Overview – Kenya

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Kenya is a top wildlife destination, recommended especially for those booking a first-time safari. The Masai Mara offers excellent big cat encounters and is the setting for the yearly wildebeest migration. Palm-lined beaches offer a perfect place to relax after an action packed safari.

Rates (USD) $117 to $539 pp/day
Best Time to Go June to October, January to February
High Season July to November, January and February
Size 580,367km² / 224,081mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent wildlife viewing, including the annual wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara
  • A wide variety of habitats and scenery
  • Beautiful beaches with plenty of resorts to choose from
  • Traditional indigenous cultures
  • Excellent service and well-run tourism industry
  • The main tourist attractions are often crowded with tourists
  • Limited opportunities for walking and boat safaris, so little respite from driving

Kenya Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Kenya is one of the most productive safari destinations in Africa. Herbivores, such as elephant, buffalo and giraffe are common throughout and big rivers are usually inhabited by hippos and crocodiles. Big cats are plentiful as well. Lion and to a lesser extend the secretive leopard are easily spotted in many parks. Cheetahs are restricted to savannah reserves and are plenty in the Masai Mara specifically. Rhino, although scarce in the Masai Mara, is common in the private reserves on Laikipia plateau and Amboseli NP. Of course, it’s the wildebeest and zebra who really put on a show here, with the incredible annual migration.

Weather & Climate

Kenya’s equatorial location rules out a distinctive summer and winter, but it does have clear-cut Wet and Dry seasons. The wetter months (November to May) are characterized by very warm temperatures of around 30°C/86°F, with the addition of sticky humidity down along the coast. The drier months (June to October) have cold nights and mornings, and fairly pleasant afternoons. The other big climatic influence is altitude, with temperatures dropping about 6°C/3.5°F for every 1,000m/1,000ft the higher you go.

Best Time to Visit

The Dry season (June to October) is your best bet for wildlife watching. This is when the bush thins out, making animals more visible as they head for the nearest waterhole. This is also when the wildebeest and zebra pass through. The Wet season (November to May) has its attractions as well. These include fantastically green scenery, lots of newborn animals, and cheaper low-season rates.

Premier Parks & Reserves

Want to Visit Kenya?

Kenya Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Melissa Shales  –  
United Kingdom UK

Melissa is an award winning travel writer for Fodors, Frommers and Insight, including guides to Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Kenya – middle earth
4/5

Kenya should be the world’s finest safari destination. It has every natural advantage. Wrapped around the equator, it has the most extraordinary range of landscape, from the Indian Ocean to the Turkana Desert, the Great Rift Valley to the...

Full Review

Latest User Review
John Mararia  –  
Finland FI
Reviewed: Sep 29, 2019
Epic moments in life
5/5

Kenya has a wide variety of wild animals. I managed to see all the big five except for Leopard which is a shy and rare animal to see. Beauty was especially in Lk Nakuru National park, Lk Naivasha , I managed to watch wonders of Amboseli as...

Full Review