Kenya Attractions

  • The Big Five, Small Five, Special Five, and Big Seven: What Are They?

    Chris Walker Bush
    May 24, 2019
    Everybody on safari talks about spotting the Big Five, but do you know what they are? What about the Special Five, Small Five, and Big Seven?
  • How to Plan The Ultimate Lion Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    August 10, 2018

    Planning the Ultimate Lion Safari

    When people think of African wildlife, a variety of images probably come to their minds.

    The colossal silhouette of an African elephant against the backdrop of thorny acacia trees.

    Long-necked giraffe or stealthy leopards.

    But for most, the regal lion is the most enduring symbol of Africa, and they come from all around the world to experience their own lion safari.

    But if you're as obsessed with lions as we are, where is the best place to go for a lion safari?

    Do you want to see lions on your African safari? Here's how to plan the ultimate lion safari on your travels to East Africa! #lion #safari #africa #travel #tanzania

    Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

    One of two places in the world that can proudly boast being home to tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park is a popular choice for Tanzanian lion safaris.

    During the annual wet season (April - May), the park comes alive with life as all manner of wildlife flock to the lake's shores.

    Hippopotamus and water birds are popular sights in the park, but it is its resident tree-climbing lions that make it a good lion safari destination.

    Believe me, you haven't seen a lion until you've seen it lazily lounging in the branches of an umbrella acacia!

    When to Visit: April, May, or November.

    Where to Stay: Check out our fantastic Lake Manyara accommodation guide!

    What to See: Hippos, water birds, and tree-climbing lions.

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    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    The other park that can boast tree-climbing lions, Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is a popular spot between Kibale's chimp trekking and Bwindi's gorilla trekking.

    The park's Ishasha sector is especially popular, as it is here that you can find prides of lions relaxing in trees between meals.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park is arguably Uganda's best safari park, but it's especially popular as a lion safari destination. It's the perfect stop on the road to Bwindi!

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: There are some fantastic lodges in Queen Elizabeth, but Enjojo Lodge puts you closest to the action!

    What to See: Lions, elephants, antelope, and chimpanzees.

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    Maasai Mara, Kenya

    One of Africa's most famous safari destinations, Kenya's Maasai Mara is a fantastic place to spot lions in the wild.

    While only home to the Wildebeest Migration for a few months of each year, the Maasai Mara is a top-class lion safari destination regardless of what time you visit.

    The best part about the Maasai Mara is how affordable accommodation can be during the off-peak season, with luxury lodges for the price you'll pay for a regular tented camp across the border!

    When to Visit: Year-round for lions or in August/September for the Migration.

    Where to Stay: There are too many Maasai Mara lodges to count! Our favourites are Sopa Maasai Mara, Ashnil Mara, Mara Leisure, and Ol Moran.

    What to See: The Big Five, African wild dogs, and the Wildebeest Migration.

    lions tanzania babies

    Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    The piece de resistance when it comes to lion safari destinations, the Serengeti is Africa's most stunning wilderness and the home of the annual Wildebeest Migration.

    With an abundance of Serengeti accommodation options and something to be seen throughout the year, it is the ultimate safari destination.

    The Seronera region, in particular, is known as 'big cat country', and the famous Simba kopjes are said to have inspired Pride Rock from The Lion King!

    When to Visit: Year-round. Check out our post on when to visit the Serengeti.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Serengeti accommodation guide for some great ideas.

    What to See: The Big Five and the Wildebeest Migration.

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    Akagera National Park, Rwanda

    You don't need to take an international flight to see lions while in Rwanda.

    Akagera National Park is now home to a pride of 14 lions, making it possible to embark on a lion safari as a day trip from Kigali!

    While not of the same quality as a safari destination as the Serengeti or Maasai Mara, Akagera National Park is the perfect option if you're in Rwanda and need more to do than 'just' gorilla trekking.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Consult your Shadows of Africa safari expert for Akagera accommodation recommendations!

    What to See: The Big Five, Nile Crocodiles, and water birds.

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    Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

    If you want to see a kill, there are few places better than the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

    Rare are the days where guests on safari in Ngorongoro Crater don't see a pride of lions guarding a fresh kill against hyenas looking for an easy meal.

    When you add the spectacular backdrop of the soaring crater walls, you've got a recipe for an unforgettable lion safari.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Ngorongoro accommodation guide.

    What to See: The Big Five, especially rhinos.


    Planning a lion safari? Reach out to your Shadows of Africa expert and let them help you design the perfect itinerary!

    Want to experience a lion safari in Africa? Here's how to see lions on your travels to East Africa! #safari #africa #lion #travel

  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Experience Tribal Culture with Cultural Tours in East Africa

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 30, 2017
    There is more to East Africa than world-class game drives and stunning landscapes. A cultural activity is a great way to learn more about the tribes and cultures of East Africa.
  • East African Destinations for a Family Safari

    AdminSoa
    May 8, 2017

    Planning a Family Safari

    Planning a safari for your family can be a stressful affair. You've not only got to consider your own safari ambitions, but also the shorter attention spans of your younger travelers.

    While we've written before about how to plan a family safari, we thought we'd highlight some must-see destinations when it comes to entertaining young and old alike.

    From learning about Maasai culture in Tanzania to walking with giraffes in Kenya to beach escapes in Rwanda, there's a little something for everybody in East Africa.

    Don't leave the kids at home! You can plan an east Africa family safari in Kenya and Tanzania. There are plenty of family safari activities to enjoy with your kids! #familytravel #safari #africa #tanzania #kenya

    Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

    This former cattle ranch is today a beacon for conservation in East Africa. Not only is Ol Pejeta the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, it's also home to some of the world's last remaining white rhinos.

    The conservancy is also home to a large variety of other animals, including plenty of Africa's iconic big cats and a chimpanzee sanctuary.

    The opportunity to go on a game drive, visit the chimpanzee sanctuary, and meet Najin, Fatu, and Sudan (three of the world's last white rhinoceros) are the highlights, but there's more!

    Night game drives, lion tracking, bush walks, birding, and plenty to occupy young and old alike make Ol Pejeta a premier family safari destination.

    Lake Naivasha, Kenya

    While it's not a national park in its own right, Lake Naivasha is a regular inclusion on Kenyan safaris.

    Located between Lake Nakuru National Park and the Maasai Mara, Lake Naivasha is often included as a stop due to its abundance of comfortable lodges, its beautiful scenery, and its proximity to a variety of Lake Naivasha attractions.

    Key among these attractions are the opportunity to take a boat ride on Lake Naivasha to see hippos and a variety of birds.

    You can also pay a visit to the Crescent Island Sanctuary, where kids can wander alongside giraffes, zebras, and antelope.

    Nairobi, Kenya

    Nairobi is a common starting point for safaris in both Kenya and Tanzania, but the Kenyan capital is also full of exciting activities for families.

    Our half-day Nairobi tour and full-day Nairobi tour pack in a variety of activities including the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Centre, Bomas of Kenya, and more.

    Why not add a day in Nairobi to the start or finish of your safari?

    Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya

    Located a short drive from Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, and Nairobi - Hell's Gate National Park is often thought of as a playground for those who love extreme outdoor activities.

    While rock-climbing and hiking might be a bit much for a young family, Hell's Gate's unique landscape and lack of predators make it a great place for a relaxed family excursion.

    Renting a bike and traveling through Hell's Gate is a great way to see Africa up close. You can also visit the local hot springs and even camp!

    Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Africa's premier beach playground is tailor-made for families.

    With a variety of resorts catering to all budgets and all walks of life, there's something for everybody on Tanzania's spice island.

    Whether you're looking to relax in luxury, take excursions for snorkeling, or learn more about the island's history - there is plenty of things to do in Zanzibar.

    Africa Amini Maasai Lodge, Tanzania

    Authentic cultural experiences can be difficult to come by while traveling. With many locals realizing the value of tourism, there has been a rise in 'fake' attractions aimed at selling souvenirs.

    Thankfully, Africa Amini Maasai Lodge near Arusha has filled this niche. A not for profit organisation aimed at bettering the lives of local Maasai, Africa Amini Lodge combines luxury with an authentic cultural experience.

    At this beautiful lodge, adults and kids alike can participate in Maasai led activities such as guided nature walks, traditional craft lessons, local food, spear throwing, music, and dance.

    Arusha National Park, Tanzania

    Not as popular as the Serengeti or Lake Manyara, Arusha National Park is nonetheless worthy of inclusion on your safari.

    Without any predators to worry about, visitors to Arusha National Park can trade the car for the open air - with both walking safaris and canoe safaris available.

    There's plenty to do in Arusha National Park, and it's thoroughly worth including in your trip if time allows.

    Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

    While Murchison Falls National Park is a little out of the way compared to Uganda's other popular parks, there are plenty of reasons why your family will love the park.

    Not only is the park home to some of Africa's most iconic animals, but the waterfall from which it takes its name is worth a visit.

    Murchison Falls is the world's most powerful waterfall, and the chance to witness its power up close and take a cruise on the Nile are this park's big selling points.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    Located on the drive between Kibale Forest National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's premier game drive destination.

    Famed for its tree climbing lions, the park's open plains are also home to a variety of other animals and an equally huge variety of lodges and camps.

    A highlight of any visit to the park is the chance to take a boat safari on Kazinga Channel to see elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a huge variety of birds.

    Lake Kivu, Rwanda

    Rwanda's main attractions - chimpanzees and gorillas - aren't available to kids under the age of twelve, but there are still reasons to visit The Land of 1,000 Hills.

    Lake Kivu is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in all of East Africa - the perfect place for a beach escape without the ocean.

    The shores of Lake Kivu are dotted with gorgeous accommodations ranging from luxury lodges to quaint B&Bs, and there are a variety of local cultural activities to participate in.

    Iby Iwacu Cultural Village, Rwanda

    Located in Musanze, the Iby Iwacu Cultural Village is a project by reformed poachers to raise awareness of traditional Rwandan culture.

    Visitors to this cultural park can try traditional food, see displays of local dance and music, learn about traditional culture, and even try their hand at being King or Queen for a day!

    Are you planning an East African safari with your family? Here are some awesome safari activities for kids and families of all ages in Tanzania and Kenya! #Safari #kids #family #familytravel #tanzania #kenya #africa

     

  • 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.
  • Optional Activities in Kenya

    Chris Walker Bush
    January 17, 2016
    There's so much more to Kenya than just world-class game driving. We've got an exhaustive list of optional activities to add to your Kenyan safari.
  • The Wildebeest Migration of Kenya and Tanzania

    Chris Walker Bush
    December 12, 2015
    Each year more than a million animals make the perilous journey from Tanzania's Serengeti to Kenya's Masai Mara. The Greatest Show on Earth is a must-see for any safari enthusiast.
  • Why Travel to Kenya

    AdminSoa
    December 3, 2015
    Kenya is widely considered to be one of the most accessible safari destinations in the world. With Nairobi International Airport located within driving distance of the nearest national park, you can land in the morning and be on safari by the afternoon.

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