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Why You Should Choose Kenya for Your Safari

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Lions in Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya

Lions in Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya

When you think of an African safari, a vision of vast open savannas, dramatic scenery, and a plethora of wildlife may immediately come to mind, all just a few of the reasons you should choose Kenya for your safari.

The country is captivating year-round, with specific sightings prominent at certain times of the year and highlights such as the Great Migration a definite pull. Immerse yourself in Swahili culture as you get to understand this rich heritage, learn the Maa language from the Maasai, and indulge in cuisine with Arab, Indian, and African influences.

A bustling capital city connects one to wildlife, with savannas, forests, lakes, and mountains forming a breathtaking and biodiverse landscape. Feast your eyes on the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro from one of the best viewpoints ever. All this makes Kenya the perfect place to safari, and below we highlight why.

  1. 1. Explore Diverse Wildlife & the Great Migration
  2. 2. Experience Amazing Landscapes
  3. 3. Immerse Yourself in Swahili & Maa Culture
  4. 4. Enjoy the Best of Beach & Bush
  5. 5. Enjoy Convenient Travel Logistics
  6. 6. Easy International Connections
  7. Plan Your Perfect Safari in Kenya

1. Explore Diverse Wildlife & the Great Migration

Great migration river crossing in Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya

Great migration river crossing in Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya

Kenya offers safari-goers the opportunity to explore immense wildlife diversity in several national parks and game reserves, creating optimal viewing. Vast herds and flocks are prevalent, meaning sightings are virtually guaranteed.

Each safari destination offers unique topography that caters to specific wildlife. Visit the plateaus of Tsavo, home to rare bird species and pod after pod of hippos. Watch as flamingos flock at Lake Nakuru, buffalos wallow in the mud in Amboseli, or numerous elephants gather at waterholes in the Lewa Conservancy.

Kenya is also the starting point for the Great Migration. The Maasai Mara National Park sets the scene for this dramatic show in May, late September, and October, as thousands of wildebeest migrate between Tanzania and Kenya.

Learn more: Masai Mara SafarisKenya Great Migration Safaris

2. Experience Amazing Landscapes

Lake Nakuru in Kenya

Lake Nakuru in Kenya

From the striations of the Great Rift Valley to the metamorphic rock formations in Tsavo East and the expansive open plains of the Maasai Mara, the landscapes of Kenya make it a key reason to embark on a safari across the best places to visit.

Discover mountains in Africa you should explore, the rugged beauty of Tsavo West, and Mount Kenya, the country’s highest peak. A highlight has to be the view of Mount Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park.

Kenya's landscape is graced with wildlife, but rural settlements and cultural homes add diversity and balance to this magical country. Long, dusty roads with randomly placed homesteads add contrast to a vast open game reserve where, at times, not a soul is seen. Crop farms and land teeming with cattle paint the rest of the Kenyan masterpiece.

3. Immerse Yourself in Swahili & Maa Culture

Maasai warrior blowing a kudu horn

Maasai warriors in Kenya

The language of Kenya, Swahili, provides a colorful description of many of the country’s sights and sounds. The word “safari” is Swahili for “journey”, and Kenya’s people will proudly guide you while you create one of your own. Known to be artistic and of mixed background, spending time with a Swahili family is a fascinating immersion.

Rich culture is shared through stories and experiences, with many Maasai opening their villages and lives to visitors. Learn from these hospitable locals as you embrace day-to-day existence, an introduction to the Maa language, and an understanding of their fascinating history. Meanwhile, local delicacies highlight Kenya’s mix of Indian, Arab, and African influences.

For a chance to give back, take some time to experience Kazuri beads, meaning “small and beautiful” in Swahili. Boasting incredible creations thoughtfully designed by the many talented women who work in the Karen Blixen Estate in Nairobi, a visit is another way to experience Swahili culture.

Learn more: Top Travel Destinations & Experiences in Nairobi, Kenya

4. Enjoy the Best of Beach & Bush

Daini beach, south of Mombasa, Kenya

Daini beach, south of Mombasa, Kenya

Kenya’s location along the east coast of Africa means an incredible safari experience can easily be linked to a beach escape, making the country the perfect beach-and-bush destination. Most visitors embarking on a Kenyan safari will consider Mombasa or nearby Zanzibar for such an escape. However, with a short flight, guests can explore any of the Indian Ocean Islands, such as the Seychelles, Mozambique, or Mauritius.

Mombasa lies on the southeast coast of Kenya, only a short flight from Nairobi or a three-hour road transfer from Tsavo East or West, and offers a sandy retreat. Though often requiring a night between a safari and the seaside, within 24 hours visitors can find themselves moving from a wildlife haven to diving and marine destinations in Africa.

A little further out is the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, offering a long coastline of bliss, with captivating Stone Town its capital. Home to rich art and history begging to be discovered, spending a night in the town before heading to your beach resort is highly recommended. Discover the island’s connection to the Spice Route and its rich Swahili culture before watching the sunset from your dhow cruise.

Learn more: Amazing African Safari & Beach Holidays

5. Enjoy Convenient Travel Logistics

Masai Mara National Park, Kenya

Masai Mara National Park, Kenya

With Nairobi as your base, it is relatively easy to access several parks by road, with the drives becoming very much part of the journey, the local villages and vast open lands leading the way to your safari. Driving into the reserves, your closed vehicle suddenly transforms into one for game viewing. With the roof popped up, you have the chance to stand and look out for your first animal.

Flying into the parks and reserves from Jomo Kenyatta or Wilson airports saves time and offers an aerial view of Kenya, with convenient connections and schedules. Moving from small airstrips to your lodge or from one camp to another presents an opportunity for wildlife spotting as you drive slowly from one to another.

Time may dictate where you choose to go on safari. Kenya offers options for any length of trip, recognizing that one of the closer parks may work best for some visitors. Day trips to Nairobi National Park or one of the lakes make Kenya the perfect place to enjoy a city and safari break.

Learn more: Ways to Get Around on an African Safari

6. Easy International Connections

Victoria Falls on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls

The journey to your safari should be convenient as it forms an important part of your trip, and with Kenya’s location on the east coast of Africa, several options exist to get there.

Flights connect in Europe, with some visitors choosing to break up their two international journeys with a stop there or in bustling Dubai. Create a cultural and classic safari package by carefully choosing your stopover destination according to your interests.

Extending to other parts of Africa is possible, with several scheduled flight connections. These can see you combine Kenya with gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda, or the majestic Victoria Falls.

Learn more: How to Plan an African Safari: Frequently Asked Questions

Plan Your Perfect Safari in Kenya

Leopard in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Leopard in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Kenya is filled with wildlife wonders spread among national parks and game reserves of varying topography. With easy access from international destinations and nearby extensions, the country is the perfect place in which to experience a classic safari, Swahili hospitality, and extend to nearby beach escapes.

Learn more with our Kenya safari guide and explore sample safari itineraries for more inspiration in our Kenya safaris and tours. Whatever your safari dreams, you can explore more possibilities with how to choose a safari destination before speaking with a Zicasso safari specialist who can help you find the right destination and experiences.

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