Picture large umbrella trees with a backdrop canvas of a fiery sunset. Before the landscape sinks into this twilight, a wide array of African wildlife spends their day scattered throughout the terrain, spotted by tourists in this immersive scene.
While this picturesque scenery may at first only seem likely while in a dream-like state of mind, Eastern Africa’s territories are the tangible inspiration for this realm of wanderlust. In planning one’s trip to this decorative land, most individuals aspire to embark on a thrilling safari.
Making up the country of Kenya are 54 national parks and game reserves, giving tourists a network of Kenyan safari options to choose from on their travels. We’ve rounded up some of the best safari options and crucial tips for journeying through this region.
Where to Go On a Safari in Kenya
Upon picturing a safari, most people do not expect to cross paths with pink masses of flamingos famously balancing on one leg. However, this powerful image is exactly what is witnessed on a game drive through Lake Nakuru National Park. In what consists of a soda lake, countless bird species, black and white rhinos, and other diverse mammals, this national wonder speaks to the incredible range of African scenery.
As you look out over the haven, shift your attention to the layers of colors, from a foundation of sage grass to ash gray rhinos feasting on its nutrients. Look up further to find a row of soft pink flamingos and a top layer of color in the blue lake. This impressive medley of colors is only the beginning of Kenya’s beautiful safari offerings.
Southwest of this impressive lake is none other than Maasai Mara National Reserve, a preserved savanna bordering Tanzania. A safari in this reserve will expose you to the sights you may typically picture when imagining this type of pilgrimage. Drive through golden hues under the warmth of the sun in search of striking wildlife. Expect to see zebras, elephants, hippos, lions, and cheetahs traversing through these wide-open spaces alongside your open-air vehicle.
In search of additional beauty, make a point to travel eastward to Amboseli National Park. Here, you’ll commence a safari like none other, primarily passing by packs of majestic elephants and other safari animals. Aside from the guaranteed elephant sightings, however, locals and tourists alike are stunned by the views of Mount Kiliminjaro and its snowy peak in the distance.
While reaching above the clouds and fog, the pinnacle creates a captivating cool-toned backdrop to the contrasting warm colors the sun bestows upon the terrain. Noted as the home of the African elephant, Amboseli National Park does not skim on splendor. Because of these massive attractions, the park has become one of Kenya’s premier destinations for safaris and wildlife viewing.
A Bonus Across the Border
Although not technically in Kenya, Serengeti National Park is a popular safari destination, just over the border and in close proximity to Maasai Mara National Park. The Serengeti is a hotspot for African wildlife and the inspiration for numerous documentaries and magazine covers. Often the setting of notable African sunset photography captured by lensmen, Serengeti National Park paints a beautiful picture for its visitors and the fauna that call this region home. These views are well worth the journey over the border, as a safari here unmasks unspoiled beauty that stands the test of time.
How to Do a Kenyan Safari
Many game parks in Africa give an option for self-driving. While this may appeal to locals and experienced tour guides, tourists will likely have a much more enjoyable time exploring these zones through embarking on a guided tour with trained professionals who know the landscape and have studied the animals’ patterns.
A safari’s schedule can differ from one day to the next, as animals do not follow the same time-restricted patterns that humanity has incorporated into its daily life. This type of travel will teach you the art of flexibility, although your tour guide will likely know the hotspots for sighting these creatures.
It is arguably the best route to choose a typical land-led safari in a four-wheel drive, open-sided vehicle. An experienced guide will navigate through this new environment so that your only worry is whether you remember to pack the correct camera lens or not. Choosing this approach to a safari will allow you to keep your eyes peeled for the eccentric wildlife you don’t normally see on a daily basis. On an extended safari tour like our trips offer, in which several days will be spent engaging in game viewing, the guides will have previously handpicked the best destinations and viewing times for unearthing Eastern Africa’s marvels.
Existing as an additional option is a hot air balloon safari, which is offered in select parks. These sunrise escapades provide a birds-eye view of the landscape and the animals’ morning habits. It makes for an excellent add-on to one’s safari experience, as sightseers will be able to observe a new perspective of the plains and celebrate their landing with a champagne breakfast.