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Kenya Safaris

Kenya is where the safari concept began. The word ‘safari’ itself even stems from the local Swahili dialect for ‘journey’. However Kenya safari holidays are no ordinary journey. Here, wildlife roams the grassy open plains in front of majestic snow-capped mountains, nature's wilderness contrasts with absolute luxury, and safari adventure combines all too well with a relaxing stay at the beach. It’s the combination of wildlife, natural beauty and value that has seen Kenya flourish spectacularly to justify its position as one of the best-known safari holiday destinations in the world.

Located in the heartland of the Masai in southwest Kenya the Masai Mara National Park, covering over 1,000 square miles, is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest and most infamous reserves, offering great concentration of wild game. Opportunities for first-timers to Africa to view the ‘Big Five’ and the big cats remain some of the best on the African continent. The park is also centre stage for one of the world’s greatest animal spectacles, the Great Migration, where herds of in excess of 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, gazelle and more begin their epic journey from the Serengeti plains to the lush grasslands of the Mara, under the watchful eye of hungry predators, from crocodiles to lions. This is a sight to behold for any safari-goer, seasoned or not, as these wild animals sprawl the plains and cross dangerous rivers on their 500km round trip between the Southern Serengeti and north edge of the Masai Mara.

The tribal culture of the Masai is another highlight of a Kenya safari. Mainly situated in the southwest of the country, the Masai are characterised by their distinctive red robe costume, jewellery and beading. Their traditional life as nomadic cattle herders, who shun the modern world and live a much more primal existence, is a fascinating insight to any inquisitive traveller. They are traditionally a proud and independent tribe and the sense of community and togetherness you feel when around them is awe-inspiring, to say the least. Joining in with their dances and singing is a privilege and not to be missed by anyone with an interest in other cultures and lifestyles.

Why NWS for your Kenya Safari?

The type of itinerary on offer in Kenya has evolved somewhat. Following its independence in 1963, a modest tourism industry grew, which had generated from the Big Game hunters in earlier years. This developed rapidly during the 80's and 90's to such an extent that the various parks became overcrowded. This has been remedied in recent years with new circuits and new community backed conservancies being founded that are developing a key role in conservation, resulting in the pressure being taken off certain hotspots. This enables us to use first-hand knowledge to tailor Kenya holidays that steer clear of the mass market and take you to some of the most authentic low-key lodges in which to truly enjoy the sights and sounds of this magical country. Our excellent range of camps, lodges and experiences mean you can tailor-make your own unique itinerary, ensuring you can truly enjoy the sights and sounds of this magical country. So, whether you want to visit a variety of reserves or are just looking for a few days of wildlife viewing as part of your family holiday, prefer a luxurious private safari or a romantic getaway, there is a Kenya safari for you.

How much does Kenya cost?

For a 7-day safari in Kenya, we recommend a starting price of £6000 per person. This will generally include accommodation at two camps, transfers and excursions including a hot air balloon ride. If you are looking to stay in some of Kenya’s most iconic and best loved lodges, you’ll need to increase the budget to £15000 per person including top quality guides, private light-aircraft transfers and access to three of the country’s most impressive reserves.

KEN St Kenya Masai Mara Lion Shutterstock Maggy Meyer

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The Kenya Safari Experience

Despite being Africa’s most celebrated safari holiday destination, there are a variety of experiences offering huge scope of choice in Kenya and we endeavour to place you away from the tourist hordes whilst ensuring you experience it in all its breathtaking glory. Kenya holidays incorporate the fly-in safari, with light aircraft transfers between destinations to maximise your time and affording terrific views over the wild landscape. In certain concessions walking safaris are popular, often on privately owned land where you can learn about bush life, and family safaris with activities geared towards children.

You may wish to include the following in your Kenya itinerary:

  • Rhino Conservation - Spend time on the Lewa Conservancy, the site of one of Africa's biggest rhino conservation success stories.
  • Horseriding and Mountain Biking - Explore the Chyulu Hills on horseback or mountain bike for an alternative safari experience.
  • Meet the Maasai - Learn about the wildlife of the region from expert Maasai guides.
  • Track Big Cats - Explore the home of `Big Cat Diary` in Kenya's Masai Mara.
  • Beach Relaxation - Relax alongside the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar.

Where to stay in Kenya?

Kenya enjoys a huge variety of accommodation types to suit anyone from families to honeymooners. Whether you are looking for something rustic or more luxurious, we have knowledge to deliver the most authentic safari experience to suit you. To us, setting is paramount, and our chosen lodges are expertly placed to ensure they perfectly complement the natural environment, some of which are ideal for walking or riding safaris. From the better known luxurious Governor's Camps and Elsa's Kopje to the community run luxury camps of Ilngwesi and Kioja Starbeds and idyllic barefoot beach retreat of Funzi Keys, we can select those that will enhance your itinerary, in the perfect spot for wildlife or outstanding natural beauty. Read more about where to stay in Kenya.

When to go to Kenya?

The best time to visit Kenya is between June and October. Due to Kenya’s equatorial setting, the country enjoys year-round warm weather and relatively low annual rainfall. However, with a range of altitudes and the country’s two rainy seasons, it is possible you will experience some variation depending on when and where you visit. The temperatures vary greatly from Nairobi to Laikipia, and from Nakuru to the coastal regions. Read more about when to go to Kenya.

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Kenya Safaris FAQs

What to Wear on Safari in Kenya?

It is advisable to avoid wearing brightly coloured clothes on a Kenyan safari. They can attract insects and attract too much attention from wildlife (often scaring them away). Instead, choose trousers, tops, jumpers, and jackets in neutral hues. Whether you are traversing through the bush or seated in a safari vehicle, comfort should be a priority. A jumper or fleece is essential, particularly for the early morning and late afternoon/evening game drives when it can get a bit chilly. During the wetter months, a light waterproof garment will suffice. Don't forget to pack a sturdy pair of walking boots, especially if you intend to embark on walking safaris.

How many days for a Kenya safari?

The ideal duration for a Kenyan safari hinges upon your preferences, available time, budget, and whether this marks your initial safari experience. It is recommended to allocate 7 to 9 days within parks to enhance the likelihood of encountering a diverse array of wildlife. National Parks provide exciting day game drives, while concessions offer additional options like walking safaris, night drives, and cultural visits. Safaris start early and involve two activities daily, like morning and night game drives. For families with kids, shorter stays in locations with diverse activities are advised. Lodge guides are excellent with children, ensuring an engaging experience.

Are Kenya Safaris Safe?

Yes, Kenya safaris are generally considered safe for tourists. The country offers well-organised safari experiences facilitated by experienced operators. By adhering to park regulations, staying informed, and exercising common sense, you can enjoy a secure and pleasurable trip.

Can I drink tap water in Kenya?

Unfortunately, we cannot recommend you drink the tap water in Kenya as the supply is not reliable. Travelers who drink the water may get ill due to contamination so stick to bottled water.