Spying the Big Five on safari. Witnessing wildebeest charging across a river during the Great Migration. The distant roar of lions against the backdrop of a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Kenya lays claim to many a spectacular wildlife experience and here are three of the best places for a wonderful animal encounter…
Every July and August, the Masai Mara plays host to probably the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world, with over a million wildebeest making their way from the Serengeti in Tanzania in search of grass-covered plains to feed on. But it’s not all about the Great Migration – the Masai Mara is an acacia-dappled playground for the Big Five and a healthy supporting cast of baboons, warthogs, vervet monkeys and over 500 species of birds, including vultures, common ostriches and the African fish eagle. All you have to do is head out on foot or in a 4×4 from a safari camp like Ol Seki Hemingways Mara Camp and let nature put on a show for you.
Nestled in the foothills of Mount Kenya, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy lies in the vast plains of Laikipia. A stay at Lewa Wilderness puts you in the heart of this wild land, which is one of Kenya’s greatest conservation success stories. In 2014, the fence bordering Lewa and the neighbouring Borana Conservancy was removed, making for a fresh, enlarged haven of nearly 100,000 acres for endangered animals like black rhino and Grevy’s zebra to explore. White rhino can also be spotted here, as well as the Big Five, while the lush, waterfall-streaked Ngare Ndare Forest provides an alternative landscape that acts as a crucial corridor for elephants.
A mosaic of landscapes make up the Chyulu Hills, including open grassland savannah, lakes, forests, emerald volcanic hills and cloud forests. This makes it a paradise for a rich array of wildlife – cheetahs and elephants play the starring roles here but keep your eyes peeled for bushbucks, buffalos, elands, leopards and giraffes as you wander this varied land. A stay at Ol Donyo Lodge will guarantee it as a wilderness which will stay with you forever, especially as this part of Kenya often dodges the limelight that some of the more well-known parks receive. So, instead of being joined by crowds of people, you’ll be wandering this wild place with herds of amazing animals.