If your dream is to be one with animals, travel alongside of them and watch them in their natural habitat, a Kenya Safari is right for you! Come and see thousands of different plants and animal species all while taking in the breath-taking views around you. You could be just a few feet away from a herd of elephants or have the incredible pleasure to watch the great Wildebeest Migration stampeding through Maasai Mara. Whether you choose to visit and climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya or spend your days connecting with the locals, you will be surrounded by all the beauty and adventure that is Kenya safaris.
Safaris in Kenya are known to be the one of most luxurious in all of Africa. It is a top choice among many people when picking a destination for African safari. Kenya has beautiful, picturesque mountains including Mount Kenya and neighboring Mount Kilimanjaro, waterfalls, lakes, beaches and deserts. Kenya has over 65 wildlife preserves and national parks that house lions, hippos, elephants, cheetahs, snakes, zebras and most of your other favorite animals from the zoo. Popular safaris in Kenya include Natural World Kenya Safaris in Nairobi, Maasai Mara safari, and Safari Kenya Watamu. The tours offer year-round animal tours and you get the choose how you want to experience the animals such as in the air with a hot air balloon, by walking, by boat or by specially made safari vehicles.
Depending on what animals you’d like to see depends on what area to head to. If you’d like to witness the one of the most popular safaris in the world and the most famous natural event in Kenyan wildlife, you’re going to want to head to Western Kenya to watch the Great Wildebeest Migration. The migration takes place between the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and typically occurs from about the middle of June to the middle of October. Over 1 million wildebeest, 300,000 zebras, 400,000 gazelles and 12,000 elands participate in this great, natural wonder. Although this migration goes only for a few months, there is an abundance of animals all year round at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Maasai Mara also offers kid friendly resorts and kid friendly activities if you’re traveling with younger adventurers.
If elephants walking next to famous mountains is more your thing, the Eastern side of Kenya will suffice. This area is most famous for the Amboseli National Park which sits on the border of Tanzania. It’s open, flat terrain makes it very easy to spot animals. This area is known to house Maasai lions, cheetahs, zebras, hyenas, and around 1,200 elephants. In this area, you also get the pleasure of getting the best views of the breathtaking, snow topped, highest freestanding mountain at 19,341 ft, Mount Kilimanjaro. The sunsets in this area are also like no other due to the incredibly flat landscape.
Northern Kenya has very hot and dry weather. It is a popular destination for second time safari adventurers and honeymooner’s due to breathtaking views and an excellent blend of the different Kenyan Safari zones. Northern Kenya doesn’t have as many tourists’ due to its extremely hot climate but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it all together! In the north, there are animals that are not common in other parts of Kenya such as the rare Grevy’s Zebra and Somali ostriches. Lake Turkana in the northern region houses Africa’s largest Nile Crocodile population at an estimated 14,000 from a 1968 study. The Shaba National Reserve is a very popular park in the North for its scenic, romantic views.
A popular option when on a Kenyan safari is to get involved with the local Maasai tribe. The Maasai tribe have been around since the 15th century and in the Northern Kenyan area since the 17th-18th century. They are a semi-nomadic tribe and there is an estimated 900,000 to 1,000,000 Maasai people.
During a safari, traveling with the Maasai or even staying in their villages with them gets you close to the animals and connects you with their way of life. During the stays or visits, the Maasai people will generally take you on a walking tour of their village and some have even met the Maasai village elders. They’ll walk you all around the area showing you different nearby reserves and different spots for viewing the various types of animals. Visiting and staying with the Maasai people has been rumored to be a life changing, eye opening experience that you’ll want to experience.
Whether you’re a newlywed seeking romantic views or an adventurer looking for animals and culture, Kenya is a fantastic choice as a holiday destination. If you want to learn about an old culture and way of life, be a beach bum or climb the highest freestanding mountain, there are plenty of things to do in Kenya. But the highlight remains Kenya safaris, both for the adventurer and the relaxer.
We will get you quotes from multiple operators saving you the hassle of contacting them back and forth
We get you the best pricing from different operators with detailed breakdown and upfront discounts
Give back to AlienAdv through blogging, photography and reviews and earn travel credits for your next adventure!
Before you travel to any foreign country, you should do your research on essential vaccinations and/or any recommended vaccinations for the area you’re traveling to, to ensure your safety. Kenya and Africa, in general, are known to house Malaria, Ebola and the Zika Virus. To make sure you have a safe, healthy trip, do not be lazy about your research and talk to your doctor about necessary actions to take before, during, and after your trip.
Kenya requires all the usual routine vaccinations such as the MMR vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, chicken pox vaccine, and polio. An annual flu shot, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid vaccines are recommended because you can get Hepatitis A and Typhoid through contaminated water or foods. It is important that you have the yellow fever immunization. Also, make sure you have a copy of your vaccination records because, without proof of the vaccinations, the immigration authorities can deny you entrance to the country.
Malaria is present in Kenya and in all the Kenyan game parks. It is recommended that you discuss with your doctor the necessary precautions to take to prevent Malaria. There is a possibility, depending on the area you’re staying in, that you may need to take prescription medicine to prevent Malaria.
Kenya is one of three countries in Africa with the lowest estimated chance of an outbreak. Ebola can be found in animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and porcupines, but bats are usually the main carriers of the disease. Ebola is not contagious through the air, but is highly contagious when you're in direct contact with any body fluid such as saliva, sweat, urine, feces or semen. Some prevention methods you can take are to be cautious with what you’re eating and drinking such as making sure you have clean, sealed bottled water and to stay away from any uncooked or unwashed food. Last but not least, the animals we all know and love from Africa can be dangerous since you are in their environment and they can have an unknown disease. If you are in contact with animals, wash your hands and anywhere else that came in contact with the animal.
The Aedes mosquitoes are the most common carriers of the Zika Virus today. There are some simple precautions to take since you can never be too careful such as using a bed net at night to keep out mosquitoes and other unwanted bugs. Bug spray and permethrin spray are also other options for maximum protection. If you are pregnant, it is not recommended, by the Center for Disease Control, that you travel to an area where there is a possibility of Zika since Zika can be passed to the fetus through the mother. As long as you aren’t careless, have good hygiene and use the prevention methods, you have a slight chance of contracted either virus.
There are a few essential tasks to accomplish before arriving. You must have a valid passport and a visa to travel there. Your passport needs to be valid for six months after your departure date from Kenya and you must have two or more blank pages in your passport. Blank pages are essential because some travelers have been denied entry due to too few blank pages. Kenyan Visa requirements are your passport, an application, a copy of your itinerary and/or confirmation of your trip bookings, and TWO passport sized photos (2 in x 2 in). You are also required to bring a self-addressed stamped return envelope from FedEx, Express Mail, Priority Mail or Certified mail with delivery confirmation. Fees are also involved with getting a Kenya Visa. It costs $50 for single entry, $100 for multiple entries, $20 for a single transit (not more than 3 days) for travelers on stopovers in Kenya while traveling to other destinations and $100 for East Africa (all dollar amounts just mentioned are in U.S. dollars). The Kenyan Visa application is recommended to be completed online prior to your visit if you're applying for multiple entry visas. Single-entry visas are available at Kenyan airports; however, Kenyan immigration is planning to end visas on arrival in close future. Visas are issued within 14 days of your receipt date. The Multiple entry visas are valid for 12 months, but your stay in the country cannot exceed three months. Single entry visa are valid for three months.
Getting to Kenya can be costly if you're not attentive about travel times and airline tickets. The average plane ticket to Kenya can cost around $1,500 or more for a round trip from the U.S., 505 Euros from Europe, 1,600+ Australian Dollars, and 8,000+ Japanese Yen. To get a good deal, start looking ASAP. The earlier you start looking at airline prices, the better the chances of saving money are. There are regular international airlines leaving from Europe into Kenya. But as of now, there are no direct flights from the United States to Kenya. If you’re traveling from the United States, you must first travel to Europe and then catch a flight from Europe to Kenya. Depending on where you're located, you'll have to check your local airport for more information.
There are international flights that fly into Kenya each day of the year so getting there isn’t difficult. There are two major international airports in Kenya. The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is in Nairobi and is the largest international airport in Kenya and it is the main arrival destination for most travelers. This airport is around 10 miles away from Nairobi’s city center and is a quick drive to hotels and different transportation areas. One of the most convenient connections is the direct flight by Kenya airways from London to Nairobi. The Mombasa International Airport is in Mombasa and generally serves people, tourists or on business that will be in the coastal area.
It is recommended that to start your airline search at least six months before your departure date to ensure you’re getting a good deal. Remember, prices are cheaper during the wet seasons (except during Christmas and New Year’s) and there'll be fewer tourists traveling at the same time with you.
On your trip to safari in Kenya, there are a few essentials you need to bring. First, you need to bring a soft, bag without wheels. You will typically be on small planes and be limited to the amount of weight you can bring and wheels will just limit that. Only wear/bring neutral tones. You do not want to scare the animals by wearing neons. Also, bugs may be more attracted to you if you are wearing dark colors as well since you will be looking like a small buffalo to them. If you do not own a lot of neutrals, do not worry! Camps in Kenya typically offer free laundry so you will never run out of clean clothes. Long sleeves, long pants, and a sweatshirt is recommended for nights as they can get chilly. Comfortable hiking boots or shoes are a necessity since you will be on your feet a majority of the time. For women, sports bras are recommended for the bumpy rides in the vehicles or on horseback. If you are traveling during the wet seasons, do not forget your rain gear and a hat. Safari hats with a strap are preferred since they will not fly off your head. It is recommended that you bring a power strip if you are bringing lots of electronics, sunglasses and an extra memory card if you are going to be taking pictures. Women are recommended to bring an appropriate amount of feminine hygiene products in case you are on safari and there’s not a restroom in sight. Bug spray and sunscreen are also essential since you will be in the hot, sunny plains where you will encounter both. Most camps and lodges do have WiFi, so don’t be afraid to bring your electronics! Also remember to keep electronics, toiletries and anything else valuable in an airtight Ziploc bag to protect them from the dust and moisture you could experience on your trip.
Maasai Mara stretches across 580 sq miles. The park has over 95 species of animals and 570 species of birds. The average daily temperatures here are 77 F from June-August and 79-82 F from September-May. The average night temperatures are 50 F from June-August and 55 F September-May. Maasai Mara has around 12 hours of daylight, so there is plenty of time to game viewing. The best time to visit the Maasai Mara National Park is from late June-mid October to view wildlife. This is the best time due to the Wildebeest Migration where you'll see over 1 million animals including Wildebeests, Zebras, and Gazelles. If you’re looking for a very social experience with other people, coming during the long dry season is your best option (June-October). If you come during this time, your views of the animals will be limited due to a large number of vehicles and other people trying to see the same views as you. If you'd like more of a private experience, it is suggested that you come during the rainy seasons. Since that does not sound too appealing, check with a travel agent or a guide at the reserve you are interested in visiting about the average weather since it doesn’t always typically rain during the designated rain seasons. It is recommended that you stay three-four days in Maasai Mara to experience all it has to offer, but it is recommended to stay even longer if you would like to experience the other 64 wildlife preserves in Kenya or if you are there for photographic purposes.
Kenya's climate is perfect if you’re looking for beach-like weather. The mornings and evenings can be a little cooler, but warm up to gorgeous, hot weather. June-October is known to be the longest dry season of the year and for the first couple months, it’s the coolest time as well and there are higher densities and diversities of wildlife. This long dry season is the most expensive time to travel, but during this time, you'll encounter fewer insects and mosquitoes. Busy travel times to Kenya are December-January and July-October. Booking outside of these months guarantees you a lower price, but be cautious, Kenya has rainy seasons to be aware of during the 'off' months. The wettest months in Kenya are November, April, and May. If you can withstand the rain during the long rainy season, you get to witness births among the animals, especially Antelopes, and the baby's first steps. It is professionally recommended to travel to Africa during the long rain season because that's when prices are the cheapest and there are fewer travelers. The coastline offers hot temperatures all year round, but the best months to go are October-November and March-April. This is the most humid time of the year, however, there is a slight breeze. From April-May to September-October, the wind blows stronger, which can make the sea choppy which can lead to beaches affected by seaweed. Due to the choppy seas, snorkeling and diving may be restricted and are not recommended.
One of the most popular safaris in the world and the most famous event in Kenya is the Great Wildebeest Migration safari. The migration takes place between the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and typically occurs in Kenya from about the middle of June to the middle of October with September and October being the best times. Over 1 million wildebeest, 300,000 zebras, 400,000 gazelles and 12,000 elands participate in this great, natural wonder. During the migration, the animals face the challenges of crossing the plains where large carnivores such as lions try to get a meal and through the Mara River where crocodiles try and do the same. The Wildebeest start the migration when the seasonal rainfall start since the Wildebeest loves new grass. The best time for witness the crazy river crossings are during July and August in the west. Although this migration goes only for a few months, there is an abundance of animals all year round.
There are different ways to do safari in Kenya. Different safari parks in Kenya offer different tours. Depending on where you are looking to go, or how long you would like to stay, you can choose from day safari tours all the way to all inclusive 14 day tours or even longer. You can choose to walk, ride horses, go on a boat or have a guide drive you through the different landscapes. There are also helicopter tours and flying safari, mostly in Maasai Mara. Depending on what animals you would like to see can determine your options for the different types of tours.
Borana is known to be the best place in Kenya for a safari on horseback. It offers custom safaris that can last anywhere from one day to ten! On this safari, you will see panoramic views of Lewa Plains and Samangua Valley, which are popular for Grevy Zebra and Rhino spotting. Ol Donyo is another horseback safari around Mount Kilimanjaro which is a little more luxurious since it has a lodge, compared to Borana that has a camp. A horseback safari gives you a little more of an intimate approach to the animals.
Jeep safaris in special safari vehicles are a very popular option to safari in Kenya. The vehicles you will be riding in are custom safari minibuses with a pop-up roof to optimal viewing. You can purchase road safari packages in Nairobi starting at one day all the way up to eight days. Each package includes transportation during the game viewing, a professional guide speaking in either English or French or other common European languages, full board accommodations in either lodge, mobile camp or public campsite (which ever you prefer and have budget for), bottled water for your safaris and your park entrance fees. It is recommended that you stay in a safari for three nights to ensure you will see everything you expect to see. Three nights at the Manyatta Camp, one of the lowest levels of accommodation in Nairobi, is roughly $650 per person and at the higher levels of accommodation at the Mara Serena Lodge is roughly $1029 per person. With every additional night that you stay, you will see more and more of the beautiful varying views of Kenya and all the wildlife that it holds.
Kenya is home to a variety of different types of animals. There are 25,000 different animal species in Kenya alone and around 1100 bird species. There are also 12 types of primates. Many visitors go to see the Big Five of Africa. The Big Five are the African lions, African elephant, African leopard, buffaloes and the rhino. Hyena, mongoose, baboons, gazelles, wildebeest, otters, warthogs, aardvarks and flamingoes are commonly seen in Kenya as well. Though different animals live in different climates in Kenya, you are almost guaranteed to see the Big Five during most of your safaris. If you’re looking to see some of the famous African big cats or the famed Wildebeest Migration, Maasai Mara is one of the top places to go and visit. White Rhinos are very easily spotted at Lake Nakuru and at any of the Rift Valley lakes, you will be guaranteed to see thousands of flamingos. The coastline of Kenya contains the popular Angelfish and some beautiful coral reefs protected by reserves. The deeper water house animals like eels, barracudas, and octopus. Kenya is also known for the Mudskipper that lives in Kenyan Swamps. The fish lives out of water and is slowly on its way to becoming an amphibian.
Kenya has over 65 wildlife preserves and national parks. Popular safaris in Kenya included Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Tsavo East and West National Parks, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Samburu National Reserve, Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, and Lake Naivasha National Park.
Amboseli National Park is 151-sq miles of beauty. This park is most famous for being the “best” place in Africa to watch free-range elephants, seeing the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro and also being able to interact with the Maasai people.
Lake Nakuru National Park is home to one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. The lake has an abundance of algae that attracts an enormous quantity of birds including flamingoes. Warthogs, rhinos, and baboons are also very popular in the area.
Tsavo East National Park is very flat with dry plains. The park features the Galena River, Yatta Plateau, and Lugard Falls.
Tsavo West National Park is one of the oldest parks in Kenya, opening in 1948. Compared to the Tsavo East National Park, The Tsavo West National Park is more mountainous and wet. Lake Jipe, swamps, and Mzima Springs are locations within the park. There is lots of animal life in this park, including Maasai giraffes, black rhinos, elephants, and leopards.
Maasai Mara National Park has an abundance of wildlife including a large population of big cats. This is the most visited reserve in Kenya due to the vantage points to watch the annual Great Wildebeest Migration.
Samburu National Reserve is 65-sq miles of dry, desert-like, savannah grasslands. The reserve is most known for housing rare species such as the Long-Necked Gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, Reticulated Giraffe and the Beisa Onyx.
Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is 28,000 acres and is a neighbor to the Tsavo West National Park. Animals in the sanctuary include African bush elephants, Tanzanian cheetah, zebra, waterbuck, dik-dik, Masai lions and more!
Lake Naivasha National Park houses a variety of birds around Kenya’s second largest freshwater lake. It’s a popular lake for sailing and houses a growing population of hippos.
Tanzania Safari - a Complete Guide
The Great Wildebeest Migration
Best Time for Safari in Tanzania
Best Tanzania Safari Parks
Different Types of Safari in Tanzania
Best Tanzania Safari Lodges
Vaccinations needed for Tanzania or Kenya
Packing for Kenya Safari
Top Camps for Kenya Safari
Planning a Kenya Safari
Kenya Safari - Complete Guide