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Booking a Kenya Safari

Map of Kenyan SafarisKenya is the country where Safari, meaning “to journey” in Swahili, began. This is the country immortalized by Ernest Hemingway and Theodore Roosevelt and visitors have been arriving for safari ever since.

Kenya is a diverse country, but has long been known as the land of “big game” – big cats and big mammals roam free in their natural surroundings. This land of discovery – with game viewing, bird watching, mountain climbing, hot-air ballooning, fresh water and deep sea fishing are the adventures awaiting you...

  • from the open plains of the Masai Mara
  • the diverse landscapes around the Great Rift Valley
  • the mountain ranges at Aberdares and Mt. Kenya
  • the lake regions of Nakuru, Naivasha, Baringo, Bogoria and Victoria
  • the arid regions in the Northern Territories, and
  • the beaches at Mombasa and coastal islands

The colorful Masai tribes are found mainly west and south of Nairobi, the Samburu are in the North… and the Kikuyu in the highlands north of Nairobi.

Kenya was commanded by the Portuguese from 1498, the Omani then followed in the 1600s. The British ruled here from the late 1800s, and finally in 1963, Kenya gained its independence.

...as a destination, a Kenya safari never disappoints!

Kenya Safari Seasons Chart
SUMMERFALLWINTERSPRING
Mid-December – MarchApril – JuneJuly - SeptemberOctober – Mid-December
Warm to Hot & DryWarmCool to WarmWarm
Cool NightsCool NightsCold NightsCool Nights
“Short” rains Nov to mid-Dec“Long” rains Apr & May “Short” rains from Nov to mid-Dec
THE “MIGRATION” SEASON
Masai Mara National Park
July – October

SOME OF OUR FAVORITE NATIONAL PARKS and RESERVES,
CITIES and BEACHES IN KENYA – AWAIT YOU!

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kibo & Mawenzi peaks
Mt. Kilimanjaro
Kibo & Mawenzi peaks
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK – Located on the Kenya-Tanzania border, Amboseli is known for its large herds of elephant, made famous by the work done by Cynthia Moss and the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. Here you will also find lion, giraffe, buffalo, warthog, vervet monkey, zebra, antelope, and the dik-dik, smallest of the antelope species. With varied vegetation, but mainly open savannah, game viewing is excellent. And though located 30-miles away in Tanzania, Mt. Kilimanjaro with its’ snow-capped peaks, is ever present from most every lodge or camp.

ABERDARES – A small reserve between Nairobi and the northern parks, Aberdares is mostly forest and distinctive floral species, but best known for the distinctive lodges with their floodlit “salt licks” (waterholes) that attract animals at night.

THE LAKES – The alkaline Lakes in the areas of NAKURU, ELMENTEITA and BOGORIA are preferred by and home to millions of greater and lesser flamingos that migrate along the Rift Valley. The Lakes at NAIVASHA and BARINGO are freshwater and great for fishing and boating. All of the lakes are a paradise for the bird-watchers.

MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE – The most famous wildlife reserve in Africa, no trip to Kenya would be complete without a visit to the “Mara”. The Mara is Africa’s “big sky” country.

Leopard; photo courtesy Susan L. Wood
Leopard
Photo courtesy: Susan L. Wood
With its open savannahs, hot air balloon rides and the impressive Annual Migration, the Mara is a true force of nature. The Mara is the Kenyan part of the Migration of over 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 gazelles moving over 600-miles anytime after July from Tanzania’s Serengeti, crossing the Mara and Talek rivers for lush grazing lands; making the return visit sometime in October. On the same open plains you will find some of the best viewing of game of lion, cheetah, impala, topi, giraffe, Thomson’s gazelle, hyena, jackal, leopard, bat-eared foxes and buffalo. Hippo are found in the Mara River, as are large Nile crocodile laying in wait for a meal as the wildebeest cross on their annual quest for greener pastures. The Mara is a Reserve, and it belongs to the Masai people. Though the drive from Nairobi is a long one (5+ hours), many choose to drive as a way to appreciate the land and its people. However, with many of the camps having their own airstrips and other small airports abound, fly-in is available.

MERU NATIONAL PARK – Located northeast of Mt. Kenya, Meru is rather remote, and less visited by tourists. Bisected by rivers and mountain streams, it is wild and yet one of the most beautiful areas in Kenya, a lush green Eden. This is where the world famous lioness Elsa of “Born Free” fame, was returned to the wild in the 1950s. Here you will also find elephant, cheetah, leopard, gazelle, oryx, zebra, lesser kudu, eland and the dik-dik.

MT. KENYA – At 17,060 ft. and located on the Equator, the high slopes are permanently covered in snow and ice. Though held sacred by the Kikuyu tribe, this mountain also provides for climbing trips on various routes, no matter if you are an amateur or professional. The world-famous Mt. Kenya Safari Club is located here, offering not only a place to rest, but a bit of pampering, as well.

Reticulated Giraffe
Reticulated Giraffe

SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE – Referred to as Samburu, also includes Buffalo Springs and Shaba Reserves. On your drive here, passing the colorful town of Isiolo, you will likely see a camel train walking single file thru the brush or along a dry riverbed. To this parched area camels are commonplace. Though not completely dry, as the Uaso Nyiro River serves as an erratic, albeit critical, water source. Here you will find unique animal species: Reticulated Giraffe, the Grevy’s Zebra, the gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles, as well as, elephant, waterbuck, cheetah, leopard, lion and hyena.

TSAVO NATIONAL PARK – This is Kenya’s largest park with 10-million acres of pure wilderness. Due to its size, Tsavo is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West. Located midway between Nairobi and the Coast, here you will find volcanic hills, and spring fed pools of water, four rivers, and more than 60 mammal species and thousands of plant species. Surprisingly, few visitors travel here. Tsavo East is the more remote and less visited, though its’ relative proximity to Mombasa make it an ideal safari destination for those wishing to combine a beach and safari holiday.

MOMBASA – Starting as a trading post in the 12th Century, Mombasa is today Kenya’s second largest city. The history dates back to the time of explorer, Vasco DaGama, who established this as a Portuguese colony. With pristine white sand beaches and warm waters, here is the perfect place to relax during or at the conclusion of your safari. Supported by an International airport, there is easy access to/from via both European and regional airlines.

Lamu Island – Unaffected by the passage of time, Lamu Island is a truly unique romantic destination. Things are today as they were at the turn of the Century. Visitors are transported by donkeys thru narrow winding streets, where more dhows are seen than anywhere else along the East African coast.

Malindi – Located 75 miles north of Mombasa. Malindi has numerous hotels, nightclubs and shops. Malindi-Watamu Marine National Reserve lies from 100 ft. to 3 nautical miles offshore and has very good snorkeling and diving.

NAIROBI – The largest city in East Africa with a population of over 1-million. Nairobi is the capital of Kenya. It started out as a railway depot in 1899, and today is a cosmopolitan and lively city mid-way between Johannesburg and Cairo. Nairobi has a mix of races and cultures, and offers diverse sightseeing opportunities, such as the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage; a visit to the suburb of Karen, (named after Karen Blixen of “Out of Africa” fame) to visit her home and the Giraffe Center nearby. You will also find museums, golf courses and cuisine of many nationalities, the most renowned being The Carnivore Restaurant.

OTHER AREAS TO CONSIDER:

LAKE VICTORIA – The world’s third largest lake, is more a sea, yet not a very deep one. Luxury island resorts are available on the lake for a stay of a few days, but day-trips can also be arranged.

LAIKIPIA and THE NORTHERN FRONTIER – On the eastern escarpment of the Rift Valley, this is the gateway to Kenya’s wild Northern Frontier country. Laikipia and the Northern Frontier are made up of a patchwork of enormous, privately owned ranches, many of which have been transformed into game reserves and opened to the public. Camel safaris are available in this area. With temperatures rising into the 100s between January – March, the period of July – October, when it cools down is the best time to visit for animal viewing and overall comfort.

To Denys-Finch-Hatton I owe what was, I think, the greatest, the most transporting pleasure of my life. I flew with him over Africa. - Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)