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: Imagine Favourites, Luxury, Wedding
Saruni Mara is a magical boutique safari lodge in the Mara North Conservancy. Famed for its breath-taking views, outstanding Maasai guiding and gourmet cuisine it is an Imagine favourite for good reason with luxurious accommodation in private cottages.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8870
Saruni Mara is nestled in a quiet valley in the Mara North Conservancy guaranteeing an intimate and private safari experience away from the crowds that can be found in the main Masai Mara reserve. The lodge's position perched on a hillside is rather unique and one of the highlights of a stay here.
A true Imagine favourite, we love the authentic safari experience that is on offer here with Maasai guides and staff offering a traditional Kenyan welcome. The beauty of being in a private conservancy with a stay at Saruni is the control on visitor numbers, without compromising on the game viewing experience. The strong cultural element afforded by the Maasai staff is also evident in the warrior programme which is especially popular with families. By being in a private conservancy you are able to go on night drives and bush walks in addition to traditional game drives. There is also the opportunity to visit a local Maasai market and the local rhino sanctuary. The lodge will also be happy to pack a delicious picnic for a bush lunch, perfect if you choose to take a drive in the main Masai Mara Reserve. For those looking for relaxation there is a Maasai spa with traditional treatments with a Kenyan twist. At the end of the day head up Kilileoni hill for sundowners complete with extensive views over the Mara.
Saruni Mara provides an intimate stay in just six cottages, one of which is ideal for honeymooners in particular and another has two en-suite rooms and a large living area to form a family villa. The cottages are well-spaced to afford a high level of privacy and make the most of the natural beauty of the surroundings. In addition to the main lodge is Nyati House, a private house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms as well as a lounge and dining room. Booked for exclusive use it is the perfect choice for a family or small group in a private setting with dedicated vehicle and guide. There is also a fabulous library with a collection of old books and in the evenings you can expect a roaring camp fire around which to share your stories of your exciting day on safari.
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
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.
The Maasai Experience
Learn all about the unique Maasai, their culture and their way of life with this fascinating interactive safari with traditional Maasai guides. Discover bush survival skills, how to track animals and even how to use a traditional bow and arrow.
Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
Samburu, Masai Mara, Diani Beach
Taking in two of Kenya's most impressive wildlife areas, this itinerary offers an outstanding safari in scenic Samburu and the plains of the Masai Mara before the chance to relax on Kenya's beautiful coastline while offering excellent value for money.