Why Visit Kenya For A Holiday
If it’s not the pristine wilderness, the magnificent big cats, big five, stunning beaches, and incredible native cultures that would make you visit Kenya on a holiday, then you will need much more convincing than we thought. Luckily for you, we have just the right information to help you plan your next grand safari holiday.
Kenya, a top East African destination and a pioneer in sustainable tourism with recognized a globally-recognized model of wildlife management, promises some of the best wilderness experiences. Its internationally-significant habitats where unique wildlife roams freely in breathtaking numbers make it a magical destination for holiday travelers.
The country’s intriguing adventure attractions stretch along miles of white sand beaches and voyages into dense forests and divergent deserts. Iconic landmarks like Mount Kenya tower above the savannah plains and tropical woodlands. Its intricate waterfalls thunder within the montane foothills.
From the highest summits to the deepest ocean reserves, Kenya gives you an African dream holiday of a lifetime. Here are some of the many other reasons you should visit Kenya on a holiday.
To witness the annual wildebeest migration.
The biggest spectacle of mass animal migration on earth happens in Kenya and Tanzania. Happening every year from August to October, the Great Wildebeest Migration is the primary reason many travelers visit Kenya for a holiday. Despite the many documentaries you’ve watched on National Geography, nothing can prepare you for the exhilarating sight of more than a million wildebeest with an entourage of thousands of zebras, eland, and gazelle.
At the same time, ferocious predators tail the herds, picking off the feeble, especially at the Mara river crossing when the peril reaches its zenith. Here, giant Nile crocodiles lurk in the waters, waiting for their biannual meal, and big cats stake out for those that have finished crossing and are too tired to run.
The chance to witness these tense and terrifying scenes, as wildebeest plunge down the steep banks and thunder into the treacherous waters, pulls in hundreds of visitors each year.
The Wildebeest Migration is a process of moving and feeding, moving and feeding, shifting towards new pastures without following a single path. The scale and scope of the Migration mean there are numerous places and times to catch it throughout the year, although July to September is peak season, when the sight of wildebeest plunging into the Mara River, dodging crocs and lions as they go, draws visitors in their droves.
Best places to watch Africa’s big cats in the wild
Lion, cheetah, and leopard, the feline trio that comprises Africa’s big cats, offer some of the most exciting wildlife viewing on safari. One of the main reasons many travelers adventure to Africa is to observe big cats in the wild. There’s no better reason to visit Kenya on a Holiday than to watch wild felines at their best hunting games.
Kenya’s most popular game reserve, the Masai Mara, is home to numerous ferocious cats preying on the abundant wildlife that roam its plains. It’s an ideal African safari destination to watch lions and cheetah hunts.
Many documentaries popularise Mara’s big cat games, for example, BBC’s popular Big Cat Diary series, featuring the Marsh Lion Pride, leopards, and cheetahs.
Watching a pride of lioness making a kill or being surrounded by adorable cubs is a highlight of any Kenya safari, especially during the Annual Great Migration when the wildebeests and their entourage have to cross the Mara River. The wildebeest migration attracts hungry cats, ambushing the unsuspecting gnus from the fringes of the Mara.
Because of the dense herds of game, the Masai Mara is also a prime cheetah habitat and the Mara Cheetah Project. With that, you can’t miss cheetah action when in Kenya.
Kenya is ideal for safari first-timers.
World safari experts highly recommend Kenya as one of the best destinations in Africa for those on their first wildlife viewing adventure. For example, with an overnight flight, you can land in Nairobi, catch a light aircraft the following day and be in the bush in time for brunch.
Such ease with travel is possible with Kenya’s safari industry; it’s backed up by an efficient tourist infrastructure, some of the best conservation stories in Africa, and a dazzling choice of camps to suit all holiday budgets. After all, modern safaris were invented in Kenya during the colonial era.
It has the most diversified wildlife-protected areas.
If your choice of safari comes down to the wildlife diversity, then visit Kenya on a Holiday, and you’ll not be disappointed. The ‘Big Five’ top the wish list for most travelers, especially for inexperienced adventurers.
The big five include buffalo, lion, leopard, elephant, and rhino—famed for being the hunter’s most dangerous adversaries during the trophy hunting era. Most of Kenya’s national parks boast all or most of these, with some offering better viewing odds than others. Then there are the equally iconic giraffes, hippos, wildebeests, and zebras – not forgetting the fascinating smaller animals, from chameleons and dung beetles to meerkats and hornbills.
In terms of wildlife species you can view on a single holiday visit to Kenya, you can’t really go wrong. The sheer wildlife richness and variety at almost any one of Kenya’s national parks and private conservancies, and the grandeur of the African backdrop, are bound to blow you away.
Prolific birdlife will have you all aflutter.
Kenya boasts more than 1,000 bird species recorded by experts, including flashy crowds of pink flamingos whose massing makes for surreal photographs. You can photograph these matchstick-legged birds feeding on the salty lake algae that give them their candyfloss hue amid geysers that result from the lake’s geothermal activity.
Needless to say, the vast geographical range of the countryside gives Kenya a variety of climates and landscapes, attracting the second-highest number of bird species in Africa. Kenya holds the world-record bird watch, with 342 species seen within 24 hours.
For bird-watching geeks, visit Kenya on a holiday between October and February when many Palearctic migrants come to Kenya’s marine and inland shorelines. You’ll spot many swallows, terns, and waders during this time. Weavers and bishops are breeding plumage from June to July, and Kenya is washed with many Southern African migrants.
Visit the Maasai Mara for the rosy-throated longclaw and magpie shrike; Samburu for the occasional shining sunbird and pink breasted lark; and Nairobi for the northern pied-babbler and Pangani longclaw.
A handful of endemics you may spot in Kenya include the Tara River cisticola, William’s lark, Aberdare cisticola, Sharpe’s pipit, Hinde’s pied-babbler, and Clarke’s weaver. You must visit Lake Naivasha, home to Golden-winged Sunbirds, Superb Starlings, and African Fish Eagles.
Exclusive experiences in Kenya’s private conservations
Kenya’s private conservancies are an attraction to safari connoisseurs for their consistency in offering some of the most reliable and captivating predator sightings in Kenya.
Not long ago, Kenya safaris were confined to only national parks and reserves. And now that national parks are overcrowded with hundreds of safari trucks raising the dust on the game trucks, the most rewarding safari experiences in Kenya are in private conservancies.
A conservancy is a vast land reserved by communities to conserve wildlife. The local communities usually lease their lands to tourism players and conservation groups in return for lease fees and community projects. The community benefits from educational and health development projects. It gets help from conservation groups in setting up other sustainable income-generating schemes.
The land is primarily devoted to wildlife and safari tourism, making the system very successful for both local communities and wildlife. These conservancies have populations of almost all animal species increasing faster than most expect. Visit Kenya on a holiday and take a walking safari in any of the conservancies; you’ll be amazed at how animals and humans can share the same habitat without one displacing the other.
The Kenya conservancy model works on the concept of high-paying, low number, exclusive safari. Unlike in the reserves like the Masai Mara, there are few small but intimate camps and no queues of safari trucks circling like vultures around big cat sightings.
Fascinating Maasai cultural experiences
A highlight for many Kenya Safari travelers is an encounter with the red-dressed Maasai warriors. These are semi-nomadic, pastoral indigenous tribes whose ancestral territory stretches across southern and western Kenya. Because many Maasai communities occupy lands within the borders of famous game preserves like Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Ngorongoro. Many of the camps employ them as guides and staffers. It’s common to spot them out on the savannah or visit their villages to men herding livestock and women carrying water or firewood.
The Maasai tribe has a rich and fascinating culture that long predates safari adventures yet still exists alongside it. The Maasai’s fascinating life revolves around accumulating and grazing large herds of cows. Cows are the tribe’s primary income source and play an essential role in the Maasai communal life. Their Families and clans establish alliances through the exchange of cattle. Consuming the cow’s meat and milk in the Maasai cultures is a sacred act that binds them to their creator.
In the recent past, young Maasai men proved themselves as Morani warriors with the ritual killing of a fully grown lion—either single-handedly or in a group, and using only their iron spears as weapons. Typically, they hunted only male lions in this Ala-mayo initiation rite since they considered female lions sacred forebears of life.
Ritual lion-hunting is now outlawed, and Maasai have been inducted in protecting the lions as a show of fierce warriors. The extreme bravery of the Morani is revered by most visitors today. It is one of the major attractions to visit Kenya on a holiday.
You can effortlessly point out a Maasai because of their physical beauty, suppleness, graceful physiques, and most of all, their unique garb and body ornamentation. Today, the most iconic Maasai garment is the shuka, a woven, thick cotton blanket, typically red with striped or checked patterns in blue or black, worn wrapped around the body.
Learning about their distinctive culture will leave you forever enthralled by visiting Kenya and strolling through the Maasai communities.
White sand beaches and great island escapes
The turquoise waters of the Kenya coastline are among the few places in Africa that any holiday traveler would like to escape and let time quietly disappear. The long stretches of palm-fringed white sand and aerie boutique beach hotels accentuated with fantastic snorkeling and diving adventures are something for an unforgettable holiday escape in Kenya.
The sacred moments of walking along the seashore with the calming Indian Ocean waters rhythmically splashing against the shoreline, the dazzling beach sunsets, and the sunrise colors evoke an authentic connection to the land and bind you to your origins are what holidays in Kenya are made of.
Explore the marine reserves scattered along the coastline on snorkeling or diving adventures. Or the active water sports, like paddleboarding, kitesurfing, and a traditional dhow, would suit you perfectly.
Visit Kenya on a holiday with Encounter Africa.
Encounter Africa is a trusted safari operator within East Africa that will plan your visit to Kenya, taking care of all the planning details and recommendations. Most interesting is that we can combine your Kenya holiday with an exciting gorilla trekking experience in Uganda and Rwanda, booking your accommodations, transfers, and anything in between.
Email our teams at firstname.lastname@example.org to give you a free trip quotation within the shortest possible time.