Unchanged wildernesses of the world
We can’t introduce Kenya without mention of the oscar-winning film ‘Out of Africa’. Whether you saw it back in 1985 or have watched it since, it will have left you with an adventurous feeling of falling in love with the country’s stunning landscapes. The gorgeous Maasai Mara savannah, romantic picnics, and breathtaking sunsets spring to mind. Go here if you’re looking for one of the best safaris you’ll ever take; seek genuine ‘once in a lifetime’ encounters with the fascinating Maasai people; or love dramatic, natural scenery.
Nairobi, a vibrant, multicultural and modern city with skyscrapers, fine dining restaurants, theatres and shopping malls, is where most holidays in Kenya begin. Spend a night or two relaxing and exploring. Start with the Karen Blixen Museum, the former home of author Karen Blixen whose memoirs were the basis for the famous film, ‘Out of Africa’. And meet the sweet little orphaned elephants at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that are carefully nurtured before being released back into the wild when they’re ready.
The main event in Kenya is a safari. And the Maasai Mara Game Reserve is one of the best places in the world for this because of the sheer variety of species you’ll see. Take game-drives in search of the Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo) and the hippos and crocs that wallow in the Mara River. Between July and October is a fantastic time frame to come if you’re looking to witness the annual migration of around one and a half million wildebeest, along with antelope and zebra — and their predators — rightly referred to as “one of the greatest shows on earth”. For an insight into Kenya’s rich tribal culture, join a tour with one of the red-cloaked, famously tall, Maasai warriors. He’ll show you around the local village and you’ll see the tribeswomen crafting colourful beaded necklaces. Their way of life has been beautifully preserved and time spent with the Maasai will never be forgotten.
More off the beaten track is Laikipia, which has the second highest concentration of wildlife after Maasai Mara. From here, visit remote and unspoilt pockets of our planet. Take to the skies by helicopter for a trip over Mount Kenya’s extinct volcanic peaks, glaciers and forest covered slopes. Or get to feel like a true explorer in the Great Rift Valley, where Lake Baringo is famous for its flocks of flamingos and the Njemp fishermen who continue to live the same traditional lifestyle they have for over 200 years. Meanwhile, Lake Bogoria attracts Greater Kudu, buffalo, zebra and smaller plains game, but it’s the geysers and hot springs along the shoreline that make this place spectacular.