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.
Masai Mara, Kenya
Best for: Wildlife
Ilkeliani is a canvas tented camp in the heart of the Masai Mara Reserve. Located on the Talek River the camp is right in the heart of all of the action and is perfectly located for stunning game viewing at all times of the year.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Set bang in the middle of the Masai Mara on the Talek River and with easy access to the Mara River Ilkeliani boasts one of the best game viewing locations in Africa with 17 canvas tents all enjoying views out over the plains.
With a superb team of local Masai guides and a fantastic owner this camp is well run ensuring that guests have the best possible experience from start to finish. Crucially, the team at Ilkeliani make sure that the best standards are upheld in terms of accommodation, food and game viewing experiences.
A typical day will to wake up with sunrise to the sound of the bush and the day is yours to explore whether it is leopard hunting in the gorges, migration tracking or locating a great spot for a bush breakfast. On arrival back at camp you can relax at leisure, enjoy a lovely lunch and rest up for your afternoon game activity which will launch you back into the reserve and give you another chance to immerse yourself with East Africa's magical wildlife. Sundowner drinks and dinner will follow where stories and memories are exchanged!
When to go
The best time of year to visit the Masai Mara is during the Great Wildebeest Migration which passes through the Mara between mid July to late October. Travelling in January and February also offers fantastic wildlife viewing without the crowds and the climate is perfect with warm days and bright blue skies. This is also the time of year when plains game give birth to their young meaning predators are never far away. The only time to avoid the Masai Mara is during the long rainy season in April and May. November is considered the short rainy season, however, these are less predictable and are much lighter.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Things to do
Mara River Crossings
The Masai Mara is the perfect location to see the Great Migration, as 1.7 million wildebeest attempt to cross the river to access the prime grazing land of the Mara. This is an unforgettable experience, dubbed 'the greatest spectacle on earth.'
Sundowners in the Mara
As the sun begins to set on your afternoon game drive you will be driven to a lovely quiet spot for sundowners and snacks. Your guide will be alert to any stirring wildlife whilst you sit and relax with a deserved drink in the middle of the Mara.
Game Drives in the Masai Mara
Game drives in the Masai Mara is where the safari experience as we know it was born. Every morning and afternoon you will have the opportunity to head into the Mara with your guide and marvel in the multitude of wildlife that call this region home.
Walking Safari in the Mara
If staying in one of the conservancies of the Masai Mara you will have the chance to enjoy a guided game walk. This enables you to explore the Mara from an entirely different perspective and is a great way get closer to the bush
Hot Air Ballooning in Masai Mara
Experience the magic of floating over the plains of the Masai Mara in a Hot Air Balloon. Balloon safaris are a fantastic way to experience the vast beauty of the Mara and provide exceptional photo opportunities with spectacular lighting and scenery.