Hakuna Matata Kenya
20 Jul 2016
For its size, Kenya packs a lot in: a Great Rift Valley, plenty of mountains and deserts, lakes, beaches and coral reefs, colourful tribal culture and platinum wildlife viewing possibilities.
There is a swag of different reasons to come here, and picking just one is impossible. Stunning landscapes set the scene. From stunning Indian Ocean beaches to the rolling grasslands of the Masai Mara; the Great Rift Valley, cleaving a massive gash through it all.
Kenya is justifiably world-famous for it wildlife. Several Kenyan parks and conservancies, including Samburu, Sweetwaters, Tsavo, Amboseli and the legendary Masai Mara are among the finest places in Africa to witness elephant, lion, leopard and the famous wildebeest migration. Indeed, Sweetwaters is noted for its rare population of Grevy’s zebra and the largest sanctuary for black rhino in East Africa.
Kenya is also an ornithologist paradise, rating in the top five. The Masai Mara stretches over 1500 sq km of open rolling grasslands, backed by an escarpment, watered by the mighty Mara River and studded with an incredible amount of wildlife. Of the big cats, lions are found in large prides everywhere, and it is not uncommon to see them hunting Thompson’s gazelle, wildebeest and in fact anything in proximity. A cackle of hyena will circle and a venue of vulture will hover, offering great indication a kill has occurred.
Cheetah can sometimes be found draped across elevated ant mounts and leopards are elusive. Elephant, buffalo, zebra and hippo also exist in large numbers. The ultimate attraction is undoubtedly the annual wildebeest migration in July and August, when millions of these ungainly beasts move north from the Serengeti. Endless columns can be seen grazing or trudging along in quiet unison. Balloon across the Masai Mara and a birds-eye view, followed by a sumptuous breakfast can be enjoyed in the middle of the veld.
For an out of Africa experience, visit Karen Blixen’s home, try jumping as high as the Maasai and be sure to enjoy an ice-cold Tusker lager as the sun sets on yet another day. And pick up a pair of Bata safari boots from the Bata boutique across the road from the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi. These will give you far greater safari cred than a metre-long telephoto lens!