Kenya

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Whatever experience you are looking for, our experts are ready to help…

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Our itineraries

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12 Day Totally Offbeat

12 Day Totally Offbeat

12 nights Maasai Mara, Laikipia & Meru NP, Kenya
Hemingways Seven Night Escape

Hemingways Seven Night Escape

7 nights Nairobi, Maasai Mara and Watamu
Kenya's Seven Day Safari

Kenya's Seven Day Safari

6 nights Sosian Lodge & Offbeat Mara
4 Night Flying Package

4 Night Flying Package

4 nights Hemingways Nairobi & Ol Seki Hemingways Mara

Our lodges in Kenya

Ol Donyo

Ol Donyo

Chyulu Hills
Mara Plains Camp

Mara Plains Camp

Olare Motorogi
Lewa Wilderness

Lewa Wilderness

Laikipia
Sosian Lodge

Sosian Lodge

Laikipia
Ekorian's Mugie Camp

Ekorian's Mugie Camp

Northern Laikipia, Kenya
Offbeat Riding

Offbeat Riding

Mara, Laikipia or Amboseli

Why we recommend Kenya

  • Travel to the home of safari and the vast array of experiences it can offer
  • Home to the 'Big 5' & The Great Wildebeest Migration
  • Pristine white sand beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean
Map of Kenya
About Kenya

Where to start with this masterpiece of East Africa? Put simply, Kenya is the birthplace of safari and a favourite destination of our specialists at True Luxury Travel. Kenya is an extremely diverse country, straddling numerous climate zones and contains a vast range of different landscapes and cultures. This enables the country to offer an array of experiences, from remarkably remote, luxurious camps to more accessible and more affordable safari accommodation. From the big game of the Maasai Mara and Chyulu Hills; to the heat and intensity of the Chalbi Desert and Lake Turkana; to the white sand and turquoise water of the Swahili Coast.

Kenya is a land of legends; from Karen Blixen to conservationists like George and Joy Adamson of Born Free fame. The Mara big cats have long been well documented in Big Cat Diary, Tropic Air’s helicopters feature prominently in David Attenborough’s films, and the conservation successes of conservancies like Lewa Downs is well know, especially so of late with HRH the Duke of Cambridge standing as Royal Patron of Tusk Trust. Kenyan safari is going from strength to strength and the involvement of a young generation of passionate conservationists fills us with enthusiasm for Kenya’s future.

At the heart of the country is perhaps its most famous export, the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. However, safari in Kenya is by no means limited to the Mara, to view it as such would mean missing out on some of the most remarkable safari destinations in Africa. In the last few years, there has been a surge in popularity for northern regions including Laikipia and Samburu where rugged mountain ranges burst out of the plains below them, and offer a discerning traveller to chance to experience luxurious safari away from the crowds. There is a very educational element to a safari experience in Kenya, more populated than many other African safari destinations, the interaction of people and wildlife has long been of prime importance – be prepared to learn about rich culture, sustainable tourism and ground-breaking conservation work alongside your wildlife rich experience.

Kenya's coastline has long been famed for its white sand beaches and relaxed atmosphere. A destination in itself, but also the perfect way to complement some time in Kenya’s interior. From Lamu in the very north, right down to the enviable peace and tranquillity of Diani in the south, Kenya's coastline has something for everyone. The Kenyan coast offers no shoes relaxation, luxurious spas, beautiful villas and perfect beaches if you’re looking to lay back and relax, but if you are the type who can't sit still, then enjoy the fantastic variety of activities on offer from world-class deep sea fishing, scuba diving and the fastest growing sport of them all kite surfing.
There are spectacles throughout the year in this breadbasket of Africa but you will find peak season running from Christmas until early April, when the short rains are due. They ease off at the end of May and the dry season is in full flow by June through to October. November sees more intense 'long rains' but can be a beautiful birding opportunity until early December when the heat increases again.

Access is easy with international flights arriving from numerous European destinations daily. There are options to route via the Middle East from the US or Far Eastern cities and regionally Nairobi is the hub with daily flights up from Johannesburg and across the continent. Within Kenya you have lots of options, with the distances involved many tourists fly between safari areas or out to the coast from either the domestic or international airport, but it is possible to drive from Nairobi to as far as Samburu in a day. It’s always best to give us a call and let us help advise you on the perfect safari and logistics for the season and the budget you have to spend.

Snapshot of Kenya

Capital city: Nairobi
Flight time: 9hrs from UK
Language: Swahili, English
Population: 44 million
Religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism
Sun hours / day: 7
Max. temperature: 26
Min. temperature: 25

Seasons in Kenya

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Peak Mid Low
Where to go

Amboseli

Amboseli National Park sits like an oasis in a land of dry savannah, with the picturesque backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro across the border in Tanzania. It remains the very best place in Africa to see large herds of elephants but less known is that is has it's own wildebeest and zebra migration as well as thousands of resident game throughout the year.

We love to combine Amboseli with time in the rarely visited Chyulu Hills. With a great amount of game located in wooded savannah, the Chyulu's provide our guests which such a rich contrast in both landscape and ecosystem from other regions of Kenya and in peak season, you can explore all day without seeing another vehicle.

Diani Beach

Diani Beach is a major beach resort located on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya, about an hour south of Mombasa. The beach is about 10km long, from the Kongo river to the north and Galu beach to the south. Diani beach is highly popular with tourists, as a location for several safari lodges, but also for its stunning white beaches and lush greenery. It is by no means your typical resort town, but instead has some of the best accommodation in Kenya, attracting honeymooners, families and water sport enthusiasts alike. It is the perfect location in which to unwind with some beach time following on from the excitement of a safari.

Kenyan Coast

Many Kenyan’s struggle to cope if they can’t spend time at the beach at regular intervals. Once you have visited for yourself it is easy to see why this is. Blessed with some of the best beaches of the Indian Ocean, there are jewel like locations right from the north to the south of the coast. We love the mix of Swahili culture and beach-life you can experience right from Lamu in the north to Diani in the South. A great way to end a holiday after longer days on safari, the Kenyan coast is equally a place to lay back and relax with a cocktail as it is a mecca for water-sport lovers. Watamu is an iconic deep-sea fishing destination and kite-surfing is big up and down the coast with the consistent trade winds. There are fabulous villas, luxury hotels, barefoot beach bandas and more, so just let us know what you are looking for and we will be able to help.

Laikipia & Samburu

The high plains of Laikipia sit under a majestic snow-capped Mount Kenya, and are made up of a patchwork of private reserves with superb family run safari lodges. This is regarded as one of Kenya's best safari regions with plentiful game and few visitors, an example of sustainable tourism at its best, and the location of some truly beautiful lodges.

True Luxury Travel’s specialists often find ourselves drawn back to this area and if you were to ask about our favourite areas in Africa, Laikipia would be close to the top. Heading further north takes you into the Samburu and the heat of the desert, a land of winding sand-rivers and doom palms, flanked by the majestic Matthews Range and the Samburu’s spiritual mountain Ololokwe. Stumble upon huge bull elephants and big breeding herds heading for water and be astounded in the volume of life in such an arid part of the world, this is an excellent area for wild dog and leopard sightings.

Lakipia

The high plains of Laikipia sit under a majestic snow-capped Mount Kenya, and are made up of a patchwork of private reserves with superb family run safari lodges. This is regarded as one of Kenya's best safari regions with plentiful game and few visitors, an example of sustainable tourism at its best, and the location of some truly beautiful lodges. True Luxury Travel’s specialists often find ourselves drawn back to this area and if you were to ask about our favourite areas in Africa, Laikipia would be close to the top. Heading further north takes you into the Samburu and the heat of the desert, a land of winding sand-rivers and doom palms, flanked by the majestic Matthews Range and the Samburu’s spiritual mountain Ololokwe. Stumble upon huge bull elephants and big breeding herds heading for water and be astounded in the volume of life in such an arid part of the world, this is an excellent area for wild dog and leopard sightings.

Lamu

Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Lamu Town is unique in the fact that is approached by water. It is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa. The town is built in coral stone and mangrove timber, and characterised by its inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors. Lamu makes for a blissful beach escape, with white sand dunes that hem the island, exceptional snorkelling opportunities and old narrow streets, making it no surprise it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Malindi Beach

Malindi is an old atmospheric town, located on Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Galana River, and lies on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It has a distinct European feel, attracting locals and Europeans alike. Malindi is among Kenya's finest beach resorts, and has the advantage of being well connected, and has good hotels and plenty of restaurants, bars and shops. The idyllic tropical beaches are particularly popular for their diving, surfing and deep sea fishing (for marlin, shark and sailfish). Malindi Beach is the perfect relaxing hideaway destination.

Masai Mara

Boasting exceptional year round wildlife, the Masai Mara is a must visit for anyone on safari in Kenya for the first time. This is especially the case from July to October during the Great Wildebeest Migration. Well-managed examples of sustainable tourism have developed as conservancies around the Masai Mara, these areas are carefully controlled areas of land, managed by the high-end safari lodges who lease them from the local Masai. A long term initiative to involve Kenyans with high end tourism and protect wildlife at the same time. The Masai Mara is a single destination in itself, however, it also combines excellently with the safari areas to the north and indeed the Serengeti across the border to the south.

Matthews Range

The Matthews Mountain Range is located in Kenya's Northern Frontier and is one of the wildest areas in the country. The place is home to numerous types of wildlife as well as the famous Samburu people.

Meru National Park

Meru National Park, situated in northern Kenya, covers an area of 870 square kilometers. It is fringed on its western boundary by the chain of the Nyambeni Hills which raise up to 2500 metres above sea level. These hills, with pockets of protected forests at their top, act as a formidable water catchment system. Thus they are the source of 13 permanent rivers that eventually cut across the Park itself. Such an abundance of water flowing through a predominantly arid part of Kenya creates a mosaic of different habitats making Meru one of the most diverse Parks in the whole Africa.

Nairobi

Nairobi is Kenya’s bustling capital city, often used as the starting point for safaris into East Africa. In addition to its urban core, the city is home to Nairobi National Park, an excellent game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos, giraffes, zebras and lions. We would recommend taking in the elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust as well as the Karen Blixen museum during your time in the city.

Watamu

Watamu is a delightful village located approximately 105 km north of Mombasa and about 15 km south of Malindi on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. This ultimate tropical retreat lies on a small headland, between the Blue Lagoon and Watamu Bay. It is lined with Kenya's finest white sandy beaches, and is an ideal location from which to snorkel, swim and explore. The village is filled with charming Kenyan shopping stalls called dukas, but it is also possible to visit the Gede Ruins, a 12th Century Swahili Village.

Practical info

Currency

The unit of currency is the Kenyan shilling (KSh). The shilling has been relatively stable over the last few years, maintaining fairly constant rates against a falling US dollar and a strong British pound. Virtually all banks in Kenya now have ATMs at most branches, but their usefulness to travellers varies widely. Barclays Bank has easily the most reliable machines for international withdrawals, with a large network of ATMs covering most major Kenyan towns. They support MasterCard, Visa, Plus and Cirrus international networks.

Travelling with children

Lodge Specific

Passports and Visas

Passports: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Kenya. Make sure you have two blank pages in your passport on arrival.
Visas: Visas are now required by almost all visitors to Kenya, including Europeans, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians, although citizens from a few smaller Commonwealth countries are exempt. Visas (US$50/40/UK30) are valid for three months from the date of entry and can be obtained on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Tourist visas can be extended for a further three-month period.

Vaccinations

It is recommended that all travellers be covered for: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Polio, as well as for Hepatitis B, regardless of their destination. Other vaccines to consider: Cholera; Meningococcal Meningitis; Rabies; Yellow Fever. Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is essential, including medical cover. We also highly recommend trip cancellation cover. Flying Doctor: As you know, many safari camps operate in extremely remote areas and it is imperative that in the unfortunate cases of medical emergency, clients reach a well-‐equipped hospital fast and with expert care en-route. As previously stated, we insist that you take out travel insurance before allowing you to travel and while most good policies will include medical evacuation cover (which incurs huge costs for anyone not covered), inevitably emergencies arise out of hours, and delays whilst seeking authority from clients’ international medical insurers (or even Flying Doctors themselves when they are dealing with patients who do not carry their cover) can mean the difference between life and death. Therefore flying doctor cover is automatically included in our costed itineraries. We feel Flying Doctors offer the best in-flight care and equipment, the fastest response times and in our experience consistently prove to be the most reliable. The Flying Doctor Service is part of AMREF, a well-respected foundation that offers the premier evacuation service and all profits are ploughed back into their charitable work. There are two levels of Flying Doctors tourist membership, dependent on the duration of stay and distance from Nairobi Hospital: 1. Tourist Membership up to 500 Km from Wilson Airport (valid for travel on all Northern Circuit itineraries including Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti) Up to 14 days $15pp 2 months $25pp 2. Tourist Membership up to 1,000 Km from Wilson Airport (must be used for any itineraries that include southern Tanzania, Katavi, Mahale and Zanzibar) Up to 14 days $30pp 2 months $50pp The cover itself is as follows: “AMREF Flying Doctors Service operates a 24 hours, 365 days a year operation. Full time medical staff and aircrew are on standby to respond to emergencies. In case of a medical emergency that requires an evacuation from a remote area, the Flying Doctor service will send in a medical team and an aircraft which can be converted into an airborne intensive care unit to evacuate you to Nairobi Wilson Airport where you will be transported by an ambulance to a hospital in Nairobi (the Flying Doctors do not cover the cost of hospitalization). In addition the service operates one of Africa’s largest radio networks. So if you are in a remote area without any other form of communication it may be possible that you will be near an HF radio station that would be linked to AMREF's base at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. As a member of the Flying Doctor Society of Africa you are entitled to one free evacuation per year in case of a life threatening emergency that would necessitate the use of the flying doctors to transport you to a medical facility in Nairobi. The evacuation can be undertaken up to 500 or 1,000 kilometres radius of Nairobi depending on the type of membership you have taken.” Please also visit their website: http://www.amref.org/flying-doctors/ You are 100% financially protected through our membership of the Travel Trust Association

Weather

J F M A M J J A S O N D
A 25 26 25 24 22 21 21 21 24 24 23 23
B 12 13 14 14 13 12 11 11 11 13 13 13
C 38 64 125 211 158 46 15 23 31 53 109 86
A = Maximum average temperature (C)
B = Minimum average temperature (C)
C = Average rainfall (mm)

The best wildlife viewing months in Kenya are during the dry season from late June to October. The wildebeest migration reaches the Maasai Mara in July and remains until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks.

Weather

Kenya JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
min. temperature ( ℃ ) 12 13 14 14 13 12 11 11 11 13 13 13
Max. temperature ( ℃ ) 25 26 25 24 22 21 21 21 24 24 23 23
Rainfall ( mm ) 38 64 125 211 158 46 15 23 31 53 109 86

What Our Clients Say

Our philosophy

Actual Expert Knowledge

Every one of our team has a huge passion for travel and spend at least six weeks each year visiting our lodges, meeting new managers and guides, ensuring our high standards are met and maintained.

Transparent Pricing

Unlike other tour operators, we do not charge you a premium for our services and as such, our prices are often better than booking direct because we can negotiate deals with our long standing relationships.

TOTAL Support

Our operations team are on call 24 hours a day to support you while you are travelling and to ensure that if something does go wrong, you are never left in the lurch. We are here to help so you can relax throughout your holiday. 

Blank Paper Bespoke

We do not have any 'off the shelf itineraries'. Instead, we begin your booking with a blank piece of paper, to ensure that we only propose lodges that will fit your specific requirements and guides who will suit your personality.

Unrivalled Guide Network

We are proud of our unrivalled network of guides on the ground who will turn your trips from a memorable one into a spectacular experience.

Hand Picked Lodges

Every single lodge that we propose to you has been recently visited by one of our team and meets the high standards that we set. Surprisingly, this is a rarity within the industry.

100% Financial Protection

We are a certified member of the Travel Trust Association (Q1588a), guaranteeing you 100% financial protection for every aspect of your trip.

Safety First

We have a team dedicated to producing safety intelligence in every country that we represent as a destination, so that you can travel with total peace of mind.

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