For many of us, consciously or subconsciously, we think of a safari, and Kenya comes to mind.
In part, we can thank Hollywood for its unforgettable rendering of Karen Blixen’s Kenyan farm in “Out of Africa.” But, beyond the silver screen, the history of the traditional African safari has played out in Kenya on a world stage for over 100 years and has shaped our sense of what a safari is and who takes it. Our collective interest began with early twentieth century accounts by adventurers Theodore Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway, continued with the mid-century drama of a young Princess Elizabeth learning of her father’s death and her ascension to the throne while she was on safari in Kenya, and endures today with ongoing conservation stories like that of Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her late husband David Sheldrick, and their tireless work championing Kenya’s elephants.
This irresistible blend of history, glamour, and heart has drawn countless visitors on safari to Kenya’s wild places. In 2010, Kenya passed the 1 million visitors a year mark, and continues to exceed that number annually, in spite of fluctuations due to security and poaching concerns.
But why does a tour operator like Bushtracks recommend Kenya to our travelers?
1. Great Gateway to Eastern Africa Exploring Kenya and Beyond
Loisaba Lodge, Laikipia Plateau
When planning your safari, Nairobi is the gateway to Eastern Africa. Our goal is to expose you to the most diverse habitats and cultures while you are in Africa. So when we build a safari starting in Nairobi, we can easily connect you to not just Kenya, but also Uganda and Tanzania, and make the most out of your precious time in Africa.
2. Private Reserves Away from the Crowds Near National Parks
Satao Elerai, View of Mount Kilimanjaro in Amboseli National Park Kenya
Kenya, unlike neighboring Tanzania and Uganda, offers a number of private reserves that border its famed national parks. So we can offer guests a more private view of Kenya, away from the crowds, while still having the option to do game drives inside the national parks as well. For example, to get you close to Amboseli National Park, with great views of Mount Kilimanjaro, we’d recommend Satao Elerai, a 5,000 acre private conservation just 7 miles from Amboseli. Not only are you staying at a place which only accommodates 34 guests, you also are able to view wildlife in private surroundings, in vehicles and on foot – activities that lodges within the park do not permit.
3. Exceptional Wildlife, Cultural and Hot Air Balloon ExperiencesBaby elephants at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust orphan elephants project
In addition to first-class game-viewing, there are some things unique to Kenya. You can help restore Kenya’s elephants by visiting The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, meeting conservationists and fostering a baby elephant.
Or you can soar over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon – one of few places in Africa for ballooning.
Maybe most notably, you can explore northern Kenya with Samburu guides and southern Kenya with Maasai guides, allowing you to get to know not only their distinct ecosystems, but alongside the people who know them best.