Kenya is one of Africa’s most distinct and stunning locations, and your travels take you to the country’s finest destinations. Sustainable tourism and a globally-recognized model of wildlife management mean that you see pristine wilderness and internationally-significant habitats where wildlife roam freely, including rare and endangered species and the Big Five, small five and ugly five animals.
The intrigue and adventure of Kenya reaches back into the birth of mankind, stretches along miles of white sand beaches and journeys into dense forests and divergent deserts. Iconic landmarks such as Mount Kenya stand above the savannah plains and tropical woodlands while its intricate waterfalls lie nestled within the montane foothills. Cool breezes drift across the Indian Ocean to refresh your soul in the country’s many coastal towns and islands. From her highest peaks to her deepest ocean depths of the magical Kenya!
The Great Wildebeest Migration in Africa: Step into a real-world nature documentary of Kenya’s Great Migration! As your safari vehicle draws near the source of the aerial disturbance, you feel a slight trembling on the ground. Suddenly, the immense shapes of wildebeests begin to emerge from the dust. There is a chaotic mix of hoofs, gray-black fur, white beards, tails and short manes in this destination.
As you pass the herd, flashes of black and white signify the presence of zebras. Following the direction of their heading, you see a seemingly endless number of the same creatures grazing upon shades of emerald-green grasses. As your guide cautiously approaches the animals, a distinctive landmark reveals itself just beyond a hill
Your guide takes you to an exceptional vantage point where the Mara River lies just a short distance away. The energy in the air is palpable. Dozens of wildebeests stand along a ledge just above the river, stomping and grunting in anticipation. As you ponder their hesitation, you look to the river itself during your visit.
The massive volume of water rushes past to create a treacherous challenge for even the strongest of the wildebeests. You also notice several stealthy animals – ferocious crocodiles trolling the water, awaiting the onrush of their prey. As the wildebeests become more restless, you know that the time is growing close. Suddenly, without any warning, the first gnu stumbles down the ledge, its body twisting and contorting. With a final desperate jump, it lands in the muddied water of the Mara River.
With eyes wide from panic, the animal begins its solo journey across the river. Thousands more wildebeests follow in an onslaught of movement, transforming the swirling river into a frenzy of splashing water, drowning calves and battling prey and ferocious predator like crocodiles. The river fills with carcasses of the hundreds that were too weak or slow to make the crossing, and gigantic vultures begin to feed on the bodies at the banks.
High Density & Wildlife Experiences In National Parks & Reserves: Kenya is one of the world’s magnificent wildlife destinations! Its parks, reserves and private conservancies are home to some of the highest and most diverse populations of wildlife on the planet. Traveling across vast landscapes bathed in soft morning light, your African dreams unfold before your eyes. Visit the grassy plains and swamplands of Amboseli National Park to see an iconic scene – elephants silhouetted against the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro on the border of northern Tanzania.
Flanking these elegant animals are graceful giraffes, energetic antelopes, buffalos, zebras, hippos, warthogs and many other herbivores. High concentration of predators abounds in Masai Mara National Reserve! Lions, leopards, cheetahs and other powerful hunters thrive on resident prey animals year-round, and the wildebeest migration brings a greater bounty to the plains.
Laikipia in northern Kenya offers you the second highest density of wildlife in Kenya, including the Big 5 – elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, lions and leopards. In Samburu National Reserve, you are introduced to the “Samburu Special Five” – Somali ostriches, grevy’s zebras, reticulated giraffes, beisa oryxes and gerenuks. Mane-less lions, hyenas and cheetahs elegantly stalk their prey of gazelles, elands, impalas and other small creatures from the cover of tall grasses in Tsavo East and West National Parks!
These common animals are plenty to keep you intrigued and engaged, but imagine your excitement at seeing some of Kenya’s rarest fauna – African wild dogs, sable antelopes and many more.
Birding at Kenya’s Great Rift Valley Lakes: Kenya’s wetlands and lakes of the Great Rift Valley are vital ecosystems that support some of the most beautiful and diverse avi-fauna species on earth! Stand along the shores of the famous alkaline Lake Nakuru where millions of flamingos gather to devour over 250,000 kilograms of the algae that lends to their brilliant pink plumage.
These lesser and greater rosy-colored feathered creatures mingle amongst one of the highest concentrations of long-crested eagles, as well as cormorants, goliath herons, African fish eagles, pink-backed pelicans and other speckled birds, all accounting for only a small sample of the more than 450 recorded species. Lake Bogoria, another of the Great Rift Valley lakes, is one of the richest of Kenya’ Important Bird Areas with over 373 recorded bird species.
Like Lake Nakuru, the lake attracts millions of lesser and Greater flamingos, but the raptors steal the show in fresh waters lakes like Baringo. Soaring high above you, powerful winged hunters scan the water for fish and other edible delights. In a flash, a tawny, steppe or fish eagle swoops down and grabs a twitching prey with its immense talons.
Yet another cornucopia of avi-fauna is yours to explore at Lake Naivasha, a freshwater lake that is situated at an elevation of 1890 meters. Set amidst a volcanic landscape, the lake attracts many of the most-desired birds – black herons, great white egrets, black-lored babblers, kingfishers and many other of the over 450 species that have been recorded at the lake. Another smaller alkaline lake is Elementaita, sandwiched between Naivasha and Nakuru.
Experience Kenya’s Pioneer Private Conservancies: Much of Kenya’s success in protecting fauna and its wilderness is due to the private conservancies that border national parks and reserves. The conservancies encompass vital habitats and migration paths that would otherwise be lost.
The conservancies that surround Masai Mara take you into remote areas of the ecosystem with limited number of camps and guest vehicles. Venture out under the cover of darkness to watch a pride of lion feast upon their night kill, and watch the delightful antics of bush babies in a wooded outback. Walk with a Maasai warrior through the bush to locate signs of animal activity, such as scat, tracks, carcasses and slumbering areas the beautiful kenya.
You can even hike to a secluded location in a conservancy and fly camp amidst the wildlife and wilderness, or float above the plains in a hot air balloon! Your adventurous exploration of Kenya continues at private conservancies in Laikipia, from Lewa in the east to Mugie in the north. Imagine delving into the Kenyan outback on horseback or while riding a camel. See the flora, wildlife and terrain from the seat of a bi-plane, and take a helicopter ride to an isolated location to camp overnight!
If you feel the need to maintain your physical fitness, you can mountain bike across the savannah where giraffes, elephants, zebras, rhinos, varied antelopes and other animals graze and forage. For even more action-packed excitement, you can trek up Mount Kenya and quad bike in Borana Conservancy.
Fascinating Cultures: Cultural tours in Kenya give you up, close and personal experiences with the Maasai, Samburu, Swahili, Turkana, Pokot, El Molo, Rendille and other tribal people. You actually participate in the traditions and ceremonies of native tribes.
Imagine being invited to a real Maasai wedding, into a Swahili family home in Lamu to help prepare a coastal meal and visit with Samburu village women while they show you how to make intricate beaded chokers. Closely related to the Maasai, the Samburu live in northern Kenya around the foothills of the Koitogor-Ololokwe Mountains in the Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs wilderness.
The pastoral setting and semi-nomadic lifestyle provides an untainted wilderness to live side by side with animals. A seaside holiday in eastern Kenya is an opportunity to interact with the Swahili people. The narrow streets in the coastal islands of Lamu are filled with the melodious sounds of traditional Swahili music, known as “taarab.” As you wander the streets, you find many signs of the Swahili signs.
Turquoise Waters, White Sand Beaches: Kenya’s coastline and islands are what dreams are made of! The warm, turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean lap the shores of long stretches of white sand beaches of Kenya. Small islands like Funzi just beyond the South Coast offer peaceful seclusion away from the hectic pace of life in the modern world. Lamu Island is an enchanting blend of 13th-century architecture where time has stood still.
Mombasa gives you the experience of an intriguing island and the quaint charm of a coastal destination on the north and south beaches. Venturing away from the coastal mainland into the city of Mombasa is other-worldly. The aroma of exotic spices fills the air as you pass Swahili houses in labyrinth streets, markets, mosques, churches, temples and other buildings with delicate Arabian architectural details.
Other seaside towns in Kenya are Watamu, offering unique coral formations in various bays, and Kilifi, a town that is known for the Mnarani Ruins from the 14th to 17th centuries. A utopian African beach holiday is found on Kenya’s many Indian Ocean islands, including Kiwayu, Lamu, Manda, Chale and Funzi. The islands of Lamu enhances your time in East Africa even more as it is the site of one of Kenya’s most well-preserved Swahili settlements.
These locations not only offer spectacular historic settings, but a discerning vacation for every guest. From the distinct beachcomber to the underwater explorer and deep sea angler, Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastal beaches and islands have something for everyone.
The Kenya coast: Kenya is home to the world’s second longest coral reef – the Kenyan Barrier Reef! With more than 140 miles of reef stretching from Shimoni in the south to Malindi in the north, there are plenty of places for the quintessential marine exploration trip in equatorial Africa! With an almost endless selection of supreme dive and snorkel sites to choose from, we have the expertise you need to find the unsurpassed coral wildernesses!
From the rejuvenating Kisite Marine Park of Mako Koke to the deep wall at Nyuli, Kenya has a destination for every level of a scuba diver – from beginner to advanced! Imagine diving with manta rays and white-tip reef sharks in an oceanic canyon one day and an easier dive in coral gardens the next!
For those days when you simply wish to float on the surface, both Mombasa Marine Park and Kisite Mpunguti Marine Parks are the place to see snapper, zebra fish, scorpion fish and other aquatic species that flutter in and out of the colorful and eerie shapes of the coral gardens. As a world-class destination for anglers, Kenya offers the ultimate deep sea fishing experience. Dorado, yellowfin tuna, trevally and lightning-fast wahoo keep amateurs and intermediate anglers entertained. But for more advanced fishing, Kenya offers the chance to catch your own massive billfish – all three marlins (black, stripped and blue), sailfish, swordfish and others.
Discover Ancient Artifacts: Archaeologists, paleoanthropologists and paleontologists from almost every part of the world come to Kenya to discover the earliest artifacts of humanity. Now you can visit the same internationally-recognized sites, and perhaps uncover your own clue to ancient human history. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lake Turkana is recognized for its significant contributions to archaeology, earning the reputation of being the “Cradle of Mankind.” One site alone, the Kobi Fora section, has advanced the science of paleontology more than any other place in Africa, with some relics being more than 3,000,000 years old.
Another well-known archaeological site is on Mfangano Island in Lake Victoria. The delicate light inside Mawanga Cave reveals rock art paintings that date back thousands of years. Another superb example of early rock art is in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The paintings are some of the oldest in Kenya, dating back to 1,000 to 3,000 years ago. You will be fascinated by the geometric pattern of circles and lines on the rose-hued stone.
Unrivaled Land of Contrast and Diversity: The earliest African explorers found romance and adventure in the land of Kenya. Now you can follow in their footsteps to write your own magnificent story! Will you enter a fort in Mombasa and Lamu where soldiers stood ready to defend their positions at key locations?
Whether you go on a Kenya self guided trip or a guided safari, Kenya is a land of contrast and diversity that offers volcanic landscapes, wide open savannah plains, majestic mountain peaks, winding rivers, deep Blue Ocean, dense forests, white sand beaches, intriguing woodlands, lush wetlands, vast deserts and so much more!
As you travel through the country, you experience some of the world’ most precious creatures – abundant fish and marine life thriving amidst coral reefs, small reptiles and amphibians skittering across the ground, small and large mammals foraging and hunting alongside incredible avi-fauna of every shape, size and color! Whether you want to observe the Big Five, locate rare and endangered species, interact with ancient, outlandish cultures or trail into the depths of Gedi Forest to find ancient ruins, Kenya is your dream destination in Africa.