes a diverse population of other water birds. View endangered black and white rhinos in the surrounding national park, which is also home to the Cape buffalo, zebra, eland, African wild dog, waterbuck, and lion. You may even see the very rare Rothschild’s giraffe or the elusive leopard – if you are lucky.
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake, and as a result, offers a different kind of safari experience to Nakuru being a frequently visited location for hippos. Its 54 square miles of water attracts a broad range of other wild game too, but it is the birdlife that makes Lake Naivasha famous and magical. A haven for avid birdwatchers, its beautiful forests of yellow barked Acacia Xanthophloea trees are home to some of the most stunning birds on earth, including pink-backed pelicans, herons, kingfishers, fish eagles, and white-fronted bee-eaters.
© Ol Pejeta Bush Camp
Adventuring into the former Rift Valley Province of Kenya is unforgettable. Often referred to as the gateway to Northern Kenya, Laikipia Plateau is a virtually untouched ecosystem over two million acres in size. Home of the indigenous Kikuyu, Samburu, and Boran tribes that have been here for centuries, these people are the sacred keepers of the unique and varied habitats that create jaw-dropping, scenic landscapes and wildlife. If you seek a less crowded safari experience, look no further – it does not get more secluded than Laikipia. An excellent place for encountering the Big Five, the plateau is also home to over 10% of Kenya’s black rhino population.
You can see a whole host of wildlife, from gerenuk and Grévy’s zebra to Jackson’s hartebeest and the reticulated giraffe. As we have touched on before, wild dogs are under threat, and we’re delighted to say that this is the only area in the world to have a growing population, meaning their conservation is working. Speaking of conservation, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is doing brilliant work in the area. By joining us on a safari, you will see what happens behind-the-scenes – especially concerning their efforts for the Northern white rhinos. There’s also Mugie House, a private wildlife conservancy in Laikipia of almost 50’000 acres, hosting various impactful community and conservation programs. You’ll also get to meet Tala, the resident giraffe, who wanders freely within the conservancy. Get ready for some of the most sought-after sightings on a safari, including leopard, lion, rhino, and elephant. Join our epic 8-night Governors Safari – you can thank us later!
Samburu National Reserve
Samburu is a magnificent game reserve on the Ewaso Ng’ iro riverbanks, just north of Laikipia and heralds Kenya’s vast northern deserts and semi-deserts. Ewaso Ng’ iro river is Kenya’s most significant, and because of that, the wildlife is plentiful. You will have excellent chances of seeing elephant, oryx, giraffe, and zebra. You will also more than likely encounter leopard, lion, and cheetah. Then, a mere 2-hour drive away, we’ll take you to Amboseli, where you will be swept away by the spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Perhaps one of Samburu’s most personal and intimate experiences is that of the “singing wells”. Being dry arid land, water becomes a precious resource to obtain and so every morning the dry riverbed near Sarara Camp is mined for water, in order to keep cattle nourished. Almost every morning the Samburu warriors will dig wells along the riverbed until they reach water. This significant tradition is a testament to the teamwork of the Samburu people as they create a human chain to reach the water and pass it up to their cattle, while singing in unison to keep the rhythm of the task at hand.
ritual at the singing wells is an astounding feat of teamwork as the Samburu create a human chain to reach the water in often very deep holes. Throughout the entire process the warriors sing in unison to keep the rhythm of the digging, and then stay in sync while passing the water up to their cattle.
Highly un-photographed due to the requests of the local Samburu people, an excursion to witness the Samburu, this an intimate and personal experience for those who visit.
Amboseli National Park
©Elewana Tortilis Camp
Amboseli is located southeast of Nairobi and is know for its big tusked elephants and for the stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, in neighboring Tanzania. This national park is the second most popular destination after the Masai Mara and it was declared a UNESCO-Mab Biosphere Reserve in 1991 due to it’s ecosystem diversity, partly due to the rich supply of underground water which is filtered through the volcanic rock from Kilimanjaro’s ice cap, which funnel into two clear water springs in the heart of the park.
A small park close to Nairobi, Amboseli supports a healthy wildlife diversity from herbivores to predators, as well as an amazing birdlife that take to the swamps in the green season.
The Masai Mara
© Mara Plains Camp – Great Plains Conservation
Have you heard of the legendary Masai Mara? A miraculous place where you can witness first-hand the great Wildebeest Migration. You can do so privately on an epic 7-night safari with our very own expert guide, Tristan Dicks. What to expect? Elephant wandering through the camp. Perhaps even sharing your breakfast with them.
Tristan knows how to safari in luxury, so don’t worry about going too far off the beaten track – you’ll still be able to sip on Prosecco while gazing into the night sky. A night sky where you will quite literally see the entire milky way clearly due to zero light pollution. Be quick, though; we only have two spots left!
We also offer a 6-night safari between Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Masai Mara, or a 6-night safari bespoke and luxury safari across the Mara Triangle and the Laikipia Plateau – take your pick. Another experience worth your time is the Governors’ hot air balloon safari, where you’ll get a once-in-a-lifetime bird’s eye view of the Masai’s grassy plains and rolling hills. Just take a look at how astonishing it is. Why not “re-green” our beautiful land while you’re at it? You can do so by throwing handfuls of little charcoal-covered ‘seed balls’ from your hot air balloon basket.
Kenya’s Pristine Coastline
© Hemingways Watamu
What’s a vacation without cocktails, right? After you’ve been into Kenya’s heart and seen all the animals inhabiting the vast plains forever imprinted on your soul, why not take some time to relax at Diani Beach, Watamu, or Malindi? Diani, in particular, has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination five times in a row.
Feast on the freshest seafood with your toes in the sand and your head in the clouds. You won’t have a thing to worry about as you let your imagination drift off into azure blue waters…most likely back to the thrilling savannas of Africa.
Get in touch with us for a tailored safari adventure, unlike anything else you have ever experienced.