World-renowned English explorer William Burchell once said: “Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.” There are few better ways to experience the best the continent has to offer than by partaking in an authentic African safari that will see you get closely acquainted with the astonishing fauna and flora of the country. One of the best destinations for such an adventure is undoubtedly Kenya with its awe-inspiring natural beauty and outstanding safari opportunities that make it one of the most desirable destinations in the world. While there is no shortage of superb destinations in the country there are a few, including the following, which have all the makings of a perfect African safari.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The most popular safari destination in Kenya is undoubtedly the Masai Mara National Reserve which is situated approximately 270km rom Nairobi. Situated in the South-West of the country, the reserve is best known for its impressive African leopard, Masai lion, and Tanzanian cheetah populations. The reserve is also one of the best spots to view the annual Great Migration of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle rom the Serengeti to the Masai Mara which takes place between July and October every year. The reserve offers visitors a variety of accommodation options that will meet the needs of even the most fastidious of adventurers. Due to the sheer size of the reserve, multiple game drives may be needed in order to see most of what there is to see which is why two- and three-day safaris are recommended over single-day trips.
Lake Nakuru National Park
The Lake Nakuru National Park is one of Kenya’s most exquisite national parks, partially due to more than a million bright-pink flamingos that flock on the shores of Lake Nakuru. While beautiful, the flamingos are not the only thing that makes Lake Nakura a sought-after safari destination. The park is also home to a large variety of endangered species such as the white rhino and Rothschild’s Giraffe as well as more common mammals including zebra, hippo, giraffe, lion, warthog, olive baboon, vervet monkey, and the largest black rhino population in Kenya. There are a number of safari tour operators that offer single- and multiple-day safaris to the park which includes accommodation, meals, and access to a number of suitable activities in the area.
Amboseli National Park
If you are looking to partake in one of the best possible elephant safaris in the world, a trip to the Amboseli National Park should definitely be at the top of your bucket list. The 39,206-hectare park is best known for its large heard of nearly 900 free-roaming elephants who share the terrain with a host of other animals including zebra, giraffe, hyena, cheetah, wildebeest, and nearly 370 bird species. Apart from the plentiful, close animal encounters associated with an Amboseli safari, visitors to the park will also be afforded some of the most astounding views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Although the park is known for its game drives, it is not the only activity to engage in during your visit. Depending on your fitness level and sense of adventure you may want to consider hiking up part of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Alternatively, spend the day bird-watching or meeting an authentic group of Masai people, learning about their profound history and culture.
Samburu Game Reserve
The Samburu Game Reserve is situated in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province and is home to an abundance of animal and bird life. The reserve is the perfect starting point for an authentic African safari. Game drives offer visitors close encounters with large elephant, buffalo, leopard, and lion populations as well as the reserve’s own ‘Special Five’: Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich, and gerenuk. More than 450 bird species, including the African darter, great egret, martial eagle, and yellow-billed ox-pecker call the reserve home together with the critically-endangered pancake tortoise. While traditional game drives in comfortable, modern-day safari vehicles remain popular, an increasing number of visitors opt to take a camel safari for a truly unforgettable African adventure.