Best things to do for Kenya Safaris
Kenya is one of the famous Africa Safaris destinations where many travelers from all over the world visit every single year. The country is referred to as “Magical Kenya” because of the amazing attractions and activities that tourists can undertake at any time of the year. Kenya is one of the countries in the East African region with a coastline of the Indian Ocean. The country encompasses savannah, lakes, the Great Rift Valley and mountains. Kenya is home to numerous wildlife species including the wildebeest that migrate annually, lions, rhinos, elephants, and many more. From the capital Nairobi to the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean, Kenya is a magical safari destination, and here are the best things to do for Kenya Safaris.
Wildebeest Migration in Maasai Mara Game Reserve
The wildebeest migration is one of the most intriguing and thrilling displays of wildlife behavior. Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of Kenya’s oldest and most visited safari destinations especially because of the Great Migration.
After the rains when the first flush turns the Maasai Mara Game Reserve golden savannah green, the most mesmerizing wildlife spectacle is the wildebeest migration. The animals that form the great annual migration include the wildebeests, whose numbers are just about 1.7 million, Thomson’s gazelles with about 400,000 of them, 300,000 zebras, and about 12,000 elands. In reality, there is no other African safari destination where such a single entity of millions of wildlife can be seen in a single migration. The migration is annual with an endless movement of wildebeests in search of water and greener pastures
Hike Mount Kenya
For hikers, Mount Kenya is one place you should visit while on a Kenyan Safari. Mount Kenya is the second-highest peak in Africa, rising over 3,800 meters (17,000 feet) above sea level. Though not as high as Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, the summit trails of Mount Kenya are far less crowded than their snowy counterpart. The hike to Mount Kenya takes about 5 days to and from with 4 overnights on the mountain.
Flight Safari in Tsavo National Park
Have an opportunity to undertake a flight trip over Tsavo National Park and get a bird’s eye view of the park. The wildlife viewing biplane flights were pioneered in the 1920s by Denys Finch Hatton. Tsavo National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya covering 13,747 square kilometers southwest of Kenya. The park is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West with lots of wildlife and bird species. The park is home to most of the larger mammals including vast herds of dust-red elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions, leopards, and pods of hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, lesser kudu, and many more. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the park.
When it comes to flamingos in Kenya, Lake Nakuru is the most popular destination included in many Kenya Safari, promising numerous flamingo sightings. However, flamingos are migratory birds, and depending on the conditions they can be in any of the East African Rift Valley Lakes. With the large-scale flower farming, large flamingo flocks move to the other soda lake North of Lake Nakuru, known as Lake Bogoria.
Lake Bogoria may not be as popular as Lake Nakuru as a destination for sighting flamingos but is truly the ultimate place for the lesser flamingos. Lake Bogoria formerly known as Lake Hannington is a saline and alkaline lake in Kenya that is at times home to one of the world’s largest populations of lesser flamingos. Other than Lake Bogoria, other habitats for flamingos include Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmenteita, and Lake Logipi in the North and Lake Magadi in the South.
Giraffe Centre is the creation of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (A.F.E.W. Kenya), a Kenyan non-profit organization. Their main purpose is to educate Kenyan school children and youth on their country’s wildlife and environment, as well as give local and international visitors an opportunity to come into close contact with the world’s tallest species, the giraffe. In 1977 when Jock Leslie-Melville and his wife Betty Leslie-Melville discovered the sad plight of the Rothschild Giraffe ( a giraffe subspecies found only in the grasslands of East Africa), they founded the Giraffe Centre. With their efforts, funds were raised, an education center was constructed and over 300 Rothschild Giraffes are safely breeding well in various Kenyan national parks.
The giraffe center is currently home to seven female and three male giraffes. Six of these were born at the Centre while four were translocated from different parks and nature conservancies across Kenya. By names the giraffes are Betty (oldest at 17), Kelly –tallest of the females, Daisy IV, Stacey, Salma II, Margaret, Edd (the biggest and father to all the calves), Nandi (2-year calf to Stacey), Mpingo, Lilly, and Olerai.
Sail the Lamu Archipelago by dhow
Lamu is one of the last out-spots of traditional dhows in Kenya, situated on the north Kenya coast. Lamu Island offers a sailing experience on these traditional dhows. These lateen-rigged sailing vessels are a throwback to the golden age of Swahili culture that was once the main form of transport between East Africa, India, and the Middle East.
Take care of orphaned elephants in Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
There are orphaned elephants and a blind rhino in the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust just on the outskirts of Nairobi. The organization that was founded in 1977 by pioneers David and Dame Daphne Sheldrick has saved hundreds of baby elephants and a blind rhino known as Maxwell. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is conveniently located a few kilometers from the capital Nairobi, making it one of the best places to visit while in Kenya. The trust is also situated just close to the Nairobi National Park- the closest park from the capital and also a perfect getaway for day trips for Kenya tours.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Popular for its conservation initiatives, this private game reserve in the foothills of Mount Kenya is where Sudan; the last male northern white rhino died in 2018. The conservancy hosts the last females of this sub-species and also where you can view the African Big Five as well as other animal species.
Entry to the conservancy also includes a visit to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary which provides a lifelong home to orphaned and rescued chimpanzees from the black markets in West and Central Africa. The sanctuary was established with an agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Services, and the Jane Goodall Institute.
The sanctuary today is a rescue center for about 35 chimpanzees and one of the best destinations to learn about conservancy.
Not only is Kenya popular for its wildlife, but also its small island of Lamu in the Northeast of Mombasa. Filled with history, the coastal town of Lamu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Kenya’s oldest and incessantly inhabited settlement founded around 1370 as a Swahili port. The island town has since been populated by Europeans, Indians, and Persians thus becoming a hub of culturally diverse interactions and one of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Kenya.
Some of the top things to do in Lamu town include; strolling the convoluted streets to see the town’s rich history showcased in the impressive architectural features representing the Arabian, European and Indian styles with a Swahili touch. Sightseeing, dhow cruise, donkey riding, and visiting one of the island beaches are also some of the activities to look out for.
Located on the Indian Ocean coast South of Mombasa, Diani Beach is amongst the most charming beaches in Africa and one of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Kenya. Its white sands are overlaid by the gleaming Indian Ocean. The lush forest in the background offers visitors a perfect spot for nature walks when tired of sunbathing or kite surfing. Other interesting activities offered at the beach include snorkeling tours, swimming, sunset dhow cruise or simply lay back in a hammock accompanied by a good book.
Situated on the outskirts of the vibrant capital of Nairobi, the archetypal Giraffe Manor is an intimate hotel popular for its resident Rothschild giraffe that leisurely roams around the striking grounds.
During breakfast, you are likely to be visited by one or more of the amiable giraffes pushing its head through the window looking for a delectable dish. It is the only destination worldwide where you can feed while taking photos of the giraffes over your breakfast table, see them from your front door, and peep at them from your bedroom window. This makes it one of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Kenya.
Located in South-eastern Kenya, the Chyulu Hills offers one of the most scenic views of Kenya. At a peak of 2,188m above sea level, the mountain ranges extend for about 1,000km and are some of the world’s latest formed volcanic mountains, at about 500 years old.
Chyulu Hills is where you can find the Leviathan cave, one of the world’s lengthiest conduits and therefore one of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Kenya.
Situated in Central Kenya, the Aberdare Mountains Ranges is one of the 10 most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Kenya. This is the place Queen Elizabeth II while on vacation at Treetops Hotel, heard about her father’s death (The Duke of Edinburgh) and therefore became queen. The Aberdares is also home to rarely sighted animals such as the black leopard, the black serval, and the Eastern Bongo; Kenya’s most elusive antelope. These and many other interesting facts make the Aberdare ranges one of the most beautiful and interesting places to visit in Kenya.
Kenya is bordered by several East African countries that offer great wildlife and primate tracking experiences. Tanzania safaris are one of the most appreciated wildlife tours, Uganda gorilla safaris, or Rwanda gorilla tours for both mountain gorillas and chimpanzee trekking trips.