Destinations

Kenya FAQs

YOUR KENYA QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Kenya is one of the most popular and well known safari destinations in the world and with such stunning scenery and an abundance of wildlife, quite rightly so. There is a lot to see and do here, and being so popular means that it is quite tourist friendly, e.g. easy to get around and very comfortable lodgings! But no matter how popular a place is, you still need to know whether it is the right destination for YOUR safari. If there is a certain wildlife element that you wish to see or activity you wish to do, make sure that it is found in Kenya before you book!.

We have compiled here a list of questions (and answers!) that we think are important things to know when thinking about booking a Kenyan Safari. If there is something you think is important, or that you would like to know about safaris in Kenya then please contact us.

  • How long should I spend on safari in Kenya?

    The length of time you should spend on safari in Kenya depends on what you want to see, how much time you have available, budget and whether this is your first time on a safari.

    Ideally you would spend around 7 to 9 days in the parks. You may not see all of the animals you were hoping for in one day, this is wildlife after all! Therefore, the longer you spend in the parks, the more likely you are to come across a variety of game.

    Kenya has a number of different wildlife areas, both national parks and concessions. The National Parks and Concessions can vary greatly in terms of terrain, wildlife and activities. The National Parks offer a host of exciting wildlife and game drives during the day are the activities available in the lodges within the parks. The concessions have a fantastic wildlife too. However, other activities such as walking safaris, night drives, horse riding, camel riding, boat trips, bird watching and visit to local communities are available whilst staying in the lodges within the concessions.

    If you have never been on a safari before, it can be a little tiring. The activities start early in the morning as this is the coolest time of day and the wildlife is still up and about. You will generally do two activities a day, if you are in a concession you will probably do an early morning and a night game drive but there are plenty of other activities on safari in Kenya. Try a horse-back safari, balloon safari or even meet the local Masai.

    If you are travelling with young children you must bear in mind that they may get bored. Some will love it and will become completely engrossed in everything around them. Others however, may not. Therefore, staying for a shorter amount of time, enough to keep you and the kids happy, in a location with plenty of different activities is ideal. The guides and staff at the lodges are great with kids too so you know they will be kept entertained around the lodges.

  • What should I take on safari in Kenya?

    Depending on the time of year you wish to travel (please see our best time to visit Kenya guide), you will need different items in your case!

    Always make sure you are prepared, you will be in the bush and therefore making sure you have the necessary precautions is essential. First aid kits are a must. All of the lodges will have some form first aid set aside but items like painkillers, plasters, rehydration packets (in case of sunstroke or stomach upsets), cold medication, antiseptic cream and prescription medications.

    As well as making sure you have the necessary first aid bits, clothing is also very important. Brightly coloured clothes are not advised on a Kenya safari. Trousers, tops, jumpers and jackets in neutral colours are ideal. Your clothes should be comfortable. Whether you are walking through the bush or sitting in a safari vehicle, comfort is important. A jumper or fleece is essential for those early morning and late afternoon/evening game drives as it may get a little chilly. During the wetter months a light waterproof is sufficient. A good sturdy pair of walking boots is also essential especially if you are going to be doing walking safaris.

    Cameras!!! Along with good quality lenses, chargers and memory cards or extra film are a must. You will be travelling to such a fantastic wildlife destination and to get the perfect shot and to be able to look back on them will be extremely worthwhile.
  • What vehicles are used on safari?

    We all have an idea in mind about what safari vehicles in Kenya will look like. Here we have some more information about the layout, comfort and practicality of these 4x4 vehicles.

    The vehicles do vary slightly from camp to camp and are designed to be able to withstand the terrain as well as allow optimum viewing for you. Some use closed 4x4 vehicles with pop-up roofs and some are covered but with open sides. Most will accommodate around 6 people on cushioned, bench like chairs or on beanbags.

    The driver and guide will usually sit lower down in the vehicle and the passengers will be raised up high so you can scan the plains and help spot the wildlife.

    The safari vehicles are great for a photographer too as there is enough room for your equipment and there are places where putting up a tripod or steadying the camera on the vehicle is possible.

    Some lodges do allow for private vehicle hire. If you are travelling as a family with young children this is advisable as you can control how long you stay in places and what you want to spend time on. If you are a keen photographer this is possible too. You will then be able to spend longer with the animals which in turn will lead to some fantastic shots.

  • Can I drink tap water in Kenya?

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

    Make sure you always drink bottled water which is easily accessible and provided in all accommodation and during all activities. This includes ice in drinks

  • What wildlife can I see in Kenya?

    The Masai Mara has a fantastic array of wild animals and is home to one of the most amazing wildlife events, the great migration.

    These plains are able to sustain these huge migrating herds between July and October, when millions of animals, including Wildebeest, topi, zebra and Thompson’s gazelle all make their way here from Tanzania to graze. Not only is this a great time to spot the aforementioned species, but also the great predators as they stalk the enormous herds, this even includes crocodile if you are fortunate enough to witness a river crossing!

    As well as the migration, the Masai Mara is home to numerous other game all year round. All the members of the famous ‘Big Five’ (Black rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard) live in and around the Mara. Hippos and crocodiles are often seen in the rivers around the Masai Mara and its Conservancies and cheetahs are also found here as the vast open plains are the perfect hunting ground for these agile runners. There are over 400 species of bird in the Mara including vultures, storks, hornbills, cranes and ostriches.

    The Masai Mara is also the location where the great series ‘Big Cat Diaries’ was filmed. The camp where the crew was based is Rekero, and Jackson Looseya, the guide who worked alongside the crew, still guides at the camp.

    Meru National Park is located north of Nairobi and is one of the most famous reserves in Kenya. Meru was the home of Joy and George Adamson and is where the film ‘Born Free’ was based. Elsa the Lioness is buried in the park and part of Joy's ashes were scattered on the lions gravesite. The film inspired the actors, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, to start the Born Free Foundation.

    Being prone to rain, this area is often covered in lush swamps and long grass which is perfect for the hippos, elephant and crocodiles! Meru has a different terrain to the Mara and is home to whole host of animals including lion, leopard, cheetah rhino and some rare and interesting species too including the Grevy’s zebra and the reticulated giraffe. The lions here are leaner and more ‘scruffy’ looking with Mohican manes, different to those on the Mara plains. There is also an ever growing population of black and white rhino which are very well protected within the park.

    Birdlife here is fantastic too with the black faced grouse, yellow necked spur fowl, helmeted and vulturine guinea fowl, long crested eagle, palmnut vultures, hornbills, crested francolin and the Pel’s fishing owl to name but a few.

    Samburu National Park is also North of Nairobi and has a very similar terrain to Meru National Park. Samburu is one of the most intriguing of Kenya’s National Parks with its scrubby landscape and rocky plains, lush forested waterways and a variety of wildlife which are difficult to see anywhere else in Kenya! Although not as rich in game as the Masai Mara, Samburu is still a great location for a wildlife safari. The bird life is fantastic with some considered to be unique to the region. All three of the big cats, cheetah, lion and leopards inhabit this area as well as elephant, buffalo and hippos. Samburu is also home to the Grevy's zebra, Beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe.

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