Kenya 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...
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!
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE NATIONAL PARKS and RESERVES,
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.
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.
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.
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.