Kenya Safaris – Tailor made safari & beach holidays to Kenya – African Safari specialists
Jules worked in Kenya for many years so we have great contacts to book the trip of a lifetime for you! Contact us on 01728 748209, use the live chat or send an enquiry.
Tourism has long been Kenya’s number one business and rightly so – situated on the Equator with a year round warm climate, this is where the classic safaris of the early settlers took place. Take yourself back in time as you travel through the Great Rift Valley stopping at the flamingo covered lakes or walking the highlands with stunning views that seem to never end, imagine what life was like here a hundred years back as our colonial relatives set up their family homes and farms around Naivasha, Nakuru and beyond. This is the place for the ultimate wildlife holiday. If you want to see the stars of Big Cat Diary get in touch for a quote to stay at the same camp it was filmed from in the Masai Mara! Many conservation projects evolved in Kenya’s Rift Valley, particularly around Laikipia. Book a tailor made holiday to visit the Born Free Foundation camps such as Elsa’s Kopje in Meru and see where the lions roamed free!
Kenya is perfect for family safaris, with many generations of safari families having lived there for decades and opening up their homes and ranches to you, especially around Laikipia (see below), here family accommodation in tented rooms or bungalows offer you home cooked food, a variety of local activities, stunning views and most of all great interaction with the children, educating them about life in Africa and with specialist guides taking them on their own adventures!
Of course in the days of the colonial explorers there was no running water or electricity and the ‘wind up’ safari vehicles have long gone! But you can still capture that feeling of adventure and romance as you settle into your luxury tented safari camp with the camp fire flickering and the vast African sky packed full of stars above you. Feel the warm breeze as you sip your gin and tonic and hear the lion’s roar in the distance …. The perfect destination for a romantic safari honeymoon! You can also sleep in a tree house or a star bed – combine this with a beautiful beach lodge with an exotic spa for the perfect honeymoon retreat!
Conservation goes hand in hand with tourism in Kenya and over the last few decades massive progress has been made by safari companies working hand in hand with local people to ensure that everyone benefits from the tourist dollar. Some hotels and camps, both in parks and on the coast, belong to large chains who provide charter flights and all inclusive packages that seem too good to be true … but be careful, they probably are!! Personally, we would always recommend staying at an environmentally sensitive lodge or camp and make sure that your money is directly benefiting the local people. If you visit Maasai villages, check how much of your cash is actually going to the local people – Jules can advise you on the best places to stay and the ‘real’ communities who thrive on the infrastructure that is now in place. Many Maasai and Samburu are now highly trained safari guides and can give you a wonderful education into their culture and wildlife during your stay. Visit their villages & schools, play footie with the kids and involve yourself in the culture of Kenya as well as the wildlife. One of the best conservation camps we can book for you where you are looked after by the Samburu guides is Elephant Watch Camp, which has supported Save The Elephants charity for decades and works with them and other local conservation bodies to preserve the parks of Kenya.
The best known Kenya Safari destination is the Masai Mara – particularly in the ‘migration season‘ which takes place from July – September each year as masses of thousands of animals arrive from the Serengeti in Tanzania to graze on the lush grass of the Mara. Dramatic river crossings have graced the screens of every Africa lovers TV and pages of coffee table books and everyone dreams of seeing this wildlife spectacle for real. If you want to go to the ‘Out of Africa’ picnic spot in the Mara, head to new Angama Mara. The Mara is great all year round so consider going in low season to avoid the crowds. If you want to get off the beaten track, our top choice for a stunning safari is Laikipia. This stunningly beautiful landscape stretches north from Mount Kenya into Samburu lands and is a fabulous conservation success story. Many ex cattle ranches and farms have joined forces to provide protection for wildlife and, again working with local people, have developed some gorgeous country retreats and lodges all offering a range of activities. As well as the usual game drives, you could go horse riding, mountain biking, enjoy spa treatments or fishing, rafting, helicopter rides or overnight sleep outs on camel led walking safaris. There is also a special Yoga retreat holiday here.
The Rift Valley Lakes of Nakuru, Naivasha, Baringo and Bogoria also offer safaris with a difference and many spots of incredible natural beauty. In Nakuru, Travel With Jules is sponsoring The Beehive, a home for Kenyan child mothers, here is their story. By booking a holiday with us you are helping this wonderful project!
To the south of Kenya is the iconic scene of the plains of Amboseli National Park with Kilimanjaro looming in the background. This is home to huge congregations of elephants where researchers have studied them for years. The most famous probably being the ‘EB’ family, Echo of the Elephants being a successful TV series and now, as the staff in Amboseli know them all by name, visitors are privileged to get up very close to these magnificent creatures. If you are particularly keen on elephants, make sure you visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi too. (We recommend linking this with Elephant Watch Camp in Samburu).
The Kenyan Coast is the base for most people’s idea of ‘fly and flop’ beach holidays is Mombasa. With plenty of charter flights, the coast here is literally covered in beach hotels. However, we recommend you get out of town and head for the ‘secret beach hideaways‘! South of Mombasa, the Diani area has some of the nicest beaches and there are a few small boutique hotels or eco-lodges which would be perfect for some relaxation after a safari.
Up in the Shimba Hills, near Diani, is one of Jules’ favourite lodges in Africa, Kutazama. Take in the endless horizons which stretch out below your cliff top infinity pool as you watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand!
Further south on the coast there are more hidden gems towards the Tanzania border. If more ‘wild and rugged’ is your thing, head north of Mombasa and Malindi and enjoy the windswept sand dunes and huge long sandy beaches around the Tana Delta. Or fly to the Lamu archipelago just off the far north of the Kenya coast. The main island of Lamu doesn’t have any traffic (just donkeys and boats!) and has just a few thatched hut style beach hotels and a culturally interesting old town and port. Manda Island (where the airport is) also has a few small lodges and quite a bit of wildlife. Several beach lodges on Lamu offer ‘Robinson Crusoe’ style getaway, stay in a thatched hut in the sand dunes at Kipangani or Kizingo. There are also links from Nairobi to Nampula in Mozambique, enabling you to combine ‘safari and beach’ with the fabulous Indian Ocean at Nuarro Lodge.
Of course, there is a lot more to Kenya, this is just an overview! Give us a call on 01728 748209 to chat through your requirements. Or send an enquiry. Jules worked in Kenya for many years & has a background in zoology & conservation, so is well placed to create the perfect bespoke African Safari. You could also extend your Kenya holiday with a gorilla trek or beach break in Tanzania or Mozambique.
Safari Travel Tip from Jules:
If you do visit the Masai Mara, I would stay in a private conservancy. These conservancies are run in conjunction with local people and leave no permanent footprint on the land. They are small (mostly tented, luxury) camps and give you the ability to enjoy bush walks and night drives as well as day drives. You get a much better experience than in the main Mara Game Reserve, which has large hotels as well as other luxury lodges and camps. In the main part of the reserve, you are likely to encounter hundreds of minibuses, jostling for space around a big cat, for example. These vehicles are not allowed in private conservancies, so you have a much more exclusive wildlife experience in the conservancies, and there are no fences, so the animals move freely.