Kenya is the home of the Safari. For over a hundred years Kenya has attracted adventurers and romantics from all over the globe. This has been the setting of some of history’s greatest adventure tales. This is the home of Out of Africa, a place where setting out on an adventure into the wilderness became an age old tradition.
The spirit of the Safari lives on today. The romance of sundown drinks, of evenings around a campfire and nights under canvas with the distant roar of a lion in the African night can still be found in Kenya.
The lure of Kenya has always been the same, the sheer variety of landscape, wildlife, human cultures and experience. No other African country can boast such diversity within its borders. Here you will find snow capped peaks and rolling savannah, pristine beaches and tropical rainforest, giant herds of elephants and flocks of flamingo, nomadic tribesmen and dhow sailors, and much, much more.
Kenya’s geographical diversity is born of the Great Rift Valley, an awesome natural divide that bisects the country. An age old route for both human and animal migration, the floor of the rift is home to a series of freshwater and soda lakes, each one supporting its own unique ecosystem. At several of the soda lakes the visitor can witness the astonishing spectacle of thousands of flamingo (both lesser and greater) gathering together to feed and breed.
The Rift is surrounded by dormant volcanoes, calderas and mountain ranges. Mt Kenya, whose striking peak (17,000ft) is held sacred by the local Kikuyu tribe, provides one of the worlds rarest sights, equatorial snow. The surrounding highland forests and Aberdare ranges are alive with Elephant, Buffalo, and the rare Giant Forest Hog and elusive Bongo antelope.
The Northern plains are home to nomadic tribes including the Samburu and the Rendille, who move with their camel trains following dry riverbeds across a great semi arid wilderness. Here, rare species such as the Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra and Gerenuk are found.
Southern Kenya is Maasai land, and here Maasai communities maintain a traditional way of life. This is the home of the Maasai Mara Reserve, 588 sq miles of open plains, woodlands and riverine forest. This world famous reserve supports an array of animal species with large grazing herds of Zebra, Giraffe, Gazelle, Buffalo and Topi. The Acacia woodlands are alive with birdlife. The Mara and Talek rivers are home to Hippos and Crocodiles. Everywhere there is a profusion of life.
Each year the Mara is the staging ground of one of nature’s greatest spectacles- the migration of over 1.3 million wildebeest from the Serengeti. A surging column of life, these massive herds pour across the plains, bringing the Mara to life. The profusion of grazing animals makes the Mara a perfect hunting ground for predators. Leopard and Cheetah are often seen, but the Mara is truly the Kingdom of the Lion, and these majestic predators dominate the landscape.
Further east is Amboseli, where large herds of Elephants move across broad dusty plains to a series of wetland swamps. The massive reserves of Tsavo East and West comprise 10million acres of pure wilderness, a birding mecca with an endless array of species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors.
In Western Kenya, there is rainforest and the wide blue waters of Lake Victoria. This lake is the home of the massive Nile Perch, a challenging freshwater trophy for any game fishing devotee.
The Kenyan Coastline is a paradise of palm fringed beaches and the warm inviting waters of the Indian Ocean. Extensive Coral reef systems with spectacular sea life make for world class diving and snorkeling.
It is this myriad diversity within a single country that has established Kenya’s name as the home of the safari. With so much freedom of choice, Kenya is the perfect destination for the free spirited traveler.
Park Attractions, facilities and Activities
So you’re an adrenaline fan, with a thirst for an active/adventure holiday? KWS is your match. We promise you opportunities beyond your imagination but within your reach.
Birding watching Safaris
Kenya is ranked among the leading countries with 1090 species of birds. Not surprisingly, more and more Kenyans are becoming keen birders, and all over the world bird-watching is a fast-growing hobby. The country is endowed with over 62 bird watching locations that are globally recognized as Important Bird Areas.
Together with Nature Kenya and Birdlife International Partner we provide you with the opportunity to know bird names, distinctive characteristics, and habits, as well as admire their beauty.
Enjoy bird-watching at:
Coastal Region: Arabuko-Sokoke forest and Shimba Hills National Park
Central Rift Region: Lake Nakuru National Park, Hells Gate and Mt. Longonot National Parks
Western Region: Kakamega Forest, Mt. Elgon National Park, South Turkana and Ruma National Park
Mountain Region: Aberdare National Parks, Mt Kenya National Park and Mwea National Park.
Tsavo Region: Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Chyulu National Park
Northern Region: Meru, Kora, Marsabit, Sibiloi and Central and Southern Island National Park
Camping and Picnicking: Under the Canvas: ‘Sleep in the Wild with the Wild’
A night under the cover of countless stars and the feeling of morning dew on your feet as you take in the crisp clean air of the morning is a reality that awaits you in our parks. The beauty of camping is that you’re in charge, sleeping times, meal times, even bath times!
If you’re operating on limited time, picnicking will work excellently for you. Picnic at Nairobi National Park, Aberdare National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park, Mt. Kenya National Park, Mt. Elgon National Park, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park, and Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park. Facilities include adequate shelter, benches, water and latrines.
Our campsites are found in: Mwea National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park, Tsavo West National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Mt. Elgon National Park, Mt. Kenya National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Amboseli National Park, Aberdare National Park, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Sibiloi National Park and Ruma National Park amongst others.
All public camping sites have access to water and latrines, while the special campsites consist of the grounds only. For inquiries or to make any camping reservations please contact the respective warden or the Marketing & Business Development Department at the KWS Headquarters in Nairobi.
Hells gate National Park offers a rewarding experience for both novice and expert cyclists. As you cycle, you’ll get to view one of the most magnificent sceneries in Africa as you embark on this invigorating experience. Cleft deep into the Rift Valley floor, bear witness to the towering Cliffs, Water Gouged gorges, stark rock towers, and belching geothermal steam. Welcome to one of the most atmospheric parks in Africa.
Calling all fishing junkies! Excellent fishing activity awaits you at one among the many cool mountain streams that flow through the Aberdare forest. With its clear, tumbling streams, shaded river bends, mossy overhangs and meandering reaches Aberdare National Park offers some brown and rainbow trout fishing.
A fishing license should be obtained (at minimal cost) from the park gates. This is because the laws of Kenya only allow fly fishing
Tsavo West and Mt. Kenya Parks also offer fishing activities.
Game viewing Safaris
It is possible to have a game drive in any of our parks in Kenya. Usually, the best times to go for game drives are early mornings and late afternoons. In the midday heat, most animals retreat to the cool of thick undergrowth and disappear from view. Morning and afternoon game drives also allow you to witness the unforgettable African dawn and dusk.
Tsavo offers some of the most magnificent game drives in the world – vast herds of dust-red elephants, fat pods of hippo, giant crocodile and a kaleidoscope of bird life are set against a blazing backdrop of endless bush.
Night game drives are also offered so that tourists get to can see the nocturnal species.
Hiking and Rock Climbing
For those who love challenges, test your limits as you take on hiking and rock climbing. Tourist hot spots for hiking, rock climbing, and biking are Hell’s Gate National Park, Mt. Longonot and Mt. Kenya, and Tsavo East parks.
Set off your journey in a car and finish with a horse ride. Drive to Hell’s Gate and watch wildlife from the back of a horse. Horse riding is offered in; Tsavo East, Chyulu Hills, Aberdares, Mt. Elgon National Park and Hell’s Gate National Park.
Climb the slopes of Mt. Kenya and enjoy the changing flora as you ascend. Walk through an alpine meadow in the clouds as you brace yourself against the frigid winds that swoop down to where the land becomes rocky and desolate. Conquer the continent’s second highest mountain and feel what it’s like to stand almost on the “roof of Africa.”
True conquerors conquer Mt. Kenya. It lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator and is part of the national park. Its three famous peaks are – Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m) while the most popular point is Lenana (4985m).
Another mountain to climb is Mt. Elgon, which requires no technical climbing skills to get to the top. There are several routes to the peaks accessible to any moderately experienced hiker. If you prefer a gentler stroll, a number of well-marked nature trails lead around the Elkony Caves.
Always full of options, Kenya offers yet another fantastic climbing location: The Aberdare Ranges. The summits can be reached with little more than a strenuous high-altitude trek. Centrally located in Kenya, Aberdare National Park is accessible by road and air, making it a pleasant single-safari destination.
The peaks include Lesatima (4,001m), Table Mountain (3,971m), Kinangop (3,906m)and Kipipiri (3,349m).