On safari, you can see the big five and other wildlife in their natural habitat, while learning about them from an expert guide. As well as a traditional vehicle-driven adventure, you can also experience a safari on horseback, from a hot air balloon, helicopter or hovercraft.
Located in the south-western corner of Kenya, the Masai Mara makes up the most northern part of the Serengeti. The name comes from the indigenous Masai tribespeople and the Mara River, which divides the region.
Kenya’s premier game reserve is most famous for the Great Migration, which takes place during the southern hemisphere winter. As the waterholes on the Serengeti plains begin to dry out, over two million wildebeest and zebras migrate north in search of water and food. The migration is one of the most spectacular sights on earth.
During the migration, wildebeest and zebras must make the perilous crossing over the Mara River, where crocodiles lie in wait ready to snatch them as they surge across to reach the lush, green pastures in the north. On land, they’re prey to the larger carnivores – the Masai Mara has one of the largest densities of lions in Africa.
The best time to witness this spectacle is between July and October.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Lying at the foot of the spectacular, snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is most notably famous for the vast herds of elephants that dominate the region. Other big game such as lions, giraffes, cheetahs, and buffalo can also be spotted here.
Amboseli is also home to the Masai tribespeople. Visitors have the opportunity to meet them and learn about their ancient customs, traditions, and way of life.
TSAVO NATIONAL PARK
Tsavo is one of the largest national parks in the world. Open plains, rivers, waterholes, forests and volcanic hills make up the spectacular scenery of this diverse and fascinating landscape.
Here you’ll find a fantastic variety of wildlife, including the big five. To the east, there’s the Lugards Falls that flows into the Galana River. Crocodile Point is the best place to spot crocodiles and hippos. Tsavo East is also the location of the Yatta Escarpment, 300km of the world’s largest lava flow.
In the lush, green landscape of Tsavo West, you’ll find Mzima Springs, which provides the bulk of Mombasa’s fresh water.
SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
Up in the dry, rugged, remote north of Kenya, the Samburu National Reserve is off the typical tourist track. Crocodiles glide along the Ewaso Ngiro River searching for prey that are attracted to its banks. Buffaloes, giraffes and the rare Grevy’s zebra all drink here, while the sparse, arid landscape makes it easier to spot the big cats.
One waterhole well worth seeing is the Sarara Singing Wells, where Samburu warriors sing traditional songs as they collect water for their cattle.
Kanderi Swamp in Tsavo East is only one of two water sources in the park during the dry season. Lions, elephants and giraffes congregate here to drink. It’s a fabulous spot to enjoy the sunset. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a leopard or two lying in the trees of the surrounding area.
Lake Nakuru National Park is a sanctuary for the black rhino. It’s also home to a shallow soda lake where flocks of flaming pink flamingos gather in their millions. You can also spot lions, leopards, warthogs and occasionally white rhinos here.