Kenya is a land as diverse as your imagination, from a lion's roar to a bird's chirp, a Masai warrior to a fisherman, snow-capped peaks to thick forests and silver beaches to grassy plains. At the heart of East Africa, straddling the equator, is a land of wildlife documentary heaven and a sunbather's paradise! The country plays host to the largest animal movement in the world during the annual migration into the Masai Mara, which is home to the 'big five' - elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard, and has a heritage and culture which fascinates all those who visit.
Kenya is where it all began: home to the original safari holiday and still one of the most popular destinations for safaris in the world.
Famous not only for its 'Out of Africa' scenic beauty, diverse cultures and abundant wildlife, Kenya also boasts superb footprint-free beaches and warm tropical waters, thus ensuring a complete Kenya safari holiday experience.
Above all it's the wildlife that attracts the safari traveller to some Africa's best-known national parks, including the Masai Mara, Tsavo, Amboseli, and Lake Nakuru - and naturally it's the incredible Great Wildebeest Migration that is the biggest attraction of them all.
The ebb and flow of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti in Tanzania, to Kenya's Masai Mara and back is a phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime sight - and well worth the effort to witness it.
Timing your trip to coincide with the migration is important - the exact moment when the herds pass through a specific area depends on highly unpredictable factors such as when the rains fall.
The main tourist season is in January and February, when the weather is hottest and driest. At this time, the animals in the wildlife parks tend to congregate more around the watercourses, making them easier to spot. However, the parks can get crowded and rates for accommodation soar – also make sure you avoid Christmas and Easter unless you want to pay much higher prices.
From June to October, the annual wildebeest migration takes place, with thousands of animals streaming into the Masai Mara National Reserve from the Serengeti.
During the long rains (the low season, spanning from March to the end of May) things are much quieter. Wildlife is harder to spot and mosquitoes are rife, a combination that keeps most tourists away.
Choosing the right Safari is important to make the most of your stay in Kenya. Take your time and look at what each Safari includes.
A safari promises both excitement and the unexpected - close encounters with wild animals, bumpy roads and helping out when or if your vechicle gets stuck is all part of the fun. Game drives normally take place early morning and evening. Safaris often cover long distances on rough and uneven roads which are usually dusty or muddy, so remember to pack suitable clothing.
Safari vehicles are not air-conditioned but as most drives are early morning or evening you will usually find that a light jacket is needed instead. There are safaris for everyone and most companies will run family safari dates where children are permitted. If you are unable to find availability on one of these dates then you are able to book a private safari for the family that will allow children.
One of the best extras to add on to your safari is a hot air balloon ride. These rides start at dawn and last for about 1 hour in the air. When you land you are treated to a champagne breakfast and a game drive. Childen under 12 are not usually permitted. This is certainly the highlight of your trip.
There are many national parks in Kenya and some safaris will take in more than one. The Masai Mara being one of the most famous is included in many Kenyan Safaris but take a look at what else is on offer!
Aberdares National Park - this park includes parts of the Aberdares Mountain Range. In the lower foothills, leopards, bongos, buffaloes, elephants and black rino roam through the forests.
Amboseli National Park - Dominated by the imposing backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is home to an abundance of mammals and over 400 species of birds.
Lake Naivasha - Over 450 species of birds have been recorded in and around this freshwater lake with the highest concentration between October and March.
Lake Nakuru National Park - This fenced park provides sanctuary to one of the largest populations of rhinos in Kenya, plus Rothschild's giraffes, leopards and lions. The alkaline lake often attracts concentrations of flamingoes, pelicans, cormorants and terns.
Masai Mara - One of the worlds most enthralling wildlife theatres. The reserve plays host to countless species, including the 'big five' and the annual migration.
Meru National Park - Meru is jsut severn miles from the equator and to the north east of Nairobi. Meru is famous as the area where George and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the lion cub and cared for orphaned cheetahs.
Mount Kenya National Park - Kenyas highest mountain sits astride the equator standing at nearly 5200 metres.
Samburu National Reserve - 325km north of Nairobi lies the home of the Samburu people. Game includes species that are rarely seen anywhere else like the Grevy's Zebra, reticulated giraffes and Somali ostriches.
Shaba National Reserve - Cloes to Samburu, Shaba reserved its place in history when Joy Adamson experimented with the release of hand reared leopards.
Tsavo East and Tasavo West National Parks - Together these parks cover and area the size of Wales forming one of the worlds largest game sanctuaries
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