Kenya Tours and Kenya Holidays
Kenya lies on the Eastern coast of Africa and borders the Indian Ocean. It has much to offer visitors considering a holiday to Kenya, including game-rich savannahs, pristine beaches and coral reef, equatorial forests, stunning deserts and snow-capped mountains.
There are a variety of Kenya tours to choose from as there is so much to explore. You can focus on the coastal areas including Mombasa’s tropical beaches, Lamu Island and the wild Tana River Delta. Or, if you prefer the wilderness, a Kenya tour can show you the famous Maasai Mara game reserves, the lush swamplands of Amboseli, the great plains of Tsavo and the breath-taking region of Samburu.
Other Kenya tours can take you through the highlands and mountains, of which Mount Kenya is the biggest. It is Africa’s second highest peak and is sacred to the local Kikuyu people. You can also visit dormant volcano, Mount Longonot, which is lined with spectacular laval canyons, or admire the Roft valley floor from the Loroghi Hills. Mount Elgon , rising from the jungles that border Uganda, also offers amazing views.
You may prefer a Kenya tour of the Great Lakes, which provide numerous photographic opportunities such as the pink flock of flamingos that carpet Lake Nakuru, the spouting geysers of Lake Bogoriam, the papyrus-fringed lake Naivasha or the huge Lake Victoria, which lies at the heart of Kenya and is twice the size of Wales.
Some Kenya holidays offer the unique opportunity to take part in a Kenya homestay; where your accommodation is provided by the host community in their homes or homesteads. In return you are able to absorb the local village culture through shared meals, discussions and language exchange, sightseeing, and various activities. Travellers who take part in a Kenya homestay will find it a very rewarding Kenyan experience differing from the typical ‘big-game safari holidays’. It will enlighten your perspective of day to day life in a rural village setting.
Kenya Safaris and Kenya Wildlife Tours
A holiday to Kenya is not complete without taking a Kenya safari. Kenya safaris can last from a few days to a few weeks and there are many styles from which to choose.
You can take a tailor made Kenya safari to explore the two famous reserves, Amboseli National Park and the Masai Mara. If you plan your trip in August/September time you will have the added bonus of seeing the wildebeest migration begin in the Mara.
If you’d rather go on a small group safari in Kenya, you may find yourself being taken on a voyage of discovery through the African savannah scenery, admiring the Rift Valley Lakes, Abedares, Mt Kenya forests and the rugged northern game parks of Samburu and Buffalo Springs.
Or you can take a Kenya luxury safari, where you stay in exclusive camps which pay special attention to detail. Here you can enjoy staying in spacious insect-proof tents that are comfortably furnished with beds, solar-powered lights and en suite bathrooms with showers and washbasin and flush toilets.
Some may prefer to travel on a luxury Kenya safari whereas others may be on a tighter budget and can opt to take a camping safari and stay in small mobile camps.
As well as superb wildlife viewing opportunities, safaris to Kenya often include insights into the way of life and cultures of local communities, for example, a chance to see the Maasai tribes people in their homelands.
If you are a keen photographer you can choose to take a photographic wildlife tour of Kenya, these are designed especially so that you can get the perfect shots of the regions animal, bird and insect life.
You can also gain access to some of the more wild and remote areas of Kenya by choosing to go on a walking safari – which can take you to some of Africa’s most spectacular wilderness areas such as the Laikipia plateau and the Karisia Hills.
Safaris to Kenya can also be combined with a relaxing beach break where you can wash off the dust and submerge yourself in the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
Masai Mara Safari and Masai Holiday
The Masai Mara is part of the Serengeti game reserve which lies to the north of the Kenya Tanzania border. It is most famous for its wildebeest and zebra migrations but many areas offer spectacular game viewing all year round. If you plan a safari in the Masai Mara carefully and choose to stay in a combination of camps you will maximise your chance of a pure Masai safari experience.
The Masai Mara is named after the Maasai people, who are the traditional inhabitants of the area. ‘Mara’ is Maasai for ‘spotted’ which aptly describes the circles of trees, savanna and cloud shadows that mark the area.
Many people choose to take a safari in the Masai Mara because all members of the ‘Big Five’ can be found here, that is: lion, leopard, African elephant, African buffalo and Black Rhinoceros.
Masai Mara safaris also offer the opportunity to see Hippos and Nile crocodiles in large groups in the Mara and Talek rivers. You can also hope to see hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, gazelles, impalas, giraffes and bat-eared foxes whilst on a Masai safari.
When planning your Masai holiday it is worth noting that the excellent weather is ideal for going on safari. It’s warm and mild without being too scorching and it rarely gets cold. The character of the landscape, however, changes dramatically with the seasons so, whatever time of the year you choose to take your Masai safari holiday, you will be treated to wonderful views.
Some of the most popular things to do on a Masai safari holiday include: watching the Wildebeest Migration, floating above the Mara in a hot air balloon, meet the Maasai people and take a trip to Lake Victoria, Africa’ s biggest lake. Factoring these experiences into your Masai Mara safari can really help make the holiday unforgettable.
The Masai Mara is a very popular travel destination and you may choose to take a luxury Masai safari as a once-in-a-lifetime trip. There are some lodges which offer top comfort and outstanding views. There is also a great selection of high-end safaris as Kenya is home to the original luxury safari. If you choose a luxury Masai safari you will benefit from awesome itineraries and outstanding service.
Whichever part of the reserve you visit on your safari in the Masai Mara, you’re sure to see an amazing number of animals. Many Masai Mara safaris involve seeing a pride of lions on a hunt which is a sight that’s seldom witnessed in other parts of Africa.
Climbing Mount Kenya and Mount Kenya Hiking
Mt Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and, after Kilimanjaro, is the second highest peak in Africa. It is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator. Kenya is actually named after Mt Kenya and this mountain is considered very important to the main ethnic groups which live around it.
Those who climb Mount Kenya can experience a high altitude trek amongst rugged peaks and glaciers. If you are considering climbing Mount Kenya, the best times to visit are June to October and December to March. The ground is at its driest from January to March.
Mount Kenya is a 3 million year old volcano that’s been eroded by ice, those hiking in Mount Kenya will see spectacular chasms, jagged peaks, tarns and waterfalls.
There are many Mount Kenya climbs to choose from, it is worth choosing to take some paths away from the main trails for a truly memorable African mountain experience. It also helps if you opt to climb Mount Kenya in small groups as it makes your trip more personal and minimises your impact on the environment.
There are some travellers who would like to experience high altitude walking without the pressure of a summit challenge that comes with a Mount Kenya climb. Mount Kenya trekking offers a welcome alternative and allows you to return to some creature comforts in the evenings. There are plenty of Mount Kenya trekking options which take you off the beaten track and allow you to appreciate the dramatic and varied landscape.
Other fantastic alternative Kenya trekking holidays can include a trekking safari through the wilderness of the beautiful Laikipia plateau, guided by the Maasai warriors, walking through places that vehicles have never passed. Or Kenya trekking holidays can take you through the Nguruman forest, which has been left untouched save for livestock rearing and the collection of herbal medicines.
Kenya Beach Holidays and Kenya Beach Accommodation
If you are looking to relax, there are many Kenya beach holidays to choose from. You can stay on the south coast of Mombasa, where the turquoise waters are calm and inviting and the offshore reefs are alive with coral, sea turtles and dolphins.
Kenya beach holidays on the north coast of Mombasa are popular for the international yachting circuit and the beaches are broken by the wide mouth of Kilifi Creek.
For those looking for pure peace and quiet, a Kenya beach holiday to tropical island, Lamu, can offer a beautiful haven of rolling dunes and coconut and mango plantations. Lamu also has a fascinating medieval stone town.
Manda Island in Kenya is an island in the Lamu archipelago and is known for its 9th century ports of Takwa and Manda. You can choose to stay on a Kenya beach resort here, which acts as a wonderful base from which to explore the local scenery and absorb the colourful Lamu culture and people. There are no cars on Manda island in Kenya, just donkeys and boats, and the pace of life is slow and relaxed.
If you are looking for the ultimate beach holiday in Kenya, there are many types of Kenay beach accommodation. You can choose from beach clubs, set in picturesque surroundings of landscaped tropical gardens, to boutique hotels built in the Swahili style, to private bandas on the beach, with panoramic ocean views which accommodate up to 7 people. You may prefer to book with a Kenya beach resort which offers all inclusive facilities, with en-suite, air-conditioned rooms and swimming pools and offers diving, windsurfing and catamaran services. Whether you want a beach resort in Kenya, or a more rustic lodge, there is something to suit everyone and the Kenyan coastline will not fail to deliver as an ideal getaway destination.
Want to know more about Kenya before going on holiday?
Find out more about Kenya by reading these Kenya articles.
"Tourism can be a force for positive change in the developing world, but all too often the negative impacts on communities far outweigh the positive. Yet if community tourism enterprises can be linked into the formal supply chain in a responsible way, the benefits can be truly life transforming. A case in point is Tribal Voice Communication’s groundbreaking Maasai Villages Initiative in Kenya. This initiative has reversed over 30 years of exploitation of the Maasai villages’ tourism enterprises in Kenya (cultural manyattas) by the industry’s driver guides." Read more about The Masai Villages Initiative in Kenya in this Kenya article
"It was nearly six years ago that when I was asked what my ideal job would be and I replied ‘I’d love to work for the BBC on Big Cat Diary’... there I was, six years later in the Masai Mara watching a cheetah stalking a Thompson’s gazelle." Read about this Kenya safari from someone who has been. Read the rest of Holly's Big Cat experience in Kenya in this Kenya holiday article
"It was a hot, still Kenyan afternoon and I was nearing the end of my trip on Exodus’ Classic Kenya Safari. The Kicheche Camp Manager Williams had arranged a driver to take us across the plains on the thirty minute journey to Aitong Village. Aitong is home to many Masai families whose relatives work within the Mara camps such as Kicheche. Aitong is a small village with a few local shops and a water pump serving people who are up to 10km away. There is one government funded school further outside the village but it’s over subscribed and there are no plans to build and fund a new school. In 2004 the Kicheche Community Trust was set up by guests visiting the Mara. KCT fund and support many on-going projects in the Aitong Village region and one of them is Olkimitare School Project." Read the rest of Amelia's Kenya experience in this Kenya holiday article
Community based tourism is rapidly gaining popularity in Kenya, East Africa and globally. So what has changed, has the notoriously competitive tourism industry suddenly developed a conscience? Read more about community based tourism in Kenya in this Kenya article
"A busy township in the Maasai Mara. Market Day. We explore the bustling streets, conspicuous by the paleness of our skin. No tourist stop this, but a community doing business. A man makes shoes from old car tyres. A farmer drags his unwilling goat to the slaughter house. Two brothers load three sheep into the boot of a Toyota Corolla – they have to take the spare tyre out first. Another man staggers down the main street, drunk on the proceeds of his livestock sale. He brandishes a Maasai sword and yells insults at passers by. Suddenly he hurls the sword across the street. Sparks fly, people scatter. Elijah, our guide, ushers us back into the Land Cruiser and we move on. This is Kenya. Vibrant. Bustling. Alive. And we are going on safari." Read the rest of David's Kenya safari review in this Kenya holiday article
"'Around me the plains ran out to the far mountains melting into the night, and above all, like an invisible present, Kilimanjaro drew a faint gleam of snow under the first stars.' Vivienne de Watteville penned this poetic description of Selenkay in one of my favourite books about Kenya, Speak to the Earth. She camped in the Selenkay area for two months in 1928, and recorded her adventures while photographing the abundant wildlife in what was then the Southern Game Reserve. Ernest Hemingway hunted on these scrublands and plains, and he too described their enticing beauty in his writings. Today, this corner of Kenya - situated just a few kilometres north of the Amboseli National Park - forms the Selenkay (or Eselenkei) Group Ranch on which 10,000 Kisongo Maasai people live." Read the rest of Dan Stiles' article in this Kenya article
With a wealth of practical and background information, a Kenya travel guide is the essential companion for your holiday. With some useful information to help you prepare for your Kenya holiday, take a look at this Kenya travel information & map
Tourism plays a hugely significant role in Kenya’s economy, contributing to approximately 25% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Wildlife tourism to Kenya’s numerous National Parks and Reserves represents a substantial part of this, with around 70% of tourism revenue in Kenya coming from wildlife tourism. Read more about Kenya wildlife tourism in this Kenya wildlife article
"I am on my way to the Lake Bogoria National Reserve, a game park created in 1973 by the government, the object of the Endorois community’s struggle and the reason for my trip to Kenya. The Endorois are indigenous pastoralists, people who earn their livelihood through the rearing of livestock.They were evicted from their ancestral lands to make way for the Reserve, depriving them not only of prime pasture for cattle and goats during the harsh dry season but also of sites important for cultural activities such as initiation ceremonies. Minority Rights Group’s Trouble in Paradise Campaign is aimed at helping the Endorois get redress for the loss of their lands."
Find out more about minority rights in Kenya in this Kenya article