Kenya is located in East Africa, and it is a dream African safari destination for wildlife safaris, cultural tours, and beach holidays. It boasts over 50 wildlife conservation areas, including the incredibly popular Masai Mara Game Reserve; Amboseli National Park; Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and more. But which are the 5 most adventurous Kenya safari destinations.
And as you traverse these diverse landscapes, consider the crescendo of nature’s symphony: the Migration Safari. An epic odyssey where over a million wildebeests cross the rugged plains of the Masai Mara, this natural phenomenon epitomizes the unrelenting rhythm of life and survival in the wild. It’s a spectacle that captures the essence of Kenya’s soul and leaves an indelible mark on every heart fortunate enough to witness it.
Masai Mara Game Reserve
Masai Mara is the star safari destination in Kenya. Nowhere in Africa is wildlife as abundant as it is in Masai Mara. The big cats live here as well as 100 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Also, there are over 500 species of birds roaming free at the Mara.
During the wildebeest migration, Masai Mara has the largest concentration of land animals in the world. The yearly wildebeest migration involves over 1.2 million wildebeests moving from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania into Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve. The wildebeest migration is the largest land migration on earth, and in 2017, it was named one of the 8 wonders of the world.
The Mara is located in Southwest Kenya. The convenient way to visit the reserve is by flight from Nairobi. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can use road transport, which will take about 6 hours from Nairobi.
The best time to visit the reserve is between July and November, during the wildebeest migration. Game viewing is extra special during this time. You will watch the cunning big cats hunt prey after prey.
That said, other great activities to experience at the Masai Mara include:
- Bird viewing – Masai mara has a thriving bird population.
- Hot air balloon ride
- Visiting Masai cultural villages
- Bush dinner, lunch, and breakfast.
The reserve has a variety of accommodation options, from budget safari camps to luxury game lodges. If you want a private accommodation, consider booking a lodge at a private conservancy around the reserve. We recommend Naboisho conservancy, which is the only place in Masai Mara that permits walking safaris.
As the saying goes, the best way to explore a new destination is with the people who were born and raised there. So, for the best Masai Mara safari experience, hire a local Kenya tour operator to help you plan your safari. Companies such as masaimarasafari.in offer all-inclusive Masai Mara holiday packages. This means that transport, accommodation, meals, entrance fees, and all other safari expenses are all part of the package.
Giraffe Center, Karen Nairobi
Your Kenya Holiday will be incomplete if you don’t visit the Giraffe Center in Nairobi.
The center was established to safeguard the endangered Rothschild giraffe that is found only in the grasslands of East Africa. It is situated in Lang’ata, roughly 20 kilometers from Nairobi city center. Due to its proximity, the best transport to the center is a taxi. The travel time is about 45 minutes to arrive, and you can use Uber rides as well.
At the Giraffe sanctuary, you can interact with the tallest land animals in the world up close. The center has elevated platforms on which visitors stand as they feed and pet the long-necked boys.
By the time the center was started, there were no more than 120 Rothschild’s giraffes in the country. The species was on the brink of extinction due to the massive loss of their habitat in western Kenya. However, thanks to the giraffe center, now there are more than 300 Rothschild’s giraffes in the country.
There are so many interesting sights and fun things to do at the giraffe center. The best activities include:
- Interacting (feed, pet, and kiss) with the magnificent giraffes
- Watching warthogs snuffle through the muddy ground.
- Going on a self-guided walk at the nearby Gogo River bird sanctuary
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Nairobi is home to many wildlife conservation projects, and the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage is one of them. The center combines serious conservation (elephant nursery) with recreation activities for tourists. It has been named the most successful elephant rescue program in the world.
The conservation center is open to tourists year-round except on December 25. Visitors are allowed into the center between 11 am and noon. You have to pay a gate fee of 500 shillings, which is about $5, to enter.
Most Nairobi safari operators, such as AjKenyasafaris.com, recommends combining a trip to David Sheldrick with game drives in Nairobi national park or a visit to the nearby Giraffe Center. The best things to do during a visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage include:
- Petting the baby elephants – You are not allowed to feed the elephants, but you can give them a good rub when they come close.
- Watching the young elephants take mud baths, feed, and tackle each other.
- Watching the infant elephants roam the enclosed free space of the center.
- Shopping elephant themed clothing and accessories at the store.
For $50, you can adopt a baby elephant. In return, the center will occasionally send you photos of the baby elephants and updated them on his or her progress.
Diani beach is one of the most famous sea, sun, and sand destinations in Kenya. Unlike the wildlife parks, this resort offers a unique marine adventure.
The beach is just an hour’s flight from Nairobi, and it is open year-round. For ideal weather, visit during the dry months, December to March. During this time, there is little to no rainfall, so hanging out on the beach is more fun.
The best places to visit at Diani beach are:
Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant – here, you dine and wine in a cave that is over 100,000 years old.
Alfajiri Villas – this is a five-star hotel that has top celebrities like Angelina Jolie and U2’s Bono on its guest roaster. At Alfajiri villa, you get a luxurious and private experience of Diani beach.
Diani Beach Art Gallery – this gallery has some of the best artists in Kenya displaying their work every day.
Whale Shark Adventures – this extraordinary sea adventure is available at the whale shark conservation center. On weekends, visitors are allowed to swim with whale sharks under the guidance of safety personnel.
Zanzara Boutique – Zanzara is a destination for people looking for exquisite fashion items from Masai and other notable regions in Kenya.
The fun doesn’t stop at these places; the beach has plenty of activities that will make your visit memorable. Diani beach is excellent for water sports. There is a wide range of water sports – jet skiing, swimming, windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, snorkeling kayaking, and diving.
Amboseli National Park Safari
The scenic Amboseli National park is among Kenya’s most popular parks. This nature enclave is famous for its biodiversity, accessibility, and fantastic landscape. The park has Africa’s iconic mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, as its backdrop.
What makes it exceptional are the Enkongo Narok and Olokenya swamps fed by melting snow from Kilimanjaro Mountain. These water sources attract animals of most sizes, especially during the dry season.
A good list of fun activities to do at Amboseli include:
- Game viewing – elephants, wildebeests, buffalos, zebras, giraffes, and more are a common sight at Amboseli National Park.
- Bird viewing – aerial animals (birds) also thrive at Amboseli. Over 350 species of birds have been recorded at the park.
- Night game drive
Amboseli National Park is a great destination to add to your Kenya safari trail. The park has excellent accommodation, and game viewing is guaranteed year-round. However, it is recommended to visit during the dry season, from June to October.
Amboseli Park was created in 1974. Later in 1991, the park was labeled a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is situated about 230 kilometers south-east of Nairobi within the Tanzanian boundary.
The best way to visit the park is by flight from Nairobi. It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to fly to Amboseli. A road trip will take about 6 hours.
There are so many safari destinations in Kenya; it may take a lifetime to experience all of them. However, the safari destinations on this list collectively offer all the diverse safari experiences in Kenya. Visit Masaimarasafari.in and start planning your Kenya holiday.
The brand has a Kenya tour package of all budgets, and their guides were born and raised in Kenya. I used them to plan my Dec 2018 safari, and the experience unmatched. Not to mention cheaper compared to the quotes I had received from Australian travel agencies.