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You can find some of our recommended places to visit below. Contact us today or call 303-778-1089 to learn more about how we are able to customize the perfect luxury Kenya safari just for you!
Aberdare National Park
The Aberdares are lush, beautiful mountains in central Kenya. The national park hosts waterfalls, bamboo forests, the rare bongo and many other animals including elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog and black rhino. More than 250 bird species can be found in the park as well. While game viewing is more diverse in some of Kenya’s other parks and reserves, Aberdare offers wonderful trekking and is a hot spot for anglers.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli is most famous for two things – iconic views of Mount Kilimanjaro and elephants. The park is dry and dusty yet has year-round water that attracts a wide range of wildlife, including predators such as cheetah, wild dog and lions, as well as abundant plains game. Its multiple habitats including swamps and woodlands make for fascinating and very scenic game viewing. Nearby, there’s plenty of Maasai culture that is accessible to visitors. This park is especially attractive for photographers with its dramatic Kilimanjaro backdrop. Nearby Chyulu Hills National Park is a good choice for those looking for a more exclusive experience while also allowing visitors to engage in activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and more.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru is a great place to see Cape buffalo, waterbuck and other herbivores. Black and white rhinoceros have been introduced to the park, and the park’s Rhino Sanctuary is home to the largest population of black rhino in the country, though we prefer the Laikipia Plateau for a more robust game experience. Approximately 450 bird species can be seen in the park. It is a fantastic destination for birders.
Mt. Kenya National Park
Dominated by its namesake mountain, this park is a trekker’s paradise. Scaling the second highest peak in Africa is very challenging but rewarding. Hikers exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site might encounter elephant, eland, mongooses and more. All hikes and ascents are professionally guided.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Unquestionably the most famous reserve in Kenya, the Masai Mara is home to a wide range of resident wildlife including lions, leopards, cheetahs, buffaloes, giraffes, black rhinos, elephants and many more. During the great migration’s annual appearance, nearly 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra move through the reserve, making for a breathtaking experience for travelers. The Masai Mara is the only location in Kenya to try and witness a river crossing of the migration – wildebeest and zebra attempting to cross one of the reserve’s rivers while trying to avoid the jaws of hungry predators. Surrounded by and administered by the local Maasai communities, the reserve has something for everyone. We recommend staying in one of the private conservancies that border the Mara for a more exclusive experience.
Most travelers start and/or end their safari in Nairobi. Not only does Nairobi National Park – home to prolific wildlife with a very unexpected and photogenic skyscraper backdrop – sit just outside of the city, Nairobi itself has many diversions. Visiting orphaned elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust never fails to delight visitors, as does observing and feeding reticulated giraffes at the Giraffe Centre. Local artisan projects are interesting to visit to gain insight into the incredible talent of East African artists, and the dining options throughout the city are fantastic.
For those whose introduction to Africa was made by reading or watching the film adaptation of Karen Blixen’s ‘Out of Africa,’ a visit to the Karen Blixen museum is a must. Exploring the area of Africa known as the ‘cradle of civilization’ invites a deeper dive with a visit to the Nairobi National Museum to examine hominid fossils. The Maasai Market is a craft shoppers dream come true. You could tackle all souvenir shopping in one go with a stop at this colorful market. If you’re looking for something a bit more highbrow, opt for a traditional high tea at one of Nairobi’s elegant hotels (guests staying at the famous Giraffe Manor can enjoy high tea with Rothschild giraffes). Whatever your mood, Nairobi has something to entertain, inform or sate your appetite.
Samburu, Buffalo Springs & Shaba National Reserves
These three reserves, nestled together among rolling hills and the Ngare Ndare River, are among the gems of north-central Kenya. Shaba is home to a monument to Joy Adamson of “Born Free” fame, and the other reserves are rich with game including the ‘Samburu Special 5’ – Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich and gerenuk- as well as lions, elephants, leopards, crocodiles and much more.
In the shadow of Mt. Kenya, Laikipia is just a few hours from Nairobi but feels a world away. The area has many private reserves and conservancies, each offering a slightly different experience. You can see the world’s last surviving northern white rhinos, track wild dogs on foot, ride horses among Africa’s wildlife, go on patrol with anti-poaching units, mountain bike among the area’s breathtaking scenery and more. Traditional safari activities including day and night game drives as well as bush walks are on offer as well and are richly rewarding. Ultimately, one of the Plateau’s highlights is seeing the thrilling successes of private conservation in action.
Imagine wooden sailboats plying the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean adjacent to white sand beaches and you have a good vision of Kenya’s coast. This is a place to truly unwind. Expect fantastic snorkeling, world-class game fishing, vibrant Swahili culture, fascinating history and ancient ruins along with interesting flora and fauna. You can also count on the quintessential beach experience – no activities required! Whether you’re seeking the supreme quiet of a beach where you can revel in the sun and nature or want a lively beach escape with nightlife, Kenya’s coast has something for you.
Tsavo East and West
Actually two different parks, Tsavo is famous for spectacular views, excellent wildlife viewing, wide-open spaces and notorious “man-eating lions” made famous during the building of the Uganda Railway in the late 1800’s. The area is home to more than 500 bird species and a variety of wildlife habitats. It’s a place to lose yourself in rugged and unspoiled nature.
When to Visit
Kenya is an incredible destination year-round. There is resident (non-migratory) wildlife in all of its parks and reserves, so visitors can expect consistency throughout the year. The country’s dry season is from July to October and provides some of the best game viewing as the vegetation is sparse. It is also high season, so accommodations book up more quickly and are at peak rates. The parks are more crowded during these months as well, though private conservancies offer more exclusivity for travelers.
For those who are interested in seeing the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara, safaris from August through October offer the best chance to encounter the migration. Space is at a premium during these months and should be booked at least a year in advance, if not two.
November to March is the wet season, though showers are sporadic and usually take place in the afternoons. Traveling during the ‘green season,’ as it is known, has many benefits. Flights are less expensive and parks are less crowded. This is low season, and finding accommodation is easier and less expensive. It is also a wonderful time of year for photography. The vegetation is lush, newborn animals and migratory birds can be seen and crisp air and changing skies provide for fantastic landscape and animal shots.
The ’long rains’ (rainy season) typically take place in April and May. We do not advise visitors to choose Kenya at this time of year.