Bushbaby Travel: Inspiring travel for life
Masai Courtesy Shutterstock

Kenya, Africa

A safari holiday should be on everyone’s wish list of life’s greatest adventures. In Swahili, it translates as ‘going on a journey’ and Kenya, the birthplace of modern safaris, is the place to head for a once-in-a-lifetime sojourn in the bush.

At the heart of Africa, straddling the equator, this breath-taking land is wildlife documentary heaven; nowhere else are animals so visible as on the high plains of the Masai Mara, home to the 'big five' and host of the largest animal migration in the world. Push the boat out and take to the sky with a hot-air balloon ride – there’s no better way to see this incredible spectacle and it’s sure to be etched into your memory ever after.

Masai Courtesy Shutterstock

There are high concentrations of game elsewhere too; the Laikipia plateau at the foot of Mount Kenya is firmly on the safari circuit with good populations of rhino as well as rarer species of zebra, giraffe and antelope, plus the appeal game-drive alternatives such as riding safaris and walking with camels. For dramatic landscapes and glittering lakes the Great Rift Valley cuts a swathe through Kenya, from Lake Victoria to the country's numerous beautiful reserves, North and east of the Mara. It’s not just about the wildlife and scenery though – culture is a real highlight here and it’s fascinating to see the different tribes in all their finery wherever you go. It’s well worth including a visit to a Masai village during your stay there.

Variety plays an important part in any holiday and Kenya delivers this in spades. We recommend combining the Masai Mara with the contrasting North around Lewa, Laikipia and Samburu, famous for elephant conservation. Finish with some time on Kenya’s beautiful coastline, with its white-sand beaches and azure-blue ocean waters – not to mention the lure of fascinating Lamu, one of the world’s most unique islands.

With a flight time of just 8 1/2 hours from London to Nairobi, Kenya is a natural choice for a first-time safari; if you catch an overnight flight from Heathrow you can transfer to a light aircraft next morning and be in the Masai Mara in time for brunch. All possible thanks to an established and efficient safari industry that has grown over the years to provide visitors with a superb choice of accommodation and experiences.

when to go

Located on the equator, Kenya has no obvioussummer and winter but does have rainy and dry seasons. There is a short dry season in late January and early February, and a much longer one lasting from late June to October. The short rains fall in November and December, but by far the wettest season is the period from March to May. April and May are best avoided altogether as bush roads become impassable and camps close down.

Temperatures are relatively consistent in each region, but vary according to elevation. The coast is considerably hotter than the plateaus of central Kenya, while Mount Kenya is permanently capped with snow.

If the focus of your trip is a safari then the best time to visit is from June to October, during the country's dry season. Be aware that our midsummer is the African winter and you will need warm clothes for dawn game drives. If you want to witness the Great Migration when herds cross the crocodile-filled Mara River the best time to travel is August. In September and November the Mara plains are full of game.

travel essentials

Flights: Kenya’s main international airports are in the capital, Nairobi, and in the coastal resort of Mombasa. From both airports, you will be able to catch onward connections to other destinations, such as Masai Mara or Nakuru. You can fly direct to Nairobi from London in 8 1/2 hours with BA or Kenya Airlines. Flights to Mombasa require a stopover.

Time Zone: GMT + 3

Health: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya/health

FCO travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya

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