Jewel of East Africa


about Kenya

Kenya, the Jewel of East Africa,  is arguably the classic safari destination in Africa. 
An image evoked by unforgettable film scores, powerful novels and wildlife documentaries: from the adventure, scenery and romance of Out of Africa to the drama of the Big Cat Diaries. There is nowhere to compare with a Kenya luxury safari for its diversity of landscapes, ecosystems and wildlife. 
The country is home to some of the best national parks and game reserves in Africa with diverse ecosystems, from snow capped mountains, semi-arid desert regions and rainforests, to acacia-studded savannahs, flamingo lakes, white palm-fringed ocean beaches and coral reefs.
Kenya is also host to the annual wildebeest migration which only happens in East Africa. One of nature's most impressive displays of wildlife, the migration can be seen in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem where it is estimated that over two million animals migrate in a year-round pattern, following the rain and greener pastures.

Masai Mara National Reserve

Dream of Africa and chances are that you dream of the Masai Mara. This huge expanse of gently rolling grassland – specked with flat-topped acacia trees and trampled by massive herds of zebras and wildebeest – is the ultimate African cliché.
But for once the reality lives up to the image and the Masai Mara, is for many people not just the highlight of their Kenyan adventure but the very reason they came in the first place.

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Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. It is the hub of East Africa and is packed with unique attractions, from bustling markets to historical sites such as the Karen Blixen Museum. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras and lions. Next to it is a well-regarded elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Nairobi is also often used as a jumping-off point for safari trips elsewhere in Kenya.

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Amboseli National Park

A long-standing highlight of Kenya’s safari circuit, 392 km2 Amboseli was set aside as a wildlife reserve in 1899 and made a national park in 1974. Renowned for its high density of elephants, the park forms the unfenced core of an 8,000 km2 ecosystem that includes large tracts of Maasai community land both in Kenya and across the border in Tanzania.
Amboseli lies at the northern base of Kilimanjaro and, clouds permitting, it offers tremendous opportunity to photograph plains wildlife below the snow-capped peak of Africa’s tallest mountain.

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Tsavo East & West National Parks

Tsavo East and West, the largest conservation area in Kenya, protect significant populations of all the Big Five. Despite this, they are less popular than Masai Mara and Amboseli due to lower wildlife densities and difficulty in spotting animals in dense acacia woodland.
Tsavo West has a volcanic landscape of black outcrops, lava flows, and acacia woodland, while Tsavo East's red-earth plains have affiliations with northern Kenya's semi-arid badlands. Both parks have an untrammelled wilderness atmosphere. The western part is better for conventional Big Five viewing, while the eastern part is higher for localised antelope and bird species.

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Laikipia Plateau

Dominated by livestock ranches in the colonial era, the vast Laikipia Plateau has since been transformed into one of East Africa’s finest and most exclusive wildlife destinations.

Indeed, this mosaic of several dozen private and community-owned sanctuaries, overseen by the non-profit Laikipia Wildlife Foundation, now operates as Kenya’s second-largest conservancy after Tsavo, comprising 9,500km2 in total.

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Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves

The national parks and reserves in the semi-arid lowlands northeast of Mount Kenya are some of Kenya’s most rewarding safari destinations, as they protect a different fauna to their southern counterparts.
These parks are home to a selection of dry-country large mammals including reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, and a long list of birds confined to northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.
The best-known attraction is the contiguous trio of Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves, while the 870km2 Meru National Park is bisected by narrow perennial streams.

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Meru National Park

Made famous by conservationist Joy Adamson and the film based on her book “Born Free”, Meru National Park is home to 13 rivers, as well as a wide range of diverse habitats.
It is a paradise for bird watchers, as several rare bird species are found here. A small but highly diverse park, Meru has the feeling of a far larger wilderness and was home to Elsa the lioness of “Born Free” fame.
Unhindered by crowds of tourists, game-viewing in Meru National Park is an authentic and unique affair. The Big 5 can be found roaming its savannahs and lush woodlands, although the elusive leopard and sprightly cheetah prefer to remain hidden if they can. The steeply inclining gradient and peak of Mount Kenya can be seen from the park, providing a perfect backdrop to game drives, bush walks, and cruises along the Tana River and stopovers at Adamson’s Falls.

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Great Rift Valley & Lakes Region

The sheer basaltic cliffs of the Rift Valley northwest of Nairobi hem in a classic East African landscape of open savannah studded with jagged volcanic outcrops and strung with beautiful lakes. Large mammals are less prolific than in the likes of the Masai Mara or Amboseli, but the area is renowned for its prolific birdlife. The main attention-grabbers are the million-strong flocks of flamingos that frequently amass at saline lakes Nakuru and Bogoria.

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Coastal Kenya

Malindi is a smaller and more low-rise version of Mombasa, an ancient Swahili trading port under Portuguese influence in the 16th century. Nowadays, Malindi functions mainly as a beach resort with a good choice of mid-range lodges, a lively beachfront restaurant scene, and other urban distractions.

Watamu, 15km away, feels more like an overgrown fishing village than a resort town. It boasts Kenya’s most handsome beach, superb offshore snorkelling in Turtle Bay, and is close to the jungle-bound ruined medieval city of Gedi and Arabuko-Sokoke National Park.

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