Kenya Wildlife Safaris, Wildlife Safaris in Kenya Wildlife Safari Parks
Kenya wildlife safaris/wildlife safaris in Kenya wildlife safari parks are one of the best safaris to experience on your African safari in East Africa. A Kenya wildlife safari takes you to the wildlife parks to get up-close views of wildlife and experience the amazing African wilderness.
Kenya is one of the best safari destinations on the African continent with abundant wildlife. A wildlife safari in Kenya delivers lots of excitement and some of the best game viewing on the planet.
Tourists on a wildlife safari in Kenya have the opportunity to spot the Big Five animals – Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Buffaloes while on a game drive. Kenya is renowned for the great Wildebeest migration that sees off thousands of animals crossing from the Masai Mara to Serengeti National Park of Tanzania following the rains.
Wildlife safari in Kenya tours is amazing within Kenya’s savannah parks like Masai Mara Reserve, Samburu National Park, Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Meru National Park, etc.
This country is dominated by the Great Rift Valley which runs through East Africa. This area has Africa’s highest Mountain peaks, and these are Mount Kenya and Mountain Elgon.
Most of the wildlife tour destinations in Kenya are within the central highlands of the Great Rift Valley like Mountain Kenya National Park. Wildlife safaris in Kenya are most enjoyed through game drives, walking safaris, or boat cruise tours as you get the best game viewing.
A Kenya wildlife safari can always end with a visit to the Giraffe Centre or white sand beaches in Mombasa along the Indian Ocean coast to give you the true meaning of an African holiday vacation.
Where to Go for Kenya Wildlife Safari Tour Holidays? /Kenya National Parks
For an amazing wildlife tour, you need to visit the best safari destinations in East Africa that will guarantee you game viewing. You can visit the Giraffe Centre with a real touch of the animals and up-close views.
Below are the best places safari goers can enjoy game viewing in Kenya;
Masai Mara National Reserve
Maasai Mara National Reserve is the most famous and visited wildlife destination in Kenya and East Africa. This reserve is situated within the Great Rift Valley and it is part of the Tanzania extension of the Serengeti plains.
Maasai Mara Reserve is bisected by the Mara River which is the permanent water source in Masai Mara. It is well known for harboring the annual Wildebeest migration as thousands of Wildebeests cross the Masai River to Serengeti National Park of Tanzania.
Also, Masai Mara Reserve is a natural extension of the Serengeti plains game of Tanzania and it is also a territory of the Maasai tribes who are rich in Kenyan culture.
Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to the Big Five animals and other wildlife that you can see on a game drive. Some of the animals to spot here include; Lions, Black and white Rhinos, Buffaloes, Masai Giraffe, Wild dogs, Grevy’s Zebra, etc.
Birders can enjoy bird watching in Masai Mara National Reserve during walking safaris as it has over 450 bird species including Red-winged Schalow’s Turaco, White-tipped Crests, Ross Turacos, Fish Eagles, Wary Guinea Fowls.
It is no surprise that most tourists from the world over travel here to experience a Masai Mara safari tour during a wildlife safari in Kenya as it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
You will spot the Big Five and spend a night with the Masai people rich in Kenyan culture and enjoy a cultural experience.
Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is one of the remote parks among the popular reserves located in northern Kenya along the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River. This park is traditionally inhabited by the Samburu people closely related to the Maasai of Masai Mara.
Samburu National Reserve is famous for hosting some rare species like the Grevy’s Zebra, Elephants, Nile Crocodiles, Gazelles, Reticulated Giraffes, and Beisa Oryx.
Tourists who visit Samburu National Reserve can enjoy game drives in safari vehicles for clear wildlife viewing. Samburu National Reserve also offers amazing walking safaris during birding.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park is fond of Lake Nakuru an alkaline lake. This park is easily accessible since it is near the city (Nakuru) the fourth city in the country and the head town of the Rift-valley.
Lake Nakuru National Park covers the lake, and the shores are surrounded by swamps that disappear during the driest seasons. The riverine forests open up southward in a bush and acacia trees.
The shores of Lake Nakuru are populated by millions of Flamingoes though there are other species of mammals like Lions, Leopards, Warthogs, Waterbucks, etc.
Lake Nakuru National Park was declared a Rhino Sanctuary for the protection of the endangered Rhinos. This Rhino sanctuary now harbors both Black and White Rhinos.
Game drives and walking safaris are among the many activities enjoyed in Lake Nakuru National Park during a wildlife tour.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is located Northwest of Mount Kilimanjaro on the border with Tanzania. This park covers 392 km and forms part of the Amboseli ecosystem in the Great Rift Valley region.
Amboseli National Park has large herds of Elephants in East Africa as they flourish in open plains, acacia trees, rocky thorn bush country, swamps, and marshland. The Amboseli territory belongs to the Maasai people like those of the Masai Mara.
Amboseli National Park has great scenic beauty, and the landscape is dominated by Mount Kilimanjaro. Game drives are one of the safari experiences to enjoy while in Amboseli National Park as they offer the best game viewing.
Other Kenya safari activities offered in Amboseli National Park include bird watching, hot air balloon experience, cultural experience, etc.
Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya National Park is an amazing park stretching around the iconic Mount Kenya located on the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley. This mountain is the major attraction in Mount Kenya National Park, and it is the second tallest mountain in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro.
This park is famously known for mountain climbing safaris though it also has numerous species of wildlife and birds. Some of the animals found in Mount Kenya National Park include Elephants, Cape Buffaloes, Leopards, Bush Pigs, Genet Cats, etc.
Mount Kenya National Park offers the Kenya wildlife safari activities like game viewing, mountain climbing, cave exploration, camping, etc.
Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is a protected area in the Aberdare Mountain Range in central Kenya located east of the Great Rift Valley of East Africa. Its most famous visitor is Queen Elizabeth II, who found out about her father’s passing while staying in Aberdare National Park in 1952.
Aberdare National Park provides a habitat for Elephants, Leopards, Black Rhinos, Hyenas, Wild cats, etc. All these offer the best game viewing and birders can enjoy birding while in Aberdare National Park since it has over 250 bird species.
Wildlife tours in Aberdare National Park are amazing, especially during a game drive in your safari vehicle.
Meru National Park
This park has a remarkable landscape, and it is located in the eastern province with Meru as the nearest city straddling the equator. This park has 13 rivers that transverse through the landscape and it is dominated by wooded grasslands, lush swamps, and palms on the riverbanks.
Meru National Park has a huge population of wildlife and bird species. Some of the animals in the park include giraffes, Elephants, Black and white Rhinos, Hartebeests, Zebras, Wild dogs, etc.
There are about 300 bird species in Meru National Park including the Somali Ostrich, Starlings, Weavers, Guinea fowls, etc.
Safari activities in Meru National Park include game viewing during a game drive, bird watching, and African bush walks.
Lake Naivasha National Park
Lake Naivasha National Park is set in the Rift-valley floor northwest of Nairobi, and it is made of Lake Naivasha a freshwater lake fringed by lush riverine forests of fever trees and overlooked by the ragged-edged of the volcanic Mount Longonot.
This national park of Lake Naivasha is mostly a bird breeding area with several bird species including Fish Eagles and Great White Pelicans. Lake Naivasha National Park offers amazing walking safaris and hikes to Hell’s Gate in Hell’s Gate National Park and Mount Longonot.
Tourists visiting Lake Naivasha National Park will mostly enjoy birding and hikes while on wildlife tours. Game drives are also amazing in Lake Naivasha National Park while in your safari vehicles.
Hell’s Gate National Park
Hell’s Gate National Park lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya and it is a remarkable quarter of the Great Rift Valley. This park has amazing scenery including the towering cliffs, water–gouged gorges, stark rock towers, etc.
The wildlife here includes the Cape buffalo, Zebra, Eland, Thomson’s gazelle, and Baboons. Also, the bird life in Hell’s Gate National Park is not bad as it has about 100 species of birds including Vultures, Verreaux’s Eagles, Augur Buzzard, and Swifts.
The most Kenya wildlife safari activities done at Hell’s Gate National Park are game viewing, biking, bird watching, camping, hiking, rock climbing, etc.
Other national parks for wildlife tours are mount Longonot, Ol Donyo Sabuk, Saiwa Swamp, Sibiloi, Central Island, Tsavo West, and Tsavo East National Parks.
What Animals Will You See on a Wildlife Safari in Kenya?
Tourists on a Kenya wildlife safari can see many animals during a game drive in the well-conserved park areas. Among the animals to spot within the rolling hills include carnivores, herbivores, and primates.
Below are some of the animals to see on a wildlife safari in Kenya.
The Cape buffalo also known as Nyati in Swahili is among the Big 5 African animals and it is considered as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.
They are voracious grazers and on your Kenya wildlife safari, you can see herds around water sources Maasai Mara, Amboseli National Park, and Meru National Park.
Scientifically known as the Panthera Leo is the indisputable king of the African bush and it is full of excitement when you see Lions on a Kenya wildlife safari. This member of the Big Five animals mostly preys on animals like Zebra, Buffalo, Giraffe, young elephants, and antelope species.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE LION IN KENYA?
If lucky, you can find them hunting for their prey on a Kenya wildlife safari in the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, and Tsavo East and West national parks.
The African Elephant is almost available in all of Kenya’s wildlife parks except in Lake Nakuru. Amboseli National Park has the biggest herds in East Africa, and you can see them in Amboseli’s perennial swamps and lakes.
They are unmissable during a game drive in a safari vehicle.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE ELEPHANT IN KENYA?
- Amboseli National Park
- Masai Mara
- Meru National Park
- Samburu National Reserve
Poaching had reduced the number of Rhinos in Kenya but in recent years, they have increased in number. Lewa and Ol Pejeta have done a wonderful job in conserving the species though it remains critically endangered.
You can see the Big 5 in Kenya’s Masai Mara including these creatures.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE RHINO IN KENYA?
On a wildlife safari in Kenya, you can best see the Rhinos in Lake Nakuru Park.
They are also available in.
- Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy
This is a shy and solitary big cat and spotting it on a Kenya wildlife safari will be rewarding for your game drive with amazing memories. The Leopard is a predator as it camouflages in the savannah plains as it awaits its prey.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE LEOPARD IN KENYA?
Leopards are available in Kenya’s Masai Mara and Samburu National Reserve. You can spot them in the savannah plains. Although much of the Masai Mara is open grassland and more suited for other cats, there is also prime leopard habitat along the area’s rivers.
Sightings of the Cheetahs are outstanding as it is a rare species to spot. It prefers flat and wide-open spaces where it can split and chase its prey.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE CHEETAH IN KENYA?
Cheetahs are spotted while on a game drive in Masai Mara especially during the afternoon game drive.
These are amazing herbivores to spot in the savannah rolling hills of Kenya’s game parks. They are the world’s tallest terrestrial creatures having long legs and seeing them is remarkable and you can see them on an afternoon game drive.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE GIRAFFES IN KENYA?
There are subspecies of Giraffe that you will see on a wildlife tour and these are;
- Rothschild’s Giraffe – present at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Lake Nakuru NP, and at the Giraffe Centre
- Reticulated Giraffe – present in Samburu National Reserve and Meru National Park
- Masai Giraffe – present in Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park
These are rare but if you get sightings of a pack of Wild dogs, then you have a remarkable tour experience. They are rare because the African wild dog is listed as endangered.
Sightings of Wild dogs are exciting and thrilling.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE WILD DOG IN KENYA?
On a wildlife tour in Kenya, you can spot the African Wild dog in Samburu and the Laikipia region. This is the second most important range for the Wild dog after Botswana.
These are most unique during the Great Wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara which is one of the last mass terrestrial wildlife movements. You can witness this, especially in August when you see crossings from the Serengeti into the Masai Mara.
This is when Masai Mara becomes busy.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE WILDEBEEST IN KENYA?
The Wildebeest is common in most game parks like;
- Masai Mara
- Amboseli National Park
- Meru National Park
These are black and white striped animals and mostly habit in savannahs, grasslands, woodlands, shrublands, and mountainous areas. You can see them in action during the animal migration into Masai Mara.
WHERE CAN YOU SEE ZEBRA IN KENYA?
You can the Zebra in most game parks though there are two subspecies that you can see on an afternoon game drive. There is the Grevy’s Zebra which is also known as the imperial Zebra.
The Grevy’s Zebra is best spotted in Samburu National Reserve and the Laikipia region and sighting the Grey’s Zebra is memorable while on a game drive. Zebras are also present in Masai Mara.
The Samburu Special 5
Samburu National Park in northern Kenya has an extraordinary landscape that supports animals that are uniquely adapted to the drier and rockier conditions. The major animals in this park are undoubtedly the Samburu Special 5 and these are;
- Gerenuk (Giraffe Gazelle)
- Somali Ostrich
- Grevy’s Zebra
- Reticulated Giraffe
- Beisa Oryx
There are also many other animals to spot during a Kenya wildlife safari, especially Elands, Hartebeest, and other antelope species.
Different Ways to See Wildlife in Kenya
The best way is the game drive in a 4×4 safari vehicle as you get clear up-close encounters of wildlife and experience the African wilderness.
Below are the different ways to see wildlife on a wildlife tour in Kenya.
|Activity||Best Places to do it|
|1. Hot air balloon safari||Masai Mara|
|2. Walking safari||Masai Mara and Samburu National Reserve|
|3. Camel safari||Laikipia and Samburu|
|4. Horseback safari||Laikipia|
|5. Mobile safari||Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park|
|6. Fly camping||Samburu|
|7. Quad biking||Samburu National Reserve|
|8. Helicopter safari||Samburu|
What Is the Best Time to Go for Kenya Wildlife Safari Tours?
Wildlife tours are good all year round though the best time is in the dry months or dry season when the tracks in the game parks are dry and easy to access. Afternoon game drives in safari vehicles can be rewarding as the African bush is short making game viewing easy.
The best time to see the great Wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara National Reserve is from July to October and animals cross the Mara River to Serengeti plains and you can observe this during Serengeti safaris.
Migratory birds are in the game parks from November to April.
What to Wear For a Kenya Wildlife Safari?
For an amazing trip, you should wear appropriately. Below is the best wear for when on Kenya safaris;
- Light long-sleeved shirts and trousers
- Light Shoes
- Cap or Hat
Packing List for Kenya Wildlife Safari Tours
To ensure that your Kenya amazing trip is a success, you need a right full packing list, and below are some of the essential things that you require.
- A good camera with extra batteries and memory cards
- Binoculars are good during a game drive.
- Day backpack
- Insect repellent
- Poncho or rain jacket
How Much Does a Kenya Wildlife Safari Cost?
The cost of a Kenya safari deeply depends on many factors especially the group size, activities like a game drive, accommodation that offers breakfast lunch, and dinner, number of days, season, etc.
However, if you come to tour Kenya in the off-season expect to spend around $300 per person per day and if it is the peak season, then the price can range from between $600 and $2000 per person per day.
You can expect to explore Masai Mara, enjoy an afternoon game drive, or a hot air balloon safari with an early morning and afternoon tea. Usually, this price is inclusive of a farewell dinner and safari lodges provide breakfast lunch, and dinner for the amazing trip.
Which Is the Best Wildlife Reserve in Kenya?
Maasai Mara National Reserve is the best reserve in Kenya. You can enjoy a hot air balloon safari experience with great game viewing. This reserve has abundant wildlife and hosts the Wildebeest migration, where thousands of animals cross the river to Serengeti Park.
It is part of the Tanzania extension of the Serengeti, and during Serengeti safaris, you can have a glimpse of Masai Mara.
Maasai Mara also has the Maasai people rich in Kenyan culture whom you can explore for a better cultural experience in East Africa. Tourists can also embark on an early morning and afternoon game drive for better wildlife viewing.
Any safari lodge in Masai Mara can offer afternoon tea in the wild to experience the African bush. They as well offer breakfast lunch and dinner.
How Much Does It Cost to go on a Wildlife Safari in Kenya?
Expect to spend around $300 per person per day during the off-season and if it is the peak season, then the price can range from between $600 and $2000 per person per day.
The price is usually inclusive of breakfast lunch and dinner.
How Much Does a Trip to Masai Mara Cost?
The Maasai Mara tour is an amazing trip that can be a bit costly. The amazing trip is based on the accommodation style as there are a few safari lodges in Masai Mara and are costly.
Maasai Mara safari lodges are exclusive and offer breakfast lunch and dinner. Considering the safari components, expect to spend around $250 to $350 per day. You can enjoy an afternoon game drive or a hot air balloon safari experience and get the best animal viewing.
Is Safari Better in Kenya or Tanzania?
Both destinations are amazing and offer the best wildlife safaris and it is better to visit both destinations.
The annual great Wildebeest migration happens in both countries with the Serengeti and Maasai Mara National Reserve. You can witness the migration in Masai Mara between August and November.
Masai Mara offers the best cultural experience when you visit the Maasai people who are rich in Kenyan culture.
Apart from Masai Mara, Kenya has other parks like Amboseli National Park, Tsavo East, Mount Kenya, Lake Nakuru, and Lake Naivasha national parks and Tanzania has Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, and the Ngorongoro Crater.
Both Kenya and Tanzania have amazing white sand beaches where you can relax and rest.
However, Kenya offers more budget safaris than Tanzania.
What Time of Year Is Safari Kenya Best?
The best time is in the dry season which is from June to October, and you can visit the Masai Mara to experience the African bush for the best game viewing. Tourists can enjoy game drives and see animals as they gather at waterholes.
Birdwatching is also good in Kenya especially from November to April as it is when migratory birds are in the country.
Which Is the Best Month to Visit Masai Mara?
The best month to visit Masai Mara in East Africa is between June and October as these are the driest months. They are good for safari game drives as animals gather at waterholes for the best game viewing.
Tourists should know that Masai Mara is an all-year destination. Animal migration, especially river crossings are best in September and October.
How Much Is an Average 10 Day Kenya Safari Cost?
The average 10 day Kenya safari costs around $5000 to $10,000. Usually, this price is inclusive of the best lodges, meals (breakfast lunch, and dinner), activities like game drives, transport in a safari vehicle, cultural experience encounters to enjoy the Kenyan culture, etc.
The safari cost is exclusive of the overnight flight to Kenya and visas.
Which Safari Is Better Masai Mara or Serengeti?
Both Masai Mara and Serengeti are great destinations for a safari in East Africa.
Masai Mara Safaris generally offer slightly more concentrated game viewing year-round. So, if you are short on time and want to see the most animals possible, then Masai Mara is probably the better option for your wildlife safari.
If you are on a tight budget, Masai Mara is cheaper than Serengeti National Park. But Masai Mara is also more crowded than Serengeti Park.
Budget Serengeti Safaris are best for an African Safari in terms of the mind-blowing vastness, and diversity of habitats. It also hosts the lion’s share of the Great Migration. You can also combine Serengeti safaris with tours to the Ngorongoro crater.
Both destinations offer the best game viewing during game drives or a hot air balloon safari experience.
What are the 10 Most Famous Wild Animals in Kenya?
The most famous wild animals in Kenya are.
· Zebra (Plains and Grevy’s Zebra)
· Rothschild’s Giraffe
Are there Lions in Kenya?
Yes, there are Lions in Kenya, and you can see them on a wildlife safari. They are best spotted in Masai Mara during an early morning or afternoon game drive. There are about 850 to 900 Lions in the Masai Mara National Reserve and the surrounding conservancies.
Are Tigers found in Kenya?
There are no tigers in Kenya.
Are there Crocodiles in Kenya?
Yes, there are Nile Crocodiles in Kenya, and you can spot them in water-logged areas, especially in Maasai Mara National Reserve on a game drive.
Where to Stay During Kenya Safaris | Accommodation in Kenya
Kenya safari tour lodges are categorized into 3 classes luxury, midrange, and budget accommodation. The accommodation choice depends on the tourist’s budget for the safari.
Most of the lodges have a swimming pool for relaxation and to enjoy, at least spend two nights. They offer breakfast lunch and dinner, and sometimes a farewell dinner.
Luxury Kenya Safari Lodges/Luxury Accommodation in Kenya
These offer high-class accommodation and services. Usually, they offer two nights and beyond and have a swimming pool on the lodge premises.
- Ol Donyo Lodge
- Lentorre Safari Lodge
- Tortilis Camp
- Sasaab Camp
- Saruni Samburu
- Kinondo Kwetu
Mid-range Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels
Mid-range safari lodges offer amazing services on a Kenyan safari though they don’t reach the ones of luxury safari lodges.
Some of the midrange lodges include; Governors, Mara Ngenche, Mara Intrepids, Voyager Ziwani Tented Camp, Ngulia Safari Lodge, Samburu Intrepids, Macushla House, etc.
Budget Kenya Safari Lodges
Budget safari Lodges in Kenya may not give you all the services the other classes of accommodation offer like having a swimming pool, but they provide amazing accommodation on a Kenyan safari.
These include Talek Bush Camp, Oseki Mara Camp, Tsavo Lodge Voi, Loyk Tsavo Camp, Flamingo Hill Tented Camp, Samburu Sopa Lodge, etc.
List of Top Safari Companies in Kenya | List of Tour Operators in Kenya
If you are planning a luxury Kenya safari tour, it is ideal to use a reputable tour operator. Safari companies in Kenya will customize for you a memorable Kenya safari tour full of experiences and excitement.
They organize luxury, standard, and budget safaris for all travelers and any safari in Kenya begins with pickup after the overnight flight, welcome dinner, and end with a farewell dinner.
Below are the best safari companies in Kenya;
- Prime Safaris And Tours Ltd
- Kenya Safaris & Tours
- Wild Gorilla Safaris
- Africa Safaris Tours
- National Parks Kenya
Popular Wildlife Safaris in Kenya
These wildlife safaris in Kenya are organized by top tour operators and they feature top destinations like Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park, Giraffe Centre, Lake Nakuru, and Aberdare National Park. They as well feature top safari activities.
Any tour in Kenya begins with airport pickup after your overnight flight, a welcome dinner, and end with a farewell dinner.
- 5 day Masai Mara Fly-in Safari
- 9 Day Budget Masai Mara, Serengeti Safari & Ngorongoro Crater – Tanzania & Kenya
- 10 Day Masai Mara, Serengeti Safari & Ngorongoro Crater – Kenya & Tanzania
- 10 Day Tanzania & Kenya Safari to Serengeti, Masai Mara & Beyond
- 12 Day Masai Mara & Serengeti Safari – Kenya & Tanzania Overland
- 12 Day Nairobi, Samburu, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara safari
- 12 Day Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater & Beyond – Kenya & Tanzania
Conclusively, wildlife safaris in Kenya offer the best African safari experiences with full excitement as Kenya has the best true African wilderness. You can enjoy game drives with sightings of the big game in the rolling savannahs especially the Big Five.
Wildlife safaris in Kenya can be combined with Tanzania safaris with a visit to Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater to guarantee you the real feeling of an African safari. They can also be combined with beach tours for you to relax and enjoy the tranquil environment and the breezes