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Kenya Luxury Safari Tours

4.6/5  –  893 Kenya Reviews

Kenya is a great choice for a luxury safari. It was in Kenya that the safari was born back in the early 20th century, so safari operators here have learned a thing or two about mounting a wildlife-focused expedition in comfort. Kenya’s highly competitive safari market has all the necessary elements for a tour of a lifetime, including fabulous wildlife from big cats to the Big Five. Although Kenya is one of Africa’s busier safari destinations, the growth in private conservancies, especially around the Masai Mara, has added an air of exclusiveness. The result now is unrivaled choice when it comes to planning your long-dreamed-of luxury trip into Africa’s safari heartland.

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6 Questions About Kenya Luxury Safaris

 
 

6 Questions About Kenya Luxury Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

Why should I choose Kenya for a luxury safari?

“Kenya is perfect for a luxury safari because of its mix of exceptional wildlife experiences, stirring landscapes and highly professional safari operators. They’ve been doing luxury safari tours longer in Kenya than anywhere else. Some of the safari tents have to be seen to be believed. Many are beautifully decorated, often harking back to an old-world colonial style from the days when the African safari was born. These luxury tents have their own equally luxurious bathrooms. There are also often heavy wooden chests, gas lanterns, copper bathtubs, a writing desk and an ample deck where you can sip a gin and tonic. If you’re staying in lodges, the comfort levels can be even higher, with über-stylish decorations and fabulous views. The growth in community-managed conservancies such as Mara North, Naboisho, Olare-Orok or Olderikesi, populated with magnificent luxury tented camps and lodges, has added depth to the whole experience. These latter conservancies rank among Africa’s elite for luxury safari destinations.”

1

What is included in a Kenya luxury safari?

“Most luxury safari packages in Kenya are sold on an all-inclusive basis. The price you pay includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, safari or game drives, and sometimes transport between the parks or lodges and camps, and, of course, luxury accommodation. But there are exceptions, so make sure you quiz any potential safari operator before finalizing your reservation. Special activities usually cost extra. These may include such things as a bush breakfast by a riverbank, or a scenic flight or balloon ride over the Masai Mara followed by a champagne breakfast. Spa treatments and massages, if available, are also rarely included in the initial price, although some places may offer an introductory massage as part of your package. It’s also worth remembering that you will share your guide and safari vehicle with other travelers. If you want a private guide and vehicle for your party, you will have to pay extra. And always ask whether your package includes conservancy or park entrance fees – it should. For all these extras, most travelers find that all-inclusive does indeed include most of the necessary ingredients for an unforgettable experience.”

2

Do luxury safaris in Kenya always focus on the Masai Mara?

“No, although with good reason many include the Masai Mara in their itineraries. The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of Africa’s best and most beautiful parks for wildlife viewing. All of Africa’s large animals, not to mention abundant birdlife, seem to gather on the plains of the Mara. This is especially evident during the wildebeest migration (roughly mid-July to November, although nothing is guaranteed). But restrict yourself to the Mara alone and you’ll miss out on some extraordinary places. Amboseli National Park, in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro, is a magnificent park rich in big cats. It has a small but elite collection of luxury lodges and tented camps. Tsavo West and Tsavo East together make up one of Africa’s largest and wildest protected areas. In the north, compact Lake Nakuru and Samburu National Reserve offer world-class wildlife viewing. Samburu and the private conservancies up on the Laikipia Plateau have some of East Africa’s most celebrated luxury options. While you can travel between all these parks by road, any luxury safari operator worth their salt will have you flying between them in no time.”

3

Can you describe a typical day on a Kenya luxury safari?

“On most Kenya luxury tours, you’ll be woken before dawn and given a hot drink and breakfast snack to fight off the early morning chill. With the sun still below the horizon, you’ll then drive out in search of wildlife (most operators provide you with blankets). As temperatures rise, by mid-morning you’ll be back in camp for a fuller breakfast or morning tea. Late morning until mid-afternoon is traditionally relaxation time for safari travelers, with lunch in the middle. You’re not missing much by being in camp, with most animals in hiding from the midday heat. Around 3:30 PM you’ll enjoy a civilized afternoon tea, which can be quite elaborate, followed by the afternoon drive or walk to look for wildlife. If the afternoon tea is a time-honored East African safari tradition, the sundowner is an even more established tradition. It usually consists of a gin and tonic or other drink while watching the sunset from somewhere beautiful. The night drive back to camp presents an opportunity to tick some nocturnal species from your safari checklist, although some night drives take place after dinner. Back in camp, freshen up, dress for dinner, enjoy an aperitif, and then dine under the stars. Later, around the campfire, there may be a performance of local music, a natural history lecture or simply conversation before everyone drifts off to bed.”

4

What type of accommodation can I expect on a Kenya luxury safari?

“On a Kenya luxury safari, there are two main types of accommodation. The first is the safari tent, a spacious canvas construction that sits atop a low, elevated wooden platform in the heart of wildlife country. The safari tent, entered via a small deck, typically consists of a large room with a bed, writing desk, sitting area and somewhere to hang your clothes. Windows can be left open to allow the breeze in or zipped shut. Out the back is usually a bathroom area, sometimes with an outdoor shower which is an old safari favorite; bucket showers are common. If your safari tents form part of a mobile camp that moves with you around the national park, bathroom facilities and other furnishings will necessarily be more basic. The other major accommodation type is the lodge, where rooms are customarily four-walled structures, although canvas elements are sometimes incorporated. Lodges on a luxury safari in Kenya, like their tented counterparts, are large, luxurious and comfortable. They are the sort of places that bring to mind luxury hotels the world over, often with a safari theme.”

5

What are the typical costs of a Kenya luxury safari?

“The price of a Kenya luxury tour varies greatly but rarely rises above US$485 per person per day. Such prices normally assume that you’re traveling on a twin-share basis. For solo travelers the cost of the single supplement is rarely less than 75% of the price for two people traveling together. Of course, it is possible to pay less than this, but the less you pay, the more likely it is that you’re sacrificing something. The point at which the price-to-quality ratio dips below the standards you’d expect from a luxury holiday will differ from one traveler to the next.”

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Kenya Safari Reviews

4.6/5 893 Reviews
Expert
Kim Wildman  –  
Australia AU

Kim is a travel writer who authored and updated over 15 guidebooks, including Lonely Planet's South Africa and Bradt's Tanzania guides.

Out of Africa
5/5

It’s a cliché I know, but you can’t get more Out of Africa than Kenya. The setting for the Karen Blixon’s 1937 novel of the same name - made even more famous by a certain Academy Awarding winning Hollywood movie starring Robert...

Full Review

Expert
Brian Jackman  –  
United Kingdom UK

Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.

Africa for Beginners
5/5

Kenya is so easy to get to - just eight hours away by air from London. Fly overnight and you can be in the bush in good time for lunch. Even before you arrive in Nairobi you can see giraffes wandering under the flight path in the city’s...

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Shelmith  –  
Kenya KE
Reviewed: Oct 14, 2020
Kenya is amazing!!
5/5

Safari bookings took us to this amazing hotel ,ole sereni hotel which was close to wildlife.there was an amazing scenic view I would never forget .the roof top was exceptionally beautiful .We went Nairobi national park, we had an...

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John  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Jul 20, 2020
All we hoped for and more.
5/5

Our Kenya holiday was everything we hoped for and more, thrilling fascinating breathtaking emotional and beautiful. The thrills came from spotting the many different animals we were lucky enough to spot on our game drives and a visit to...

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MD  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: May 20, 2020
Kenya Safari- Masai Mara and Amboseli- January 2020
4/5

Went on two 3 day safari's in Kenya, first to the Masai Mara and the second to Amboseli. All in all the two trips were good value given the low price, I've listed the pros and cons below. Pro's- -Amazing scenery and wildlife, you cannot...

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Joe  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Apr 27, 2020
Amazing
5/5

Incredible wildlife experience.
Samburu was the highlight.
Some poor service from our tour company, African Breeze - including downgrading hotels without warning to save themselves money (we were not offered a refund).

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