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Capturing the spirit of adventure that Africa is famous, our Marketing Executive Suzie recounts her first time on safari in Kenya’s famous Mara Reserve. Read how Suzie caught the safari bug…
Safari and beach is a winning holiday combination and as the home of the big five safari, Kenya is a leading light. Increasingly after a safari on the Kenyan plains we look to more exotic climes such as the Seychelles, Zanzibar and Mozambique for our beach R&R. Here our Kenya specialists say why we should stay closer to home and stick to the Kenyan coast for beautiful beaches and top watersports.
Heralded as the home of safari, Kenya remains one of Africa’s most popular destinations whether for a first time encounter or return visit. Kenya will offer you a true Out of Africa experience with the wildlife-strewn Masai Mara, flamingo-filled Rift Valley lakes, vibrant Maasai and Samburu tribes, Laikipia’s wilderness, Samburu’s elephants, palm-fringed Indian Ocean coastline and much more awaiting you.
In her seminal work, Out of Africa, Karen Blixen remarked, “you know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.” Indeed the Greater Mara Ecosystem is home to one of the world’s highest densities of lions as well as playing host to the greatest show on Earth – the annual wildebeest migration. It is such prime game viewing that attracts the majority of visitors to Kenya’s endless plains, the scale of which is best seen on a hot air balloon safari.
It is the thrill of the big five that draws many to Kenya and particularly the Masai Mara with excellent big cat sightings, especially of lion and leopard. From July to October the Mara also offers the best seats in the house for witnessing the spectacle of thousands of migrating wildebeest and zebra in search of fresh pasture.
Kenya offers the perfect safari and beach combination with beautiful white sands and warm Indian Ocean waters. The coast to the south of Mombasa is home to the exclusive resorts of Diani and Msambweni whilst Watamu and Malindi are within easy reach of the fascinating ruined Swahili town of Gede. The coast is perfect for snorkelling, deep sea fishing or just full on relaxation on pristine beaches. For those looking slightly further afield a Kenyan safari can easily be twinned with the island of Zanzibar to the south or the Seychelles.
For those in search of a wilderness safari experience, the Laikipia Plateau has emerged as a leading light for getting off-the-beaten-track. Laikipia offers some of the most exciting game viewing, being a prime area for rhino and wild dog – two of the most endangered species on the continent. What sets Laikipia apart is the range of safari activities on offer with horse riding, camel trekking and night game drives proving popular.
The Samburu National Reserve is the perfect choice for an outstanding safari coupled with breath-taking scenery. This is one of the best places in Africa for elephants and the hot, dry landscape provides a hospitable habitat for the rare Samburu five – Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx and gerenuk.
For bird watchers the lakes of the Great Rift Valley hold huge appeal with Nakuru and Naivasha hosting vast swathes of vibrant flamingos, whilst those after a challenge should tackle Mount Kenya which offers a climb to rival Kilimanjaro.
The capital, Nairobi is often seen as the preserve of business travellers, but there are times most commonly to fit flight schedules, where an overnight stay is unavoidable – this is particularly the case when flying onto the Seychelles. Unlike many African capital cities which have little to offer tourists, Nairobi has plenty to keep you busy for a day or two with the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre and Karen Blixen’s House and Museum all being popular sights.
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