Kenya is a top wildlife destination, recommended especially for those booking a first-time safari. The Masai Mara offers excellent big cat encounters and is the setting for the yearly wildebeest migration. Palm-lined beaches offer a perfect place to relax after an action packed safari.
Reach new peaks and challenge yourself with an unforgettable climb of Mt. Kenya and observe the Unesco World Heritage site (and Unesco Biosphere reserve) from the soaring height of 4985m. The peak is higher but only attainable by mountaineer experts.
African safaris often entice tourists to Kenya due the renowned Masai Mara game reserve for a view of some of the most attractive wild animals in the world. The ‘Great Migration’ of wildebeests from the nearby Serengeti reserve of Tanzania is also a magnificent spectacle.
Apart from the abundance of game in the reserve, the Masai Mara, shared with Tanzania, is also one of the top bird-watching destinations on the planet. You can either observe those birds from the ground or gain an authentic African experience by searching the plains from the vantage point of your hot air balloon.
Learn about the Masai tribe’s culture at the Masai museum in Hell’s Gate National Park, before setting off on the unique cycling or walking safari where any one of the big five may be lurking around the corner. Along with a large amount of African wildlife, Hell’s Gate tours are equally as prestigious for the scintillating scenery on offer, with breath-taking gorges and basalt columns.
In addition to these Kenyan safaris, the Tsavo East National Park and Longonot National Park also provide great opportunities to experience the ultimate African experience and a great chance to see the great animals in Kenya.
Kenya tours are not complete without a trip to the mesmerizing beauty of the Indian ocean. Find rare underwater life as you snorkel the mind-blowing corals of the Kenyan coast.
Best Time to Go: June to October, January to February
High Season: July to November, January and February
Pros and Cons
- Excellent wildlife viewing, including the annual wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara
- A wide variety of habitats and scenery
- Beautiful beaches with plenty of resorts to choose from
- Traditional indigenous cultures
- Excellent service and well-run tourism industry
- The main tourist attractions are often crowded with tourists
Except for lions, big cats generally aren’t as common as other sizeable wildlife in Kenya, such as the giraffe, hippo and elephant. The one place where you can see plenty of them, along with an abundance of other wildlife, is Masai Mara. The rhino is another less-common animal, as is the African wild dog, though you never know your luck on safari. Of course, it’s the wildebeest and zebra who really put on a show here, with the incredible annual migration.
Weather & Climate
Kenya’s equatorial location rules out a distinctive summer and winter, but it does have clear-cut Wet and Dry seasons. The wetter months (November to May) are characterized by very warm temperatures of around 30°C/86°F, with the addition of sticky humidity down along the coast. The drier months (June to October) have cold nights and mornings, and fairly pleasant afternoons. The other big climatic influence is altitude, with temperatures dropping about 6°C/3.5°F for every 1,000m/1,000ft the higher you go.
Best Time to Visit
The Dry season (June to October) is your best bet for wildlife watching. This is when the bush thins out, making animals more visible as they head for the nearest waterhole. This is also when the wildebeest and zebra pass through. The Wet season (November to May) has its attractions as well. These include fantastically green scenery, lots of newborn animals, and cheaper low-season rates.
Premier Parks and Reserves
- Masai Mara– Classic safari
- Amboseli– Classic safari
- Lake Nakuru– Classic safari
- Samburu– Classic safari
- Tsavo West– Classic safari
- Tsavo East– Classic safari
- Buffalo Springs– Classic safari
- All 26 Kenya Parks & Reserves