Kenya

  • The Top 10 Destinations for an African Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    August 10, 2018

    The Top 10 Destinations for an African Safari

    When it comes time to plan your African safari adventure, it can be difficult to choose from the many fantastic safari destinations.

    While East Africa's Wildebeest Migration might be the star attraction, there are plenty of reasons to consider other options.

    Today, the Shadows of Africa team breaks down the benefits and drawbacks of the ten best African safari destinations.

    mountain nyala ethiopian wildlife

    #10 - Ethiopia

    Ethiopia isn't commonly thought of as a safari destination.

    The nation's most famous attractions tend to be of a historic nature, with images of iconic Gondar and Lalibela sure to come to mind first.

    However, it is perfectly possible to combine a cultural and historic exploration of Ethiopia with a safari to see its unique animals.

    Nowhere else in the world will your safari include black-maned lions, walia ibex, or gerada baboons. This makes Ethiopia a fantastic choice for those who have already 'been there, done that'.

    Pros: Unique wildlife. Fascinating history. Delicious food.

    Cons: Not a traditional safari destination. Recent political unrest.

    #9 - Rwanda

    What comes to mind when you think of a trip to Rwanda?

    Chances are, it's either gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park or visiting the haunting Rwanda Genocide Museum in Kigali.

    Did you know you can also combine the above with a Big Five safari in Akagera National Park? While the park was once something of an afterthought, the Rwandan government has recently made huge strides to import both rhinoceros and lions to bring the park back to its former glory.

    A perfect day trip from Kigali, a safari in Akagera can be tailored to also include a boat safari to make for something different.

    Pros: Easy day trip from Kigali. See gorillas, chimpanzees, and the Big Five in one trip.

    Cons: Wildlife numbers are low and Rwanda tends to be expensive.

    namibia-safari

    #8 - Namibia

    Namibia's stunning landscapes are amongst its biggest selling points. How can you not fall in love with the windswept Skeleton Coast or the towering dunes of Sossusvlei?

    While the tiny southern African can't quite compare with the 'big boys' when it comes to game drives, the country is still a fantastic safari destination in its own right.

    Etosha National Park, in particular, is attracting game enthusiasts from around the world with its towering elephants, the huge variety of bird and animal life, and its dramatic landscapes.

    When you combine this with the country's other significant charms, it becomes a very attractive prospect.

    Pros: Stunning landscapes. Very affordable.

    Cons: Long drives between destinations.

    zambia-elephant

    #7 - Zambia

    Like neighboring Zimbabwe, Zambia is perhaps best known as the home of the majestic Victoria Falls.

    But did you know that it is also a fantastic game drive destination?

    While it is certainly a bit more of an off-the-beaten-track destination than Zimbabwe, Botswana, or South Africa - Zambia's South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park are truly awe-inspiring game-drive destinations that can compete with some of the most famous safari parks on earth.

    Pros: Combine a safari with a visit to Victoria Falls. Off the beaten path charm.

    Cons: Off the beaten path translates into less information and infrastructure availability.

    zimbabawe-lion

     

    vic-falls-zimbabwe

    #6 - Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe is one of Shadows of Africa's most popular new destinations, with people from all over the world coming to witness the powerful Victoria Falls and explore this gorgeous country.

    It's a shame that so few people extend their trip to see more than just the falls, as national parks such as Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National Park offer fantastic game drive opportunity.

    Combine this with the history of Great Zimbabwe and the aforementioned Victoria Falls and you have a country that can boast being the complete package.

    Pros: Victoria Falls. Close to South Africa.

    Cons: Less developed tourist scene away from Victoria Falls. Political issues.

    queen-elizabeth-uganda

    #5 - Uganda

    Uganda was once dubbed the Pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill, and we certainly agree with that sentiment.

    No country in Africa can offer quite what Uganda does: world-class gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, terrific game drives, and the majesty of the mighty Nile.

    A perfect destination for those who have already visited Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa - Ugana's wild charm and variety of offerings makes it a great place to plan that second safari.

    Pros: The best place to combine gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and a Big Five safari.

    Cons: Poor road conditions, expensive domestic flights.

    botswana-safari

    #4 - Botswana

    One of the world leaders when it comes to wildlife conservation, Botswana is a truly world-class African safari destination.

    Chobe National Park is home to Africa's densest concentration of wildlife, Chobe is a conservationist's dream that can boast Africa's largest elephant population and some of the world's most stunning landscapes.

    Of course, there's more to a Botswana safari than just Chobe. Botswana is home to a number of other fantastic parks that are worthy of your time.

    Pros: World class conservation record. Africa's densest wildlife population.

    Cons: One of Africa's most expensive destinations.

    south africa cheetahs safari

    #3 - South Africa

    Arguably the most famous African safari destination, South Africa is justified in its popularity.

    Its diverse landscapes, fantastic beaches, world-class wines, and famous game parks make it a hugely popular destination.

    South Africa's level of development and the fact English is the primary language makes it an appealing destination for first-time safari travelers, but it also means a more crowded tourism scene.

    Still, Kruger National Park is justifiably considered one of the world's best safari parks, and the prospect of combining this with the stunning Garden Route, the popular South African wine regions, and the gorgeous beaches makes South Africa a great choice.

    Pros: English speaking nation, well-developed tourism market, and a variety of activities.

    Cons: Crowded market can make booking hotels difficult.

    amboseli

    #2 - Kenya

    Kenya often refers to itself as "Africa's safari capital", and the East African country absolutely has a claim to that mantle.

    Home to the world-famous Maasai Mara 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.

    Shadows of Africa offers a huge variety of Kenyan safari tours, so there is something for all walks of life.

    Pros: Home to the Wildebeest Migration in August-September. Views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Amboseli. Cheapest East African nation.

    Cons: Popularity means hotels sell out early.

    leopard-tanzania

    #1 - Tanzania

    The undisputed king when it comes to African safaris, Tanzania is home to the Wildebeest Migration for ten months of the year.

    It's also home to the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater, Africa's tallest mountain, and the gorgeous island paradise of Zanzibar.

    When it comes to putting together your dream Tanzanian safari, Shadows of Africa have you covered. We've been in operation here for almost a decade and know the country inside and out.

    Pros: The best place to see the Wildebeest Migration. Mt. Kilimanjaro. Zanzibar. Ngorongoro Crater.

    Cons: East Africa's most expensive destination.

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    With so many choices when it comes to planning your African safari, it can be difficult to find the right fit for you.

    Thankfully, Shadows of Africa has expertise in all ten of the above countries and can help find the perfect fit for you!

    Contact us to start planning your dream safari now!

  • A Day Excursion in Nairobi

    Lesia
    September 21, 2017

    What is there to do in Nairobi if you have just a one day layover? When visiting Kenya, proceeding on safari to the famous Masai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru or even Ol Pejeta is quite common; as we know Kenya is one of the most accessible countries in East Africa. Yet, if you have just a one night transfer in Nairobi for business and don’t have lots of time for the long safari carry on reading.

    nairobi-national-park-safari

    We have a solution for you! The capital of Kenya, Nairobi, can boast an opportunity to see wild nature without even having to go out of the city. Recently, our youngest team members loved their visit to Nairobi National Park, the Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Center.

    The Elephant Orphanage only allows visitors strictly between 11 and 12pm. Julia and Lesia from Shadows had adopted two young elephants in the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust about six months ago. It gave them an advantage to visit at 5pm when these cute creatures were getting ready for sleep. That is why they planned their day accordingly.

    david-sheldrick-wildlife-trust Wirh adoption certificates, February 2017

     

    At 8am, after a refreshing breakfast, they headed to Nairobi National Park for a short game drive and to be in time for the giraffe and elephant visits. It is quite a short drive to the park, but when it concerns Nairobi, you may need to be ready to deal with heavy traffic. Realistically, it takes around 40 minutes to get there.

    The most special thing about the Nairobi National park is the opportunity to observe wildlife right in front of the skycrapers. Just a short distance from the entrance, you can see zebras, giraffes, antelopes and African buffaloes. If you are lucky enough, you will get to see at least a couple of lions and even the endangered black rhinos. The ladies were more than surprised to observe around 7 rhinos at the same time! Elijah, from our Nairobi office, explained that in Nairobi National Park it is possibly the best place in Kenya to view these rare and endangered species. In stunning Nakuru National Park, you may only get a slim chance at seeing such a big group.

    rhinos-safari-kenya

    nairobi-rhinos-kenya

    The team also paid a visit to the Ivory Burning Site Monument, where more than 100 tons of ivory was burnt to hinder poaching.
    It was the largest ivory burn in history.

    After the game drive, the ladies visited the Giraffe Center, which is open from 9am up to 5pm. The center allows visitors to touch the giraffes and even feed them; but you need to be careful, these proud animals can hit you with their heads.

    giraffe-center-nairobi-kenya Julia in the Giraffe Center

     

    Finally, the most exciting part of the trip for Julia and Lesia was the visit to their adopted elephants Jotto and Malkia. They were saved by the David Shelrick Wildlife Trust and will be re-introduced back into the wild at the mere age of three. Any visitor of the orphanage can choose an elephant to sponsor. The minimum donation per year is just $50! This helps the foundation to supply babies with milk, food and to save more animals all around the Kenyan National Parks.

    elephants-orphanage-nairobi In hurry to get some milk

     

    The Trust is not just hosting elephants, but as well as warthogs, rhino and a giraffe. This is a great chance for you to be a part of rescuing and saving african species from extinction. Some of the guests adopted more than 5 babies and come regularly to visit them. There is even an opportunity to adopt elephants online; this means that you can make an appointment to visit your baby at 5pm, when there are not that many tourists around. Thereafter, they spent a fanstic evening enjoying the restaurants of Nairobi.

    Nairobi is definitely a city of contrasts. Here you will find everything - skyscrapers and slums, wildlife and traffic, a mix of nationalities and cultures. It is one of the most modern African cities with its own atmosphere.

  • The Ultimate Safari Packing List: What to Pack for your African Safari

    AdminSoa
    July 4, 2017
    When it comes time to pack for your safari, we've got the ultimate packing list as well as a guide to how to dress for safari.
  • Planning a Dream Honeymoon in Africa

    AdminSoa
    June 1, 2017
    Planning your dream honeymoon? The Shadows of Africa team can arrange something truly unforgettable across our huge selection of destinations.
  • Things to do at Lake Naivasha

    Chris Walker Bush
    March 11, 2017
    Lake Naivasha is a popular stop on Kenyan safaris due to its proximity to a number of other attractions. Read on to find out why it should feature on your itinerary.
  • Kenyan Tribes & Religions

    Chris Walker Bush
    June 1, 2016
    The tribes of Kenya define the nation, and we cover just a few of the diverse peoples who make the country so unique.
  • Yellow Fever Update

    Chris Walker Bush
    May 25, 2016

    Due to the recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in Angola and reported cases in both Uganda and Kenya, the Ministries in Health in Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania have issued a statement regarding the need for Yellow Fever vaccinations for all travellers wishing to enter these countries.

    In light of this recent development, we urge all Shadows of Africa clients to ensure they have had their Yellow Fever vaccination at least ten days ahead of their intended travel dates and have an up to date Yellow Fever vaccination card with them at immigration.

    An up-to-date Yellow Fever vaccination card is needed if entering Tanzania, Kenya, or Rwanda from another African country, even if you are just transferring through.

    If you are flying directly from your home country, you don't need to worry about this.

    The Yellow Fever vaccination lasts for ten years, so if you have had yours in the past decade, you'll just need your vaccination card.

    It's also important that your vaccination be up to date for health reasons. Yellow Fever is completely avoidable if vaccinated.

  • How to Book the Perfect African Safari Vacation

    Chris Walker Bush
    April 24, 2016
    Planning your dream safari trip? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you get exactly what you're looking for.
  • How to Apply for an East African Visa

    Chris Walker Bush
    January 18, 2016
    The new East African Visa allows entry into Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda on one visa, but how do you get one? We've got you covered!

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