Useful Info for Your Kenya Safari Tour Kenya’s diverse landscapes, multicultural society, and endurance of traditional ways of life make it a top choice for travelers seeking a rich Africa travel experience. It is hard to believe that Nairobi, East Africa’s most bustling metropolis, lies just a few hours away from so many attractive destinations: towering and snowcapped Mount Kenya’s slopes, the wildlife and traditional cultures in and around the country’s many pioneering conservation areas, and the beaches and islands along this breathtaking northern stretch of the Swahili Coast. What awaits travelers on Kenya tours exemplifies the Africa that has captured the imaginations of dreamers around the world, and we are here to help you turn that dream into a reality! Kenya is a land of diversity with much to teach visitors to its lands and coastline - come along with us as we explore an overview of this treasured nation!
Often considered the country that helped birth the conservation movement in Africa, Kenya is home to over 60 recognized protected areas. Home to many threatened and endangered species and shrinking terrestrial habitats, conservation authorities work to integrate a number of interests into these areas. Terrestrial and marine national parks, reserves and sanctuaries provide protection of Kenya’s wide variety of ecosystems, including savanna grasslands, forests, wetlands, and more arid and desert regions. Nairobi, Kenya’s busy capital city, has its own national park that lies within the urban city limits and even has a resident group of lions! Conservation areas cover nearly 10% of the country, and can be found scattered across its farthest reaches.
Kenya safari tours boast a number of different formats, any of which can be part of the trip of a lifetime. Permanent tented camps are still the norm, as is travel by truck. However, Kenya camping tours and walking safaris are taking off in popularity as well, offering a very intimate encounter with wildlife, landscapes, and local cultures.
Global Basecamps is proud to partner with operators who are using wildlife tourism to make a difference, including the Lewa Borana Wildlife Conservancy. Tracking, locating and counting the wildlife that most safari attendees only take photos of, our clients can have the opportunity not only for the standard adventure of game drive viewing, but also for an insider view of how conservation efforts are helping assure these populations of wildlife for the future.
Traveling between Tanzania’s Serengeti to the south and Kenya’s Maasai Mara to the north, the Great Migration of the mixed herd of 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra is one of nature’s ongoing great spectacles. This massive number of herbivores continuously on the move in search of fresh grasses on the savannas cross great distances of open plain and the Mara River on their annual journey. Though all parks in Kenya offer wildlife viewing on par with some of the best Africa has to offer, nowhere else compares to the Maasai Mara. This reserve offers the photographer a setting as exhilarating as exists anywhere in the world, with opportunities to view the well known Big Five (elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard) and other famed African savanna mammals like the giraffe, hippopotamus and hyena. Beyond these are large populations of many other antelopes, such as the eland, waterbuck, kudu, impala, topi, gazelle, and duiker, as well as primates like the baboon, velvet and colobus monkeys. Reptiles like the Nile crocodile are more rare but impressive sights, while the bird life, on the other hand, is abundant! The blinding color of the lilac-breasted roller shimmer in the sunlight, the gritty species of vulture gather in groups around kills, and the world’s largest bird - the ostrich - all share the savanna along with scores of other species of weavers, bee eaters, buzzards and hornbills.
Tsavo National Park is a massive expanse of land, with dense populations of elephants and other mammals in particular. This area represents one of the much less visited conservation areas of Kenya, and is an excellent choice for those seeking a much less traveled environment, offering a pristine and distinguished atmosphere.
Lake Elementaita and Lake Nakuru - to the north and west of Maasai Mara and Tsavo and both part of the UNESCO World Heritage Kenya Lakes System - have bird life to make even the most avid birders’ dreams come true. Flamingos, pelicans, storks and many other wading and aquatic birds, along with fish eagles that watch vigilantly from the shoreline trees, are everywhere you look, but the beauty isn’t limited just to wildlife. The lakes themselves offer incredibly scenic views from both the waterline and vistas along the edges of high cliffs in several places.
The Great Rift Valley crosses East Africa south to north, creating dynamic landscapes across the region with the heights of Mount Kenya, and the rugged depths of Hells Gate Gorge. The second highest peak in Africa after Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya (5,199m/17,057ft) has been the homeland of the Kikuyu people, strongly active in national environmental thought leadership. Kikuyu Wangari Maathai was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her work in reforestation and community mobilization, and the tribe now claims much success in both business and politics. In contrast, the Maasai (along with related groups such as the Samburu) maintain their traditional ways of life, including language, dress, social structures and semi-nomadic pastoralist herding of cattle. They live in the wide open expanses of savanna grassland, and are commonly involved in the safari experience with ceremony that travelers are invited to take part in.
In short, Kenya offers opportunities to travelers not found in many African nations. It is a top choice for those seeking a perfect introduction to the incredible ecological and cultural diversity that can be found on this vast continent. The best of East Africa comes together in Kenya, and we are here to help get you there!