5 must visit destinations in Kenya
5 must visit destinations in Kenya
Kenya is arguably Africa’s most famous safari destination. Filled with an incredible density of wildlife, perfect for photography, as well as a vast array of activities that make it an incredible family vacation destination, Kenya really has it all.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara is the birthplace of safari in East Africa. With abundant wildlife unparalleled across the continent, it’s no wonder that in normal years people flock here to witness one of the natural world’s greatest spectacles. From July, about 25% of the 1.3 million wildebeest who undertake their annual migration arrive in the plains of Mara. After escaping the plethora of predators that also inhabit the plains, the wildebeest begin their assault on the Mara River. Risking their lives in the face of the current and huge crocodiles, wildebeest cross paths over and over again, in the wake of the rain.
Although the wildebeest arriving in the Mara attract the most visitors, other times of the year are still incredible for wildlife viewing. From the Big Five of Africa to the Small and Ugly Five, a trip to the Maasai Mara is always worth it.
There are plenty of choices in the Mara for accommodation, ranging from large hotel-style accommodations to smaller, more intimate tent camps. The Governors Camp is one of the most interesting places that combines exceptional value for money with exceptional hospitality and service. Famous for being the base of the BBC Big Cat Newspapers The governors place the guests in the heart of the Mara.
Conservancies of Maasia Mara
While the National Reserve can be occupied with other camp guests and day visitors, the conservancies that make up the Grand Mara are perfect for those who want a more private and intimate safari experience. Still part of the Mara eco-system, the conservancies are owned by the local Maasai who then lease their land to a handful of lodges. With a specific area limit per guest, you can be assured of a much more private experience than you would get in the National Reserve.
While the abundance of wildlife is not on the same incredible scale as the Mara, the conservancies of Mara North, Olare Motogori and Naboisho are home to rich wildlife that would rival any other safari destination. By staying in the conservancies, clients directly contribute to the sustainability and livelihoods of the local community.
The Kicheche Valley is a beautiful tented property in the Naboisho Reserve where walking and nighttime walks are also permitted. Without the restrictions of National Reserves, these areas of land allow guests to immerse themselves in a full safari experience. Combining a few nights in the national reserve followed by some time in one of the conservancies is the best way to make the most of a Maasai Mara safari.
Although the Mara steals the headlines of Kenya’s other safari destinations, they shouldn’t be overlooked as they each offer something unique. This is characterized by Ol Pejeta which lies in the shadow of Mount Kenya. Ol Pejeta prides itself on the conservation of its rhinos and is home to an incredible population of black and white rhinos. The bush is much thicker here than the open plains of the Mara, but they have two very special residents: the last two northern white rhinos.
While days can be spent on safari within the conservation, it is the personal and intimate experiences that can be had with this nearly extinct species that make Ol Pejeta a must-see destination. The photo opportunities are exceptional and it is a truly humbling experience to be with the last two of their kind.
Asilia’s Bushcamp Ol Pejeta is the choice of Ol Pejeta camps. The canvas feel at camp reinforces the traditional safari style while hospitality and service are of the highest standard. The seven tents are spacious, luxurious and also environmentally friendly. Visiting Ol Pejeta is all about conservation, so whether you join the rangers stalking lions, visit the anti-poaching canine unit, or just visit the endangered species area, you will be contributing to the survival of the lions. ‘species.
Amboseli National Park
With Kilimanjaro as a backdrop, there is arguably no better canvas for a photographer than Amboseli National Park. Home to some of the largest tusked elephants in the world, those who wish to see “ the biggest and the best ” of the elephant kingdom look no further.
The best time to visit this beautiful national park is the dry season. As water sources regularly dry up throughout the region, elephants from near and far are drawn to Amboseli. While this is certainly not your typical safari destination to tick off the ‘big five’, the photographic opportunities are not to be missed.
Elewana Camp Tortilis is the most luxurious and special of the camps in the region, but 100% solar powered. Located in a private concession on the edge of the national park, safari activities can be undertaken in the national park or in the reserve, all in view of the towering Kilimanjaro. The camp is a favorite with photographers as the guides at Tortilis are some of the best in the area and will go out of their way to ensure you have a magical experience.
Convervance Borana / Lewa, Laikipia
Steeped in history and style, Borana Conservancy in Lewa is a perfect family destination. With the best game viewing in Kenya outside of the Mara eco-system, the Laikipia region can offer a host of different activities that will keep the whole family entertained.
Recently merged, Lewa-Borana Conservation is proud of its outstanding rhino conservation which has seen its numbers increase and both white and black rhino populations thrive.
Borana Lodge has six cabins in total, two of which are dedicated to families. All the cottages overlook the valleys below and exude a warm and comfortable atmosphere. While game drives and walks are there for the safari purists, horseback riding, mountain biking, farm tours, cultural activities and contribution to conservation with rhino tracking and anti unit observation. – Poaching are all activities available that make a stay here as diverse as one. wishes.
Marc Harris is Managing Director of Africa Odyssey. Africa Oydssey is led by a team of award-winning experts providing tailor-made Africa safari vacations.
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