Why go to Kenya
Kenya is one of the African countries which most people desire to see and with reason, Kenya is Africa in a nutshell.
Much of Kenya falls within the Great Rift Valley, but this is only one of its many attractions. This country has many world famous national parks (most boasting the Big 5), fertile highlands, scorching deserts, mountains, pristine beaches and marine parks too. It also boasts a variety of ethnic groups of which the Masai with their intricate beadwork and striking red robes are probably the most well known. The great migration is probably the most graphic example of Kenya’s fame. Annually literally hundreds of thousands of Wildebeest, Zebra and other plains game migrate across the great savannah’s of the Serengeti and cross into the Mara in a seemingly never ending stream of wildlife. This exceptional natural phenomenon is world renowned and the sight is absolutely awe-inspiring.
Where to Go in Kenya
Located in Southern Kenya, in the Great Rift Valley. Has an abundance of animals, including the Big 5.
Amboseli National Park
Situated along the Tanzanian Border. One of the most picturesque places to view game in Africa as it has the backdrop of snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tsavo National Park
Made famous by the man eating lions of Tsavo, now home to numerous prides and an abundance of animals. Close to the coast which is perfect for those that would like both a beach and a bush holiday. Kenyas largest park, divided into two, Tsavo East and Tsavo West.
Samburu National Park
Has more game per square kilometer than any other park.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Millions of flamingoes tinge the lake pink, while there are more than 400 other bird species to be seen in the area too. One can also find leopard and black rhino and loads of plains animals.
Also known as the Jade Lake because of its green colour. Home to huge pods of hippo and home to close on 20 000 Nile Crocodile. The greatest concentration of crocs anywhere in the world.
Africa’s greatest freshwater lake. The lake is so huge that it has its own weather system. Fleets of white sailed dhows fish for the Nile perch, which can reach the size of a fully grown shark.
Tremendous treks and jagged peaks await on this sacred mountain , Kenya’s tallest and Africa’s second tallest .
The ultimate Swahili cultural -immersion experience that makes Tanzania Zanzibar blush with envy.
When to go to Kenya
Kenya has an extremely temperate climate despite its close proximity to the equator. It generally has daytime temperatures of about 20 – 25 degrees Celsius (68 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit), but the mountainous regions can be a lot cooler, while the coastal areas quite humid.
There are two rainy seasons in Kenya, the long rains of March and April and the short rains of October through to December. During both rainy seasons, the park roads can become fairly impassable and of course the mosquitoes will be out in full force. For game viewing the dry season is the best as this forces the animals to congregate at waterholes, which ensures that sightings during certain times of the day will be guaranteed. From June to October the annual wildebeest migration takes place , with thousands of animals streaming into the Masai Mara National Reserve from the Serengeti in July and October . During the long rains from March – end of May , the low season things are much quieter and you can get some good deals , this is also true during the short rains from October to December. For updated weather forecasts across Africa, please visit www.africanweather.net
Kenya National Parks
Masai Mara National Reserve:
The Masai Mara Reserve is in southwest Kenya about 280 km west of Nairobi and is named after the
traditional inhabitants of the area, the Masai. It borders the Serengeti to the south. The terrain is
primarily open savannah grassland that is in places broken up by rocky outcrops, small valleys and
clumps of acacia trees and some forest around the rivers. There are 3 main rivers, Sand River
(seasonal), the Talek and the Mara. The Talek and the Mara meet in the centre of the park and
continue as the Mara River.
It is famous for its cats and of course for the annual migration. Also great for birding, larger animals
and plains game.
Mara Naboisho Conservancy is located in Narok South district within the Great Rift Valley and borders
the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. Naboisho, which in Maasai means “coming
together”, is a community driven initiative to create a wildlife conservation and tourism area that
supports the livelihoods of the landowners and surrounding communities. The core conservation area
for the conservancy comprises of over 200 km2, which is dedicated to wildlife conservation. The
highest population of giraffe is found in Naboisho.
The core objectives and benefits of the conservancy are to support the biodiversity conservation and
the socio cultural heritage of the region while generating income and jobs for the community using
tourism as the economic driver.
Amboseli National Park:
Amboseli is a place of stark contrast. Meaning a “place of water” in Maasai, Amboseli despite its
sometimes dry and dusty appearance, has an endless water supply filtered through thousands of feet
of volcanic rock from Kilimanjaro’s snow melt. These underground streams converge into two clear
water springs in the heart of the park.
The endemic dust is volcanic ash which spewed from Kilimanjaro millennia ago. During the dry
seasons, a curious feature is the shimmering dry lake bed where false mirages of populated horizons,
punctuated by real herds of zebras and wildebeests hover in front of visitors. The principal attraction
in Amboseli is its vast herds of elephants within the park. The bull elephants here have some of the
largest tusks in Kenya. Plentiful game includes: zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala and leopard. Caracal
and serval cat can be seen. Birdwatchers can see pelicans, bee-eaters, kingfishers, African fish eagles,
martial eagles and pygmy falcons.
Amboseli is an important rangeland in Maasai culture. The ranch areas outside the park offer a wealth
of game viewing and walking safaris. The Kenya Wildlife Community Service works closely with the
local elders to develop eco-tourism attractions which benefit the endogenous communities and
protect this fragile eco-system.
One of the most popular parks in Kenya, Amboseli offers a wide range of accommodation within and
just outside the park.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy:
Situated in northern Kenya, Lewa started as a cattle ranch for the Craig/Douglas family in 1924. In
1983 David and Delia Craig gave 5,000 acres of their ranch over to become the Ngare Sergoi Rhino
Sanctuary in a partnership with Anna Merz. The programme was so successful that in 1995 the Craig
family gave their entire ranch over to conservation and formed the non-profit Lewa Wildlife
Situated in the foothills of Mount Kenya, Lewa is today a 62,000 acre private reserve with terrain
consisting of forest, savannah grasslands, swamps and semi-desert. The perimeter is almost entirely
fenced, for security, but gaps are left in the fences to allow for the movement of the animals. Thanks
to the conservation efforts, Lewa is home to the highest concentration of rhino in East Africa. Lewa
also protects the endangered Grey’s zebra and the rare Sitatunga (swamp dwelling antelope). Other
wildlife include lion, leopard, elephant, cheetahs and over 440 species of birds.
The range of activities on Lewa is vast with everything from game walks, day and night drives, bush
picnics, horseback riding, camel treks and flights in a biplane on offer.
Laikipia Game Sanctuary:
The Laikipia region is located to the north-west of Mount Kenya, in the Rift Valley province and has
been formed from the conglomeration of private and communal landowners. It is in the central
highlands and has wide range of landscapes from open grasslands dotted with kopjes, to basalt hills
and dense cedar forests. Due to conservation efforts by the local landowners, the area has become a
sanctuary for game and is home to come of Kenya’s most endangered animals such as Black Rhino,
Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe. On the whole the game here is very plentiful and probably
second only to the Mara in terms of density. The lodges in this area are mostly at the higher end and
make the most of not being restricted by National Park rules to offer a wide variety of activities, such
as camel safaris, horse riding and mountain biking.
Meru National Park:
Meru is located in central Kenya, 320 km north-east of Nairobi and is one of the lesser visited parks in
Kenya. Terrain is riverine forest, savannahs with long grass and lush swamps. The wildlife is present
but due to a high rainfall vegetation is dense, so it’s harder to spot than in other parks/reserves. The
park has diverse eco-systems, the western half gets the majority of the rainfall, but the eastern half is
generally dry and can be extremely hot. This is a specialist park for those that want to taste real Africa
and are willing to get that from the stunning scenery and feel rather than on animals or culture alone.
Samburu National Reserve:
The three reserves Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba all share a life blood with is the Ewaso Nyiro
River. This great water course runs through this desert landscape bringing some stunning views and
great concentration of animals around it. The animals include some rare species and all the cats that
you can see in the better known parks such as the Mara. Samburu is also home to the Samburu people
who provide a glamorous backdrop to an already beautiful area. The huge wide open spaces mean
that the human element can be a problem and so there has been a recent move to shift high end
lodges out of the park to the fringe regions.