To many, the ultimate safari trip is all about checking off the Big Five and other popular wildlife. Yet a safari in Kenya is all about the experience – to go out deep into the wild and observe the animals in their natural habitat. The best time of year to go on safari in Kenya is during the dry season, which runs from late June to October – but where exactly is best to go? Here, we take a look at the best safaris in Kenya.
Dreaming of a Kenyan safari? Book yourself onto Culture Trip’s seven-day Kenyan adventure, where you’ll venture into national parks on game drives, visit an extinct volcano and stay at one of the best safari lodges in Kenya, the Ark. We’ll handle all the details for you.
Located near Mount Kenya, Aberdare can get relatively cold and is often plagued by an early morning mist that nonetheless dissipates as the sun rises. It has two contrasting habitats; the Kinangop Plateau, which is comprised of moorland, and the Salient, which is all dense, lush rainforest dotted with waterfalls. Due to its high altitude, Aberdare provides some of the best panoramic views, hiking and wildlife experiences in Kenya. But you do have to be on high alert here as the thick vegetation forms a good hideout for animals. Elephants, leopards, hyenas, buffaloes, black rhino and even the rare black leopard are some of the wildlife you might encounter here.
Samburu National Reserve, on the other hand, is dry most of the year. Encompassing three adjacent parks – Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba, all served by the Ewaso Nyiro river – the hilly landscape here is accentuated by humongous termite mounds. The vegetation varies from shrubs and dry grassland to distinctive doum palm trees. As this spot lies on the Equator, animals native to both sides of the line can be found in the same place. They include Grevy’s zebras, gerenuks, reticulated giraffes, blue-legged Somali ostriches and beisa oryxes.
This small nature reserve has just as much to offer as its larger counterparts – if not more – and is low-key one of the best safari parks in Kenya. Located in the southern coastal region and frequented by tourists staying in Diani Beach, it hosts a variety of beasts including elephants, buffaloes, sable antelopes, Masai giraffes, warthogs, baboons and some 300 butterfly species.
This is perhaps the least-known national park in Kenya but Meru still has a lot to offer. The landscape is stunning, with dry grassland contrasting the rolling hills and riverine forests found along the several streams. Indigenous baobab trees stand side by side with doum palms. The array of wildlife includes lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos and Grévy’s zebra among others.
This is the epitome of wilderness. With rocky hills, natural springs, swamps, dormant volcanoes and even a bed of igneous rock, Tsavo West is a stellar option home to a dramatic vista. Hippos and crocodiles dominate the springs while gazelles, impalas, lesser kudus, rhinos, zebras, oryx, giraffes and elephants opt for the numerous waterholes. Where there is prey, predators are not far behind. Lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas lie in wait by the water.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
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