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: First time, Imagine Favourites, Safari
Ol Seki Hemingways Mara is a luxury tented camp in the private Naboisho Conservancy, bordering the Masai Mara. An exciting big five safari awaits in unspoilt surroundings with excellent guides, outstanding wildlife viewing and Masai cultural experience.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Ol Seki Hemingways Mara is one of Imagine Africa's favourite camps in the Masai Mara ecosystem. A 'Big Five' safari awaits you here but being situated in the private Naboisho Conservancy guarantees you an exclusive safari experience due to the strict control on visitors and the number of vehicles allowed at wildlife sightings, you can easily avoid the crowds that you sometimes experience in the main Masai Mara Reserve here.
Ol Seki is situated on a ridge with spectacular views over the Koyaki plains below, if you're lucky you may even spot lions lazing on the rocky outcrops from your tent. The game drives at Ol Seki are conducted by experienced guides in specially-adapted 4x4 safari vehicles, the beauty of being in a private conservancy is that you are also able to go on night game drives, as well as being able to go into the main Masai Mara Reserve should you wish. Bush walks are also on offer, and we highly recommend these for getting to grips with your surroundings on a smaller, more microscopic level. It is also possible to visit Koyaki village where many of the staff come from as well as the local school to get a taste of day-to-day life in a Masai village.
Ol Seki Hemingways Mara has just ten tents with the standard Nina Tents being ideally suited to honeymoon couples with neutral decoration which perfectly compliments the surrounding bush. For families or two couples travelling together there are the Chui and Simba suites which are more spacious and have a living area as well as offering private dining. All tents have en-suite bathrooms with flush loos and running hot and cold water showers as well as a private veranda; perfect for an armchair safari to watch the game that comes to visit the camp. Meals are served in a central mess tent, although the camp also offer imaginative meal locations with bush dinners a particularly special experience.
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
Bride stays for FREE at Ol Seki
Bride stays for FREE at Ol Seki during 2018 and selected dates in 2019. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.
Stay 3, pay 2 at Ol Seki
Stay for 3 nights and pay for 2 at Ol Seki during 2019, excluding July and August. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability.
*All offers are subject to availability and terms and conditions. Please contact our team for more information.
A horse riding safari in the Masai Mara offers guests a totally different way to encounter wildlife, allowing you to get closer than ever before making for a truly memorable experience.
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.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Masai Mara, Watamu, Nairobi
Perfect for a romantic getaway or family escape, this itinerary takes in incredible game viewing opportunities in the Masai Mara, combined with a relaxing and spoiling time on the white sands of Watamu.
Masai Mara, Stone Town, Zanzibar Beaches
An incredible honeymoon to Kenya and Zanzibar which combines a wonderful safari in the world renowned Masai Mara with a culture in Stone Town as well as a luxurious stay on the divine beaches of Zanzibar, this is the perfect romantic honeymoon.