​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.

The birthplace of the safari, Kenya is a world-class wildlife destination, recommended both for experienced safari-goers and for those booking a first-time safari. The peerless Masai Mara National Reserve offers excellent big cat encounters and is the setting for the yearly wildebeest and zebra migration. Palm-lined beaches offer a perfect place to relax after a thrilling safari.

Rates (USD) $193 to $705 pp/day
Best Time To Go June to October and January and February
High Season June to October and December to March
Size 580,367km² / 224,081mi²

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent wildlife viewing, including the annual wildebeest migration
  • 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 can be crowded
  • Limited opportunities for walking and boat safaris

Kenya Safari Reviews

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

Wildlife

Kenya is one of Africa’s most rewarding safari destinations. Elephant, buffalo and giraffe are common throughout, and hippos and crocodiles frequent the big rivers. Big cats are plentiful as well. Rhino, although scarce in the Masai Mara, is common on Laikipia Plateau, and in Lake Nakuru and Nairobi National Parks. Of course, it’s the wildebeest and zebra who really put on a show here, with the incredible annual migration.

Activities

Activities in most of Kenya’s parks and reserves are restricted to guided and self-guided game drives, for the purposes of birding and wildlife viewing. A boat safari may be possible in Lake Nakuru National Park. In the private or community conservancies of the Laikipia Plateau, around the Masai Mara and elsewhere, other possible activities include walking safaris, night game drives, community visits and, in Laikipia, horseback riding.

Weather & Climate

Because of its equatorial location, Kenya has Wet and Dry seasons, rather than summer and winter. The wetter months (November to May) are characterized by very warm temperatures of around 30°C/86°F, with sticky humid conditions down along the coast. The drier months (June to October) have cold nights and mornings, and fairly pleasant afternoons. Altitude is also important: temperatures drop 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 best for wildlife viewing. 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 (between July or August and October). The Wet season (November to May) has incredible birding as migratory species arrive, fantastically green scenery, lots of newborn animals and cheaper low-season rates.

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Kenya Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Emma Gregg  –  
United Kingdom UK

Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.

Classic safari destination where it pays to be discerning
4/5

No true fan of the BBC’s Big Cat Diary or Disney’s The Lion King would ever admit this, but Kenya isn’t the best country in Africa for a safari. Its parks and reserves are full of animals and birds, of course, but all too many of them...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Shailesh Pithadia  –  
India IN
Reviewed: Jun 25, 2024
Jungle heaven
5/5

It's amazing country, rich in culture, nice and caring people. Very informative wildlife safaris and it's provided by safaribookings(dot)com.

Full Review