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How to Really Adventure in Kenya—With Astounding Wildlife and Culture

Search for the Big Five and immerse yourself in incredible cultural experiences on these three unforgettable trips, tailormade for style, romance, and outdoor adventures.

How to Really Adventure in Kenya—With Astounding Wildlife and Culture

African elephants are one of the “Big Five” animals you’ll see on a Kenyan safari.

Africa’s vast, great plains have inspired writers, artists, and every kind of traveler under the sun for centuries. “If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa,” said the writer Jon Hemingway. His famous father Ernest once noted, “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.” And perhaps no country, from its tropical beaches and savannahs to forests and fertile valleys, captures the imagination more than the Eastern African land of Kenya.

The sheer abundance of wildlife, the stunning natural terrain, and the chance to immerse in the local culture makes a trip to Kenya a dream destination for people around the world. On a Kenyan safari you’ll get iconic sunsets, unspoiled natural beauty, and the opportunity to spot “the Big Five”—African elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo and rhinoceros. Time it right and you can witness the great migration of two million wildebeest across the Maasai Mara during the dry season, from July to October.

No matter when, what the occasion is, or how you prefer to travel—whether staying in luxury accommodations or tents in the wild, with one partner or many—a safari trip to Kenya will open your heart, dazzle your eyes, reinvigorate your spirit, and leave you forever changed.

For over-the-top experiences

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Travelers can travel deeper when they meet local Maasai people.

Everything about the Premium Kenya tour from Intrepid is designed for the traveler who wants to level up their journey. You’ll ride in style in purpose-built Land Cruisers throughout the week-long trip. Arriving in Nairobi, your first night’s accommodation overlooks Nairobi National Park, providing your first spectacular glimpse of wildlife: giraffe, zebra, antelope, and buffalo lounging near the waterhole. Keep your eyes peeled for endangered black and white rhino during morning and afternoon 4x4 game drives in the heart of Lake Nakuru’s National Park.

You’ll also spend three nights fully immersed in nature deep in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, where you’ll search for lions and cheetahs on the prowl, and savor sunset cocktails within the park. Book a sunrise hot air balloon ride that will take you over the Maasai Mara plains as you take in the early morning movements of teeming herds of wildlife.

Along the way you’ll learn about the fascinating ancient Maasai culture when you visit a local Maasai community, known for championing Maasai women’s health and education, and hear about the conservation efforts at the Elsamere Conservation Centre over high tea. A boat trip on Lake Naivasha follows where you’ll spot hippos and fabulous birdlife.

For a private, personalized adventure

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Take in the expanse of the Masai Mara National Reserve

For a truly bespoke Kenyan experience, every trip from Audley Travel is designed from scratch to match travelers’ personal interests and preferences. The adventure traveler looking to get off the beaten path, while staying at unforgettable properties, will delight in a Northern Kenya and Migration trip.

This 10-day journey starts in the Laikipia plateau for a wonderfully diverse experience focused on sustainability and immersing with the local community. From home base at a tented camp, you’ll explore the pristine wilderness and local villages of Karisia Hills on a walking safari with a Samburu guide and tracker. Enjoy home-cooked meals served al fresco under the shade of a tree or beneath the starry skies.

Next, you’ll head to the nearby Loisaba Wilderness Conservancy, where you can select from included experiences like game drives, biking, horseback riding, or visiting their anti-poaching canine unit. Your stay includes an unforgettable night under the stars at the Elewana Loisaba Starbeds, an absolute highlight of the trip. The final three days will be spent in the Masai Mara, gazing in awe at the park’s huge volume of game and witnessing the Great Migration.

For outdoor enthusiasts

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A hot-air balloon ride at sunrise

Get up close and personal with African wilderness on the nine-day Kenya Camping Safari trip from G Adventures. Four nights of full-service camping under the big African sky (plus two nights of permanent tented camps and two nights hotel stays) brings you as close to the region’s wildlife as humanly possible.

You’ll travel the open plains and rolling hills of the Maasai Mara as you search for the Big Five, taking in dramatic savannahs and the Great Rift Valley along the way. Traveling in small safari vans means less driving time and more chances to spot astounding wildlife. Daily safari drives take you throughout Samburu National Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park and the Maasai Mara.

Enjoy personal time with Samburu tribesmen as you learn about the ancient warrior tribe along a guided walk through the village. In Samburu National Reserve, you’ll look for animals specific to the region, including the beisa oryx, Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, the majestic, reticulated giraffe, and the long-necked gerenuk, an antelope that stands upright on hind legs to feed on tall bushes. In Lake Nakuru National Park, you’ll spy rhinos, buffalo, impalas, hyenas and more in their natural habitat. The Maasai Mara is home to an abundance of cheetah, leopards, and lions—and upwards of two million wildebeest who migrate through the area. You’ll have plenty of wildlife sightings to boast about when you head home.

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