Kenya

  • The best Safaris from Mombasa

    Vika
    September 8, 2021

    When you are enjoying yourself on the stunning sandy beaches of Mombasa it's worth remembering: being on the African coast, you cannot miss the opportunity to experience one of the most important sights of Africa - a real safari in the bush! To help you plan we have listed the best safaris from Mombasa for you.

    It is super easy to add a safari to your beach trip - Shadows of Africa has the perfect safari for you - whether you are looking for a 1-day safari or a 15-day adventure - we have it all. With so many options to choose from, where should you plan your safari? No worries - we got you covered: Have a look at our favorite safaris starting in Mombasa.

    safari from Mombasa

    1. Minimum Travel & Maximum Safari: Shimba Hills

    Only 30 km from Mombasa - this trip will let you get a taste of safari without even having to pack an overnight bag! If you do not have a lot of time - or if you are not 100% sure yet a safari is for you: this will be the perfect taster! With a pickup and drop off at your hotel - you have nothing to worry about and you can enjoy the wonders of an African Safari - while being back at your hotel for dinner.

    Safari from Mombasa - One day trip to Shimba Hills

    2. Our grand tour from Mombasa!

    Divided by road and rail, adjacent Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks and the Amboseli offer a variety of landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife, all in abundance. This trip is designed to take you to all the highlights and have you spot the best possible wildlife!

    Safari from Mombasa - Tsavo East Tsavo West and Amboseli National Parks - Five days

    3. Overnight while listening to elephants trumpet and lions roar!

    If you want the full safari experience: but don’t want it to cut too much from your beach time, then our one-night safari in Tsavo East is for you! Spend two days in search of the famous ‘red elephants’, lions and of course all of Kenya’s wildlife!
    Spending a night in a tented camp or luxury safari lodge will be the highlight of your Mombasa trip and will make for unforgettable memories.

    Safari from Mombasa - Two days in Tsavo East National Park

    For a full overview of our safaris from Mombasa have a look here

    safaris from Mombasa

  • Where to stay in Mombasa: A guide to the best beaches in Mombasa

    Vika
    August 30, 2021

    Mombasa boasts some of the best beaches, not just the best of Africa but of the world. And despite its name "Kisiwa Cha Mvita" in local Kiswahili, meaning "Island of War", Mombasa’s beaches conjure a vision of endless white beaches and tropical paradise. And this certainly holds true!
    But where to stay around Mombasa - with 500 kilometres of beaches it is not always easy to find the best spot for you! To simplify your search and help make the right choice, we have written this guide to the best beaches in Mombasa.

    Best beach in Mombasa

    Not only are Mombasa’s beaches the ideal destination for sun and relaxation, but also the perfect base for a wide variety of water sports, and even whale watching! Thanks to its legacy as the largest port in East Africa, Mombasa is a cultural melting pot. British, Asian, Arabic, Omanis, Indian, and Chinese immigrants have enriched the city's architecture and cuisine, and many mosques and temples grace the city streets. And to top this off - Mombasa is located just a stone throw from some of the best safari parks in the world.

    Roughly, you can divide the beaches to the North and the South Coast. On the south coast of Mombasa, the beaches are lined with gorgeous palm trees and have incredible white sandy beaches. One of the most popular beaches throughout the southern coastline is Diani beach. Overall, the southern beaches offer more tourist facilities than the northern and are detached from the hustle and bustle of local life.

    The North Coast is located very close to the city - within ten minutes, you can immerse your feet in the sand. If you are keen to merge with local life - this is the place for you. Because of the proximity to the city, many locals visit the northern beaches. One downside is the persistent presence of the local beach boys - who are always ready to sell you something you need or do not need. Also, the beaches tend to be slightly rockier here than the ones in the south.

    NORTH COAST OF MOMBASA

    Nyali & Bamburi Beach

    The north coast of Mombasa is connected to the mainland by the Nyali Bridge, making it easily accessible and popular with locals. Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu, and Kikambala are four beaches with big resorts and hotels, and, full of life - visitors to the endless white sandy beaches and residents below sea level. Just off the coast is a stunning coral reef that ranks the north coast of Mombasa among the most interesting diving sites. The reef (for now) bursts with life. Divers dive along the reefs, walls, and on the wreck of the MV Dania. At low tide, you have a fantastic opportunity to walk to the outer reef, which is truly a unique experience, and swimming and other fun in the sea are possible at all times, regardless of the tide. And there are plenty of water activities here, in addition to diving, snorkelling, and swimming, there are many water activities available here, so you can spend a day full of adrenaline.
    The magical beauty of the coast and the beach lull you to rest in between, and you can end the day by visiting one of the top restaurants in the area.
    Or visit the historic Nyali Golf Course, where all guests of the north coast hotels can play squash or tennis in addition to golf.
    So the north coast of Mombasa is suitable for everyone - you will find many activities there, and at the same time you will be able to lie lazily on the beach and enjoy the beautiful views while sipping on a delicious cocktail.

    Kilifi

    Just under a two-hour drive from Mombasa is the charming town of Kilifi, perfect for a relaxing holiday, as Kilifi, despite the bridge that greatly facilitates access, is almost overlooked on the tourist map. You will meet locals, mostly Giriama and Chonyi from the Mijikenda tribe, as well as a few tourists.
    The central part of the city is the Kilifi stream, and in its estuary, you can observe thousands of birds and other riparian life.
    The town of Kilifi is set on beautiful white sandy beaches - Bofa beach, which is considered one of the most beautiful, uninhabited towns along the Kenyan coast, lined with palm trees, and the smaller Shauri Moyo beach on the south side of Kilifi Creek, ideal for sunbathing or active rest while engaging in one of the water sports available. Kilifi lies next to important archaeological sites, and the ruins of two 15th-century Mnarani mosques are worth a visit.

    white sand beaches in Mombasa

    Watamu

    A good two hours drive from Mombasa, along the picturesque road around the Marine National Park and Watamu Reserve, stretches for about 7 kilometers a beach of the same name. The three bays, Watamu, Blue Lagoon, and Turtle with white sand, constantly kissing the turquoise ocean in a light breeze that just sways the tops of palm trees, are not only breathtaking but also full of interesting activities.
    Stunning coral reefs stretch out just off the coast, part of the Watamu National Marine Park Protected Area. Here are some of the most beautiful diving locations in the world, the desire of every avid observer of the underwater world.
    Something special are the mangrove forests and tidal wetlands on the mainland, where you will enjoy watching many different birds. Perhaps the most important are the nesting grounds of three species of endangered turtles, here safe from egg poachers. Injured or sick turtles have also found shelter, increasingly threatened by plastic that floats in the oceans and is often mistaken for food, or they get fatally entangled in it.
    In this beautiful and diverse environment, pursue your favorite water sport, or try something completely new.
    After a day full of adventures, visit one of the great restaurants in the evening or treat yourself to a glass of your favorite drink while watching the sunset on the beach.

    Malindi

    Not far from Watamu, another half-hour drive north, is the 13th-century Swahili city of Malindi. In an idyllic setting, this place offers historical and cultural monuments and attractions in addition to activities along, on, and in the water. The styles of various previous periods are intertwined with modern comfort in an excellent mix of cultural, adrenaline, and relaxation offers.
    You will probably start your vacation on the white beach of paradise and go swimming in the ocean first. But you will soon be tempted by some of the activities on offer. Let’s say scuba diving along the branching coral reef here, for the less active perhaps a glass-bottomed boat ride which also reveals a wonderful underwater world that you can enjoy without having to get wet.
    Once you have soaked up the sea and tested yourself in enough water activities, treat yourself with an explorative trip to the cultural and historical background of Malindi.
    Ancient buildings tell the story of the city. Among the traditional village homes and local shops, we find churches, a palace, and a popular tourist attraction, the Jumaa Mosque. Imagination will be stirred by the sinister ruins of Gedi as you discover, layer by layer, the story hidden in the remains of homes and other buildings.
    For the perfect experience, head northwest to the Marafa Depression, where the ground is split by jagged sandstone gorges. When you see it, you know why its other name is “Hell’s Kitchen”. For a perfect contrast, visit the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, where you can see several species of endemic vegetation, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and insects.

    Island Lamu

    Founded in the 13th century, Lamu island has been continuously inhabited for over seven hundred years. It is proud to be one of the oldest and best-preserved remaining Swahili-tradition settlements in East Africa. It is a city and port just off the Kenyan shore some 250 kilometres north of Mombasa. It is also easily accessible by just a 40 minutes flight from Mombasa to the adjacent island of Manda.
    Nevertheless, a visit to the island of Lamu promises a break from the hustle and bustle and a rest in the most beautiful scenery, worth every postcard.
    If you are looking to stay away from anything too touristy or busy - and luxury facilities are not a must for you, Lamu island might be just what you are searching for. Slow visitors’ flow keeps this place filled with the charming flair of bygone times. The latter is emphasized by seeing locals riding donkeys to get around their daily chores - cars for personal use are on the island banned.
    Lamu Old Town represents the Swahili culture at its truest and finest - not a unique or single way of life and culture, but an ever enriched blend of traditions and cultures from whole Africa, Asia, and Europe. Walking the narrow streets among friendly and kind locals, visibly proud of their traditions, feels somehow surreal, like being a part of an exhibition - but amazingly fulfilling!
    The crescent-like southern shore of Lamu island's windward side is a long, long sandy dune. With no barrier reef to hold the waves, this is one of the few beaches in Kenya, where you can expect wind conditions to surf properly. Perhaps even hang ten! On the northeastern point of the completely uninhabited crescent, there’s this heartwarming, quite laid-back, artsy bohemian town of Shela. A completely different vibe as in Lamu Old Town.

    SOUTH COAST OF MOMBASA

    Diani Beach

    That is THE beach in Mombasa. Located 30 km outside of the city, the sparkling white sands and lush greenery of Diani are a fantastic material for films. It has been voted Africa’s best beach destination for the sixth time running since 2015 - there is simply no competition!

    The sandy beaches are wide, white and they stretch out as long as you can see. Beautiful coral reefs protect the beaches from heavy waves and offer fantastic snorkelling opportunities. You can also enjoy some great diving and plain old regular swimming here. It's also renowned for kitesurfing and deep-sea fishing.

    And when the sun sets - there is again plenty to do here. Diani offers the best coastal nightlife on the continent!
    And, as a cherry on top, combining your unforgettable beach vacation with a safari adventure is a piece of cake - for the cherry to put on! Nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve and Mwalunganje Elephant Sanctuary are both only a little over an hour’s drive away.

    The best places to stay in Mombasa

    Further south are more secluded beaches, Galu, Gazi, where you can walk among the mangroves or visit the Kenyan Institute for Marine and Fisheries Research, Msambweni, and the islands of Funzi and Che Chale. These beaches usually offer a more exclusive offer. There are also Shelly beaches near the ferry and Tiwi bordering Diani and Shimoni near the border with Tanzania.

    Best Beaches in Mombasa
    Evidently, there is the perfect place for everyone! Contact us today and book your trip to Mombasa and the Kenyan coast.

    Diani Beach best beach in Mombasa

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Kenya

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: July 2021

    Looking for the latest covid entry requirements to KENYA? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the latest covid entry requirements For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • All travellers are now required to show a negative Covid-19 PCR certificate conducted within 96 hours prior to arrival.
    • All travelers who wish to visit Kenya must complete an online registration form before departure. The “Travelers Health Surveillance Form”

    Note: Flights from the UK to Kenya are suspended, passengers who have been to or transited through India in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Kenya.

    Note: Travellers are to register their negative PCR test before departure. Trusted Travel Initiative. Persons travelling to Kenya from countries not using the Trusted Travel Initiative must use a tool made available through the Global Haven partnership for Covid-19 test result verification available here.

    The Kenyan government is taking the safety and health of our travellers seriously, and has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari. Kenya has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Kenya - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Kenyan Ministry of Health

  • Your guide to visit East Africa this summer

    Vika
    May 27, 2021

    Travelling to East Africa this summer - a great idea and a wise conclusion!

    To realize your great idea support your wise conclusion with updated information on pros, cons, and of course the latest Covid regulations. Daily updated and thoroughly checked information will surely help you to get an informed decision.
    Pros surely include fewer visitors, curious animals, a higher standard of service for a lower price, easily maintained social distancing, and more profound contact with nature.
    Cons may be different Covid protocols when entering each country.

    1. Tanzania


    The undisputed queen of African safaris, Tanzania, is home to the Wildebeest Migration for ten months of the year, it is where the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater shows off the unique wildlife, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain protrudes from the average, and the gorgeous island paradise of Zanzibar is being caressed by the sea.
    One of the advantages is "front row seats" for the great migration spectacle - dare to fight the croc for its bite? Pre-covid times witnessed rows and rows of cars waiting to catch a glimpse of nature's wonders, now great views are on display.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All travellers are now required to show a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate not older than 72 hours. Upon arrival, all travellers will be subjected to rapid Covid-19 testing. The cost of this test is 25 USD and will be paid by the traveller on location. You are required to fill in the health form, available online, before travelling.

    2. Rwanda


    This green heaven in the heart of Africa invites with its unparalleled treasures. Gorilla and chimpanzee trekkings are always on the top, you can spot all of the big five here, and don't forget the amazing birdlife as well.
    Volcanoes national park, Akagera, Nyungwe, or the newest Gishwati Mukura national park all have lots to offer, Lake Kivu shares a different perspective, just as a visit to the sombre Rwanda Genocide Museum in Kigali.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All arriving travellers are required to have a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure. Before arrival, you are required to fill in the Public Health Passenger Locator Form online and attach the PCR certificate. All passengers are required to stay 24 hours in quarantine, while passengers from India are required to complete 7 days in mandatory quarantine upon arrival at a designated quarantine hotel at their own cost.
    All travelers departing from Rwanda must test negative for Covid-19. A PCR test must be performed within 72 hours before departure. The Covid-19 test is not mandatory for accompanied children under 5 years.

    3. Uganda


    No country in Africa can offer quite what Uganda does: world-class gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, terrific game drives, all big five, bustling birdlife, and the majesty of the mighty Nile.
    Winston Churchill fondly called Uganda The Pearl of Africa, and we certainly agree with that sentiment, adding our cognition - Uganda's wild charm and variety of activities make it a great place to plan a safari.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    Arriving passengers will be subject to temperature checks and will be screened for infectious diseases by the Port Health Authorities. If a passenger shows signs or symptoms of any infectious disease they will be taken by ambulance to a local isolation centre to undergo a COVID-19 test at their own cost. Test results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours; passengers will be expected to remain at the isolation centre until the test results are returned. Passengers coming from India or being there less than 14 days ago, are not permitted to enter Uganda. Passengers from certain countries will have to undergo PCR testing on the border /airport at their own costs.
    Departing passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, issued no more than 120 hours before travel. The 120 hours begin on the day the sample is collected for testing.

    4. Kenya


    Often referred to as "Africa's safari capital", home to the world-famous Maasai Mara and hosting the famed Wildebeest Migration in August and September as well as boasting the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya is also an affordable and well-developed tourism market that is great for families or people traveling on a budget. Many different options to choose from in every rank, for every taste.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All arriving passengers must take the PCR test 96 hours before departure from the first embarkation point and present the negative test. You must complete the “Travelers Health Surveillance Form” online before departure.
    Currently, flights from the UK and India to Kenya are suspended until June 2021.
    Passengers who have been to or transited through India in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Kenya.

  • What camera to bring on safari

    Giulia
    March 30, 2021

    If you are wondering what camera gear to pack for your safari experience, look no further! Here is the comprehensive list of all the camera equipment and accessories you will need for your safari.

    This photography gear list is brought to you by our resident photographer Giulia Cimarosti, safari specialist at Shadows of Africa and professional photographer. Guilia also leads groups on our special photographic safaris in Tanzania.

    Generally speaking, depending on the device you use you can expect different results. Let’s go through some options:

    Mobile Photography on Safari

    You don’t have to own super pricey, professional equipment, however it’s quite safe to say that using a mobile phone to take photos during your safari won’t make good close-up images of the wildlife possible, no matter the phone’s model or quality.

    Mobile phones tend to have very poor zooming capabilities, however they can be great for African sunsets, photographing a herd in the landscape, and of course to take the occasional short video for social media, when a curious cheetah decides to climb on the vehicle!

    Keep in mind though that during your safari you won’t always get very close to the animals, so the best way to frame the subject is to use a zoom-telephoto lens on an actual camera.

    Cameras and Lenses on Safari

    If you want to take really good photos on your safari, make sure you bring your DSLR camera! A digital single lens reflex camera will allow you to use manual settings, adapting them to the lighting situation, the distance to the subject and the effects you want to achieve.

    Now you may be wondering what camera body is the best one, but the answer is not an easy one. There are cameras of all formats and brands, but they all have one thing in common: manual settings!

    The thing you need to concentrate on, when thinking about the right photography gear for safari photography, is what lens - or better, lenses - to bring.

    Zoom lenses

    The must-have kind of lens for safari photography is a zoom or telephoto. This is the kind of lens that allows you to zoom into the subject, making it appear closer. There are countless zoom lenses on the market, but make sure your telephoto lens has a focal length of at least 200 mm.

    • Budget
      28-300 mm or 70-300 mm lenses are good budget options for beginners.
    • Medium
      A 150-600 mm lens will allow you to shoot almost anything in daylight, taking your photography to the next level with a reasonable investment.
    • Pro
      A 70-200 mm f/2,8 prime lens, although the focal length is not extreme, is an excellent lens that will not disappoint.
      There are other lenses such 400 mm f/4 or even f/2,8 prime lenses which are top choices but at an extremely high price tag.

    If there is a lens worth an investment when planning to go on a photographic safari, it has to be the zoom!

    Medium and Wide Angle Lenses

    Although zoom lenses are the first ones that come to mind when thinking about safari photography, a wide angle lens also goes a long way when it comes to shooting the animals in their habitat, dramatic African skies and sunsets, and large herds moving during the Great Migration. Make sure you pack a wide to medium lens too!

    • Budget
      The 18-55 mm “kit lens” that comes with most camera kits works perfectly for this kind of photos. As a budget option, any kit lens works perfectly, actually!
      Lenses in the 10-24 mm range are much wider - another good option that will allow you to take creative photographs during your safari.
    • Medium
      A 15-30 mm f/2,8 wide lens is a high quality choice for landscape.
    • Pro
      The 24-70 mm f/2,8 is a “classic”, very sharp lens that never disappoints, allowing you to shoot landscapes (or good quality files to stitch in panoramas later on) and zoom into the subject too.

    Bear in mind that a good wide angle lens also allows you to take wonderful nocturnal photos of the clear skies of the savannah.

    Other accessories

    Now that you know what to use to shoot your safari photographs, let’s think about the accessories you shouldn’t forget:

    • Spare batteries. Although all our vehicles have charging stations to recharge your batteries during the game drives, having one or two extra batteries is always a good idea to keep shooting without a single worry!
    • Memory cards. Believe it or not, I can guarantee you will find yourself shooting dozens and dozens of photos to the same animal or scene. It’s easy when you have lions posing for you, or a hunting scene taking place. So pack extra memory cards!
    • Battery charger. There are regular battery chargers and also double battery chargers that work with USB and/or car power outlets. I like these, as you can charge 2 batteries at once.
    • Protection for your camera gear. The savannah is dusty, and dust is the real enemy of cameras and their sensors. Try to keep everything protected from dust except what you are using. Camera bags or pouches/cloths will work great.
    • Cleaning kit. A full kit includes the sensor cleaning kit and tools to remove dust and clean the camera. Try to keep everything clean by gently removing the dust every day after the game drives. Please note: the sensor tends to get dirty with all the dust of the safari, but at the same time cleaning the sensor is a very delicate task so don’t risk it if you are not sure how to do it!

    Are you ready to embark on your photographic safari adventure? Please let us know if you need more suggestions and information about what camera gear to pack for your safari. We look forward to having you travel with us!

  • What is the Best Safari in Kenya?

    Chris
    January 23, 2020

    Where Can I Have the Best Safari in Kenya?

    When it comes to planning the best safari in Kenya, logistics makes things a little bit confusing.

    Unlike Tanzania, where the entire Northern Circuit can be packed into a five-day itinerary, Kenya's diverse landscapes mean that you'll often be forced to choose between parks. Will you see the red elephants of Tsavo or the Special Five at Samburu.

    In a perfect world, you'll have the time to just visit all of them. We know that isn't always realistic, especially if you're planning a safari on a budget.

    To make the decision easier, we've selected the highlights of each of the major Kenyan national parks. You can mix and match with your safari expert to design the perfect itinerary!

    Are you planning a Kenya safari? Here is the best safari in Kenya to help you plan your Africa safari trip! #kenya #safari #africa #travel

    The Maasai Mara

    No visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit to the world-famous Maasai Mara. Home to the Wildebeest Migration for 3-5 months of the year, the sprawling Maasai Mara is the quintessential safari destination.

    As Kenya's most popular safari destination, the Maasai Mara is home to a huge variety of accommodation. From budget tented camps on the outskirts all the way up to luxury lodges on the Mara River, there truly is something for all budgets.

    Even if you aren't visiting during the Wildebeest Migration (August - October), the Maasai Mara remains one of the best places in the world to spot the Big Five. You might even get lucky and spot African Wild Dogs!

    Private Conservancies

    While the Maasai Mara is a massive park in its own right and has a wealth of accommodation options, those looking for a more luxurious, secluded safari may want to consider the various private conservancies in the area.

    Many of the lodges and camps within these conservancies offer game packages inclusive of game drives, activities, meals, and alcohol. You can even purchase these packaged with flights to and from Nairobi.

    While you'll get an undoubtedly unforgettable luxury experience in such conservancies, it's important to note that even private conservancy guests will need to enter the Maasai Mara proper in order to see a river crossing on the Mara River.

    flamingos lake nakuru lake bogoria kenya

    The Lakes (Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, and Lake Bogoria)

    Often combined with the Maasai Mara due to their placement between Nairobi and the Mara, Naivasha, Bogoria, and Nakuru can be combined into a two night/three-day extension that can add a lot of depth to your trip.

    Lake Nakuru National Park is the only one of the lakes to be a true national park. While it is no longer home to the flamingos that once made it famous, the park is nonetheless an excellent place for a game drive - especially if you're interested in seeing rhinoceroses.

    Remember those world-famous images of massive flocks of flamingos on Lake Nakuru? The flock might have moved on, but it can still be seen in Lake Bogoria. You won't find a lot of big game here, but Lake Bogoria's resident flamingos are a drawcard all of their own.

    Last, but certainly not least, Lake Naivasha is one of Shadows of Africa's favorite places. Overnighting on the shores of Lake Naivasha gives you the chance to take a boat safari and/or a walking safari in nearby Crescent Island Game Sanctuary.

    Hell's Gate National Park

    Located a short drive from most Lake Naivasha hotels, Hell's Gate National Park is a geologically active park with a unique volcanic landscape that is said to have inspired the landscapes in The Lion King.

    With no big game to worry about, Hell's Gate National Park is a terrific place to enjoy a bike ride or hike. You can even go rock climbing here!

    If you're looking for a break from the safari car, a day exploring Hell's Gate is a must.

    amboseli national park mount kilimanjaro kenya tanzania

    Amboseli National Park

    Amboseli National Park is home to the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro you'll find in either country.

    Located on the Kenya-Tanzania border, Amboseli is often used as a bridge between the Tanzanian and Kenyan legs of a safari. Where better to photograph elephants than against the backdrop of the Roof of Africa?

    Even if you aren't visiting Tanzania, it is possible to include Amboseli National Park in a five-day Kenyan itinerary. You can combine it with Lake Nakuru and the Maasai Mara to get a more diverse safari experience.

    Tsavo East & Tsavo West

    Often overlooked due to being a bit more 'out of the way', Tsavo East and Tsavo West lie between Amboseli National Park and the Kenya Coast.

    Combined, Tsavo East and Tsavo West account for 4% of Kenya's total landmass, making them one of the world's largest national parks. While they are home to the Big Five, their isolation and the relative sparsity of wildlife means they aren't recommended for first-time visitors.

    Tsavo West's unique blend of landscapes makes it a surreal place to visit. Extinct volcanoes, swamps, rolling plains, and natural springs combine to create an almost alien environment. While lower wildlife density might be off-putting, world-class birding and the distinctive landscape make it a photographer's dream.

    Neighbouring Tsavo East is semi-arid and can boast better wildlife viewing due to the lack of vegetation. It is here you'll find the famous red elephants of Kenya, whose habit of taking dust baths in the ruddy earth lends them a martian hue.

    If this isn't your first safari or you've got a few extra days, a trip to the twin parks of Tsavo West & Tsavo East can be a great way to add something unique to your trip.

    Samburu National Reserve

    Samburu

    Wild and rugged Samburu is home to Kenya's unique "Special Five". The special five include the reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, Somali ostrich, Beisa Oryx, and Gerenuk. These five animals cannot be seen together anywhere else in the world.

    Samburu is often combined with the Maasai Mara to form a Big Five and Special Five safari. It is ideal for those wanting to get off the beaten track and see something different.

    Buffalo Springs

    Along with nearby Shaba Game Reserve, Buffalo Springs lies in the same ecosystem as Samburu. Boasting the same rugged charm and unique wildlife, it is even more off the beaten track than Samburu.

    Buffalo Springs is usually recommended for those taking an extended safari in the Samburu region, as it does not offer anything that more accessible Samburu doesn't.

    masai people kenya maasai mara

    Ol Pejeta/Sweetwaters

    Ol Pejeta (otherwise known as Sweetwaters) is the ideal inclusion for a family safari in Kenya.

    Part resort and part private reserve, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to something for everyone.

    First and foremost, Ol Pejeta is a terrific game-viewing destination. It is home to the highest density of wildlife in Kenya after the Maasai Mara. It is also home to the largest black rhinoceros sanctuary in East Africa. You'll even find two of the last Northern White Rhinoceros in the world here!

    Ol Pejeta is also home to a group of 37 chimpanzees, making it a great place to see our closest living relatives without having to take a trek to Uganda or Rwanda.

    There is also the opportunity to track lions on foot, spot endangered African wild dogs, go hiking or cycling, go horseback riding alongside rhinos, take night game drives, and so much more.

    mount kenya aberdare national park kenya

    Aberdare National Park/Mount Kenya

    An often-overlooked gem in Kenya's north, Aberdare National Park is a heavily forested, mountainous park famous more for its treehouse-style accommodation than wildlife viewing.

    It was here that Queen Elizabeth was vacationing when she became Queen, and the romance of that story still draws tourists to the park. We even offer a Royal Tree safari to recapture that magic.

    The park is technically home to the Big Five but a trip to Aberdare is more about the experience than the quality of game viewing. It offers unparalleled serenity in a unique, mountainous environment not found anywhere else in Kenya.

    Climbing Mount Kenya

    Africa's second-highest mountain isn't quite as famous as Mount Kilimanjaro, but Mount Kenya is worthy of your attention It may even be preferable to Kilimanjaro if you're looking for a more challenging and less crowded experience.

    Climbs range in length from 3-5 days, with different routes offering different levels of difficulty.

    maasai people mombasa kenya coast malindi watamu

    The Kenya Coast

    Zanzibar in Tanzania maybe East Africa's most famous beach destination, but don't sleep on Kenya's coast. There are some who even argue that the beaches of Malindi and Watamu are better than anything you'll find on Zanzibar.

    Accessible by overland transfer (via Tsavo East & West), train, or flights from Nairobi or the Maasai Mara, the Kenyan coast boasts similar white sand beaches and turquoise waters with much more competitive pricing than you'll find on Zanzibar.

    While crowded Mombasa isn't the ideal beach destination, there are gorgeous resorts in nearby Watamu and Malindi made for rest & relaxation.

    Which Kenya safari is the best? Here's how to plan the ultimate safari in Kenya for your trip to Africa! #kenya #africa #safari #travel

    Why Choose?

    Of course, if you've got the time and the budget, it's totally possible to visit all of the above parks in a single itinerary.

    Our ten-day Complete Kenya safari visits the lion's share of the above parks, but speak with your Shadows of Africa safari expert about creating an itinerary that covers the width and breadth of Africa.

  • 5 Differences Between Tanzanian and Kenyan Safaris

    Chris
    November 30, 2019
    What are the differences between Tanzanian and Kenyan safaris? We highlight the five biggest differences between the two safari destinations.
  • Taking a Lion King Safari in Tanzania and Kenya

    Chris
    July 29, 2019
    Disney's The Lion King has made more and more people curious about Africa. Why not take your own Lion King safari to see the animals in person?
  • Planning a Safari During Rainy Season

    Chris
    March 8, 2019
    Planning a safari during rainy season might not seem like a great idea, but Shadows of Africa has some tips on how you can experinece Africa year round.

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