• Settings:

Wildlife & Safaris in Kenya

For the diversity of habitats and concentration of game, it is difficult to beat the world-renowned reserves in Kenya.

Animals to see on a safari in Kenya

Conservancies in Kenya are now highly popular as they empower and support local communities whilst protecting the local environment.

In the Laikipia District you will find the 19,000-acre private conservancy, Ol Pejeta, which features an astounding mix of wildlife. With the largest Black Rhino Sanctuary in East Africa, it is now a successful home to this critically endangered species and you can also visit the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the only place in Kenya where you can spot this remarkably intelligent animal.

African Lion

Kenya's national animal, and arguably the most famous animal on the planet, the African lion is the symbol of strength and power and the epitome of any safari to wild Africa. Lions are notably the only sociable big cat, with prides formed of a few muscular males who are crowned with a thick mane, whilst most of the hunting is done by the smaller more agile females. They can be found in several Kenyan national parks, including Maasai Mara National Reserve and Nairobi National Park.

African Elephant

The African elephant is the largest land animal on Earth and is known for its impressive size, long tusks, and strong social bonds. They can be found in various national parks and reserves across Kenya, such as Amboseli National Park and Tsavo National Park.

African Leopard

Leopards are known for their elusive and secretive behavior, making them harder to spot than other Big Five animals. They can be found in various Kenyan parks, such as Samburu National Reserve and Laikipia Plateau.

African Buffalo

Also known as Cape buffalos, are large, powerful herbivores with distinctive horns. They are known for their unpredictable behaviour and can be found in many of Kenya's national parks and reserves. Maasai Mara is one of Kenya's most famous wildlife conservation areas, ideal for a wildlife safari, and is home to a healthy population of African buffalo. The park's grassy plains and abundant water sources make it an ideal habitat for these animals forming a main prey base for Kenya’s Big Cats.


The black rhino is a critically endangered species, and spotting one in the wild is a rare and thrilling experience. They can be found in a few protected areas in Kenya, including Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is one of the most pioneering examples, where a vast area of 18,000 hectares has been earmarked to provide refuge for black and white rhino, sitatunga and Grevy’s zebra.

KEN St Kenya Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Shutterstock Gudkov Andrey

The Great Migration

The climax of any Kenya wildlife safari; the annual Great Migration is a dramatic, wild and totally enthralling marvel of nature, where predatory lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena gather and wait expectantly for more than two million wildebeest, gazelle and zebra to arrive in a stampede of activity, so they can prey on the more vulnerable, juvenile or lone animals. The climax of the event comes with the river crossing and after the first animal’s tentative entry into the waters, thousands more follow in its shadow and the inevitable chaos that ensues is breathtaking, with some animals being taken by waiting hungry crocodiles as they desperately try to make it to the other side. The sight and sound of the thundering hooves of the millions of migrating animals arriving from Grumeti River area in Tanzania through to the Masai Mara in Kenya is like no other on earth.

The Samburu Special Five

These animals are considered special attractions in Samburu due to their unique characteristics and the fact that they are relatively easier to spot in this specific region compared to other parts of Africa.

  1. Grevy's Zebra: This zebra species is larger than the more common plains zebra and is characterized by its narrow stripes and white belly.
  2. Reticulated Giraffe: Recognized by its distinct, clearly defined reddish-brown patches on a cream-colored background, the reticulated giraffe is a unique species found in the Samburu region.
  3. Beisa Oryx: Also known as the East African oryx, the Beisa oryx is a large antelope with long, straight horns and a distinctive black stripe running down its face.
  4. Somali Ostrich: This subspecies of the ostrich has distinct blue-grey skin on its neck and legs, and it is the largest bird in the world.
  5. Gerenuk: A long-necked antelope with slender legs, the gerenuk is known for its ability to stand on its hind legs to reach higher branches and leaves on trees.

Birds in Kenya

With more than 1,135 bird species, Kenya holds the world record for the most number of bird species recorded in a single country in a single day. The country's varied landscapes, from savannas and forests to wetlands and coastlines, provide a wide range of habitats for bird species.

  • African Fish Eagle: This striking raptor is often associated with Kenya's waterways and lakes. Its distinctive cry is a common sound around bodies of water.
  • Lilac-breasted Roller: Known for its vibrant plumage, the lilac-breasted roller is a stunning and iconic bird in Kenya.
  • Superb Starling: This strikingly colored starling is a common sight in Kenya, with iridescent blue and orange plumage.
  • Crowned Crane: The crowned crane is Kenya's national bird and is known for its regal appearance, with a crown of golden feathers on its head.
  • Secretarybird: This unique and unmistakable bird of prey is known for its long legs, which it uses to stomp on its prey.
  • Marabou Stork: Often seen near rivers and lakes, the marabou stork is a large, somewhat ungainly bird with a bare head and neck.
  • African Grey Hornbill: This hornbill species is commonly seen in savanna habitats and is known for its distinctive appearance and bill shape.
  • Malachite Kingfisher: Found near water bodies, this small kingfisher is recognized by its vibrant blue and green plumage.
  • Hadada Ibis: The hadada ibis is known for its loud, distinctive calls, which often echo through the savanna.
  • African Jacana: This striking wader is known for its long toes, which allow it to walk on floating vegetation in wetlands.
  • African Pygmy Kingfisher: As the name suggests, this tiny kingfisher is a colorful and often elusive bird found in wooded areas.
  • Great Blue Turaco: This large and distinctive bird is known for its vibrant blue and green plumage and can be found in forests.