Kenya stands as the quintessential safari destination. This remarkable land boasts top-notch safaris, breathtaking landscapes, an extensive pristine coastline, and a rich cultural heritage. If a Kenyan journey is on your horizon, consider exploring the Maasai Mara and Lake Nakuru. Additionally, don't overlook the opportunity to blend these with other possibilities like Amboseli, offering mesmerizing views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Samburu National Park, and Meru Game Reserve. Crafting a Kenyan 'circuit' comprising three to four safari destinations, alongside Tanzania, promises an extraordinary and diverse East African expedition. An inclusion of a beach stay adds an exquisite touch to the adventure. Kenya's coast, renowned for its superb dive sites, is a treasured gem in its own right.
Amboseli National Park: Situated in the southern region of Kenya, Amboseli National Park is renowned for its sizable elephant herds and breathtaking vistas of Mount Kilimanjaro, which looms across the Tanzanian border.
Lake Nakuru: Lake Nakuru National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, ranks among Kenya's premier parks. It is celebrated for the multitude of pink flamingos that grace its shorelines.
Masai Mara: A vast expanse of open savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzanian border, the Masai Mara teems with an array of wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, and hippos. It is most renowned for the annual migration of enormous wildebeest herds across its plains.
Naivasha: A true paradise for bird enthusiasts, Naivasha is brimming with diverse birdlife. The lake's waters also entice a wide range of wildlife, including giraffes, buffalo, and hippos.
Samburu National Park: Distinguished from many of Kenya's other parks by its arid and striking landscape, Samburu National Park is home to specially adapted wildlife like oryx, Somali blue-necked ostrich, and Grevy's zebra.
When to go / useful information
When to go
The prime time for visiting Kenya and neighboring Tanzania is from July through September, during the dry season. This period marks the peak of the great migrations, with thousands of wildebeest and other wildlife making their journey from the Mara in Kenya to the Serengeti in Tanzania. The dry season offers more comfortable travel conditions if you're exploring by road, and it's easier to spot wildlife as the vegetation is less lush, providing better visibility.
On the other hand, January and February are the peak tourism months, but they come with higher prices, crowded national parks, and the hottest temperatures. So, if you prefer a more serene and budget-friendly experience, it's best to avoid this period.
The Great Migration itself is a remarkable nine-month cycle of movement. Wildebeest, accompanied by zebras, gazelles, and impalas, traverse the landscape, braving river crossings where hungry crocodiles lurk, all in search of fresh grazing. The most dramatic river crossings typically occur between late June and October, and sometimes, these migrations involve back-and-forth river crossings. However, it's worth noting that there's excellent wildlife viewing year-round.
Currency: Kenyan Shilling
Languages: Swahili and English
What makes it special: Kenya has a status as the original safari destination, inspiring countless travelers to embark on their own safari adventures. Interestingly, the word "safari" itself comes from Swahili, meaning "journey." Kenya boasts endless plains, teeming with large herds of wildlife, including many predators. It's a place where vibrant cultures, renowned national parks, and thrilling balloon safaris come together seamlessly. A typical Kenyan safari typically spans from 7 to 12 days and may encompass destinations such as the Masai Mara, Great Rift Valley, Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha, Mount Kenya, Samburu, and/or Amboseli National Parks.
Weather: Kenya enjoys a fairly temperate climate throughout the year. January and February are the summer months, while March to May, and to a lesser extent, October through December, constitute the rainy seasons. However, it's worth noting that even during the rainy season, there is typically just one afternoon shower. June to September is considered one of the best times to visit, falling within the "shoulder" seasons when the weather is very pleasant.
Social customs: Kenya's social fabric is rich and diverse, with over 40 different ethnic groups, including Bantu, Masai, and Samburu, each possessing distinct values and customs. Many of these tribes lead nomadic lifestyles, relying on subsistence living and often rejecting urbanization. While around 70% of the country remains rural, urbanism and settler history are also part of Kenya's heritage, stemming from its colonization by the Portuguese and later by the British in the 1800s.