Kenya is one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations, and it’s easy to see why. The East African country has a lot to offer travellers, from spectacular game reserves to an abundance of wildlife (including the Masai Mara, where the biggest migration in the world takes place), an incredibly beautiful coastline and picture-perfect tropical islands, Mount Kenya (Africa’s second tallest mountain) and scenic Lake Victoria.
Here are our top 5 reasons to go on safari to Kenya:
1. See the Great Migration
Every year more than 1.5 million wildebeest migrate in a big loop across the plains of the Masai Marai National Park heading south to the Serengeti National Park, across the Mara River in Tanzania. This migration is recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, and is an awe-inspiring spectacle of antelope on the move, pursued by predators such as crocodiles and lions. It is, without a doubt, one of the best wildlife experiences on the planet and should be at the top of any nature lover’s bucket list!
2. Go on a Big Five safari
Even if you don’t visit Kenya during the migration period, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to Big Five game viewing in the national parks and reserves of the country. In addition to the Masai Mara, there’s also Amboseli, Lake Nakuru (where the birding is phenomenal) and Tsavo East. You don’t even have to go very far after you land in Nairobi before you can see game – there’s a game reserve (Nairobi National Park) just a few kilometres outside of the city, which is home to leopard, lion, rhino, cheetah, eland and giraffe.
3. Go back in time on Lamu Island
Lamu Island, just off the coast of northern Kenya, is home to Lamu Town, the best-preserved Swahili town in the world where you really feel the centuries of history in the narrow alleyways lined with shops and cafés, fragrant markets, interesting history museums, Arab-influenced architecture and old thick wooden doors from India concealing quiet courtyards – as well as Shela Beach, a perfect stretch of golden sand lapped by the warm, calm waters of the Indian Ocean.
4. Climb Africa’s second tallest mountain
Mount Kenya may not be as famous as its neighbouring peak – Mount Kilimanjaro – across the border in Tanzania, but it still offers a great climbing experience. At nearly 5000 metres above sea level, Africa’s second tallest mountain takes less time to scale than Kilimanjaro, and there’s less chance of climbers getting altitude sickness. Plus, the scenery is beautiful – Mount Kenya boasts volcanic boulders, lakes, forests filled with animals (the peak is surrounded by a national park) and permanent glaciers – without the crowds of Kili.
5. Relax in beach paradise
Kenya’s coast is the stuff tropical beach brochures are made off: miles and miles of beautiful white sand beaches, warm ocean and palm trees rustling in the breeze. On offer are loads of activities to keep the non-beach-lounger types occupied, including scuba diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing and snorkelling.