Ideal Destination For
- Bucket List
- Food & Wine
- Multi Gen.
- Solo Travel
Points of Interest
- Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara, which measures approximately 1 510 km2 (approx. 938 square miles), is situated within the Great Rift Valley in the southern part of Kenya. It derives its name from the indigenous people of Kenya – the Maasai tribe – and the Mara River that cuts through the park. The so called "Mara" is the northern extension of the Serengeti and from around July to October each year the area sees the arrival of around 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra and several species of antelope, in search of pasture and water. The movement of the animals into the Masai Mara is subject to the weather conditions in the Serengeti. The dryer the Serengeti the sooner the herds would cross into the Masai Mara. In extremely wet years very few migratory herds would cross into the Masai Mara but dryer years there would be huge numbers on the Masai Mara side.
Mara is also home to the richest concentration of wildlife, including the "Big Five" (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo), zebras, antelope, gnus, Oribis, hyenas, giraffes, warthogs, gazelles, hartebeests, hippos, crocodiles and others. Also look out for the Maasai people with their traditional red shukas who live along the game parks in both Kenya and Tanzania.
- Tsavo National Park
The park is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park. The East Park is one of the oldest and largest African safari parks in Kenya and covers 11 747 km². Some areas of the park are closed to the public with designated “remote animal wilderness” areas. It is characterised by an undeniable wild and primordial charm, and due to its flat and dry landscape with its thinly spread foliage, makes wildlife-watching easy.
Tsavo West National Park covers 7 065km² and the terrain is much more varied, with the foliage generally denser and higher here. It is home to the largest population of red-skinned elephants, as well as to members of the rest of the "Big 5" (buffalo, lions, leopards and rhinos). There is also a host of Kenyan birds and other animals, both large and small, to see.
Tsavo is also the new home for elephant calves that have been orphaned by poaching – once they have received treatment and care from the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.
- Lake Nakuru National Park
Situated in the Great Rift Valley the park covers an area of 180 km² (69.5 square miles) and consists of a large, shallow lake surrounded by marshes, woodland and grassland. The lake comprises almost a third of the park's area, and supports the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina Platensis, which is the main food source for up to two million brilliant pink flamingos that can be found wading on the lake's edge. However water levels and food conditions change, which can dramatically affect the numbers of flamingos.
The park also offers sanctuary to a huge number of animals including waterbucks, warthogs, impalas, buffalo, Rothschild giraffes, elands, endangered black rhinos, white rhinos and, occasionally, leopards. A large herd of hippos have a territory in the northern part of the lake, making for interesting game viewing.
- Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves
This triumvirate of national reserves on the banks of the palm-lined Ewaso Nyiro River, has a beauty that is unsurpassed. Besides its amazing variety of landscapes and vegetation, the area also has a population of creatures that occur in no other major Kenyan park. This includes the blue-legged Somali ostrich, endangered Grevy’s zebra, beisa oryx, reticulated / Somali giraffe and gerenuk – the long-necked antelope that stand on two rear legs to reach the fresh shoots on upper tree limbs. Lake Naivasha is the Rift Valley’s highest lake at 1 884 m above sea level and draws a huge array of wildlife to its shores – including buffalo, giraffes and hippos. From the vantage point of a boat, visitors can enjoy excellent wildlife and bird viewing.
- Mount Kenya & Central Highlands
The Central Highlands form the most evocative sections of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and are the spiritual heartland of Kenya’s largest tribe, the Kikuyu, who make up 22% of the country’s population. It is from here that Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest mountain at 5 199m (17 057 feet), rises into the clouds. Of Mount Kenya's three main peaks, only Point Lenana can be climbed by amateurs on a mountain-climbing safari. The other two peaks require full mountaineering skills and technical equipment.
- Amboseli National Park
Located 260 km (160 miles) from Nairobi and on the border with Tanzania, is Amboseli National Park. Its signature attractions are the stunning vistas of large herds of big-tusked elephants set against the magnificent backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro (5 895 m) – Africa’s highest peak. During heavy rains, the basin at the centre of the park floods, attracting hordes of wildlife, including the Big Five, huge herds of wildebeests, giraffes, monkeys, zebras, hyenas and antelope.
- Loita Migration
Considered the best kept secret of Kenya, this migration of wildebeest is bound to Kenya only and occurs in an area north of the Masai Mara, traversing ol Kinyei, Naboisho and the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. Although nowhere close to the size to the Serengeti migration, it is still impressive with approximately 100 000 – 250 000 wildebeest and other buck, and the predator-prey interaction is the same.