An safari itinerary of Kenya reads like a roll call of Africa’s most iconic wildlife-viewing destinations. Seasoned Kenya safari veterans will tell you that this is where the modern safari began, and the country’s outstanding natural history comes with a side order of tradition and tall tales.
Kenya is a remarkably diverse country, shaped by ancient seismic upheavals, and a relatively short charter flight can see you land somewhere very different to your departure point. But let’s leave all of that up in the air for now, and concentrate on my favourite Kenyan game drive experiences.
Northern Kenya is a more arid region, with superb safari destinations like the striking Samburu. This is pachyderm country, and I always enjoy experiencing elephant encounters along the banks of the muddy Ngiro River.
Kenya’s topsy-turvy topography means that many of your safari moments will take place in the shadow of mountains (not least when you go on safari in the amazing Amboseli, below Kilimanjaro). Not all of Kenya’s high ground is quite so elevated, and I particularly enjoy exploring Meru (with the ghost of Elsa the lioness padding alongside) or being charmed by the rolling Chyulu Hills.
The undisputed ‘rock star’ among Kenya’s national parks is the Masai Mara. Going on safari here combines magical, misty evenings and the opportunity to watch the crescendo of forward motion that is the Great Wildebeest Migration crossing the Mara River.
At times it feels as though every single living thing is on the move, and in a safari vehicle you can join the migration and marvel at the wildebeest’s single-mindedness.