GMT +3 hours
Unforgettable wildlife experiences in the midst of iconic landscapes
Kenya has long been a safari favourite – home to some of the world’s most famous national parks and reserves, with rolling plains, great lakes and vast wildernesses, rich in African wildlife from big cats to even bigger elephants and rhino. And away from its destinations that top wildlife enthusiasts’ wish lists, Kenya is also blessed with a tropical coastline, fringed with powder white sands lapped by stunning azure waters.
Best time to visit
• Kenya is warm year-round as it spans the equator
• It can be cold in early morning and at night on safari
• Jan-Mar is generally dry, and there are two rainy seasons from Apr-Jun and Oct-Dec
• The hottest months are Feb-Mar
• Jul-Oct is the annual wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara depending on rains.
With over 40 national parks and reserves, Kenya offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. The most well-known of all its game parks is, of course, the Maasai Mara – the subject of many wildlife documentaries, with its wide open savannah and majestic big cats. People also flock here to witness what is hailed as the ‘greatest show on earth’; the annual migration. The largest mass movement of land mammals on earth, the Great Migration sees over one million stampeding wildebeest and other grazing herbivores journey the 300 miles from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Maasai Mara. A rough pattern occurs each year as the herds follow the rains to secure a good water supply and fertile grass – usually gracing the Maasai Mara between August and October.
But there is far more to Kenya than the Great Migration and the Mara, with just as much on offer for experienced wildlife enthusiasts as first-time safari goers. Venture to the giants of Tsavo East and Tsavo West for wonderfully varied landscapes. Visit beautiful Amboseli National Park, home to herds of elephants dwarfed by magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro, or seek out the unique wildlife of Samburu National Reserve, such as the long-necked gerenuk or reticulated giraffe. Bird lovers will delight in the Great Rift Valley’s lakes – Lake Naivasha attracts over 400 species of bird, whilst Lake Nakuru can see flamingo numbers rise to over one million.
In Kenya you’ll have a great chance of seeing the Big Five (a phrase coined by African hunters to group the five most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt on foot: the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino). Magnificent though they are – and they really are – don’t forget to appreciate the other species that inhabit this incredible country.
There are many ways to discover Kenya. Travel around by minibus, coach or by light aircraft; choose a scheduled safari or tailor-make your own; join a group or opt for a private vehicle. You can stay in national parks or neighbouring conservancies; and choose from rustic camping safaris to the ultimate in luxury lodges. For something extra special, opt for a hot-air balloon ride at sunrise, drifting over the vast plains as the first signs of life appear below.
On a safari with Kuoni, we ensure that each overland vehicle used for game viewing has a maximum of six passengers, so that each person gets a window seat and space to stand and look out through the pop-up roof.
Together with Tanzania, Kenya is also one of the best places for a safari and beach holiday - a popular honeymoon choice. The vibrant city of Mombasa is the gateway to Kenya’s tranquil coast which boasts a diverse blend of cultures, sights, and over 300 miles of palm-fringed beaches stretching from the small town of Malindi in the north to the dazzling white sands of Diani in the south. Brilliant year round temperatures coupled with azure waters make for a wonderfully relaxing break – or a more active one if you desire it, with plenty of watersports on offer too.
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Kenya is probably my favourite place in the world – it’s truly amazing! The people are so friendly, and locals wave as you drive past or when you’re out and about.
The country is beautiful, with white-sand beaches where the clear water is so warm you’d think you were in a bath. My favourite part was the safari – an absolute must. There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat, just metres away.