How to Plan Your Kenya Safari

How long your Kenyan safari should be, depends on how many days you have, your budget and your level of interest in wildlife and nature. As a very rough guideline, most safari visitors spend between 5-12 days on safari.

It is important to spend some time to experience the parks you visit. We usually recommend a minimum of three nights at Masai Mara, two each at Amboseli, Ol Pejeta, Lake Nakuru and Samburu, and one each at Nairobi National Park, Lake Naivasha.

The Masai Mara eco-system is the cornerstone of any Kenyan safari itinerary and for a good reason. It provides a great big cat experience and deserves at least at least 3-5 days.

The Masai Mara is a haven for the Big Cats


Other parks:

1. Lake Nakuru National Park

A park with a large lake and all the wildlife except elephants. Famous for rhinos and water birds like flamingoes. However, in the last three years the water levels have risen substantially and most of the flamingoes have gone to other lakes. However, the park remains a great place to see lions, leopards and rhinos apart from rare species like aardwolf and striped hyena.

In particular, Lake Nakuru National Park recommends itself for the chance of seeing rhinos of which it has plenty while many of the other parks have few or none left.

Lake Nakuru National Park is located within the Great Rift Valley and is excellent for rhinos


2. Amboseli National Park

This is at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It has all the wildlife and is famous for huge herds of elephants.

Amboseli National Park is located at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and is famous for large herds of elephants


3. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

This conservancy at the base of Mt. Kenya straddles the equator. It’s the place where you stand the best chance of seeing all the big five since rhinos are hard to see in Masai Mara. Families with children in particular, find the park attractive because of it houses attractions like the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the Endangered Species Boma. It also offers activities like Lion and Wild Dog tracking and access to Baraka the blind rhino who lives in an enclosure.

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a great place to see the Big 5 against the backdrop of Mt. Kenya.


4. Samburu National Reserve

All the usual wildlife plus variants of antelope, zebra, ostrich and giraffe that you don’t see in the other parks because this is the only one north of the equator and these variants do not come to the southern hemisphere.The snow-fed Ewaso Nyiro river flows through the park which is in an arid area and is a magnet for the wildlife.

Grevy’s Zebra in Samburu National Reserve


5. Nairobi National Park

This is an often-overlooked park, simply because it adjoins Nairobi. And yet it is a full-fledged park albeit without elephants. It has as high a concentration of lions as Masai Mara and a large number of rhinos, both black and white.

The tented camp inside the park is an excellent alternative to a city hotel and if staying there, your African safari can start as soon as about 20 minutes after leaving the International airport on arrival!


6. Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is not a park or reserve. Instead it is a fresh water lake within the Great Rift Valley at an altitude of about 7,000 ft. It is very rich in bird-life and offers boat rides to get close to the birds and as well the hippos that live in the lake. Lake Naivasha is a great place from which to do a gorge walk in Hellsgate National Park or walk up the dormant volcano, Mt. Longonot.

Lake Naivasha is good place to spend a night or two as a change from wildlife safaris or to stretch your legs for those looking for some physical activity.

There are plenty of other parks that are less frequented and yet are very attractive to those with special interests like hiking, birds, landscapes, elephants and rhinos. Our safari experts will be happy to assist you with more information.


Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?

We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.