One of Africa’s most popular wildlife destinations, a safari vacation in Kenya is a treat for the senses. Boasting more than 45 national parks and reserves that are home to Africa’s iconic Big Five, an eclectic diversity of birds, idyllic white sandy beaches, fascinating cultures and a wide variety of activities and experiences to enjoy, there is something for everyone who visits this magical East African country.
Why Travel to Kenya
With breathtaking landscapes, an abundance of wildlife both great and small, and a reputation as one of East Africa’s premier safari destinations, Kenya is a magical land with spellbinding culture and history and boasts the second-highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kenya.
Everyone from adrenaline junkies and wildlife photographers to newlyweds and families just looking to get away from it all will find something suited to their taste on a Kenya vacation.
As tourism is one of the country’s largest economic drivers, conservation of Kenya’s wildlife has become imperative. Home to 45 national parks and reserves, Kenya is involved in some of East Africa’s most progressive community-based conservation programmes.
andBeyond Bateleur Camp in the Masai Mara Game Reserve is located just below the area where the final scene of the iconic 1985 movie Out of Africa was filmed, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep.
Kenya boasts 69 official languages but the two most widely spoken languages are English and Swahili.
The setting of the world’s most fascinating phenomena, the Great Migration is considered the 7th Wonder of the World and is one of the most popular reasons people choose a Kenyan safari vacation but there are so many more reasons to visit.
Key attractions include the Masai Mara National Park, the ‘Bird Watchers Paradise’ of Lake Nakuru National Park, and ‘Kilimanjaro’s Royal Court’ of Amboseli National Park, where travellers can experience a classic African safari that is second to none.
The Maasai tribe are well known to tourists, despite only comprising a small percentage of Kenya’s tribal population, while the Swahili are located along the coast, and several Bantu communities can be found in the central and western regions of Kenya.
Spanning 6,000 km in length in total, the Great Rift Valley runs from north to south through East Africa, separating Kenya’s dry, grassy lowlands and idyllic beach destinations in the east from the Lake Victoria basin in the west. With everything from mangroves in the interior to the vast plains of the Masai Mara National Park, Kenya is a country of contrasts. The second highest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro is the volcanic Mount Kenya which is situated in the centre of the country.
Travellers who spend time in the Great Rift Valley will be treated to an array of escarpments and lakes which provide havens for wildlife of all shapes and sizes. The three Rift Valley Lakes are considered a birdwatcher’s paradise, attracting many species of birds, most notably huge flocks of flamingo that call these waters home.
Conservation in Kenya
With a tourism sector that makes up one-third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Kenya is heavily invested in conservation. Special attention is given to community-based conservation programmes that are focused on education and inclusion in employment opportunities. Many of Kenya’s luxury safari lodges employ people from local communities, ensuring their efforts meet all the criteria to be considered sustainable.
Kenya is also home to the world-famous Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a non-profit wildlife conservancy located in the Laikipia County, which runs volunteer programmes and empowers visitors to embrace new approaches to conservation, while the famed David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust runs the world’s most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation programme in East Africa. The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust works to protect Kenya’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity through conservation efforts that will directly benefit local wildlife, the wilderness and the local Maasai communities.
When to Travel to Kenya
June to November
The best time to visit Kenya for game viewing is during the dry months from June to October, which is considered the high season. The Great Migration takes place during these months, reaching Kenya’s Masai Mara in July and remaining until October when the wildebeest head back towards the Serengeti in Tanzania.
January and February are popular times with most parks as the crowds have dissipated, newborn animals abound and a great number of migratory species of birds can be spotted overhead throughout Kenya’s national parks, making the low season a popular time for birding enthusiasts to visit. Game viewing in Kenya’s Parks is good all year round, except during the wet months of April and May.
Accommodation in Kenya
Home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in East Africa, travellers will want to soak up every minute of their time enjoying the best of Kenya’s safari lodges. Perfect for honeymooners or couples looking for a more secluded safari experience, andBeyond Bateleur Camp oozes old-world charm and luxury and is located near a riverbed at the edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Travellers keen on getting a front-row seat to the Great Migration should visit andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp where guests can enjoy an unforgettable experience of one of the world’s most astounding wildlife phenomena.
View all accommodation in Kenya.
Things to do in Kenya
One of the main reasons travellers from across the globe flock to Kenya is to witness the world-famous Great Migration that takes place annually between Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara, in which 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle traverse the landscape in search of greener pastures. Whilst a Kenya safari is tops many travellers’ bucket lists, so too does viewing the sunrise over the Maasai Mara from a hot air balloon.
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, then enjoy a guided walking safari, morning and evening safari game drives, or pack your binoculars and keep an eye out for some spectacular birds.
Photographic opportunities abound, so if you’re keen to improve your photography skills join a photographic safari and capture some of the world’s finest subject matter.
Travellers keen on more than just viewing wildlife on safari can visit tropical forests, relax on sun-drenched beaches, explore arid desert landscapes, or scale towering mountains on their Kenya vacation.
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