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Kenya Wildlife Safari

Highlights of a Wildlife Safari in kenya

The best wildlife areas in Kenya offer absolutely incredible game viewing, and wildlife viewing takes places across a number of national parks, private conservancies and community conservancies, many of which have a natural focus on the big game, offering classic ‘Big Five’ game viewing.

Where the big game action is less guaranteed, more varied activities and experiences are usually possible, and more specialist wildlife sightings can be enjoyed. Kenya is very popular with photographers, whether trying to capture elephant herds in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, big cats in action on the plains of the Masai Mara, or flamingoes in flight over the Rift Valley lakes.

The main seasonal wildlife highlight in Kenya is the annual wildebeest and zebra migration which usually arrives in the Masai Mara in July, and stays until October. River crossings, when the herds ‘swim the gauntlet’ across the croc-filled Mara River, can be seen during this period.


The Masai Mara is Kenya’s best known safari region and perhaps the most famous wildlife area in the world, supporting an incredible variety of wildlife. Here you drive across quintessential rolling African plains, surrounded by herds of game whilst no doubt being watched by elusive predators. Hippo squabble in the various water courses that bisect the savanna, giraffe stare imperiously as you pass beneath them, and vultures soar overhead looking for their next meal. This is the Africa of famous films and documentaries, and a fantastic destination for families, honeymooners and wildlife enthusiasts looking for a totally ‘wow’ immersive African wildlife experience. As mentioned above, the open plains of the Masai Mara play host to the famous wildebeest migration from July to October each year.

Other fantastic big game areas in Kenya include the Lewa Conservancy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Solio Conservancy in central Kenya’s extensive Laikipia region, all of which are ‘Big Five’ reserves. These conservancies have the added advantage of offering exclusive game viewing with limited vehicles.

Amboseli and Samburu National Parks can also offer excellent game viewing, though rhino are not found in these parks and there is much less control over visitor numbers.

Although game sightings cannot be guaranteed to the same degree, Meru is a more exclusive national park, whilst more remote and exclusive destinations such as private ranches on the Laikipia Plateau, The Mathews Range and Chyulu Hills offer a variety of different game viewing experiences, with some more specialist highlights.


Kenya offers wonderful big cat viewing, especially in the renowned Masai Mara, home to the BBC’s big cat diary. Other good areas for the big cats cats include Samburu, Nakuru and The Mathews Range (all for leopard) and Amboseli and Lewa Conservancy (both for cheetah). Lion can be seen throughout. But the best place for big cats is the Masai Mara.


Elephant viewing is excellent in Amboseli, Samburu and in the The Mathews Range. A more specialist elephant safari is possible at one camp in Samburu, whilst close to the southern Mathews Range the excellent Reteti Elephant Orphanage is worth visiting. In Nairobi the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is also popular.


Some of the best viewing of black & white rhino in Africa is found in Kenya, more specifically at Lake Nakuru in the Great Rift Valley and on the private Lewa Downs, Solio and Ol Pejeta conservancies in the Laikipia Region. Rhino tracking in the wilderness is possible at a couple of locations.


The rare African wild dog can be seen in good numbers in the Laikipia region, and very occasionally elsewhere in the country. A certain section of Laikipia is also known for incredible black (melanistic) leopard sightings, including a couple of very relaxed individuals. Northern Kenya is home to various mammal sub-species such as reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx and Lesser Kudu. Northern and eastern Kenya is also home to the rare, long-necked gerenuk.


Photographers are drawn to Kenya for many reasons, though for all round game viewing action the Masai Mara is hard to beat, and plays host to many photographical safari groups. There are however a few more specialist photographical experiences available. Helicopter scenic flights can afford stunning aerial photography, while purpose built hides offer spectacular night time photography. Kenya is also a country full of culture, and there are good opportunities to engage with and photograph the colourful Maasai or Samburu people.


Birding in Kenya is superb, with over 1,100 species found through a variety of different habitats. Migrant species are most likely to be seen from October to March. Greater and lesser flamingo populations migrate between the Rift Valley lakes throughout the year, but not to a set pattern.



Kenya offers many brilliant wildlife itinerary options, from shorter safaris (often combined with some beach relaxation) to in depth multi-week adventures. Below are three example itineraries which focus on some of Kenya’s best game viewing areas. As we specialist in designing tailor-made Kenya safaris to suit individual requirements, please Contact Us to discuss your personal ideas and preferences.


7 Nights

Fantastic game viewing, exclusivity and value for money in Kenya

From US$4850 to $7,000 pp /
UK£3,900 to £5,850 pp


10 Nights

Incredible game viewing across the Ol Pejeta and Masai Mara Conservancies

From US$7,950 to $10,195 /
UK£6,350 to £8,500 pp


10 Nights

Big game, scenery, culture, walking, exclusivity and superb hospitality

From US$13,795 to $16,695 pp /
UK£11,050 to £14,150 pp