African safari in Kenya Nairobi, ranks as one of Africa’s greatest safari destinations and is a bucket list destination for anyone who loves nature. The animal kingdom with all its spectacles like the Great Wildebeest Migration make Safari holidays perfect for a family or couple vacation.
Kenya is a holiday destination that offers incredible natural beauty, soul-stirring cultural encounters, sensational game viewing and, of course, the thrills and spills of the Wildebeest Migration. No wonder it’s the birthplace of safari travel!
From seeing the wildebeest mega-herds move into the Masai Mara and Amboseli’s legendary elephant herds against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro to the majestic leopards of Samburu, Kenya will not disappoint. Plus, you can effortlessly combine our Kenya safari tours with gorilla-trekking adventures in Uganda or Rwanda, or even a tropical beach holiday overlooking the turquoise waters and fluttering palm trees of the warm Indian Ocean.
African Safari in Kenya Nairobi: The 5 Best Safari Parks in Kenya to Explore
1. Masai Mara National Reserve’ African Safari in Kenya Nairobi:
The Masai Mara is the most renowned safari park in Kenya. Famous for its great herds of plains’ game – including its exceptional population of Masai lions, African leopards and Tanzanian cheetahs – it’s also the best place to see the Great Migration: the annual movement of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti in Tanzania. It contains many elephants and virtually every other type of wildlife found in Kenya. This park is also known for having the most approachable animals.
When to go: June to October.
How to get there: Local airlines offer a 40-minute flight from Nairobi, or your tour guide can organize a five-hour drive from the capital.
Cost: A three-day safari starts at AU$450.
2. Lake Nakuru National Park’ African Safari in Kenya Nairobi
Flamingoes. More than a million pink flamingoes flock on the shores of Lake Nakuru, along with white rhinos, warthogs, giraffes, zebra, hippos, ostriches and lions. Quintessentially African, Lake Nakuru National Park is only 170 kilometres north-west of Nairobi.
When to go: Year-round.
How to get there: The park is a three-hour drive from Nairobi.
Cost: A full-day tour starts from AU$235.
3. Amboseli National Park
The majestic Mount Kilimanjaro is a Kenyan safari must-see. She comes out from the mist in the early morning, while some of the largest tuskers you’ll ever see graze at her feet, and will spoil you with huge herds drinking water from surface springs. The park is home to as many as 370 species of birds and you can expect to see zebras, wildebeest, spotted hyenas, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, buffalo, warthogs, impalas, jackals and leopards.
When to go: June to October
How to get there: It’s a four-hour drive or a short flight from Nairobi.
Costs: A three-day tour starts from AU$849.
4. Tsavo National Parks
Together, Tsavo’s two national parks create the largest protected wildlife sanctuary in Kenya. More remote than Kenya’s other safari parks, the massive area offers vast landscapes to explore. The sight of elephants spraying the blue waters of the Galana River on themselves is one you’ll cherish for life. You can also spot the giraffe, cheetah, lion, serval cat, leopard, oryx, gazelle, buffalo, antelope, stripped hyena, impala and approximately 500 species of birds. Tsavo East is also home to two iconic trees, the baobab and the doum palm.
When to go: May to October
How to get there: Both parks are approximately 10 hours’ drive from Nairobi and are also accessible by charter flight.
Costs: A four-day East and West Tsavo tour starts from AU$1,275.
5. Samburu Game Reserve
The literal meaning of the word ‘safari’ is ‘journey’, and Samburu is the perfect place to start an adventure. With game drives offering hundreds of elephants, lions, buffalos and leopards, you will see Samburu’s own ‘Special Five’: the Beisa Oryx, Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, gerenuk and reticulated giraffe. You can also opt for a camel safari – an iconic African adventure you’ll never forget.
When to go: June to October
How to get there: Daily flights from Nairobi or a full-day drive.
Costs: A three-day safari starts from AU$959.
VACCINATIONS BEFORE YOU VISIT KENYA
Vaccinations before embarking on your trip to Kenya are highly recommended. There is a severe threat of malaria throughout Kenya, with the exception of high-altitude areas above 2,000m like Nairobi. Most safari parks are high-risk zones. The highest risks for infection are during the rain season, from September to April.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KENYA?
The best months for wildlife spotting in Kenya are during the dry season, from late June to October. The Great Wildebeest Migration usually reaches the Masai Mara in July and the herds remain in the reserve until October, before making their way back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. However, decent wildlife viewings are possible all year around.
Here are some top timing tips when planning a trip to Kenya:
- Best time to visit: June to October, January to February.
- High season: July to November, January to February (some of the parks might get very crowded, especially the Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru).
- Low season: March to May.
- Best weather: June to October.
- Worst weather: March to May.
What to pack:
Wear greens, khakis, sensible walking shoes, a warm jacket, spotting scopes and a scarf. Long sleeves and pants are best, and avoid military camouflage and bright colours alike, including whites. And don’t forget to take your binoculars, camera, sunscreen and head torch.
Starts at AU$450 for a three-day safari in the Masai Mara National Park. Check Bookmundi for the latest prices.]
SOME MORE TIPS TO ENJOY KENYA TO THE FULLEST
- To save costs you can drive to Masai Mara by car – but bear in mind this is a six-hour trip on unpaved roads. I wouldn’t recommend driving by yourself in Kenya, as the roads are very poorly maintained. Instead, rent a car with a local driver to take you to your destination.
- It’s also not recommended to walk around the streets alone at night as a tourist. Hotels will advise you not to venture out after sunset without the company of a guide.
- Always negotiate the prices for products and services. Negotiating is culturally expected, so be aware of this to avoid paying too much. Make sure you always have some cash in your pocket too, because it’s not always possible to pay with a credit card.
- Take a first aid kit with you to Kenya! I’ve visited the country twice and have been super sick twice, despite the fact that we always stayed in decent hotels. Pills for headaches, stomach pain and diarrhea are definitely recommended.