Kenya is probably the ultimate safari destination, it has some of the continent’s most rewarding and exciting national parks and wildlife reserves.
Best known is the majestic Masai Mara, whose green grasslands support staggering concentrations of lion, cheetah, spotted hyena and other predators. Over August to October, the Mara also hosts the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle, when hundreds of thousands wildebeest stream across the Mara River from neighboring Tanzania.
The iconic is Amboseli undoubtedly, the continent’s most impressive and well-habituated elephant herds can be seen crossing the dusty plains below snow-capped Kilimanjaro.
The country has dramatic stretch of the Rift Valley floor which is studded with gem-like lakes. There is Lake Nakuru, shores grazed by prehistoric-looking rhinos; Lake Bogoria, its shallows tinged pink by more than a million or more flamingos; Lake Naivasha, fringed by birds and hippos.
The most unique of the Kenya reserves are those lying north of the equator. Here, the likes of Laikipia, Samburu-Buffalo Springs and Meru support a range of dry-country specialists – the lovely Reticulated giraffe, the outsized Gravy zebra, the freaky gerenuk, and many dozens of colorful birds.
Kenya is undoubtedly one of Africa’s finest Big Five destinations. But it has a great deal more to offer than just safaris. Culturally, it is a fascinating mass of contradictions. One of Africa’s most developed countries, it has an unusually high level of education, a substantial middle class, world-class tourist facilities, and a growing industrial belt sprawling out from its bustling capital. Yet away from the cities, on dusty plains populated by pastoralists such as the Maasai, Samburu and Turkana, it ranks among the most visibly traditions of Africa.
Then there is the 500 km of idyllic beach Indian Ocean coastline with mediaeval ruins, dense tropical jungles, and traditional Swahili port towns. Offshore are coral reefs whose kaleidoscopic swirl of fish is as delightful to snorkelers and divers as the country’s more familiar terrestrial wildlife.
Elsewhere, Kenya’s geographic diversity embraces the vast inland sea of Lake Victoria, the intimate palm-lined shores of the Galana River, the dense tropical rainforest of Kakamega, the parched badlands that surround Turkana (the world’s largest desert lake), rolling Afro-alpine meadows below snow-capped Mount Kenya, and the tortured volcanic plugs of Hell’s Gate and of course, the hypnotic tracts of acacia-studded African savanna protected within the legendary game parks and reserves.