What to see
The Masai Mara is Kenya’s most celebrated reserve. Made famous by the film ‘Out of Africa’ and more recently in ‘Big Cat Diaries’, the park has higher concentrations of the ‘Big Five’ than anywhere else in the world. It is a unique area with a constant and unrivalled flow of wildlife throughout the year. From July to October, the Mara becomes a backdrop for one of the last great natural wonders of the world, when over 1.4 million wildebeest and zebra surge up from the Tanzania''s Serengeti plains in their annual search for the seasonal grasses that sustain them. This spectacle, as the vast herds cross rivers and sweep through the golden grasses, is punctuated by individual struggles with the predators, which are in turn drawn to take their part in this dramatic event. Other ‘must sees’ are Amboseli National Park and Samburu National Reserve.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli is in a semi-arid part of the country and is usually hot and dry. The park is made up of open plains, savannah with beautiful yellow-barked acacia woodland, swamps and marshland. The main wildlife you are likely to see here are herbivores such as buffalo, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, Coke's hartebeest, warthog, gnu, impala, giraffe, zebra and lots of baboons. One of the most spectacular sights is the large herd of elephants and you may see the black rhino. There are also a few predators: lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and jackals. Birdlife is also abundant, especially near the swamps and seasonal lakes. One of the main attractions of Amboseli National Park is its location, with the stunning backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located south just over the border in Tanzania.
Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is one of the most pleasant national parks in Kenya and is not overcrowded. The permanent water and forest shade on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River attract plentiful wildlife from the region including elephant, cheetah, reticulated giraffe, oryx, vervet monkey, Grevy's zebra and crocodile. Leopards are frequently seen. The birdlife is unusually numerous in this park, and large flocks of guinea-fowl can be seen in the afternoons coming to drink at the riverbanks.
Off the beaten track.
Although Kenya has gained a reputation for being a busy safari destination, there are many beautiful lodges in secluded areas away from high volume tourism. Among Kenya’s lesser known gems are the remote Laikipia Plateau, the isolated Chyulu Hills, the expansive scenery of the Shompole Private Conservancy and the serenity of Meru National Park.