If your idea of a classic African safari includes a luxurious tent in the middle of the savannah, great herds of elephant, zebra and wildebeest, safari vehicles searching long grasses for leopard and cheetah, and gin & tonic by campfire, then this Kenyan safari is for you! (I love a gin & tonic by Kenyan campfire…)
Despite competition from other parts of the continent, Kenya is still safari-central, and still one of the best places to spot the Big Five of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. This epic journey begins on the outskirts of the capital, in a lodge built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River near Nairobi National Park.
From your base you’ll visit The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where orphaned rhinos and elephants are cared for. You’ll stop by The Giraffe Centre to learn about the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. Then fly north to Samburu National Reserve, which lies in a captivating semi-desert landscape of sepia hills and scrub-brush.
And stay in a luxury camp while exploring the park by 4WD in search of leopard, cheetah, elephants and a number of species found only in northern Kenya—grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and beisa oryx.
Travel by air following the Great Rift Valley to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Mara is the Kenyan extension of Tanzania’s Serengeti, and features the same vast herds of game plus all the big cats. Venture down to the Mara River in search of giant crocodiles, then across vast grasslands in search of game.
Watch for the Masai people, and spend evenings around the campfire, gazing at a million stars while the laugh of hyenas, yaps of jackals and roar of lions drift across the cooling breeze.
AFRICAN SAFARI CO. & EXPEDITIONS
Length/Departs: 9 days/year-round
Accommodation: Lodges, tented camp
Price: from US $7,020.
- By Simon Vaughan, Outpost senior editor & special travel advisor