KENYA is popularly referred to as the “land of many contrasts” owing to her beautiful bio-diversity of flora, fauna, topography, physical features, climatic regions and a wildly diverse tourism product including white sandy beaches, wildlife infested savanna plains, snow-capped mountains and amazing cultural peoples.
KENYA land of many contrasts:
Kenya is popularly referred to as “land of many contrasts” owing to her beautiful bio-diversity of flora, fauna, topography, physical features, climatic regions and a wildly diverse tourism product; from crisp white sandy beaches at sea level, acacia studded savanna plains teeming with wildlife to the snow-capped rugged peaks of Mt. Kenya and amazing cultural tribes-peoples. Long considered the true home of the African safari, which promised wild nature and incredible wildlife especially the Big 5 – lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo – and milliard other plains game, it is one of the most popular and most sought after tourism destinations in Africa.
Her portfolio includes over 20 wildlife infested semi-arid savannah parks and conservation areas like Maasai Mara (home of the renowned and majestic Maasai people and scene of the phenomenal, Great wildebeest Migration), Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs which are habitat to unique wildlife species only found north of the equator e.g. the Grevy’s zebra, Beisa Oryx, the reticulated giraffe and the long-necked Gerenuk; amazing physical features like the tall sprouting hot springs in Lakes Bogoria and Baringo, her rainforests (Arabuko Sokoke, Karura, Mau, Aberdares, Mt. Kenya and Kakamega) in addition to being critical water catchment areas are home to many species of primates from baboons, blue monkeys, black & white Colobus Monkeys and many reptiles, birds and butterflies. In her waters from the Indian Ocean to Lakes Victoria, Naivasha, Nakuru and Turkana as well as rivers Tana, Athi, Ewaso Ngiro and the Mara River are found a wide array of aquatic life forms including fishes, hippos and giant crocodiles and many water birds including flamingos. In her sunny skies, forests and water bodies are found over 1,100 recorded bird species, over 11% of all of the world’s species and more than any other country in East Africa (Lake Nakuru is famous for her million strong flocks of pink flamingos that paint her surface pink) while the rugged snow-capped peaks of Mt. Kenya, Kenya’s first and Africa’s second tallest mountain lying a mere 16kms south of the equator, beckon a climb.
But even more magical are her 43 tribes-people who comprise her population of 41m. The Swahili oriented ones living along the coastal strip include the Ndigo, Giriama and Miji Kenda whose culture and traditions are highly influenced by the Arabs all the way from the slave trade days. Further inland are the agriculturalist Bantu tribes like the Akamba, Kikuyu, Ameru and Abaluhya who farm the fertile belt that borders Tanzania and extends north to Mount Kenya and west to the border with Uganda. The northern arid lands are inhabited by Nilotic pastoralists including the Pokot, Turkana, Rendile as well as the majestic and proudly aloof Maasai, whose fascinating cultures and traditions have not changed a wee bit in the last 300yrs. So too are their cultural cousins the Samburu who occupy the semi-arid lands north of Mt. Kenya earlier referred to as the Northern Frontier District.
Strategically located on the shores of the Indian Ocean in Eastern Africa, Kenya’s most popular tourism attraction remains her big mammals’ wildlife and birds in the national parks and reserves, leisure and water sports on the white sandy beaches on her 500km+ coastline with the Indian Ocean from Lamu through Malindi to the south coast of Mombasa, cultural encounters with different tribes in the remote country-sides, hiking and mountaineering as well as active adventure and sports tourism.
Additionally, a well-established tourism infrastructure of hotels, transport and national parks, a diverse tourism product, activities, a vibrant tourism sector with a skilled work force, superior customer service and an established brand has ensured that Kenya remains a viable and very attractive tourism destination.
Location: East Africa on the Indian Ocean
Area: 585,000 sqkms
Popularity: wildlife, adventure, leisure and culture.
MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Maasai Mara is one of the most famous wildlife reserves in the world. In her dotted plains from Ngerende in the north to the border with Tanzania are found the highest concentration of wild animals anywhere in Africa with prides upon prides of lions, herds of elephant roaming the wild, hundreds of buffalo, milliard antelopes, cheetahs, hyenas, leopard, rhino, zebra, giraffe and many other plains game as well as hundreds of hippos and crocodiles in her Mara River. All year round, visitors are guaranteed amazing sightings of all manner of African wild animals and numerous species of birds as well as encounters with the Maasai. But the park especially comes alive in the July to October period during the famous annual wildebeest migration – The Great Migration – when hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and accompanying zebra migrating from the siringet plains in search of food congregate in the Mara plains in an annual ritual that is a feast for the predators and a sight to behold. It, and the inevitable and very famous Mara river crossings when crocodiles make the biggest ‘gross’ feast of the wildebeest are a once in a lifetime experience to behold and reputedly the 8th wonder of the natural world. It is a magical world made even more so by the amicable co-existence between the wild animals and the majestic and proudly aloof Maasai people, in a most beautiful ecological balance.
SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
North of the equator in a semi-arid land previously referred to as the northern frontier district, Samburu National Reserve and the adjacent Buffalo Springs are home of the Samburu people; the genetic and cultural cousins of the Maasai people. In her dry savannah lands bisected by the Ewaso Ngiro river are found all manner of African wildlife from crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopard, elands, hyena, ostriches, numerous species of birds and reptiles, and many with the added beauty of a variety of special species only found north of the equator f.e. the long necked Gerenuk, Grevy Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe and others. A walk on the wild side with Samburu morans as well as camel riding safaris and horseback safaris in the outlying areas are some of the extra activities one can experience in Samburu. It is also a photographers’ paradise with unbelievable color contrasts and amazing sunsets.
LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru National Park is most famous for the million plus flamingoes that have dotted her shallow algae filled Lake Nakuru for years and years and years. But the park is also home to physically the largest buffaloes in East Africa as well as elephants, lions, topia, waterbucks, different types of gazelles and antelopes. Lake Nakuru National Park is especially popular on Kenyan safari itineraries because of numerous advantages – as a day trip attraction from Nairobi, as a worthy stop over between Samburu and Maasai Maasai or Amboseli and Maasai Mara, as the most accessible park from Naivasha, the gate way to the rift valley lands of Baringo and Bogoria as well as a standalone park in which is easiest to see the rare rhinoceros as well as the elusive leopard.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Amboseli is land of the giants – with the massive Mount Kilimanjaro forming her southern backdrop amidst the gray volcanic soil, the park is home to arguably the largest concentration of African elephants and scene of the longest running Cynthia Moss Elephant Research Project. The Park is also home to hyenas, lions, leopard, antelopes like gazelles, eland, zebra, giraffes, warthogs, etc. On her outlying areas live the Maasai people whose territory extends into Tanzania.
TSAVO, EAST & WEST, NATIONAL PARKS
Bisected into Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park by the Nairobi/Mombasa highway Tsavo was aptly immortalized by the movie The Ghost and the Darkness that depicts the famed turn of the century man-eater lions of Tsavo. Today, the park is most famous for the large herds of elephants and the authentic African wilderness from which to hike the Mutanda rock, marvel at the lava outflows from Mt. Kilimanjaro and enjoy game viewing drives in Kenya’s largest national parks in search of plains game, birds and a million secrets of the African pori in a setting reminiscent of a bygone era.
PRIVATE GAME RESERVES
Kenya is home to a number of amazing and magnificent private game reserves the most famous of which are:
•Lewa Downs Conservancy to the south of Samburu,
•Ol Pejeta Conservancy at the foothills of Mt. Kenya,
•Ol Doinyo Wuas on the edge of Tsavo West National Park.
ABERDARES NATIONAL PARK
Adjacent to Mount Kenya National Park, Aberdares National Park encompasses the Aberdares, a series of mountain forest ranges just south of the equator, that are one of Kenya’s foremost eco-tourism site and a critical catchment area. The ranges are home to elephants, buffaloes, antelopes and leopard. An overnight in the log cabins at The Ark. a tree lodge built high inside the Aberdares, is rewarded with all night sightings of elephants and other animals that can to drink at the water hole – all possible from on your balcony or the main lodge deck.
MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya National Park encompasses the areas surrounding Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second tallest Mountain whose rugged snow-capped peaks can be accessed via a guided 5 to 8 days climb from the foothills around Sirimon. But unlike her famous sister, Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya’s highest point is too rugged and might require specialized climbing equipment with hooks and ropes to reach; these however does not seem to diminish her pull and every year, hundreds of thousands of people and increasing hike her slopes to reach Point Lenana, the third highest peak after Batian and Nelion which are rugged peaks.
OTHER POPULAR ATTRACTIONS AND PARKS
MOMBASA – enjoy white sandy beaches in Mombasa north coast and Diani
Nairobi National Park – wildlife at your door step, in Nairobi.
Meru National Park,
Lakes Bogoria and Lake Baringo.
Lake Naivasha – enjoy leisure, culture and wildlife holiday on Lake Naivasha.
The Best of Kenya
Day 1 – Nairobi/Amboseli National Park
Upon arrival in Nairobi, met by a SafariDMC representative and driven to Amboseli National Park
With lunch and game viewing en-route, you arrive at Amboseli Sopa Lodge in time for dinner and overnight.
Day 2 – Amboseli National Park
Full day spent in Amboseli with morning and afternoon game viewing drives.
Day 3 – Amboseli/Nairobi/Aberdares National Park
After breakfast, drive via Nairobi to Mweiga, Nyeri on the slopes of the Aberdare Mountains; lunch en-route. You arrive at Aberdare Country Club in time for the afternoon transfer by club vehicles to The Ark for dinner and all night game viewing from her balconies and viewing decks overlooking the waterholes.
Day 4 – Aberdares/Samburu National Reserve
Breakfast then transfer back to Aberdare Country Club. Drive further north to Samburu Game Reserve to arrive at Samburu Sopa Lodge for lunch then an afternoon game viewing drive
Day 5 – Samburu National Reserve
Arise at dawn for an early morning game drive then return to lodge for a late breakfast and time to relax before lunch. In the afternoon enjoy further viewing and visit a Samburu cultural manyatta.
Day 6 – Samburu/Mount Kenya Safari Club (MKSC)
After breakfast, enjoy a nature walk with Samburu morans then drive to Nanyuki on the slopes of Mt Kenya to check in at the Mount Kenya Safari Club.
Afternoon spent at leisure.
Day 7 – MKSC/Lake Nakuru National Park
After breakfast, drive to Lake Nakuru National Park (7hrs). With lunch en-route, you arrive at Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – Lake Nakuru National Park
day spent in Lake Nakuru National Park with morning and afternoon game viewing drives.
Day 9 – Lake Nakuru/Lake Naivasha
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, then transfer the short distance to Naivasha and check in at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge.
Afternoon spent at leisure and an evening boat ride on the beautiful lake.
Day 10 – Naivasha/Maasai Mara National Reserve
In the morning drive to Maasai Mara and check in at Mara Sopa Lodge.
afternoon game viewing drive.
Day 11 – Maasai Mara
Arise at dawn for an early morning game drive and return to lodge for a late breakfast. Mid-morning, join your guide and a Maasai moran for a nature walk. In the afternoon enjoy more game viewing drive (it never gets dull)
There is so much to see and do in Maasai Mara; optional at extra charge: hot air balloon, bush breakfast, bush dinner, fishing excursions to Lake Victoria and Maasai Manyatta Visits.
Day 12 – Maasai Mara/Nairobi
After breakfast drive back to Nairobi and check in at Hotel Intercontinental.
Afternoon City Tour of Nairobi.
Day 13 – Depart
After breakfast, transfer to Jomo Kenyatta Airport for your departure flight.
Optional extensions to Mombasa, Malindi or Lamu are available on request- please contact one of our safari experts for a proposal.
How to get there:
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)-Nairobi and Moi International Airport-Mombasa are the main gateways to Kenya with JKIA is visited by most major African, European, Middle East and Asian airlines including British Airways, KLM, Qatar, Emirates, Etihad, Egypt Air, South African Airways, Rwandair, and many more.
There other airports in Eldoret International Airport and Kisumu Airport but these are mostly used for domestic travel.
A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is now a mandatory requirement for all persons entering Kenya.
Anti-Malarial Prophylactics are highly recommended – kindly consult with your physician on this before travel. Additional recommendations include Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B but are not mandatory.
Most visitors require a visa to enter Kenya – the only exemption is nationals of a few Commonwealth countries. Visas used to be possible to obtain on arrival at all major ports of entry however now all Visas must be obtained electronically by visiting the visa page at http://www.ecitizen.go.ke. Requirements include a scan-copy of the main page of your passport (that has your name, nationality, passport number and date of birth) and a soft-copy Passport photo both of which you will need to upload