Why Kenya? The Great Rift Valley flows through the heart of the country, and see some of the most spectacular wildlife experiences on the planet. Kenya is truly a sparkling jewel in the crown of Africa.
~ The country’s diverse habitat open’s up endless opportunities to explore wildlife. Wildlife areas such as the Masai Mara Game reserve, Lake Nakuru, Tsavo East & West and Amboseli National Parks, are only a few of the natural wonders that can be seen. Kenya's colourful history of a colonial era are reflected in much of the country's architecture.
~ Kiswahili and English are the official languages, the latter more widely spoken within schooling and government areas. Samburu tribesman of the north, are related to the nomadic Masai, though distinctively different in their cultural dress and semi nomadic ways.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Kenya's diverse geography makes for a wide range of temperatures, climate is tropical, hot and humid in low lying coastal areas, with a refreshing coolness in the rift valley highlands.
Dec - Mar
The rains are over by December, clear skies and warmer weather approaches with January and February being the hottest months of the year. Wildlife congregate around waterholes, and the weather stills making it more ideal for diving adventures.
Apr - May
The start of green season temperatures start to lower and the long rains have begun. Dust clears and brings with it clean air, free from the smoke haze. Wildlife viewing is harder, as animals shelter under the lush vegetation that provides a great place to hide.
June - Sep
Rains have eased bringing cooler clear days, the morning mist rolls in over the rift valley and central highlands. The migration from the Serengeti starts its journey across the Mara river into Kenya. The herds will form long lines as they head further into the Mara.
Oct - Nov
Majority of the wildebeest migration has now moved back over to northern parts of the Serengeti. The short rains in November are about to start, weather is more humid with the dry season fastly approaching
Arid desert, colourful culture, fertile highlands, snow capped mountains and endless savanna plains of wildlife, are just one of many fascination attractions in Kenya.
Great lakes, desert oasis’s and northern frontiers.
One of Kenya’s most prominent features is the Great Rift Valley. The contrast of lush highlands to the soda lakes of the valley floor, is just spectacular. In this region are a few extraordinary wildlife conservancies and national parks.
Wildlife is abundant in the Mara reserve, playing its part with neighbour Tanzania to host the wildebeest and zebra annual migration. Wildebeest circulate through the Mara triangle and further north up into the Mara
As one of the most fascinating ecosystems, the savanna is alive with plains game and roaming predators. In the early morning as the sun starts to rise, hot air balloons float above watching wildlife as they come to life.
Amboseli has one of the densest populations of elephants, approximately 1500 roam throughout the park. During the dry season you will see these magical creatures turn into a shade of grey or black, as herds spend their days in the centrally located Enkongo Narok swamp. The swamps are perennial and natural springs, ice glaciers melt into the volcanic rocks of Mt Kilimanjaro feeding underground rivers.
The long rains of April, help to fill these swamps through the dry season and the short rains of November. If you are lucky, rarer game can be seen in outer areas of Amboseli such as generuk and the fringe eared oryx. Plains game consists of coke’s hartebeest, eland, burchells zebra, wildebeest and you will often see the smaller mammals such as the black backed Jackal slinking around. Popular predators are the main attraction lion, leopard, buffalo, spotted hyena and the infamous giraffe, posing in the background for that perfect Kilimanjaro picture.
With over 400 species of birdlife, October to December migrant birds from the northern hemisphere arrive in Amboseli. The mix of local and migratory species makes birdwatching a rewarding experience. Sightings of Kittlitz’s plovers and endemic birds such as the Two banded courser, are generally only found on the salt flats of Amboseli. Kingfishers, egrets and fish eagles are just a few additional species to be seen.
Nomadic Masai live on the edge of the park herding cattle daily to feed. Tourism is playing an important part to keep the balance between wildlife and human existence.
Some of the most intimate lodges have been established as a way of injecting tourism revenue back into the conservancy. Laikipia has become a wildlife sanctuary for elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard. A anti poaching unit has been organised to protect, monitor all wildlife in the area. Included here are few endemic species of wildlife such as grevy’s zebra, the reticulated giraffe and African wild dog. The endangered black rhino is well at home here and if you are an avid birder there are over 350 species of birdlife to be seen.
Seasonal rivers Turkwell and Kerio are also large contributors, making it the highest out of any of the African lakes. The lake has no outlet and majority of water is lost to evaporation. Eliye Springs on the western side of the lake, is a refreshing oasis, the glimpse of green breaks an otherwise barron landscape.
Ancient lava fields and historic towns.
The Swahili coast of Kenya, full of beautiful and remote beaches, some more popular than others. The old historic town of Lamu, will make you take a step back in time. Not forgetting two of Kenya’s less travelled national parks Tsavo East and Tsavo West.
The east and west park's were originally joined before being divided by the Mombasa highway, the west is characterised by lava rocks and natural springs. While the east is relatively larger than its sister and infamous for the Tsavo lions.
The lions are notably different than any of the other species. The maneless males are different in size, colouration and participate in hunting. Infamously known as the Tsavo man eaters due to attacks on railway workers back in 1898.
Tsavo east consists of dry flat plains and features the Yatta Plateau, a lava flow which is approximately 290 kms long and formed from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain. As one of the world’s largest game reserves it is home to array of wildlife such as caracal, Tanzania cheetah, bat eared fox, ground pangolin and large spotted genet.