Where to Go in Kenya
The Masai Mara is where to go in Kenya for the dramatic wildebeest migration but there's a great deal more to this East African country. Other classic big game destinations such as Amboseli and Tsavo are easily accessible as is the recently opened-up Laikipia Plateau region. And after the drama of a Kenya safari, what could be better than a few lazy days on a white-sand beach? Kenya's tropical coast offers everything from buzzing resorts to exclusive island hideaways making the country ideal for safari and beach vacations.
- Read more about East vs Southern Africa Safari experiences
- Planning a Kenya safari for the first time? Get started with Kenya Safari Guide for Beginners
- Kenya's flagship conservation area is not the country's largest but as part of the Masai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem and home to the famous wildebeest migration, it offers the most dramatic game viewing and widest range of safari experiences. It's where to go in Kenya for hot air balloon flights, action-packed game drives, cultural interactions and guided nature walks in private conservancies - no wonder it's one of the world's greatest travel destinations.
- With the majority of our Kenya safaris starting or ending in Nairobi, a stopover in this city is almost inevitable. International visitors will fly into Jomo Kenyatta Airport but it's Wilson Airport, some 90 minutes away, that provides regional and charter flights Kenya's safari destinations such as the Masai Mara.
Nairobi is an extremely lively city - the largest between Johannesburg and Cairo - and is one in which you can experience the authentic 'everyday Africa'. Downtown Nairobi is best avoided however, especially as most of the city's main places of interest - the Karen Blixen Museum, the Giraffe Centre and the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage - are located in the city's leafy suburbs.
The Nairobi National Park, despite a startling backdrop of city skyscrapers, is a haven for lion, rhino, zebra and various species of antelope and serves as a great introduction to East Africa's wildlife.
- With all the attention on Kenya's safari destinations, it's easy to forget that the country has a dazzling tropical coastline. Mainland Mombasa is a popular family choice for got-it-all beach resorts but ask us about Kenya's more exclusive mainland beach lodges where the accent is on exclusivity, luxury and indulgence.
- Scuba diving and snorkelling on pristine reefs, sunset dhow cruises and swimming with dolphins - the unspoilt Lamu Archipelago combines all the elements of a fantastic beach holiday and is a perfect add-on to a Kenya safari or as a sensational honeymoon destination. Superb luxury accommodation is available both on Lamu Island and nearby Manda Island.
- A short distance from Nairobi, Amboseli is where to go in Kenya to get classic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, ironically situated across the border in Tanzania. There's great big game viewing as well - especially around the Amboseli's wetland areas - although it's a popular and busy park at the best of times so expect to share your sightings with other visitors.
Laikipia Plateau: private reserves & outstanding accommodation
- Kenya's newest safari destination lies north of Nairobi on the rim of the Great Rift Valley. An area of thriving private reserves, luxurious family-friendly accommodation and huge honeymoon views, Laikipia is a must-do for those who want an air of exclusivity and a diverse Kenya safari experience away from the crowds.
- While there's no doubting the allure of the Masai Mara, visitors to Kenya who want less crowded safari destinations should head for the rugged Central Highlands. Africa's second highest peak, the 5200m Mount Kenya looms over much of the region which includes great wildlife destinations such as family-friendly and multi-activity Meru National Park, the private Lewa Downs Conservancy in the foothills of Mt Kenya, the Mount Kenya National Park and the amazing forests of Aberdares National Park. If you're looking for a relaxed Mount Kenya safari, then any one of these parks fits the bill. Recently UNESCO has announced that the Mount Kenya-Lewa Wildlife Conservancy will be added as an extension to Mount Kenya National Park, enhancing the protection of the property as a World Heritage Site.
Shaba and Samburu National Reserves lie to the north of the region where Kenya's savannah gives way to desert scrub and mountains. The scenery is dramatic, and besides a familiar cast of classic African animals you'll find species here that don't occur in Kenya's more popular parks, making it one of Kenya's most appealing places of interest.
- Home to a shallow soda lake, Nakuru is the place to go for the best chance to see Kenya's famous flocks of flamingos but there's game viewing too around the lake shores. Rhino and hippo are among the heavyweights though bird watchers will be more interested in the 400 species of birds recorded here.
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