Our next port of call is the wonderful Kenya. Here is where our MD’s love of Africa began, having lived, and worked out there for several years, her knowledge Kenya is second to none – I mean she literally knows all the ins and outs of this fabulous place – following on from her time in Kenya, the passion grew and on top of this the knowledge as well. So, thanks to this small spot in the vast continent of Africa, we owe a huge pledge to where the roots, foundations, and passion we have at The Luxury Safari Company grew.
Kenya is a land of variety, everywhere you go there are different tribes, elegant in their finery. The culture here is a real highlight but areas such as the Masai Mara, when combined with the North (Laikipia, Samburu or Meru) are so different you feel as if you have been in two different countries. Kenya’s coastline is also stunning with white sand and turquoise ocean, not to mention Lamu, one of the world’s most unique islands and a haven of tranquillity. The Great Rift Valley also passes through Kenya and the lakes can provide a relaxing change to your safari. We’re lucky enough to still work with some of Kenya’s most remote and luxurious safari camps, so overcrowding isn’t an issue for our guests. It is the Kenyan people as well that often make your safari here so special; they are charming, charismatic and have a truly infectious sense of humour.
We’ll take you to the Masai Mara first. You may well be lucky enough to witness the wildebeest migration (usually between July and September), which has quite rightly been named the 8th wonder of the world. The Masai Mara is best known for this spectacle, where nearly 2 million wildebeest, zebra and topi make their way to the lush grasslands of the Masai Mara, from Tanzania’s Serengeti. The journey is notoriously perilous as large numbers of predators – cheetah, lion, leopard, wild dog, and hyena – all lie in wait for unsuspecting prey. The vast open grass plains, so quintessentially Kenyan, combining babbling rivers, the escarpment, and valleys to make this one the most beautiful places on earth. As well as this the Masai Mara Game Reserve ecosystem hosts the last great concentration of mixed species plains wildlife in Africa, and the game viewing here as a result is unrivalled. Stay at places such as Richard’s River Camp, Mara Plains, and the wonderfully authentic Offbeat Mara for some of the best experiences of this stunning location.
Combine your stay with the awe-inspiring Samburu. The cultural experiences here are a real must with the Samburu people being some of the most welcoming and enthusiastic tribes to meet. They are hungry to pass on all their traditions on how they have lived with and used the surrounding land to live. Stay at Saruni Samburu for some sensational views of the surrounding landscape or head to the truly luxurious Sasaab.
Now for Laikipia – we love Laikipia. It is a truly wild and raw place with opportunities to walk, ride or game drive whilst on safari. The Laikipia Plateau stretches from Mount Kenya to the rim of the Great Rift Valley. It not only boasts one of the largest elephant populations in Kenya, but also is a stronghold of the endangered black and white Rhino. Many of the ranches are cattle farms, but for many years the ranchers have also gone to great lengths to protect wildlife and so the game here is abundant. Laikipia is the only part of Kenya in which wildlife numbers have increased in the last 20 years.
Stay at Sirikoi and see the rhino at the nearby Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which has pioneered rhino conservation in Kenya, before heading off into the wilderness on a riding safari at Sosian. After this, you can fish, track wild dog, or simply relax from the luxury of your lodge, Laikipia really does have a huge amount on offer and all in the comfort of completely private ranches. Nearby the Laikipia Plateau, Ol Pejeta Conservancy boasts excellent game viewing on the vast flat plains, with rhino and the cats making their presence felt. The Mathews Range also offers guests an exciting opportunity to visit one of Kenya’s best camps and true wilderness areas, Sarara; perched overlooking a watering hole which is always full of game, this is the ultimate in off the beaten track luxury safari.
Finally, let us take you to the Kenyan coast. First, we will take you to Lamu. Lamu is made up of Lamu Island and Manda Island, both on the Lamu Archipelago. Lamu town is the headquarters of the Lamu district and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is one of the oldest living towns in Kenya. The main religion is Muslim and Lamu played an important part in the slave trade through its port. On Lamu, there are no cars. Merchants and locals travel by boat and use well cared for donkeys for transportation. The streets are immaculate as a team of caretakers clean up every day. The place is riddled with history and oozes cultures from every pore, from traders centuries ago as well as the first ever settlers in Kenya. The tall thin Lamu houses are architecturally beautiful. The beaches are long and deserted, although a stay in either Lamu town or Shela is an absolute must, as the buzzing and relaxed atmosphere cannot fail but to intoxicate you. This is Kenya’s most unusual and unique destinations, and the friendliness of the locals, the beauty of the beaches and towns will not fail to impress. A trip on a traditional sailing dhow is not to missed but watching them come into shore as the sun sets is also a wonderful sight to see.
If Kenya is the place for you, then do get in contact and we can talk until the dhows come in about all the sights, sounds and smells you may witness on your safari!