Kenya

The home of safari, Kenya has a temperate climate all year, and a choice of dramatically different eco-systems – fertile savannahs, semi-deserts, mountain forests and soft white coral beaches lapped by the Indian Ocean. The country continues to offer an unparalleled wildlife spectacle. The local people are famed for their gentle hospitality and diverse cultures – warrior tribes, nomadic herdsmen and Swahili fishermen.

The Serengeti/Masai Mara eco-system hosts the biggest land migration on earth. One and a half million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle move around the Serengeti and Masai Mara in a continuous search for grazing. A host of predators – crocodiles, lion and hyena – dog their every move as long lines of grunting wildebeest congregate on the Mara plains.

Amboseli is a giant saltpan stretching out below the tallest mountain on the continent. One of Kenya’s finest game area’s, it is known particularly for its large elephants. The short grass plains are popular with predators and prey alike, boasting large herds of buffalo and Thomson’s gazelle, closely monitored by healthy lion prides.

The Chyulu Hills are a volcanic mountain range with a mix of volcanic cones, the most interesting of which is Shetani, meaning “Devil” in Swahili, and barren lava flows.

Laikipia is a wide plateau made up of community owned ranches, large private farms and game conservancies, including some of the finest lodges and camps in East Africa. For those who enjoy activities on holiday, Laikipia is the place to come. The fact that much of it is privately owned means that there is great freedom to go walking with the Laikipiak Maasaai and Samburu people who live here, go fishing, horseriding and mountain-biking.

The rugged and harsh north of Kenya is exceptionally rewarding for intrepid travellers. Meru National Park is a pristine and entrancing park. Straddling the equator and bisected by 13 rivers and numerous mountain-fed streams, it is an especially beautiful area of Kenya. The Park is most famous as the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free”, the story of the Adamson’s life and research amongst lion and cheetah. “Elsa” the lioness was the most well-known and her grave is marked here.

Samburu National Reserve is famous for its rich bio-diversity, offering unique vistas of rounded, rugged hills and undulating plains. The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp are home to a wide variety of animal and birdlife.

Shaba National Reserve has a particularly dramatic landscape of arid drylands, lush river gorges and rocky hills, along with the added draw of two ancient singing wells.

The Mathews Range is a line of dramatic mountains due north of Mount Kenya that stretches from Samburu to the Ndotos right up to Lake Turkana. Surrounded by arid bush and desert to the east and west, they contrast markedly with their surroundings for their flanks are covered with montane rainforest that harbours rare monkeys and an astonishing array of plant life.

Kenya’s coast has a fascinating history, magnificent marine game parks and an enviable climate. From the Lamu archipelago in the North through the bustling island city of Mombasa to the game fishing grounds of the Tanzanian border in the South, Kenya’s powder sand beaches, deserted coves and thriving coral gardens are a haven for snorkelers and sybarites alike.

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