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01 February 2021

14 reasons why you should go to Kenya on your safari

Kenya is a stunning country, hosting vast landscapes, breathtaking scenery, and an amazing abundance of wildlife. Here’s our list of reasons why you should visit this incredible safari-focused destination:

Kenya has a long history of tourism. Known as the ‘land of the original safari’, it was actually the first African country to offer the safari, a word derived from Arabic meaning ‘journey’. Kenya has experienced years and years of growth in the hospitality industry. Today the country’s hospitality is unmatched – the people are friendly and are always keen to lend a helping hand. And from mountains and deserts to savanna and coral reefs to rainforests and plateaus, there is so much to see here! Below are 14 reasons (we had to put a limit to the list) why you should go to Kenya, as well as our outlines on each reason.

If you’re set on Kenya after reading our top reasons and are eager to begin planning a bespoke safari that’s tailored to you, please don’t hesitate to call one of our safari experts.

1) Kenya is a Big Five safari animals destination

Kenya is renowned as a Big Five destination and it proves worthy of this reputation every time we visit. Particularly if you’re a first-time traveler and want to see the Big Five, Kenya is the place to go!

Types of animals you see on safari in Kenya

Kenya is a particularly good destination for first-time travellers looking for the Big Five, but equally good for those seasoned safari-goers - a destination for everyone when it comes to wildlife viewing.

Whilst home to the Big Five, safari isn't just about the Big Five, and what makes Kenya special is its diversity of wildlife and wildlife species.

Go in search of the Samburu Five in Samburu, or wild dogs in Laikipia or the Big Tuskers in Amboseli - wildlife is plentiful across Kenya and the best way to showcase the diversity of its wildlife is by combining a number of areas on your safari.

  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Rhino
  • Buffalo
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra
  • Wildebeest
  • And plenty more!
Big Five animals in Kenya see elephants with Yellow Zebra
Manda Bay Beach in Kenya with Yellow Zebra
 

2) Kenya is a great bush-and-beach destination with fantastic safari accommodation

Kenya’s coastline makes for a stress-free bush-and-beach combo. You can spend your morning on safari in search of Kenya’s incredible wildlife and be sipping cocktails on the beach by sundown! With direct flights between the Maasai Mara and Kenya’s south coast (Diani), this is a popular combination, but don’t forget the more off-the-beaten-track beaches of Lamu – with a quick flight from the Mara back to Nairobi’s Wilson and on to Lamu, this is another great beach option. For those looking for a little more culture and history, you can explore Lamu’s Old Town or spend your days relaxing on the beach or enjoying the wide variety of watersports available to you.

3) Kenya offers a vast variety of things to do!

From kayaking with elephant, to walking with rhino, to jumping off waterfalls, to deep-sea fishing and watersports, Kenya really has a massive amount of things to enjoy, whether you’re most interested in sighting black rhino or snorkeling with lionfish.

4) Kenya has exclusive and private conservancies

At YZ, we focus our trips on areas that are quiet and away from the main tourist areas, and we use a fine assortment of small, private, and exclusive properties.

5) The weather in Kenya is amazing, all year round!

The climate really is fantastic. As it’s on the equator belt, Kenya has a beautiful tropical climate throughout the year. See more advice on the best time to visit Kenya.

6) The Great Lakes in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley

Found in the Great Rift Valley, the lakes are among the country’s most popular attraction. Their waters and shores are home to a huge range of birdlife, from flamingos to kingfishers to pelicans.

Flamingos view birdlife in Kenya with Yellow Zebra
Pelicans in Kenya with Yellow Zebra
 

7) Kenya has brilliant birdlife – a real twitcher’s paradise

Kenya contains all sorts of bird-rich areas, from the Maasai Mara to the Laikipia plateau. At last count, over a thousand species of bird were recorded in the country, not least the vast flocks of flamingos found in the Rift Valley lakes! The diversity of Kenya’s parks and habitats makes for some extremely rewarding birding, with a large number of palearctic migratory birds between October and February, not to mention some of the Southern African migrants that visit. The plumage of many birds is truly spectacular, making Kenya a birder’s paradise.

8) Kenya is a safe and peaceful country to visit

Due to Kenya’s colonial ties, it has always been a go-to destination for travellers, and since independence it has been considered one of the most stable countries in Africa. As with any city in the world, we’d always advise you not to have your valuables on display, and to be sensible and have an awareness of your surroundings. Rest assured, the Kenyan welcome is as warm as you’ll experience anywhere in the world. You’ll be met with big smiles and a happy ‘Jambo’ (‘Hello’ in Swahili) wherever you go.

9) Kenya is rich in culture

Kenya is home to 43 major tribes throughout its far reaches, making it culturally very impressive. Many of the properties we use offer cultural experiences, and there’s a lot to learn from Kenyan tribes the Maasai and the Samburu, such as their ways of life and traditions. The famous Maasai are the friendliest and most hospitable people anywhere in Africa.

Maasai Mara tribe in Kenya with Yellow Zebra
Cultural Safari in Kenya with Yellow Zebra
 

10) Tourist visas are very easy to acquire to visit Kenya

Kenya now requires all visitors to obtain their visas in advance using the e-visa service below. Currently the costs are US$50 pp (single entry) or US$20 pp (transit – valid for stay of up to 24 hours). Children aged 15 and under are free of charge. Please ensure you use the official website: http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html

11) Kenya is a hub within East Africa, so getting there is easy

Flights to Kenya are regular and happen on a daily basis. Big airlines such as KLM, Lufthansa, Emirates, British Airways, and Turkish providers amongst others operate into Kenya. From Europe, it’s an 8-hour flight, a shorter journey than from the Americas.

12) The Maasai Mara National Reserve – Migration Central

Made famous by various documentaries about the wildebeest Great Migration, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is the epicenter for wildlife in Kenya and even East Africa overall. Not only has the migration been made famous, but so too has the reserve’s concentration of cats, especially of lions, which is like no other in Africa!

Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya with Yellow Zebra
Lion in Maasai Mara Kenya with Yellow Zebra
 

13) Kenya teems with historical sites

If you’re into history, there are a lot of sites and areas that you can visit, not just in Nairobi but also around other regions. From ruins to archaeological sites to the cradle of mankind, there’s so much for history buffs to enjoy here.

14) Doing the animals a favour: by visiting Kenya you are contributing in protecting its wildlife

What many don’t realize is that going on safari actually serves to protect the wildlife. When you stay at any camp or lodge in Kenya, you pay a conservation fee or park fee that’s pumped into conservation efforts such as anti-poaching, landowners’ fees, rangers’ salaries, and so on. And the safari vehicle used for your game drives also deters poachers.

Talk to a safari expert about a vacation to Kenya

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