The concept of the safari was born in Kenya where in Kiswahili the word safari means "journey”. East Africa has the reputation as the quintessential safari destination for good reason. The region’s dramatic contrasts and endless array of ecosystems that showcase a host of extraordinary wildlife, makes this one of the leading destinations for safari seekers.
Kenya is perhaps best known for the wide grasslands of the Maasai Mara where one can witness the migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra traversing the reserve from late June through October. Wildlife there is always in abundance though, and safaris should not be limited to the migration season. The Mara has been called the Kingdom of Lions and these regal predators are a very common and exciting sighting. The Mara is an awesome natural wonder where Maasai warriors share the plains with majestic lions and great herds of plains game
The arid Shaba and Samburu Reserves dissected by the flowing waters of the Ewaso Nyiro River are home to several rare species of game and another must on any Kenyan safari. The river attracts wildlife in great numbers; in particular, large herds of elephants are drawn to its banks.
The Samburu tribesmen are herders of camels and goats, and are often seen in areas around the reserves.
At Lake Nakuru one can witness the spectacle of thousands of shimmering pink flamingos lining the shores of the lake. The reserve is home to a large population of black and white rhino and leopards are often spotted in its forests.
Amboseli is the land of giants where large herds of elephant are a continual presence. The open plains attract plenty of grazing game including zebra, wildebeest, and impala. Cheetahs are often seen here. Amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro are also an attraction.
The Aberdares are a beautiful mountain range in the central highlands of Kenya. This area is rich in wildlife including elephant, buffalo, rhino, forest-hog, monkeys and a wide variety of antelope including the rare bongo. Birdlife is prolific too, with 200 species having been recorded.
Laikipia combines abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery and extraordinary cultural diversity in a setting dominated by Mount Kenya. It is larger than all of Kenya’s national parks and reserves except Tsavo. The ‘Laikipia experience’ provides exhilarating experiences prohibited in most other parks - night game drives, guided nature walks, horse-riding and camel treks. Visitors also have privileged access to the cultures and customs of the region’s Maasai, Samburu, and other peoples.
Other lesser visited areas include Tsavo and Meru, but these areas are well worth considering for an intimate and pristine safari experience.
A huge selection of activities, from ballooning and bush-walking to camel trekking and cultural visits make Kenya a fabulous safari destination.
Mombasa, located on Kenya’s Eastern coast has become popular for its white sandy beaches, diverse marine life, world-class hotels and friendly people. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean cater to all types of tourists: those seeking a quiet post-safari retreat, a family vacation, deep-sea fishing or water sports such as scuba diving and sailing.
In addition to its beautiful beaches, Mombasa offers a diverse cultural history. The City traces many of its cultural traditions to former Portuguese, Arab and British settlers – all of which have left a lasting influence on the City’s food, architecture, and people.
When to go
It's generally sunny, dry and not too hot for most of the year despite being situated on the Equator. The main rainy seasons are from April to May (long rains) and November to December (short rains).
- Summer (September to March)
- Autumn (April to May)
- Winter (June to August)
The Central Highlands and Nairobi enjoy a very nice climate for most of the year with temperatures ranging from a low of 50°F (10°C) in winter to 80°F (26 °C) in summer.
Northern Kenya is a fairly arid region with little rainfall and abundant sunshine year round. Average temperatures vary between 104 and 68°F (40 and 20 °C).
Western Kenya & Masaai Mara is generally hot and humid with abundant sunshine year round.
Mombasa and the coastal areas are hot for most of the year with wettest months being April to May and a short rainy season from October to November. Temperatures range from a low of 71°F (22 °C) in winter to 88°F (31 °C) in summer.