Top 15 Kenya safari destinations you need to visit before you die

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They say, “You can’t please everyone.” Well, “they” surely haven’t been to the astonishing national parks, Wildlife conservancies & sun-kissed white sandy beaches of Kenya- for these parks truly offer something for everyone.

Kenya is synonymous with the word “#safari.” Perhaps no other place on the planet conjures such a spirit of adventure and romance. The diversity of things to do dazzles all who visit, and viewing the country’s abundant wildlife tops the list.

Beyond the world-famous safari parks lies a trove of coastal treasures. You can snorkel and dive fish-rich coral reefs, relax on pearly beaches, experience the melting pot of cultures and cuisines in #Mombasa, #Malindi, #Watamu, #Kilifi, #Diani & #Lamu and explore tropical islands steeped in Swahili history.

To experience the romance of Kenya‘s colorful colonial history captured in the film #OutOfAfrica, head to Nairobi. This bustling capital is the gateway to one of the world’s most evocative and exciting travel destinations.

  1. NAIROBI (AFRICA’S SAFARI CAPITAL & GREEN CITY IN THE SUN):

Kenya‘s capital and largest city, Nairobi is legendary for its colorful colonial history. It was once the capital of British East Africa, luring settlers who came here to stake their fortune in the coffee and tea industries. Today, you can explore the city’s famous historic sites, as well as some excellent wildlife-related attractions.

The #NairobiNationalMuseum is a great one-stop spot to see exhibits on Kenya‘s history, nature, culture, and contemporary art. Green thumbs will also enjoy the botanic gardens on the grounds. Another popular tourist attraction is the #KarenBlixenMuseum, the restored residence of the famous Danish author of the book Out of Africa, also known by her pen name, Isak Dinesen. To see wildlife without venturing far from the city center, visit #NairobiNationalPark, now a black rhino sanctuary and also home to a diversity of other African wildlife.

  1. MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE (8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD):

Maasai Mara National Reserve (also “#MasaiMara”) is one of the world’s most magnificent game reserves. Bordering Tanzania, the Mara is the northern extension of the Serengeti and forms a wildlife corridor between the two countries. It’s named after the statuesque, red-cloaked Maasai people who live in the park and graze their animals here as they have done for centuries. In their language, Mara means “mottled,” perhaps a reference to the play of light and shadow from the acacia trees and cloud-studded skies on the vast grasslands.

The park is famous for the #WildebeestMigration, when thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle travel to and from the Serengeti, from July through October. In the Mara River, throngs of hippos and crocodiles lurk. The park is also known for providing excellent predator sightings (check #BigCatDiary on #BBC), thanks to its relatively large populations of #BigFive: lion, cheetah, and leopard and many other flora & fauna.

Thanks to the park’s altitude, the weather here is mild and gentle year-round.

  1. AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK (ELEPHANT COUNTRY):

Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, #AmboseliNationalPark is one of Kenya‘s most popular tourist parks. The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust,” an apt description for the park’s parched conditions. The reserve is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of free-ranging elephants up close. Other wildlife commonly spotted in the park includes #bigcats, such as lion and cheetah, as well as giraffe, impala, eland, waterbuck, gazelle, and more than 600 species of birds. Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here, ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulfur springs, savannah, and woodlands. Look for the local Maasai people who live in the area around the park.

  1. OL PEJETA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY (A REFUGE FOR CHIMPANZEES, RHINOS, BIG FIVE & MORE):

About 200 kilometers north of Nairobi, near Mount Kenya National Park, #OlPejetaConservancy is a prime place for close-up #wildlifeencounters. #Conservation and #sustainability are key at this 90,000-acre private game reserve, where you can view the #BigFive (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo) as well as other animals such as cheetah, hyenas, zebra, and hartebeest, set against the breathtaking backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kenya. The conservancy is perhaps best known for its endangered #northernwhiterinos and southern white rhinos, including Baraka, a blind black rhino, who lucky visitors might have the chance to feed. You can view the wildlife on self-drive or guided tours, and entry includes a visit to the #chimpanzeesanctuary. Day visitors are welcome, and if you want to extend your wilderness adventure, you can stay overnight in accommodations that range from bush camps and safari cottages to a charming colonial ranch house.

  1. TSAVO NATIONAL PARK (WILD, SCENIC, RUGGED & TEEMING WITH WILDLIFE)

Kenya‘s largest park, Tsavo, is sliced in two: #TsavoWestNationalPark and #TsavoEastNationalPark. Together these parks comprise four percent of the country’s total area and encompass rivers, waterfalls, savannah, volcanic hills, a massive lava-rock plateau, and an impressive diversity of #wildlife. #TsavoEast is famous for photo-worthy sightings of large elephant herds rolling and bathing in red dust. The palm-fringed Galana River twists through the park providing excellent game viewing and a lush counterpoint to the arid plains. Other highlights here include the #YattaPlateau, the world’s longest lava flow; #MudandaRock; and the #LugardFalls, which spill into rapids and crocodile-filled pools.

#TsavoWest is wetter and topographically more varied, with some of the most beautiful scenery in the northern reaches of the park. Highlights here are #MzimaSprings, a series of natural springs with large populations of hippos and crocodiles; #ChaimuCrater, a great spot for seeing birds of prey; and #NguliaRhinoSanctuary. Wildlife is not as easy to see in Tsavo West because of the denser vegetation, but the beautiful scenery more than compensates.

  1. SAMBURU, BUFFALO SPRINGS, AND SHABA NATIONAL RESERVES (AN OASIS OF WILDLIFE):

On the banks of the palm-lined Ewaso Nyiro River, #SamburuNationalReserve, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba Reserves lie in an arid region in the remote north of Kenya. #ShabaNationalReserve is one of two areas where #GeorgeAdamson and #JoyAdamson raised #Elsa the lioness, made famous in the film #BornFree. The wildlife in all three reserves depends on the waters of the river to survive, and many species are specially adapted to the parched conditions, #SpecialFive of Samburu: Grevy’s zebras; Somali ostriches; and gerenuks, the long-necked antelope that stand on two rear legs to reach the fresh shoots on upper tree limbs.

A top attraction in Samburu National Reserve are the Sarara Singing Wells, local watering holes where #Samburuwarriors sing traditional songs while hauling water for their cattle to drink. You might also be rewarded with sightings of big cats and wild dogs.

  1. LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK (ORNITHOLOGIST’S PARADISE):

#LakeNakuruNationalPark, in Central Kenya, is famous for its rhinos, endangered Rothchild Giraffe, Out of Africa View point, flocks of pink flamingos (the numbers recently reduced due to water levels). The park has more than 450 species of birds have been recorded here, as well as a rich diversity of other wildlife. Lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos are just some of the animals you might see, and the landscapes range from sweeping grasslands bordering the lake to rocky cliffs and woodland.

The park also protects the largest euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa. These tall, branching succulents are endemic to the region and provide an interesting textural element to the arid landscapes.

  1. LAKE NAIVASHA (DEEP BLUE LAKES, RICH ACACIA FORESTS, EXTINCT VOLCANOES, WATERFALLS, IMPOSING TOWERS AND BOTTOMLESS GORGES):

EXPLORE #HELLSGATENATIONALPARK, #LAKENAIVASHA & #CRESCENTISLAND:

Ever sailed past hippos? How about trekking amongst zebras and giraffe? Or bicycling past impalas and buffalo? On this amazing one-day tour you’ll get to do all that and more.

You can’t get any closer to the wildlife than this. Imagine riding alongside a gazelle – that’s a story you’ll never forget and love to share. So, get ready for a fun, animal-filled adventure.

At Hell’s Gate National park, you can Drive, Hike, Bike or Climb. The experience is sensational! Amazing scenery will surround you thanks to Fischer’s Tower, the Central Tower, and the park’s gorge.

And we’ll go on a cycling safari. Riding over the savannah, past towering cliffs we’ll look for giraffe, buffalo, zebra, hartebeest, gazelle and possibly hyena. What a fun way to experience the wildlife!

After lunch we’ll take a water safari and enjoy views of Hippos and the nearby wildlife grazing at the shore. Don’t be surprised to see buffalo, zebra, eland and impala look up as you sail by.

Our final park is a private game sanctuary where we’ll take a guided #walkingsafari. #CrescentIslandSanctuary boasts more animals per acre than any other park in Kenya. You are certain to trek by diverse herds of wildlife – wildebeest, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe and gazelle amongst them.

  1. NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK AND THE DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST (WORLD’S ONLY PARK IN A CITY-WHERE ELSE CAN YOU SPOT LIONS, RHINO, BUFFALO AND GIRAFFE JUST MINUTES FROM A NATIONAL CAPITAL CITY?)

A mere 15-minute drive from the clamor of Kenya‘s capital, you can gaze at a snoozing pride of lions or a graceful giraffe strutting through the golden grass at Nairobi National Park. Visiting this wildlife-rich park is one of the top things to do if you’re staying in Nairobi, and it makes a rewarding day trip – especially if you can’t make it to one of the larger game reserves. All the #classicsafari stars are here, including buffalo, leopards, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, elephants, and cheetah, and you can also see some of the planet’s most endangered species at the park’s rhino sanctuary. The #NairobiSafariWalk provides a rewarding opportunity to spot wildlife on foot, and birders will be happy to know that more than 400 species of birds also inhabit the park, including the beautiful grey crowned crane.

While you’re here, be sure to stop by The DavidSheldrickElephantOrphanage. This famous wildlife sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates orphaned elephants and offers close-up encounters with these adorable animals. And no visit to the park would be complete without popping into the #GiraffeCentre, near the famous #GiraffeManor, where these long-necked beauties eat right out of your hands.

  1. MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK (QUEST FOR PEAKS- CONQUER YOUR FEARS)

In the Central Highlands, east of the #GreatRiftValley, #MountKenyaNationalPark is a #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite encompassing the country’s namesake highest mountain at 5,199 meters and providing the rare sight of equatorial snow. Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, #MountKenya is actually comprised of three glacier-cloaked peaks. The highest is #Batian, although Nelion, the next highest, is a tougher climb. The lowest peak, Lenana, is considered the easiest climb, although unpredictable weather can pose challenges.

#Scenery varies from glaciers, lakes, and mineral springs to alpine forest and dense pockets of bamboo. The diversity of flora and fauna provides rewarding opportunities for safaris. Among the wildlife here, you may spot black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo, elephant, tree hyrax, leopard, and hyena.

  1. MOMBASA BEACH VACATIONS:

Make your holiday at this world-famous shore. The Kenya coast is pristine, unspoiled and the perfect place to begin your safari adventure.

And Mombasa is the perfect #beachcation destination with its local markets, history, museums and beaches. Kenya’s largest coastal city, Mombasa is an exciting blend of local and international cultures – African, Indian and Arabic.

Key attractions: Haller Park Sanctuary, Fort Jesus, Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve, Mamba village e.t.c

Mombasa and its surrounding beaches are also a great jumping off point for safaris throughout Kenya.

  1. MALINDI & WATAMU:

Which resort to choose for your beach holiday – Malindi or Watamu? As always, it’s your choiceBoth offer spectacular stretches of unspoiled beach. Both have an international charm with an exciting dining scene. And both feature marine parks for crystal-clear swimming.

Of course, both have a wonderful year-round climate and are just about 120 km North from Mombasa.

Key attractions: Jumba la Mtwana, Bio-Ken Snake Farm & Laboratory, Watamu Turtle Watch (Wildlife Reserve),  Watamu marine National Park,  Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve & Mida Dhow, Vasco da Gama Pillar, House of Columns e.t.c.

  1. DIANI BEACH(VOTED AFRICA’S LEADING BEACH):

Everything about Diani Beach is long, low and laid back. This pristine flawless, long stretch beach is lined with a lush facade of forest which nestles most of the hotels and resorts. Voted three times Africa’s leading beach destination, the beach-line here is easy-going with a colourful mix of families, backpackers, water-sports enthusiasts, nomads and honeymooners. You can snorkel the sparkling waters, laze on a hammock and when you get restless… safari!

Your dream safari / holiday is just a call or email away. Contact Adeli Kenya Safaris today. Tel: +254720564538 | WhatsApp: +254720564538 | Email: [email protected] 

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