Africa

Kenya

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Named after Mount Kenya (17,058ft), or Kirinyaga, ‘the mountain whiteness’, Kenya straddles the Equator and is bisected by the Great Rift Valley. Often described as the ‘Cradle of Humanity’, Kenya offers the all-round holiday experience – from the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro, through forests, lakes and deserts, to warm days, cool nights and beautiful beaches.

Whether you explore the terrain by foot, on horseback or by jeep, Kenya provides one of the best chances of spotting the all-important Big Five (elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros). Kenya also witnesses one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on Earth – the annual migration of wildebeast and zebra (around 2.5 million plains game) takes place, across the plains of the Serengeti, and into the Mara.

Places To Visit

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The world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve, which nestles in the Great Rift Valley bordering Tanzania, offers consistently excellent game viewing throughout the year – not to mention the awesome migration of wildebeest in the summer months. Access to the Mara from Nairobi is by scheduled flights or by road (4-6 hours).

The Amboseli National Park lies to the south, a landscape dominated by the towering bulk of Mount Kilimanjaro (shared with Tanzania). Due to the number of swamps, Amboseli is an excellent place to view herds of elephant, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and predators such as lion and cheetah, as well as hippo pools and a wide variety of birdlife.

The remote Sambura National Park, some 350km from Nairobi, is home to more endangered species than anywhere else in East Africa. The Laikipia Plateau stretches over a vast area from the foothills of Mount Kenya to the shores of Lake Baringo, this is the place to see Grevy’s zebra, sitatunga, Jackson’s hartebeest and wild dog, along with large concentrations of other animals. The ‘Laikipia Starbeds’ are two community initiatives featuring four-poster beds placed on half-thatched, raised platforms and wheeled out beneath the stars each night. Waking, you are greeted by an African sunrise like no other.

One of Kenya’s most memorable sights is the pink-fringed soda lake of Nakuru, which is frequented by great swathes of pink flamingo (at times between 1.5 and 2 million are to be seen), along with hundreds of other bird species (the highest concentration is between October and March) and large populations of hippo, giraffe and buffalo.

The Meru National Park, made famous by the book, Born Free, detailing author Joy Adamson’s handrearing of orphaned lioness, Elsa, is also hugely diverse. Bisected by the beautiful Rojewero River and home to plenty of big game and rarer species such as the elusive Peter’s finfoot. Shompole Private Conservancy, meanwhile, is ideal for those seeking solitude, providing rugged beauty and an experience unlike any other (dormant volcanoes, a salt lake and plains full of giraffe, zebra and elephant).

In Kenya’s bustling capital city of Nairobi you will find many high quality hotels offering fantastic gastronomic and golfing experiences. There are many tours that can be arranged, including a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum (Out of Africa), Giraffe Centre and Nairobi National Park which is 13km from the city centre.

In the winding medieval streets and bustling markets of Lamu and Mombassa life has continued unhurried and unchanged for more than 100 years. South of Mombassa there are wide expanses of white beach and magnificent coral reefs. Lamu Island is a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at a relaxed rhythm. Malindi offers plenty for the traveller who wants to blend relaxation and exploration.

On the winding medieval streets and bustling markets of Lamu and Mombassa life has continued unhurried and unchanged for more than 100 years. South of Mombassa there are wide expanses of white beach and magnificent coral reefs. Lamu Island is a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at a relaxed rhythm. Malindi offers plenty for the traveller who wants to blend relaxation and exploration. the winding medieval streets and bustling markets of Lamu and Mombassa life has continued unhurried and unchanged for more than 100 years. South of Mombassa there are wide expanses of white beach and magnificent coral reefs. Lamu Island is a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at a relaxed rhythm. Malindi offers plenty for the traveller who wants to blend relaxation and exploration.

Local Weather & Useful Info

Weather

Capital
Nairobi

Currency
Kenyan Shilling

Languages
Swahili and English

Best combined with
Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenyan Coast, Mozambique

Flying Time
8 hrs

Fly To
Nairobi

Time Zone
GMT+3

Travel Details
Visa required for British passport holders

Health Risks
malaria, cholera, yellow fever, typhoid

Hotels

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Masai Mara National Park
Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp

Samburu National Park
Joy’s Camp

Meru National Park
Elsa’s Kopje

Kenyan Coast
Alfajiri Beach and Gardens