Fabled for being the five most dangerous and difficult animals to hunt, the Big Five are now the most sought-after animals to capture on a point-and-shoot. Whilst sitting firmly at the top of every safari checklist, nature’s most magnificent animals are as elusive as ever before, making tracking them an exhilarating and unforgettable adventure. Home to all five showstoppers, the national parks of South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana, are excellent destinations for a chance to see them all. On foot, by horseback or in the comfort of a 4x4, traversing the plains of sub Saharan Africa in search of these celebrated animals is the undisputed original safari experience.
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…
Our off-the-beaten track options will excite even the most jaded traveller.
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.
Combining the wildlife rich plains of Kenya with its own palm flanked coastline or the shores of Zanzibar makes for a truly unforgettable safari and beach holiday. Offering wildlife encounters and ultimate relaxation in equal measure, this tried and tested combination promises the best of both in eastern Africa.
With over a decade of experience, Mara guide William Ole Santian has to be one of the most knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming guides we have come across on safari. He tells us what it is like to be a safari guide in the Masai Mara.
A safari holiday with the family has adventure at its core, and there are few better places to explore with children in tow than the home of safari itself, Kenya. From spotting the Big Five in the Masai Mara and camel riding in Laikipia to enjoying some down time on its tropical beaches, Kenya is a brilliantly varied destination; perfect for a family getaway.
The Great Rift Valley, stretching from Lebanon to Mozambique, is formed by diverging continental plates. The East African Rift, east of Lake Victoria, slices dramatically through Kenya, containing stunning freshwater and saline lakes, volcanoes (both active and extinct) and breath-taking wildlife. Here’s a lowdown on the lakes of Kenya’s Rift Valley…
Established in 1962, the Masai Mara is one of the world’s best known nature reserves and its wildlife rich plains provide the setting for some of nature’s greatest spectacles. Home to the Big Five, a catalogue of unique safari experiences and a number of fantastic lodges and camps, the Mara is arguably the poster boy of Kenya’s reserves. Yet, the emergence of private conservancies throughout the last 15 years marks the changing face of safari in Kenya, bringing you closer than ever to the call of the wild.
Often described as “The Greatest Show on Earth”, the annual migration of over a million wildebeest and around 300,000 zebra is a natural phenomenon like no other. Following the rains, the wildebeest and zebra travel in search of lush grass and grazing lands whilst moving in a clockwise rotation up through the Serengeti. They will spend a couple of months in the Masai Mara before heading back to Tanzania in time for calving season – all whilst trying to evade the many predators en route.
Offering an outstanding safari experience, spectacular scenery and stunning Indian Ocean beaches, Kenya is a popular choice for weddings. From romantic ceremonies for just the two of you to traditional African jamborees lasting several days, here are our top three wedding spots in Kenya.
Kenya has long been regarded as the home of safari and offers an excellent big five safari experience. Here, our Kenya expert Emma gives us the low-down on riding safari options in Kenya, where you can make the most of the outstanding game viewing and spectacular scenery whilst galloping along with the wind in your hair.
El Karama Eco Lodge
Best for: Family, Wildlife, Highlights
El Karama Eco Lodge offers an exciting safari on a working cattle ranch. Family-run, it offers a first-class experience and great value for money. El Karama is ideal for families with a whole host of activities to keep even the most active enthralled.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
El Karama Eco Lodge’s ethos is for a home away from home in Kenya and they achieve it by the bucket load being family owned and operated by the Grant family. Situated in the heart of Kenya’s spectacularly scenic Laikipia Plateau, El Karama is located on a 14,000 acre cattle ranch which is a haven for wildlife and nearly 400 species of bird. As the name suggests, the lodge has strong ecological credentials having won Kenya's Eco Warrior Award by Eco Tourism Kenya and been highly commended in the category of Best Ecologically Responsible Property in Kenya by the Safari Awards.
El Karama offers an intimate safari stay with accommodation across just four bandas which are ideal for couples, a rondavel which can sleep up to four people, and a family cottage accommodating up to six people and two river cottages perfect for couples or older families travelling together. The rooms have a rustic feel with the majority of building materials coming from natural sources on the ranch. All rooms are en-suite except for the rondavel, which has a private bathroom just outside. All of the communal areas have been designed to take advantage of the natural beauty of the region with views over to the Aberdares and Ewaso Nyiro river.
El Karama is welcoming to all, but is particularly well-suited to families with a low malaria risk and a huge range of activities on offer including bush walks, game drives, night drives, farm visits and bird watching as well as child-oriented activities. With a jogging track for runners and a games area with fitness equipment, guests will find it easy to stay fit while they are away. For food lovers, an interactive lodge kitchen is available for baking lessons. Additional activities available in the area are camel riding, horse riding and rhino-tracking.
The ranch itself is home to over 75 species including reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra and gerenuk which are endemic to the Laikipia region as well as big game such a lion, leopard and elephant. In terms of relaxation there is a pool which to fit with the ecological focus of the lodge is completely free of chemicals; the first of its kind in the region and very welcome so close to the equator.
When to go
The Laikipia Plateau has a fantastic climate for much for the year with warm and settled temperatures throughout July and October with cooler conditions at night. The only time to avoid the region is during the long rainy season in April and May as well as November which sees the short rains. During these wet months, the majority of camps and lodges in the area close as roads are impassable and wildlife is harder to spot through the thick vegetation.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Things to do
Game Drives in Laikipia
Enjoy a game drive across the rocky hills and past the huge acacias and lush springs of the Laikipia region. The perfect habitat for game and wildlife, and home to some rare northern species such as the gerenuk, Besia oryx, Grevy zebra and much more.
Fly camping in Laikipia
Fly-camping in Laikipia is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the bush for an evening. This is not for the faint hearted, you'll be able to hear every movement of the wildlife around you and experience the wonders of the night sky like never before.
Horse Patrol on Mount Kenya
Spend a morning or afternoon in the foothills of Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa. Here you will spend the day with the ranger patrol whilst learning about the conservation efforts and protection of the mountain ecosystem.
Fishing in Laikipia
Relax next to a local river or dam and try your hand at a spot of fishing with equipment being supplied together with drinks and even a picnic. Or you could even combine a trip to Mount Kenya to do some trout fishing!
Bush walks in Laikipia
A bush walk is one of the best ways to get up close and personal with the nature and landscape of Laikipia. Walks usually last around 2-3 hours with an experienced guide who will be on hand to point out animal tracks, small insects and flora and fauna.
Riding with rhinos
Jump on horseback to ride through the 600-acre Endangered Species Enclosure of the Ol Pejeta Reserve to get closer than ever to the last ever three northern white rhinos left in Kenya. This predator-free area is also home to zebra and hartebeest.
Kids Activities at El Karama
El Karama is an excellent camp for families, and with a range of fun activities children will have endless fun. From 'poo safaris' and camera traps to termite clay sculpting and taking plaster casts of animal tracks, there's an activity for everyone.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
A fantastic itinerary for a second or third timer to Kenya, looking to get off the beaten track and explore Northern Kenya's private reserves. Enjoy a range of activities including game drives and a three day walking safari with expert guides.
Laikipia, Masai Mara, Diani Beach
An active safari and beach holiday, getting off the beaten track in the spectacular Laikipia Plateau with unique wildlife species, enjoying a traditional big five safari in the Masai Mara and rounded off with the chance to relax on stunning beaches.