Kenya epitomizes the safari destination with its big game, big skies, close-up bush encounters with the Big Five and ringside tickets to one of the wonders of the natural world, the annual wildebeest migration.

Originally the dream destination for big-game hunters, Kenya saw guns and pith helmets make way long ago for cameras and game drives, with the focus on conservation, responsible tourism and community empowerment. The country’s safari destinations lead the way in luxury eco-tourism. The national eco-rating scheme and annual Eco-Warrior awards promote and reward ‘green’ tourism.

What would be the definitive Kenyan picture postcard – dramatic Mount Kenya rising abruptly from the plains? Herds of magnificent elephant ambling past snow-tipped Mount Kilimanjaro? An aerial shot of the breathtaking Great Rift Valley? A majestic lion with its golden-eyed gaze or elegant giraffes ambling past flat-topped acacias?

Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, dreams over herds of elephant in iconic Amboseli National Park. The volcanic Chyulu Hills hide secret splendours in their caves and contours. The semi-arid Laikipia plateau boasts an abundance of wildlife in the conservancies, reserves and forests at the foothills of Mount Kenya, Africa’s next-highest mountain. Head north of the mountain to discover the home of Joy and George Adamson’s Born Free lions, Meru National Park, and find real wildness in Samburu National Reserve. Kenya’s most famous park, the Masai Mara, brings unparalleled drama as wildebeest in their thousands migrate north from Tanzania’s Serengeti.

This is also a twitcher’s paradise – birdwatchers from around the world marvel at the sheer diversity of birds in Kenya. Add to that some of the world’s best beaches and it is hard to beat this land of safari.

How better to wash off the dust of your safari than by heading for the Indian Ocean beaches? Diani Beach on Kenya’s South Coast repeatedly appears on lists of the world’s best beaches, for obvious reasons: tropical fish and coral reefs – check; swaying palms – check; turquoise waters – check; glittering white beaches – check.

The Kenyan people are rightly famous for their genuine warmth and hospitality. A smile and a kindly ‘Karibu!’ will welcome you, whether the speaker is clad in beadwork and shukas, colourful kangas or the latest, hippest fashions. Kenyans are simultaneously proud of their diverse traditional cultures and of their entrepreneurial energy and technological savvy – this is the country that brought cellphone banking to the world.

Nothing adds more spice to a journey than contrast. Cosmopolitan Nairobi, East Africa’s biggest city, with its energy and hustle, music and food, heritage buildings and high rises, and frankly insane traffic, seems a world away from the tranquil Nairobi National Park, the only game park in the world flanking a major city. Nairobi’s road network and airports are the gateway to more destinations in Kenya and the greater East Africa.

Accommodation in Kenya

Angama Mara

Award-winning Angama Mara is perched 300 metres above the floor of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, with spectacular 180˚ views that stretch for miles across the pristine Masai Mara National Reserve. This remarkable setting ensures unrivalled exclusivity, with a private airfield and a track directly down into the reserve – a mere 10-minute drive away. The estate comprises 700 hectares directly bordering the Mara Triangle, with 1,2 km of Rift Valley frontage, its own forests and simply masses of wildlife. A highly personal safari experience is guaranteed, with two intimate camps of just 15 tented suites each, tailor-made safari days and…

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Angama Mara
Accommodation in Kenya

Campi ya Kanzi

Campi ya Kanzi is the epitome of luxury eco-tourism and responsible cultural tourism. Owner Luca Belpietro is a pioneer of eco-luxury safaris: this exclusive camp delivers opulent comfort while winning awards for sustainable tourism with its support of the Masai Wilderness Conservation Trust, state-of-the-art solar energy and responsible water and waste management. With only eight luxury thatch-and-canvas tents, a bush spa and 280 000 acres of private wilderness, guests are guaranteed peace, privacy and personal attention, and can tailor-make their stay with bush picnics, guided game walks and drives, meditation, dawn flights over Kilimanjaro and more. Two luxury suites and…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Elsa’s Kopje

Built into Mughwango Hill, Elsa’s Kopje overlooks the site where George Adamson raised orphaned lion cubs. The boutique safari lodge is named for the first of these, the famous Elsa. (A "kopje" or "koppie" is an isolated hill.) While the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) revived the fortunes of Meru’s animals, Elsa’s Kopje re-established Meru as a top tourist destination. Guests still feel they have the wilderness to themselves as Elsa’s Kopje is one of only two lodges situated within the vast park. Atop its granite hill, the lodge enjoys 360° views. Elsa’s Kopje was opened in 1999 by Dr Richard…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Giraffe Manor

Elegant and stately Giraffe Manor transports you right back to the heyday of safari travel. Now an exclusive boutique hotel set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Giraffe Manor was originally built in 1932 and still has extraordinary appeal. With its stately facade, elegant interiors, verdant gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, Giraffe Manor is a luxurious, comfortable retreat. However, the most fascinating thing about it is the herd of resident Rothschild giraffe that roam freely around the grounds and may even pop their heads in the dining-room windows to…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Lewa Wilderness

Lewa Downs, the home of the Craig family since the 1920s, has gradually morphed from a family farm to an award-winning and exclusive wildlife conservancy. Set in breathtaking scenery in northern Laikipia, Mount Kenya dominates the views to the south while the stunning northern Kenya drylands stretch north to the Mathews Range. Plentiful African game dots the landscape in both directions. One fifth of all Grevy’s zebra are found on Lewa. Lewa Wilderness is more than a lodge, it is a home. Three garden cottages were built near the family house to host the first guests in 1972. The six…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Loisaba Tented Camp

Thanks to a recent refurbishment, Loisaba Tented Camp is arguably the most stylish cliffside retreat in the massive Loisaba Conservancy. Its remote position (two to three hours by road or a short flight from Nanyuki) adds a special pioneering element to the experience – once you have checked in, it’s easy to feel as though you’re the only people in Africa! Loisaba’s concerned commitment to conservation has raised substantially the wildlife population in the region – guests wanting to tick off the likes of elephant (more than 800 pachyderms call the conservancy home), giraffe, lion, buffalo and zebra have come…

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Loisaba Tented Camp
Accommodation in Kenya

Mara Bush Houses

Mara Bush Houses consists of three separate houses, each accommodating six people. This can get no more private: guests enjoy an intimate bush experience with an entire house to themselves, complete with wonderful staff to see to their every need. Each house comes with its own vehicle and guide, so the guests’ wishes shape each day’s game viewing. A guided bush walk gives children of all ages the chance to learn their bushcraft. The delicious home-cooked meals are flexible – dine ‘at home’ or take a packed meal for an extended game drive. Chefs cater to special dietary needs. The…

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Mara Bush House
Accommodation in Kenya

Mara Plains

A member of the Great Plains Conservation family of exclusive lodges, Mara Plains is a Kenyan under-canvas dream come true for any safari and wild animal enthusiast. Situated on the banks of the Ntiakitiak River in the 35 000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Mara Plains celebrates its East African heritage and sings a song of commitment to the communities of people and wildlife who have lived here for generations. The company’s ethos is all about low-impact tourism, from the sensitive lodge design that celebrates the nostalgia of traditional East African safaris to its minimised impact on the surrounds, low-vehicle density policy…

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Mara Plains
Accommodation in Kenya

Naboisho Camp

Owned by local Masai, the Naboisho Conservancy adjacent to the northern Masai Mara Reserve is simultaneously exclusive, in its restriction on tourist numbers and their impact on the environment, and inclusive. ‘Naboisho’ means ‘coming together’ in Maa and this is borne out in the coming together of tourists and community, game animals and livestock.   The conservancy was the overall winner, and winner of the Best Conservancy award at the 2016 African Responsible Tourism Awards for its governance, protection of wildlife and the direct benefits for the community created by the local people’s ownership and active involvement in its management.…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Ocean Spa Lodge

Fourteen airy and spacious thatched suites enjoy magnificent views of the turquoise waters and white sands of Ocean Spa’s private beach. Two fantastic family suites accommodate families or other groups. The decor is sophisticated yet understated, with locally sourced furniture and touches of Swahili style. The lodge accommodates a maximum of just 36 guests. The Sarunity Spa at the water’s edge reinvigorates jaded safari travellers with its wellness and beauty therapies, massages, yoga and fitness studio. Children will love the huge beachside pool, and the Water Sports Centre offers snorkelling, body boarding, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding for the energetic. More…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Rekero Camp

Located deep in the Masai Mara Reserve at the confluence of the Mara and Talek rivers, Rekero occupies the prime spot for watching the Great Migration. Watch the drama unfold from the comfort of the camp’s main deck or listen to hippo grunts and bird calls out of migration season. Rekero was set up by Jackson Ole Looseyia and Gerard Beaton, who grew up together in the region. The Beatons pioneered conservation in Kenya. Jackson’s father, Sayole, was a hunter turned game ranger and worked with Gerard’s father, Ron. As one of the presenters on the BBC television series, the…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Sabuk Lodge

Mount Kenya is visible across the Laikipia plains while the Mathews Range and the Karissia Hills dream to the north. Endangered African wild dogs inhabit Sabuk alongside elephants, lions, buffaloes and a host of other African mammals. The abundant birdlife rivals the game for beauty and diversity. Sabuk is co-owned and managed by Verity Williams, a professional safari guide with many years’ experience, who lives here with her family. The lodge melds exotic adventure and exclusivity with all the comforts of home, without sacrificing environmental sustainability. Guests may never want to leave the luxurious open-fronted cottages crafted from local driftwood,…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Sand River

Named for the river on which it sits, Sand River is deep in the Masai Mara National Reserve and close to the border with the Serengeti. Guests get up close to Africa’s stunning wildlife all year round, with added drama in migration season. Luxury combines with outdoor adventure – guests can choose soothing soaks in a copper-clad bath with the fun of an outdoor bucket shower. Interiors are sumptuous, with special touches like four-poster beds bedecked with mosquito nets and crystal glasses and decanters in each room. Wooden floors scattered with oriental carpets open onto decks facing the river. Each…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Saruni Samburu Lodge

Saruni is in the Kalama Community Wildlife Sanctuary, less than 10 kilometres from Samburu’s northern Kalama gate. Large herds of elephants traverse Kalama as they migrate back and forth from Samburu to reserves further north. Many other African animals may be spotted in the conservancy while guests regularly gasp at sight of the leopard resident in the bush near the lodge, and game drives to Samburu with its greater concentrations of game are sure to thrill. The lodge’s location on a rocky volcanic hill gifts guests with sweeping views of the beautiful arid terrain. Saruni’s architecture and decor is a…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Sasaab Lodge

Located west of Samburu and close to Buffalo Springs in the Westgate Community Conservancy, Sasaab employs Moroccan style with a touch of Swahili influence to excellent effect. The tents are designed to deal with the African heat and offer superb views. Colourful rugs and cushions and low tables carry the North African theme through to the decor of the large rooms, each with its very own private plunge pool and sumptuous open-air bathroom. Poised high above the Ewaso Ng’iro, guests can watch herds of elephant bathe and frolic in the river while drinking in the fantastic views across the Laikipia…

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Accommodation in Kenya

Tortilis Camp

Tortilis Camp is widely regarded as the very best safari camp in Amboseli for views of iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain. Situated on the southwestern edge of Amboseli National Park, facing the mountain and accessed from within the park, Tortilis overlooks its own private 30 000-acre wildlife conservancy, Kitirua. Away from the busy eastern side of Amboseli, and with its own private conservancy, at Tortilis you experience a wild and private Amboseli. This is a place where eco credentials meet luxury, and every element is designed for a minimal footprint. Built from local materials according to the strictest environmental…

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Itineraries in Kenya

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